An open letter to the people who hate Obama more than they love America

Mon Jan 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM PST

I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn’t call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn’t call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com      You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don’t know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.

Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.

You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate em.

Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don’t like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that’s not what I am here to tell you.

 Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn’t worked you are panicking. Obama’s approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America’s recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its’ debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You’ve used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don’t you, it’s that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950’s musical.

Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.

Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism.

I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn’t exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.

I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars.

I don’t even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn’t get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn’t your country, you don’t own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn’t approve of it. Rick Santorum isn’t running for America’s fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can’t because he has nothing else to run on.

Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They’ve got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass.

But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren’t so sure.

Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.

So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like “family values”, especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don’t think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn’t exactly like you.

You should think about that, and maybe get some help.

And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don’t hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is.

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America: You Keep Using That Word… … I don’t think it means what you think it means.

So, I’m driving into Anchorage this morning. Along with the usual herd of jackasses who, despite living in Alaska still don’t seem to know how to drive in snow, one vehicle in particular caught my eye.

It was one of those enormous black pickup trucks, with the huge knobby tires and smoked glass windows and chrome roll bar complete with half a dozen giant chrome halogen lights and a ten foot high antenna whipping about in the slipstream  and pipe organ-like exhaust pipes jutting up from behind the cab belching thick plumes of white diesel smoke like the twin contrails of a fighter jet on full afterburner.
The great steel beast wasn’t, in and of itself, unusual for the Glenn Highway at 6AM – or even unusual for Alaska in general, where giant manly trucks full of patriotic manly Viagra-fueled studs are quite common.

What caught my eye were the bumper stickers:
Proud American emblazoned across a red, white, and true blue Captain America shield;
In God I trust, In big government I fear. We must protect the country we love!;
and my perennial favorite: I love my country, it’s the damned government I hate.

Now, to be perfectly honest, those bumper sticker slogans aren’t particularly unusual on the Glenn Highway at 6AM either – and normally, they wouldn’t be enough to rise above my “What the hell?” threshold.
Not by themselves.
No, what caught my eye was the giant Confederate flag treatment in the back window.
Wait, what?
Proud American.
Confederate Flag.
Proud American.


Confederate Flag.

And suddenly I’m the Old Spice guy: Liberals, look at your little sissy Prius. Look at it. Loser. Now look at this awesome RAM truck. Look at it! It gets five miles a gallon. Look at the patriotic slogans! They’re American. Now look at the Confederate Flag! The Confederacy. It’s American. Now look back to the bumper. Back to the Flag! The bumper!  Now I’m a Confederate! Look again, I’m an American! A Rebel! America, hell ya! I’m on a horse…

Proud American. Confederate flag.

I wanted to pull up next him and roll down the window and ask, So, Just to make sure I’m clear on this, you’re a proud patriotic American who loves the United States which is why you display the battle symbol of a long defunct political/military organization that directly and without equivocation attempted to destroy that self same country. Is that correct?

No, strike that. That’s wrong.

That’s really not what I wanted to ask him.

What I really wanted to ask is this: Proud American? Really? What is it exactly that you’re proud of?  You say you love your country? You say you love the United States? Really? Which part? What is it that you love about it? Specifically, what exactly do you love about America?

Because, see, so far as I can tell, people like you seem to hate just about everything that makes the United States what it is.

You hate the President, you call him a Nazi and a socialist and communist and an enemy of America.  You’re embarrassed by him.  You hate his big jug ears and his oh so white smile and his funny alien name.  You hate his politics and his elitist education and his religion and his agenda and the way he speaks. You hate his wife and you hate his kids.  Now, to be fair, you hated the last president too and in fact you’ve got a beef with damned near every president except for Good Ole George Washington and maybe Ronald Reagan. You couldn’t stand Carter or that pig, Clinton, Nixon was a crook, Johnson got us into Vietnam and the best thing that Kennedy ever did was to take a ride in that convertible – too bad he didn’t invite little brother Ted along.  You hate the president all the way back to FDR.  Hell, you even hateTeddy Roosevelt because he was nothing but a goddamned anti-American Progressive – you know that’s true because Glenn Beck told you so (and don’t you hate it when people accuse you of getting your ideas from him? Like you can’t decide who to hate all by yourself).

You hate Congress. You hate the idea of a republic, of representative democracy, where Senators and Representative don’t do only what you want.  It’s we the people goddamnit. They’re all crooks. They’re allliars. They’re all corrupt greedy bastards.  They’re all ineffective. You hate them all.  They should all be thrown out – well, all of them except for your guy that is. What’s that? Oh you hate your guy too? Yeah, that figures.

You hate the courts, especially the Supreme Court.  Oh how you hate that they won’t let you make your hate the law of the land.  You hate the whole damned liberal American legal system. You hate the lawyers, you’d like to line them all up and shoot them first.  You hate that criminals get a legal defense, you hate that people can’t seem to see that they’re guilty, just drop them into a hole and throw away the key.  You hate those groups that keep using DNA to vacate death row convictions, the scumbags are guilty of something otherwise they wouldn’t be scumbags would they – but now they get to go free and collect a big fat settlement and, man, don’t you just hate that?  Of course, you hate paying for prison too, and as long as we’re on the subject you hate that prisons are big country clubs nowadays, what the hell are those scumbags complaining about? You hate those damned judges, they’re all liberal activists, everybody knows it.  You hate the fact that we can’t just string people up in the town square any more, those were the good old days you bet.  You’d like to see more military tribunals, that’s the ticket. Not like that’s going to happen, and boy don’t you just hate that too?

In fact, you hate the whole goddamned Federal government. You really hate the “united” part of the United States. You say you love the Constitution, and you do – the 2nd Amendment part anyway – but youreally hate the parts that let other people say what they like and worship religions different than yours and give the Federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce and award citizenship to brown skinned babies and give people you don’t like the same rights as you and make the government a secular organization instead of a Christian one – yeah, you really hate that part.  You hate federal regulations and federal law and federal taxes.  You hate the Fed and the fact that our money isn’t based on the gold standard.  You hate that the government won’t let you sell defective products and contaminated food and unsafe toys coated in lead paint or snake oil that purports to cure cancer – that’s just bad for business.  You hate the idea of anybody other than you getting affordable healthcare or retirement or a home loan.  You hate Social Security, even though you yourself never bothered to save not one single penny towards your own retirement.  You think the military is “broken” and you hate those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but you hate the idea of ending them even more because then the terrorists will “win” – and you hate that we haven’t yet declared war on Iran and North Korea and maybe even Libya because you hate those bastards too. In fact, you hate the idea of peace all together, goddamned sissy liberals, real Americans love the smell of napalm in the morning you betcha.
You hate the American political system. You hate political parties. You hate those filthy liberals, oh you hate them so much, that’s a given. But you hate the Republicans too, you hate Progressives and Centrists and Moderates and there’s nobody you hate more than those traitor RINOs.

