Afghanistan: Slave Nation

They believe in a religion that is grounded in the 13th century.
If someone insults the pope, he doesn’t send people out to kill you.
If you insult a Rabbi he doesn’t send people out to blow you up.
These people do.
Their beliefs haven’t evolved like Christianity and Judaism.
Those two are thousands of years old.
Islam is 700 years old.
A guy, usually a minority, gets drawn into or is a member of the community of Islam and typically is doing okay in America, then he has marital problems, and financial problems.
He gets depressed and wants to die, and rather than die a loser, he can die as a hero.
They convince themselves that they are acting as weapons of Islam.
We kill some Muslims in Afghanistan and they try to kill some of us.
Sometimes they use this as an excuse for their own failures .
Sometimes their frame of mind is, “They killed a hundred of us, in this or that village so we are going to kill a hundred of them.”
We need to fight these Jihadi with power and vigor.
We have to be honest with each other, Islam, or at least a significant portion of it, has declared those who don’t follow their religion to be the enemy.
They don’t wish to be brought into the 21st Century, they think the 13th century was better.
They see influence with their atavistic religion as blasphemy.
Their beliefs codify oppression of Jews and Christians, and returning woman to the “good old days”, when one could beat and rape his wife, and she was a slave.
That’s the bottom line.
As you can plainly see in Afghanistan and Gaza, when this portion of Islam gains power they are brutal to the extreme.
To me, however, the most obvious crimes of these Islamic  Republican Governments or regimes is their treatment of women.
The religion is primitive
We have to fight them, but I do think one idea might help a little.
We should change our role in Afghanistan to where we are bombing less and causing less casualties.
We should, the civilized world, tell the Muslim countries that are brutalizing and enslaving women, that this is a crime, and we are not  going to tolerate it.
The burka is not a fashion statement, it is a sign if inferiority, a sign of submission.
In Afghanistan women are forced to wear burkas that cover them head to foot, with a small gauze outlet, so that a man can’t get a good look at her eyes and be tempted to rape her.
Their have been women in Islamic countries that have been sentenced to be publicly whipped, after reporting a rape.
Because Islamic judges determined that the women in question seduced the rapist by, perhaps a glimpse of hair, or not having the gauze over her eyes, or dancing.
Some people have said to me, “Well, that’s their custom, it’s not up to us to make them change their customs.”
If their customs allow them to brutalize woman and girls, and basically prevent a female from having any opportunities in life other than having babies on demand, and their customs allow men to beat women for whatever reason,
We have every right in the world to interfere.
We have the duty to interfere.
Women’s groups in Afghanistan have ask for protection, what the military calls security.
There are stories of barbarians overpowering civilizations because the civilized countries didn’t realize the nature of the threat from the barbarians.
They attack us in Gaza and from Gaza, and the world hears about the  “quaint Arab chieftains” of Hamas suffering under our oppression.
One important factor in our thinking should be a consideration of what the impact of casualties will be over time.
A certain amount of innocent people will be killed in any type of warfare, what is the impact of that going to be?
Imagine you are sitting at home, you haven’t done anything harmful, and suddenly a missile crashes through your roof and wipes out half your family.
Then you walk up and down the street, and your neighbors homes have been bombed too.
People are killed and crippled all around you.
Then imagine the military shows up and says, “Well, we were after so and so, and to get to him we had to soften up this area. Sorry. It’s for a good cause.”
Or, “We shelled your house by mistake.”
I’m just wondering, will we be creating as many terrorists as we kill?
I’m just wondering what the ratio would be, 10 terrorists for every innocent person we shell?
Less or more?
Afghanistan is asymmetrical warfare, we are not going to conquer the Radical Islamicists in the usual sense of the word.
What we may need to do in Afghanistan is change the focus of the mission from killing Taliban members to protecting the people of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan women’s groups have asked for security, for protection of the schools where girls are learning, for the first time in their lives, many of them.
They have been told that we can’t afford it, or in the words of one Congressman, “We expect you to take care of that yourselves.”
If we were dealing directly with women’s rights, at least the women of Afghanistan would support us.
Slavery is wrong, whether the slave is black or white or male or female.
The literal enslavement of women in Afghanistan  is a horror that goes unremarked upon for the most part.
I saw an interview with an Afghanistani woman recently, she had 8 kids, she didn’t want anymore, but her husband did.
She was asked, “Who will make the decision?”
She pointed to her husband and said, “He does. We have no choice.”
The  reporter, a woman, asked, “Do you know what rape is?”
The woman’s eyes grew large, and she looked uncomprehending, “No.” she answered, quietly.
This abuse of human beings should be stopped.
That should be the focus of our efforts in Afghanistan.

Clinton: Tough Talk, Few Results

 

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tense exchanges with Pakistani civilians and Arab diplomats over a harrowing week of foreign stops exposed the confining limits of her office.

On her most ambitious and contentious overseas trip as secretary of state, Clinton had to resort to damage control after she appeared to mangle the Obama administration’s message on frozen Mideast peace talks.

And while she scored points back home by standing up to angry Pakistanis who confronted her about drone-launched U.S. missile strikes, her blunt questioning of the resolve of Pakistan’s government exposed American impatience with the country’s incremental steps against terrorists.

In each case her extraordinarily public approach to diplomacy – for better or worse – reflected not only her personal style but also President Barack Obama’s promise to reach out openly to friend as well as foe.

What remains less clear is whether Clinton’s hot-button politician’s persona works any better at producing international results – let alone clarity – than a more classic diplomat’s cooler tact.

There were no breakthroughs, and it’s too early to know how her public and behind-the-scenes performances in Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, Israel, Morocco and Egypt will play out. But Clinton emphatically followed through on a pledge she made last month when she said the time had come for the U.S. government to communicate more aggressively abroad and challenge U.S. critics on their own turf.

From here on, she said then, “we’re going to be in the mix and we’re going to be in the mix every day.”

It is a boldly political take on taking on the world, and Clinton is relying on some of her old campaign trail tricks and moxie to press America’s case.

In Pakistan, she aggressively sold the administration’s stance against al-Qaida during several crowded “town hall” public forums that had been her stock-in-trade during the 2008 presidential primary run against Obama.

But despite finding some success in Africa and Asia earlier this year communicating Clintonian warmth with foreign audiences, Lahore was not Portsmouth, N.H.

And a brash in-your-face style that won voters’ hearts and minds in the U.S. may have come off as confrontational to skeptical Pakistan civilians who responded in kind.

In Lahore, Clinton certainly won domestic consumption brownie points by saying what many Americans have complained about for years – that Pakistan’s government had done little to root out al-Qaida’s upper echelon.

“Al-Qaida has had safe haven in Pakistan since 2002,” she said bluntly. “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to. And maybe that’s the case. Maybe they’re not getable. I don’t know.”

Pakistan’s leaders were not pleased – waiting until Clinton departed to slap back. But even when she had a second chance to scale back her remarks, Clinton softened them only by a hair.

She also dinged Pakistan’s leaders for diminishing their standing in Washington by complaining about tough new conditions set by Congress for providing billions in new aid.

“For the United States Congress to pass a bill unanimously, saying that we want to give $7.5 billion to Pakistan in a time of global recession when we have a 10 percent unemployment rate, and then for Pakistani press and others to say, ‘We don’t want that,’ that’s insulting,” she said.

That wasn’t what the Pakistani government wanted to hear, but it seemed to reflect Clinton’s determination to show the Pakistanis that they can complain about U.S. counterterrorism tactics and about strings attached to U.S. aid – but not without hearing the administration’s own concerns.

Clinton’s toughened public stance was less in evidence, though, when she turned to the stymied Mideast peace process. Instead of bluntness, she struggled repeatedly to cater to both Israeli and Arab concerns, making no headway in getting either side to move closer.