You hate your neighbors, you do, you hate them. You hate the niggers and the spics and the chinks and the gooks and spooks and hajis.  And, man, there’s nothing you hate more than when they call you a racist and a bigot. You hate all those minorities with their whining about equal rights and political correctness and affirmative action. You hate that they get a free ride.  You hate how they can’t take a joke. You hate the greedy Jews. You hate the terrorist Muslims. You hate the child-molesting Catholics. And you just goddamned hate those atheists.  You hate anybody who wasn’t born again. You hate that guy with the long beard and the red turban who runs that store you hate downtown.  You hate those people who can’t speak English without an accent.  You hate having to dial 1 for English, my God how you hate that. You hate the fags in their little Speedos, demanding the right to wed just so they can mock your third marriage.  You hate immigrants, and not just the illegal ones either. You hate the idea that those dirty, diseased sons of bitches come here to this country and take all the good jobs.  You hate that your daughter is dating one of them. You hate that one of their kids can become president when there are plenty of good God fearin’ naturally born white men around – speaking of which, you really hate how white men have become the most persecuted minority in America, it’s shameful is what it is.  You hate the poor, the lazy bastards should just lift themselves up, stop being poor. You hate the rich, the ones born with a golden spoon full of coke in their noses and the ones who robbed their way to the top.  You hate feminists, those damned dyke bitches, and you hate that they think they should own their own reproductive organs.  You hate city people, the ones from New York and Los Angeles who think they’re better then you.  You hate those ignorant country bumpkins too, those pig shit covered farmers and their subsidies always sponging off your tax dollars.  You hate those college boys, those elitist snobs with their law degrees and science majors.  You hate people from the East Coast with their old money and blue blood, you hate them almost as much as you hate the fruits, nuts, and flakes from the West Coast, and by God, how you hate those crooked bastards from Chicago. You hate single mothers and women who breastfeed in public.  You hate fat people, those glutinous slobs taking up more than their fair share of the space.  Of course, youreally hate it when that America hating Michelle Obama suggests that your kids eat right and maybe get some exercise so they don’t end up overweight, how dare she, how dare she, if you want to be fat, by God, you’ll be fat and no hate-filled bitch is going to tell you what to do. You hate kids with long hair and tattoos.  You hate old people, the Greatest Generation of assholes, always complaining about how much better things used to be, why can’t they just die already and quit sucking on the Medicare tit? Speaking of Medicare, you hate that too, even though you yourself can’t afford health insurance for you family – besides, the emergency room is free. Right?

You hate the environment. You hate the flora and fauna and the terrain of the great American landscape.  You hate the polar bears and the snail darter and that stupid spotted owl.  You hate saving the Redwoods for generations to come. You hate those national parks and the bureau of land management. You hate clean air and water that’s safe to swim in. You hate that you can’t just shoot every deer and dip-net every salmon.  You hate catalytic converters and lead free gasoline.  You hate the fact that the fascist EPA won’t let you dump toxic waste into Love Canal or strip mine Utah. You hate carbon and separating your paper from your plastics. You hate blowout preventers and containment booms and hearing about the Exxon Valdez – honestly, hasn’t Exxon suffered enough?  Drill baby drill that’s what you’re talking about.  You hate the word “Green” and you hope Al Gore burns in hell for all eternity because you hate that commie fucker more than anybody else – well, except for maybe Obama, but that just goes without saying.

You hate public education.  You hate the Department of Education, you didn’t used to, but you sure do now.  You hate it because it’s not in the Constitution – the Constitution which you hated having to learn about in school, in that government class you so hated. You hate the school board and school administrators and the school principal. You hate schools, you hate having to pay taxes for a new roof so the kids don’t get rained on and you hate having to buy classroom equipment and you hate those afterschool programs – well, except for football, that’s OK.  And, by God, you hate the damned teachers, you hate those lazy, greedy, selfish bastards.  You hate that the arrogant pricks laugh at your poorly spelled TEA Party posters and you blame them for your ignorance. You hate that you have to pay them a living wage, you hate the idea that the modern world means that teachers have to be highly educated professionals instead of some chalk scented school marm who was good enough for your great grandfather. You grandfather didn’t need to learn about computers or technology or world events or funny looking people in countries that don’t matter, and you hate it when people tell you that your kids aren’t living in that world anymore.  You hate that your kids might have to learn about actual science, oh how you hate that they might hear about evolution or global climate change or plate tectonics or that people didn’t, in fact, live with dinosaurs and that the world is actually a lot older than 5000 years despite what you learned in Church last week.  You hate the liberal colleges with their long haired professors and their weird ideas – and you sure as hell hate how higher education tends to make people more liberal, not less.

You hate the media.  You hate CNN and MSNBC and ABC and the Washington Post.  You harbor a special hatred for Arianna Huffington, a hatred that flares as brightly as a burning deep water drilling rig.  You hate Hollywood, you hate how it’s controlled by the Jews or maybe the Bilderbergs and their New World Order or perhaps it’s really secretly controlled by the Illuminati or the Muslim Brotherhood. Whoever is in charge out there, you hate how every movie seems to have gay people in it, or blacks, or an Arab.
You hate American capitalism – oh, you love Capitalism with a capital C, but you hate what those greedy conniving Wall Street fat cats have done to it.  God, how you hate those sons of bitches, the ones like Bill Gates who built his business from the ground up and became for a time the richest man in the world, and then – and this is the part you really hate – he started giving his money away.  Of course, it’s all a lie, he’s just giving it away for the tax break and how you hate that too, don’t you? And you hate those pricks in management, those prissy white collar MBA’s who have never done an honest day’s labor in their privileged lives.  Ah, but as much as you hate the executives and the management, that’s nothingcompared to how much you hate labor. You hate unions. You hate that middle class Americans enjoy a living wage in safe working environments at a reasonable number of working hours per week.  You hate that they’ve thrown in together, bargaining collectively so that they might have a bit of leverage against those fat cats and greedy corporations you also hate.  You call them socialists and communists and you hate it when somebody points out that in far left socialist and communist countries workers have no rightswhatsoever (and didn’t in America either, until the unions came along). God how you hate being confused with facts by liberal Nazi Commies who dare to question your cognitively dissociative reasoning.

In point of fact, other than the flag (the American one, not the Confederate one – though that works too, I guess), there doesn’t seem to be much about America you do like.

So, when you say you love America, what is it exactly that you love?

When you say you’re a proud American, what is it that you’re proud of?

Because, I’ve got to tell you, I’m just not seeing it.

 

http://www.stonekettle.com/2011/03/america-you-keeping-using-that-word.html


Part 2 – America: Explained: Follow up article and amplifying thoughts about this post.

Part 3 – America: Land That I Love: Follow up article and why I love this country.

Update: This post has gone viral.  Thanks to all of you who linked, Facebooked, tweeted, and stumbled it – and if you haven’t, well why the hell haven’t you?

 

If you liked this post: you might like this one too:  Liberalism, Conservatism, and Insanity.  One of these days I’m going to have to put all these bumper sticker inspired posts into a book.

 

To Renew Economics and free it from imperial control

CSPER

Neoclassical economics has severe flaws.    But since the field is captive to the monopolistic money and banking system, it is very difficult for economists who are aware of this to speak up.   If they were to speak about the flaws, their careers would be severely limited.   Only the most narrow economists who reinforce the status quo of the debt-based monetary system get rewarded. But they are building an insane system.                                           They continue putting their faith in a false religion that passes for science—a religion that says globalism and infinite scale are “good” as the system continues conquering new territory and killing off the things discussed on CSPER.

                                     The top 10 flaws of neoclassical economics

1. Money monopoly = free market Neoclassical economics calls our current system under a private monetary monopoly a free market. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. The monetary system is an overlay on top of the economic system. Economic systems create value through market activity, but the monetary system on top of them determine who captures that value. Neoclassical economics completely ignores the overlay and the fact that it is controlled by an entrenched private monopoly.

2. Ignores that money comes from nothing but debt Economics does not address the fact that all money comes from debt. It assumes that base currency (M0, core money) is just a free-flowing medium of exchange that apparently comes from the US Treasury. It does not. It comes from the Federal Reserve backed by debt.

3. Ignores the artificial scarcity condition Economics ignores how a debt-based monetary system imposes scarcity on countries and populations. There is never enough money to pay back all the debt, so everyone is forced to jump on the hamster wheel, scrambling to find more money to pay back debt. This dynamic is perpetual. It never stops until the system crashes. It need not be this way.

4. Equates net worth with value creation Economics ignores how the financial class and others serving the upper end of the capital structure capture more money simply because they have entrenched power. They extract value. They do not create it. Economics is correct that participants in the economic system create value, but it misses the fact that the monetary system on top of the economic system determines who captures that value.

5. Assumes free, rational, economic actors by ignoring power differential of debt The power differential caused by the monetary system is ignored by economics. This is the only reason the system is erroneously called a “free market.” The monetary system is entirely centripetal, sucking all power to the center, the top tiered financiers. People are in servitude in a very controlling market, not a free market.

6. Ignores the instability of having a pure debt-based monetary system Economists ignore that the economic system is guaranteed to boom, bust, and eventually end because the monetary system on top of it is completely unstable and fundamentally flawed. It depends upon increasing debt. It cannot increase forever, and it can collapse to zero since people have no sovereign money.

7. Ignores the wealth illusion By not addressing the issue of debt-based money, economics fools people into believing the digits in their bank accounts represent wealth. The fact is they represent a conditional liability, i.e. somebody else’s debt. This becomes obvious during deflation. The illusion is reinforced during inflationary periods.

 8. Ignores perpetual exponential growth Economists inconceivably ignore the most severe flaw of the monetary system that drives our economic system—it requires exponential growth. This guarantees eventual failure, but neoclassical economics conveniently assumes that problem away.

9. Ignores perpetual increasing scale As a result of perpetual exponential growth, institutions in the system continually get bigger and bigger. We saw this as the economic system made towns, counties, and states irrelevant through the last century, and we are now seeing it as mega banks and corporations are now making national governments irrelevant. People are now living as tiny cogs in a machine of incomprehensible scale. Everything in life has been monetized, so things that don’t generate bank credit get devalued (spirituality, psychology, rest, joy, play, etc).

10. Ignores perpetual increasing velocity Another problem from exponential growth is perpetually increasing velocity.  The system has to chug faster and harder as it continues to grow.  This means human life has to chug faster and harder.  The most obvious manifestation of this is the endless, hectic commutes every morning to jobs we despise. We feel frustration, sometimes rage, toward our fellow commuters. That is just one small example of how systemic velocity affects the human spirit.  

Copyright CSPER 2009 – 2010

Yes, But, What’s Really Going On?

Not a simple question, it’s a lot more complex than wiping out Islam or getting rid of Obama

Militant Islam is just one part of world chaos.  Obama is just a spokesman.

We owe it to ourselves and our descendants to be aware of historic trends and act appropriately.

To tell our grandchildren, when, G-d forbid, they are living in a rickety, cold-water flat in a deteriorating abandoned city, “I thought G-d would take care of it.”
Wont be a reassuring thing to say.
By then they will know that’s not going to happen.

The first thing to do is to learn what’s really going on in our world.
http://csper.org is a good place to start.

Unfortunately, to learn the facts on the site require an investment of time.

There is a link to youtube videos that lay out the situation in economic terms, and they are lengthy, and somewhat complex, particularly if you are not well versed in economic theory.
Anyone on this forum that pursues the information on the sight might express shock and awe, but I don’t think you’ll be able to refute any of the factual material.
So, to paraphrase Hillel, “Go forth and study.”

From the Site:

The truth has never been clearer. We’re living in a voracious empire based on people ownership, i.e. subjugating humans to increasing debt servitude to Wall Street and the global banking establishment. This debt system has morphed economics from a study in human progress to an engine of human enslavement. Spirituality (“sense of meaning”) and psychology have been crushed as a result. Any sense of a meaningful life has almost been vanquished as the corporate system that serves Wall Street has replaced truth with fake media PR and replaced our communities with narcissistic hierarchy. The good news is that this system is on its last leg. It will end. However, we are not prepared to weather the storm and our communities are not equipped to ensure a better system emerges. Our instincts have been trying to tell us this for a long time, but it has felt safer to go along with the fake PR of the corporate/political system pumped through the TV. It’s time to have the courage to face the truth. Then we must rebuild our communities with an economic system informed by healthy spirituality and psychology rather than one specifically designed to crush them. To help facilitate this type of renewal and avoid chaos or tyranny in the coming decline of the empire, CSPER recognizes the need for a new Enlightenment to recover our humanity and break the monolithic monetary monopoly that controls everything. Details on this are discussed in the introductory course to CSPER, Renaissance 2.0.