In Jerusalem, trying to mollify Israeli reluctance to agree to halt all future settlements as a pretext to renewed peace talks with Palestinians, Clinton floated an Israeli proposal that would restrain – but not stop – more West Bank housing.

Palestinian and Arab diplomats reacted with outrage, and the Clinton who had been tough in Pakistan was forced to backpedal. Arab officials questioned whether the U.S. had tilted toward Israel and abandoned its position that continued Israel settlements are illegitimate and must be brought to a full stop.

Clinton’s comments reflected a realization within the Obama administration that conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will not accept a full-on settlement freeze and that a partial halt might be the best lesser option. Her appeal seemed designed to make the Israeli position more palatable to the Palestinians and Arab states.

Clinton had traveled to the region reluctantly, concerned her visit might be perceived as a failure without clear results, according to several U.S. officials. She agreed to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders after pressure from the White House, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal administration thinking.

In Marrakesh, Morocco, two days after her controversial comments in Jerusalem, Clinton issued what she called a clarification. But she was dogged by questions about the settlements issue for the rest of her time abroad.

Asked Wednesday before departing for Washington what she believed she had accomplished, Clinton focused on the depth of the challenges she faced, not on what the trip delivered – or failed to deliver.

“Every issue that we touched on during this trip is complicated and difficult,” she said. “Each requires patience, perseverance and determination to see them through. If these were easy questions with simple answers, I wouldn’t have made this trip.”

EDITOR’S NOTE – Robert Burns has been covering national security and military affairs for The Associated Press since 1990.

Why We Can’t Leave Iraq

Michael Moore hecame wealthy by telling the unadorned truth.

And this is shocking, because we have not heard the truth. It’s new to us.

To realize that the government is basically controlled by less than 1% of the population. To realize that they do cynical things for their own profit.

The companies that own the media and  have long promoted the idea that the government should not be involved in helping people, immediately had the government bail them out when they needed money.

For all of their wealth, those who make the decisions often make bad decisions, such as the timing of the war in Iraq.

I don’t know why Bush went into Iraq, really, it’s anyone’s guess.

But it was a mistake, a classic mistake, becoming overextended by having too many fronts.

This is elementary.

No doubt Saddam deserved to die.

The brutal humiliation  and hanging was not excessive when compared to his crimes.

At the time, I agreed with those who said, about Iraq, “Go in, get Saddam, and get out.”

But we broke it, we’ve got to fix it.

Bush policies broke it, and Obama has to fix it.

Let’s cut thorugh the flowery language and face what we have to do, to safeguard the Iraqi cilvilians, mainly the women and children, who are most vulnerable to the brutality of the various militant criminals.

We need no other reason to be there than that we are protecting innocent people from brutal criminals.

We have to make Iraq a client state.

We run it, for their benefit, but we don’t allow oppression of women or children or brainwashing or any of the other activities for which the militant criminals are justifiably famous.

If we can have a generation or two of education and less exposure to the evil side of Islamic indocrination, they may actually be able to run their own country, with us as staunch allies for as long as needed.

But we can’t leave now.

Even though I want to, and you want to.

The way they will oppress innocent people who just yearn for a normal life, and most particularly women and children, if we leave without putting in place a structure that will protect universally recognized human rights, would be brutal and murderous.

In Iran, right now, clerics are having women raped and executed.

In Afghanistan the Taliban orders women to be covered head to foot, with only a thick guaze peephole to see out of.

In Gaza women are being forced into the dark ages, more and more enforced “dress codes”.

I won’t go into all of it here.

The Sharia way is well known, or should be.

Some will say, it’s not our fight.

Of course it is.

We should have dealt with Afghanistan first  but now that we are in Iraq it would be immoral to just walk away.

That’s why we are still there.

I think it is an encouraging sign that President Obama isn’t just pulling out and leaving the people to fend for themselves.

It shows that he is going to do what he believes is right, even if it is not politically expedient.