Goodbye Islam: Hello Normalcy: the End of the Religion of Poverty

Eradication of Islam by:

Ali Sina Islam:

The Religion of Poverty

The greatest gift of Islam to its followers is poverty. All Islamic countries with the exception of those that have oil are poor. Amazingly even Iran that is oil rich and before the Islamic regime was a prosperous country, is now a poor third world country. With over 20 billion dollar revenue only from the Oil industry, the per capita income of the Iranians is $1200 annually. Just recently an 18-year-old girl burned herself. She died within a few days. When questioned why, she replied that without her there would be one less mouth to feed in her household and more food for her younger siblings. 20 million Bangalis have immigrated to India in the search of a better life. Bangladesh and Pakistan are languishing in poverty while India is now experiencing an economical boom. As for Afghanistan, let us not even mention it. Some Afghani women are forced to go “grazing”. They go to the mountains looking for a blade of grass to eat and feed their children. All Islamic countries are completely unproductive. Half of the population, i.e. women, virtually is left out of the work force. Those who work waste one month of a year in a quasi-hibernating state during the Ramadan and 5 time obligatory prayers rob the economy millions of valuable man-hours of productivity. Schools instead of teaching real science teach the Islamic non-sense of Fiqh and Shaira and brainwash the youth with mumbo-jumbo of creation, story of Noah and the miracles of Muhammad. If it weren’t for oil all Islamic countries without any exception would be the poorest countries of the world. Millions of Muslims from all Islamic countries to invad the West in the search of better life. Islamic Expansionism One would think that at least those economical refugees who have escaped the hardship of their native land, are mildly aware that the cause of the poverty of their brethrens back home is Islam and they would try to get away from it now that they have escaped from it and have managed to make some fortune in the Kafir land. One would expect that at least they would not slay the goose that lays the golden eggs and would not try to infiltrate Islam in their new homes. Unfortunately Muslims are bereft of that much discernment. When Muslims go to non-Islamic countries and once they overcome their economical hardships they start demanding special privileges to practice and promote their religion. They take advantage of the democracy in their host countries and start building mosques calling their hosts Kafir and strive to eradicate that democracy, and impose the brutal laws of Sharia. In the West, they have started converting the whites and inculcated in them the hate of their own culture to the extent that these new converts harbor the desire to destroy their own churches, loath democracy and capitalism and endeavor to establish the rule of Islam and theocracy of Khalifat world wide. In a Statement laid on the table of the house of Assam (India) Legislative Assembly under item no. 12 dated 6.4.2000 Shri Prafulla Kumar Mahanta the Chief Minister, Assam wrote: “During the recent past, Assam Police has gathered sufficient evidence to prove that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI has been actively involved in fomenting violence and terrorism in the State. These activities are mainly in the following areas: a. Promoting indiscriminate violence in the State by providing active support to the local militant outfits. b. Creating new militant outfits along ethnic and communal lines by instigating ethnic and religious groups. c. Supply of explosives and sophisticated arms to various terrorist groups. d. Causing sabotage of oil pipelines and other installations, communication lines, railways and roads. e. Promoting fundamentalism and militancy among local Muslim youth by misleading them in the name of ‘jehad’. f. Promoting communal tension between Hindu and Muslim citizens by way of false and highly inflammatory propaganda.” This report goes on giving the details of various activities of the ISI in Assam and how Pakistan is training the Muslims, mostly the Bangali economical immigrants for their terrorist activities in India. The World React to Islam Many Indians justifiably are alarmed of the growth of the number of Muslims in India and fear that this would eventually result in another bloody civil war and further secession of their country. It is unfortunate though, that this threat has forced them to form militant fundamentalist groups to combat the spread of Islam in India. A similar move has already started in England where the Pakistani youth have clashed with the ultra right angry British youth and even police in several occasions with much property damage to the shops and private businesses. The anti Islamic sentiment is also brewing in Italy, France, Denmark and Germany. I cannot say that this fear of Islamic expansionism is unfounded. Islam must be confronted though violence is not the right method. In fact it is quite counterproductive and dangerous. This would make Muslims feel martyred and strengthens their resolve making them go deeper into their ignorance, become fundamentalists with the inevitable escalation of violence and terrorism. The world should know that terrorism for a true Muslim is a religious virtue. Jihad was prescribed by Muhammad (Q.2:216), and killing the non-believers is regarded a service to Allah (Q.4:84). The problem here is not Muslims but Islam. It is Islam that prevents Muslims from mingling with their hosts in amity, and integrate with the culture of the country where they reside. It is Islam that teaches them to separate the world in two quarters of Dar-al Harb and Dar-al Islam. The solution to this problem cannot come from the non-Muslims but from the Muslims themselves. What Feeds Islamic Frenzy? It is a fact that Muslims are encouraged by the news that their number is growing. This is of course a total misrepresentation of the truth because their number is not actually growing by conversion but by procreation. It is true that Muslims are the fastest growing population but they interpret this, as ISLAM being the fastest growing “religion” and they delight even in such an obvious self-deception. In one of my essays called Who Feeds Fundamentalism I quoted an article that reported the case of a woman born and raised in a middle class Muslim family of doctors in Malaysia. She turned a terrorist and a jihadi after reading a book telling the stories of the Western women converting to Islam. Those stories blazed her religious fervor making her conclude that Islam must be a true gem that now the Westerners are discovering it. She started to wear hejab, started throwing dye at women not wearing the Islamic veil, was encouraging her husband to take a second wife, had many brushes with the law for her subversive activities and proudly told the reporter that she wants her sons to grow with gun in their hands. Any news of the success of Islam, make Muslims dig deeper in their fundamentalism and foments their religious zeal transforming them into terrorists, killing and hating machines. It is a fact that Islam is kept alive because Muslims look at each other telling themselves: “not all these people can be wrong”. This is what is called sheep mentality. One sheep jumps; the other jumps too. Even Muhammad was aware of this weakness in human psyche and took full advantage of that. In the early days of Islam he targeted the influential Meccans like Omar and Abu Bakr. Many early Muslim’s faiths were fortified when they learned that these two important personalities have also accepted Islam and it made it easy for others to join. “If important persons like Omar and Abu Bakr have accepted Islam, then it must be true”, they reasoned. Today Muslims use names like Cat Stevens and Dr. Bucaille (who is not even a Muslim) to impress themselves and their victims. They even claim Neil Armstrong is a Muslim, though he himself has categorically denied this rumor. The Other Side of The Coin However, this coin has another side too. Just as the news of the growth of Islam and its alleged successes kindles religious fervor in Muslims, transforming them into zealot fanatics and terrorist zombies, the news of the failure of Islam disheartens and discourages them. Just as the news and even the rumors of the conversion of a great number of people to Islam strengthen the Muslims in their faith, the reverse is also true. Islam, especially in recent years, has had many setbacks, but they have not been publicized. There is a great number of Muslims who leave Islam, most of them among the intellectuals and the crème de la crème of the society. But unfortunately these dissenters are not organized and often do not wish to endanger their lives and their peace of mind by going public. In Islam the punishment of apostasy is death. Thomas Paine and Bertrand Russell would not have lived long if they were Muslims critics. Ahmad Kasravi was murdered brutally and Ali Dashti was jailed at his advance age and died in the prisons of Khomeini. So the field is left open for the Muslims to inseminate their lies about Islam being the fastest growing religion. The truth is that many Muslims are turning against Islam and their numbers is increasing. From a statistic of the Iranians in Scandinavia we learn that 50% of them call themselves atheists or agnostics. 40% say they are Muslims but do not follow Islam. Only 10% consider themselves to be practicing Muslims. This statistic did not take into account those Iranians who already belonged to other religions or those Muslims who converted to other religions after they left Iran. The anti Islamic sentiment in Iran can be detected by conversing with the Jewelers in that country. They say that only 5% of those who buy gold chain necklaces want Islamic emblems like Allah, Muhammad and Ali carved in their necklace. 95% now ask for Iranian emblems like the edict of Cyrus on human rights, the Hakhamanish soldiers, Persepolis and other Iranian national icons. 23 years ago this percentage was completely the other way round. Today the government pays people to go to the Mosques. Some go because they are in dire poverty and need the money and the food that is served there, but still the mosques are empty. The dislike of Islam among Iranians is evident from the fact that now they prefer traditional Iranian names for their newborns. Just 5% of them choose Islamic (Arab) names. In earlier generations this percentage was over 80%. Iran has traditionally played a decisive role for Islam. It provided it with its philosophy. Most of Islamic philosophers are Iranians. Sufism is an Iranian invention, and even the founders of the 4 Sunni schools of thoughts were Iranians. Without the Iranian input Islam would be a primitive cult. Islam owes its greatness, architecture philosophy and culture to Iranian luminaries. The Islamic revolution of Iran gave a boost to Islam and Islamic fundamentalism in the entire world. The Ebbing of The Tide Today, however, the fortunes of Islam are ebbing. Islam is hated in Iran, especially among the generation born and raised after Islamic Revolution. Iran is pregnant with history-making events. Ere long the Iranian younger generation is going to rebel and Islam will suffer its biggest setback ever. It is enough to visit any Iranian forum on the Internet to see the level of hate that the Iranians feel for Islam. The Iranian students inside the country feel the same way, though they are unable to vent their anger now. As soon as this atmosphere of terror is lifted all that anger will come to the surface and Islam will die in Iran with the same swiftness and perhaps violence that it was imposed 1400 years ago. As Iranians start attacking Islam openly and blame it for all that went wrong in their country it will have a domino effect in all Islamic world. The immediate outcome of the fall of Islam in Iran is that the Islamist terrorist groups in Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and other countries will have their financial supply cut off. This in itself will hamper their activates and dampens their fervor. But the biggest blow on Islam would be psychological. Throughout the centuries, Iran has been a major player in the Middle East and it has always set the standard. After the demise of Islam in Iran, Muslims in the neighboring countries would feel disheartened and their faith will weaken. Other Fundamentalists Attack of Hindus or Christians on Islam makes Muslims defensive. I was amazed when a freethinking friend of mine who constantly writes against Islam retorted when a Christian Reverend of an evangelical church posted his criticism of Islam in our freethinkers forum. Of course this good friend of mine is himself critical of Islam but instinctively he felt that he had to respond to this other Christian fundamentalist by defending Islam. If an atheist like my own friend is moved to defend a religion that he loathes when it is attacked by another non-Muslim fundamentalist, then it is not unreasonable to believe that the opposition of the Hindu and Christian fundamentalists of Islam is counterproductive. Islam can be eradicated only from within. It seems that Muhammad was very much aware of this and that is why he was so unforgiving towards the dissenters. If the ex-Muslim freethinkers get organized and attack Islam systematically we will have much more success than if Islam is attacked from outside by other equally fallacious groups whose own curriculum vitae is marred with the same sins they accuse Islam of. These other groups lack credibility. They are guilty of the same faults that Muslims are. But we, as freethinkers do not subscribe to any ideology. We can be theists, atheists or agnostics and still disbelieve in Islam. Unlike the members of other religions we have no hidden skeletons in our closets to fear a counter attack. Islam can, and it has survived the attacks of other religions, but it cannot and will not survive the attack from its own renegades. Just as Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism are waning not because of the onslaughts of other religions but because of the rebellion of their own freethinkers, Islam will not be weakened by the attacks of fundamentalist groups of other religions but by the criticism of its own freethinkers. We should also be aware that fundamentalism in one religion encourages the rise of fundamentalism in other religions. This is a vicious circle. The formation of Hindu and Christian fundamentalist groups does not only not reduce the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, but it actually throws gasoline on their fire. This will only hardens the Islamist fanatics and strengthens their resolve. It creates an atmosphere of competition among the fundamentalists of all the religions. In this mindless race the winner is the loser. This is the race of ignorance. The runners are heading towards the precipice and an Armageddon is awaiting them at the end of the lane. The best thing non-Muslims can do to stop the Islamic fundamentalism, is to stop fundamentalism in their own religions. The End Is Nigh I know many of you are pessimistic about it but I foresee the end of Islam at sight. I am not concerned of the ignorant mass of Muslims. The intellectuals of Islam are turning against it and it is the intellectuals that chart the course of the history not the ignorant mass. A billion ignorant Muslims can do nothing to stop the momentum that a few of their enlightened intellectuals who have turned against Islam can generate. They eventually will have to give in and follow their intellectuals or they will be annihilated under the pressure of poverty like Afghanistan and Iran. Many Muslim intellectuals feel that they have hit the bottom and even though they still are unable to cut their umbilical cord from Islam, they admit that Islam cannot bring prosperity, democracy and peace and they openly call for the separation of Mosque from State. This admission that Islam has failed, at least in political front, is a great step forward. Whether these people are aware or not, they are tacitly acknowledging that Islam is a failed paradigm; because Islam unlike Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism is a religion that seeks power and pretends to be the religion of the state. Islam becomes meaningless once it is reduced into a mere set of moral codes. Islam has very few moral codes. The essence of Islam is to fight and promote the religion of Allah until it becomes the sole religion of mankind. (Q.3: 85), (Q.2: 193) Without this expansionist drive, Islam will wither and die. The whole message of Islam is not: to do good, be kind, loving and honest, but to “believe” and make others believe in Allah and his messenger. In Islam the words “righteousness” and “virtue” do not mean the same as defined in dictionaries. They mean belief in Allah and obedience to his prophet. Unlike other religions, Islam is not a religion of individual salvation but of the state domination. Secularism in Islamic countries does not work. Turkey became a secular country in 1912 but now the fundamentalists are fighting hard to regain the power and convert that country once again into an Islamic state. Reza shah in Iran imposed secularism and tried to modernize that country. 50 years later the fundamentalists came back with revenge and reversed the cloak 1400 years. Muhammad Ali Jinah aspired a secular Pakistan but that country is now caught in the claws of the fundamentalists digging deeper and deeper in ignorance. Islam cannot survive without power. The separation of the state and religion in Islam does not work. If Islamic countries desire secularism, freedom and democracy, they have to get rid of Islam altogether. They have to decide between democracy and Islam. Just as you cannot house the sheep and the wolves in the same fold, you cannot have democracy and Islam in the same country. Today, we can make history. For the first time the dissenters of Islam are reuniting and are getting organized. Our number is growing rapidly. There is not a day that I do not receive an email from someone who claims having left Islam. Many of them are Iranians. This is despite the fact that I don’t know much about search engines and my sites (www.humanists.net/alisina) does not show in many of them. I notice that there is a great anti-Islamic momentum building up especially among the ex-Muslims. Christianity vs. Islam There is a fundamental difference between Muslims leaving Islam and the Christians leaving their religion. Most born and raised Christians when leave Christianity, become critical of the Church and the Bible but still respect Christ. In fact Christ as described in the New Testament is a loving person. Many Christians also cannot get rid of Christianity because their god is the god of love. At least this is what they are being told and this is the idea they have of their god. Muslims on the other hand believe in Allah through fear. The god of Muhammad is not a loving god but a dreadful and an unforgiving god of vengeance (Q.4:48). When Muslims learn the fallacies of Islam and discover the real face of Muhammad, they hate that religion and despise its founder. Therefore although the Christianity in the West, in the last two centuries, has been in demise it has managed to survive and perhaps it will survive for another two or three centuries. Christianity still has spiritual lessons to give. It can still be a source of guidance and inspiration to its followers. Christianity as taught and lived by Christ is a moral religion. Christianity may be logically wrong but ethically it is not. A few letters written by Paul are discriminatory towards women. But that can be easily overlooked when one pays attention to the overall message of love and tolerance taught by Jesus. None of that can be said about Islam. Quran is replete with intolerance, violence, discrimination and hate. We could have overlooked the logical absurdity of Islam’s holy book but how can we fail to see its intolerance and its message of hate? Moreover the person of Jesus as is reported in the Bible, is sanctified from any blemish. Muhammad on the other hand was a violent man. He was a lustful, pervert, ruthless, arrogant and a maniac mass murder. A man who wishes to emulate Muhammad in this day and age is a man that should be locked in jail. Those who follow truly the example of the Prophet of Islam are terrorists. They are dangers to society. One can be a good Christian and still be a good person. But one CANNOT be a good Muslim, follow all those hate mongering teachings of Muhammad, and be a good human being at the same time. To compare Islam with Christianity and assume that since Christianity has survived the attacks from its dissenters and enlightened freethinkers, Islam would do the same is a mistake. This is like comparing apples to oranges. The only thing that Islam and Christianity have in common is that both are called religion. But the similarity ends there. To understand the difference between Muhammad and Jesus is enough to compare how they reacted to two very similar incidents. John 8:3-7 ”The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery, and they made her stand before them all, “Teacher.” They said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. In our law Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death, Now what do you say?” They said this to trap Jesus, so that they could accuse him. But he bent over and wrote on the ground with his finger. As they stood there asking him questions, he strengthened himself up and said to them, “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.” Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground. When they heard this, they all left, one by one, the older ones first. Jesus was left alone with the woman standing there. He straightened himself up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?” “No Sir” she answered. “Well, then.” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go but do not sin again.” Volume 2, Book 23, Number 413: Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar : The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque.” Now let us compare the teachings of Christ with those of Muhammad: Luke 5:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who ill-treat you. Q. 9: 23 “O ye who believe! take not for protectors your fathers and your brothers if they love Infidelity above Faith: if any of you do so, they do wrong”. Q. 3:28, Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah Luke 5:37 “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you. Give to others and God will give to you Q. 9:29, Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. It is clear why Muslim dissidents hate intensely Muhammad and his fictitious Allah. It is because the essence of the massage of Jesus is love, but the essence of Islam is hate. That is why the Christianity, despite its illogicality has survived the age of enlightenment and has been able to adapt itself, somehow, to the changing world. But Islam would not survive the light of reason and will die a quick death. Christianity is illogical but it elevates the human spirit. Islam is hodgepodge of gibberish too, but provokes terror, advocates strife, calls for blood and foments hate. it sinks the human spirit and brings out the worst of the animal instinct of its followers. Once Islam is proven false, there is nothing else left for its followers to cling to. The only thing that keeps Muslims clinging to it is fear. Once the light of knowledge dissipate the darkness of ignorance and the fear of this revengeful monster called Allah is vanished. Islam will die a quick death. I can give this assurance that Islam will not see the next century and even go as far as to say we may see its death in our own lifetime. You may call this a wishful thinking, but I call it a guts feeling. The Oil Factor It is in fact more than just a guts feeling. In 25 years the oil reserve of the Islamic countries will finish. The world may also find an alternative source of energy This research is already on the way and indeed this alternative source is in operation. Many busses in Canada are powered by Fuel Cell Power Generators. It is absolutely feasible to have our cars, our houses, our cities and our factories powered by this new technology, which is much more cleaner and environmentally friendlier than carbon based fuels within a decade or two. The implication of this new technology for oil dependent Muslim countries are disastrous. Islamic countries are not productive. They lack technology and they suffer from brain drain. Today a lot of Islamic terrorism and expansionism are financed by oil rich countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. When the oil wells dry out or another source of energy make them superfluous, the life blood of Islamic expansionism/terrorism will also come to an end. The Mighty Internet Another important factor is the Internet. The internet has been a great tool of communication in the West, but for Islamic countries it is revolutionary. People in the West could easily communicate among each other and exchange ideas freely even before the advent of the Internet. But for Muslims especially in Islamic countries the Internet provides for the first time, a medium to exchange thoughts candidly and without the fear of the consequences. Islam is a religion that is founded on ignorance and fear. When people can openly exchange thoughts, the ignorance will be dissipated. The safety of the Internet also shelters them against fear. when Muslims start talking to each other, they will learn about the real Islam, the Islam that was taught in Quran and lived by Muhammad. This would shock them. Up until now they blamed the Mullahs for misinterpreting and misrepresenting the “pure” teachings of Islam and not being the legitimate representatives of the “real Islam”. They had created a romantic idea of Islam in their minds that was not real. But Internet will demolish that romantic idea and the true Islam will be know to everyone. It is true that faith blinds and many Muslims would not be shaken even if it is proven to them that Muhammad was an assassin, a rapist, a thief, a ruthless mass murderer, a pedophile or a highway robber. The light will startle those who have eyes. No amount of light will ever affect those who have no eyes to see. I have had many debates with Muslims who after having received the irrefutable proof that Muhammad was all the above and more, have said that they don’t care who Muhammad was and his person is absolutely unimportant to them. They claim what really matters is the Quran and not the messenger. Of course this response would have been a legitimate response had Allah written his book with his own hand, signed and sealed it and Muhammad was nothing but a mailman. In this case the Prophet’s character would have been insubstantial. But as it is, no one can vouch for Muhammad. Therefore his character is very important. What if he lied? Can we really trust a man who is deprived of human qualities? Can we trust the words of a man who has demonstrated lack of moral values, who has not been able to control his sexual and animalistic instincts? How can we believe a person who has acted like a mafia godfather sending his gangsters to terror his enemies? How can we believe in one who has broken all moral and ethical codes by initiating war in holy months, desecrating holy places, murdering cold bloodedly this prisoners of war, raping his war captives, enslaving free people and trading them, and sleeping with a 9 year old child at the age of 54? Could really God choose a man of such low moral fiber to be his messenger among the people? All these questions were never discussed among the Muslims. How could they? Muhammad created such an atmosphere of terror that any whisper of doubt was dealt with mercilessly. But now Muslims can talk about these issues. They can question what was taboo. They can even criticize and reject Islam and live to see the next day. This is new! The Internet has provided a unique opportunity for the Muslims that was unthinkable since the inception of Islam and that is to question it. But Islam has no answers. Islam’s answers to criticism has been imprisonment, and execution. In Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan you can even lose your life if you are found with a Bible, let alone books that are critical of Islam. How Muslims could have found the truth is such an atmosphere of mind control and terror? The Internet is going to make a revolution. This would be the revolution of minds. Muslim countries cannot prevent their subjects from using the Internet. As the Internet make its way in the homes of the Muslims, Islam will be weakened and eventually will die out. That is why I am confident that many of us, would see the end of Islam in our own life time. This is not a dream nor wishful thinking. No matter how dark is the night, it cannot stand the light of the day. No matter how dense the ignorance, it cannot survive the shattering impact of knowledge. For 1400 years ignorance was safeguarded by Mullahs. Today the Mullahs are powerless. They no more can control the minds. One enlightened mind is more powerful than a billion ignorant ones. Aug. 2001 TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs KEYWORDS: islam Navigation: use the links below to view more comments. first 1-50, 51-77 next last This is quite an amazing website. There are many articles, letters, and debates. Go check it out and send thanks to this very brave person. I’d like to thank the Freeper who provided a link to this site a few days ago. I apologize if someone has posted this before. I don’t have a good record when it comes to posting unseen articles.

Are feminists in love with the surge?

In Afghanistan, the Taliban nailed a 70-year-old woman to a tree for allegedly talking with the enemy.

Human rights violations widespread across Afghanistan
Human rights violations are widespread across Afghanistan

The struggle for women’s rights in Afghanistan is a struggle for Human Rights.
Please check out this site for further information and videos on Afghan Women who are heroically waging this battle.   Michael
Earlier this week, Dana Goldstein, writing for the Daily Beast, explored “the left’s latest divide,” pitting feminists and nation-builders against antiwar sentiment. But where does this leave Afghan women?
Goldstein bases a large portion of her piece around the argument of women’s rights activists who explain that leaving Afghan women is not part of the deal. Using Obama’s Afghanistan strategy speech as a springboard, organizations like the Feminist Majority Foundation are raising their voices in support for continued engagement in the country for the benefit of women. Not everyone is an enthusiastic about our prospects. Goldstein explains:
Other progressives, though, say the women’s rights activists are naïve, and have failed to grapple with the fact that feminism was never more than a rhetorical ploy in debates about the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, whose real goal has always been to root out al Qaeda. They also point to the occupation’s high cost in dollar terms, as well as the American public’s limited tolerance for foreign wars. A recent Pew poll found that isolationist sentiment is at a four-decade high.
Even if the administration was willing to commit to a nation-building project in Afghanistan, it would be with an Afghan partner whose own record on women’s issues is mixed at best. Though President Hamid Karzai recently signed the new Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women-which ups the penalties for rape, domestic violence, and child marriage-he also supported, earlier this year, the Shia Family Law, which subjected women in the Shia minority group to a number of discriminatory laws, including rules regarding when they can and cannot leave home unaccompanied by a man. Karzai has also made political alliances with warlords who hold regressive opinions on women’s rights.
There is good reason to be worried about women. According to the Human Rights Watch:
Eight years after the Taliban were ousted from power, rapists are often protected from prosecution, women can still be arrested for running away from home, and girls have far less access to schools than boys, the report says.
With the insurgency strengthening in the south and making inroads into the north, the few gains made for women’s rights since the US-led invasion of 2001 could be further eroded if Hamid Karzai’s government and the international community push for peace talks with factions of the fundamentalist movement.
Elenor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Helen Cho, a board member for the Feminist Majority foundation, co-penned a piece in the Huffington Post, arguing that securing women’s rights would call for a lot more investment in the region.
[M]ake no mistake. Afghanistan is in terrible shape. The Taliban have gradually returned. Nothing is as it should be, which is why we are asking for no less than a Marshall Plan to rebuild Afghanistan, the same way we did for Germany and Japan after World War II. Afghanistan’s water, sewage, electrical, and their once proud hospital systems have been all but destroyed by 30 years of war. We bombed it. We have an obligation to rebuild it.
Though we’d prefer that all U.S. funding be spent on development aid, we cannot in good conscience advocate the immediate military pullout that some are suggesting. The 2009 UN Humanitarian Action Plan noted that in 2008, “Approximately 40% of the country, including much of the South, remains inaccessible for most humanitarian organizations.” Last year, 92 aid workers were abducted and 36 were killed, double the number from 2007. In recent public opinion polls, Afghans put security in their top three concerns right after food. Without stabilizing the country, there can be no significant redevelopment effort.
In March, President Obama announced a significant change in the Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy. He shifted the focus from Iraq to this troubled region not a moment too soon. The Taliban had taken over the Swat Valley in Pakistan and were within 100 miles of its capital. In case anyone was wondering if the Taliban had changed its ways, they promptly closed girls’ schools, began flogging young women publicly, and committed other atrocities. In Afghanistan, the Taliban nailed a 70-year-old woman to a tree for allegedly talking with the enemy.
The new administration’s strategy recognizes the need for development and reconstruction. The military appears to be changing its priorities, announcing that protection of civilians is their first priority. Virtually everyone knows that a military solution alone won’t work. Yet, we cannot ignore that security and the Taliban are among Afghans’ top concerns.
Linda Bereystein, investigative journalist, points to a different perspective on her blog.
Westerners usually frame the debate over U.S./NATO policy in Afghanistan is usually framed as a choice between handing the country back to the Taliban or propping up the Karzai regime. The latter is assumed to be a dramatically better option for women’s rights.
Karzai pays lip service to women’s rights, but jettisons them whenever they need to make a compromise to stay in power. It should be noted that the Karzai government was responsible for the infamous Shia Family Law which legalized marital rape within Shia marriages.
Last month, Malalai Joya, a former member of the Afghan parliament, told Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast that the situation for Afghan women is every bit as bad under Karzai as it was under the Taliban. Joya is also concerned that civilian casualties are fueling popular support for the Taliban.
RAWA and its grassroots allies think that pro-democracy forces could transform the country on their own without U.S. military occupation. That’s a point of view we seldom hear in U.S. media.
I don’t know how realistic it is to think that pro-democracy forces could prevail against warlords and the Taliban, but the question hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as the issue of whether the U.S. could force reform at gunpoint. Maybe RAWA and its allies would have a better shot at power if the occupation wasn’t shoveling billions of dollars to the most reactionary elements in society.
Over on GritTV, a woman known as Zoya, representing RAWA, outlines many of the issues with our current strategy in Afghanistan. After 30 years of war, Zoya discusses how the US occupation is still undermining Afghanistan, by propping up some terrorist groups to pursue others. After regretfully admitting the most realistic options for many women if Afghanistan were either leaving the country or suicide, Zoya explains why she was motivated to join RAWA and describes how Afghanistan needs a resolution.
Zoya:
These videos that your are showing about the rape and domestic violence against women, [is happening] under the domination of the United States. It’s a time when thousands of troops are present. It’s a time that [troops and groups from] more than 40 foreign countries are inside the country. […]These things are [still] happening daily. This is the proof that America cannot do anything. The only solution – that RAWA was always saying – is that domestic violence [always depends] on political situations. It very much depends and relates to that. So as long as we don’t have a democratic government, who cares for women’s rights, how can we expect rights and the liberation of women?
Zoya explains that there are other alternatives to occupation, like helping to disarm the various factions that are fighting for dominance. She challenges Americans to rise up and tell the government to stop supporting warlords and criminals. She believes this is the best way to help, saying:
If you cannot to help us, leave us. But if you want to help us, the first help is to remove all these fundamentalist, these viruses that the United States government created for Afghanistan.
Send an email to Latoya, the author of this post, at latoya@racialicious.com.

Obama’s Brilliant First Year

By January, he will have accomplished more than any first-year president since Franklin Roosevelt.

By Jacob Weisberg

About one thing, left and right seem to agree these days: Obama hasn’t done anything yet. Maureen Dowd and Dick Cheney have found common ground in scoffing at the president’s “dithering.” Newsweek recently ran a sympathetic cover story titled, “Yes He Can (But He Sure Hasn’t Yet).” The sarcasm brigade thinks it’s finally found an Achilles’ heel in his lack of accomplishments.

“When you look at my record, it’s very clear what I’ve done so far and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it,”

Obama stand-in Fred Armisen recently riffed on Saturday Night Live. “It’s chow time,” Jon Stewart asserts, for a president who hasn’t followed through on his promises. This conventional wisdom about Obama’s first year isn’t just premature—it’s sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency.

This isn’t an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It’s a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office.

The case for Obama’s successful freshman year rests above all on the health care legislation now awaiting action in the Senate. Democrats have been trying to pass national health insurance for 60 years.

Past presidents who tried to make it happen and failed include Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Through the summer, Obama caught flak for letting Congress lead the process, as opposed to setting out his own proposal. Now his political strategy is being vindicated. The bill he signs may be flawed in any number of ways—weak on cost control, too tied to the employer-based system, and inadequate in terms of consumer choice.

But given the vastness of the enterprise and the political obstacles, passing an imperfect behemoth and improving it later is probably the only way to succeed where his predecessors failed. We are so submerged in the details of this debate—whether the bill will include a “public option,” limit coverage for abortion, or tax Botox—that it’s easy to lose sight of the magnitude of the impending change.

For the federal government to take responsibility for health coverage will be a transformation of the American social contract and the single biggest change in government’s role since the New Deal. If Obama governs for four or eight years and accomplishes nothing else, he may be judged the most consequential domestic president since LBJ.

He will also undermine the view that Ronald Reagan permanently reversed a 50-year tide of American liberalism. Obama’s claim to a fertile first year doesn’t rest on health care alone. There’s mounting evidence that the $787 billion economic stimulus he signed in February—combined with the bank bailout package—prevented an economic depression. Should the stimulus have been larger?

Should it have been more weighted to short-term spending, as opposed to long-term tax cuts? Would a second round be a good idea? Pundits and policymakers will argue these questions for years to come. But few mainstream economists seriously dispute that Obama’s decisive action prevented a much deeper downturn and restored economic growth in the third quarter. The New York Times recently quoted Mark Zandi, who was one of candidate John McCain’s economic advisers, on this point: “The stimulus is doing what it was supposed to do—it is contributing to ending the recession,” he said. “In my view, without the stimulus, G.D.P would still be negative and unemployment would be firmly over 11 percent.” When it comes to foreign policy, Obama’s accomplishment has been less tangible but hardly less significant: He has put America on a new footing with the rest of the world.

In a series of foreign trips and speeches, which critics deride as trips and speeches, he replaced George W. Bush’s unilateral, moralistic militarism with an approach that is multilateral, pragmatic, and conciliatory.

Obama has already significantly reoriented policy toward Iran, China, Russia, Iraq, Israel, and the Islamic world.

Next week, after a much-disparaged period of review, he will announce a new strategy in Afghanistan. No, the results do not yet merit his Nobel Peace Prize. But not since Reagan has a new president so swiftly and determinedly remodeled America’s global role.

Obama has wisely deferred some smaller, politically hazardous battles over issues such as closing Guantanamo, ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and fighting the expansion of Israel’s West Bank settlements.

Instead, he has saved his fire for his most urgent priorities—preventing a depression, remaking America’s global image, and winning universal health insurance. Chow time indeed, if you ask me.

A version of this article also appears in this week’s issue of Newsweek.