Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe I Should Rename This Blog Taliban Ranting

... because really, I feel like a broken record.

Two things.

The Taliban definitely don't believe love = marriage.

The Taliban are way jealous of all the press the Iranians are getting about stoning. WAY.

A few more things for women to note:

The Taliban want to use shock and awe. They want to inspire you with righteous fear. They want you to see the error of your ways. They want you to know they too, can throw rocks at people, just like some Iranians want to. And hey, even guys may not be immune to this wonderful piece of Sharia justice.

In a charming little article published in the NY Times yesterday, it was reported that the Taliban stoned Khayyam, age 25, and Siddiqa, age 19, for eloping from their village in Kunduz Province. Khayyam and Siddiqa had naively declared that they didn't care what people thought, that they loved each other. Well the Taliban certainly showed them, didn't they.

They were stoned to death on Sunday. The stoning was carried out by hundreds of villagers and by their own families, who had tricked them into thinking all was forgiven and it was safe to come back. Boy, were they wrong, right?

Various comments from the article are just chilling:

“We see it as a sign of a new confidence on the part of the Taliban in the application of their rules, like they did in the ’90s,” said Nader Nadery, a senior commissioner on the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. “We do see it as a trend. They’re showing more strength in recent months, not just in attacks, but including their own way of implementing laws, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings.”

Reports indicate that the Taliban hold is strengthening all over Afghanistan, even in regions where it previously held no power.

“We’ve seen a big increase in intimidation of women and more strict rules on women,” Nader Nadery said.
And furthermore:
Perhaps most worrisome were signs of support for the action from mainstream religious authorities in Afghanistan. The head of the Ulema Council in Kunduz Province, Mawlawi Abdul Yaqub, interviewed by telephone, said Monday that stoning to death was the appropriate punishment for an illegal sexual relationship, although he declined to give his view on this particular case. An Ulema Council is a body of Islamic clerics with religious authority in a region.
And less than a week earlier, the national Ulema Council brought together 350 religious scholars in a meeting with government religious officials, who issued a joint statement on Aug. 10 calling for more punishment under Shariah law, apparently referring to stoning, amputations and lashings.
Failure to carry out such “Islamic provisions,” the council statement said, was hindering the peace process and encouraging crime.

- from the New York Times

From my self-centered American viewpoint, I just want to know what the past ten years was about? And how we are any different from the Soviets who tramped through the country, conceded defeat, and made a ruin of it, leaving it vulnerable to the Taliban taking over and imposing Stone Age justice?

What have we done that changed things for the better in Afghanistan?

And in what universe does stoning people count as justice?

Certainly not mine...

© Bright Nepenthe, 2010


  1. "I just want to know what the past ten years was about? And how we are any different from the Soviets who tramped through the country, conceded defeat, and made a ruin of it, leaving it vulnerable to the Taliban taking over and imposing Stone Age justice?"

    At this point, the only difference is that we haven't left yet. Personally, I think it's only a matter of time; there was a point at which, if we'd followed through on our much-touted plans for rebuilding and modernizing the country, it might have really made a difference. That time has passed; we missed our window.

    I don't know. Maybe keeping our troops there will actually make a difference; maybe we can still do the things we originally said we had come to do. I just don't see how it's possible. (I was saying much the same thing four years ago, and the situation doesn't seem to have changed much since then... and where it has changed, it seems to have gotten worse.)

    Maybe not the past ten years, but the last six or seven have been about not admitting that we screwed the proverbial pooch with our failure to follow through.

    This is, by the way, one of those issues where I'd desperately like to be proven wrong. I seem to be running into a lot of those today, and it's rather depressing.

  2. The last near-decade COULD have been about finding bin Laden, they COULD have been about routing the Taliban and then having the resources and political capital left to bring serious and permanent infrastructure and education reforms to Afghanistan, thus creating a foothold for basic things like human rights to flourish. It COULD have been about things other than Bush 43 wanting to one-up his daddy in Iraq. Where, you know, the mastermind behind the attack that killed 3,000 people on American soil was NOT operating. And I suspect it MIGHT have been about these things, if not for a bunch of spineless decisions by people who were in a position to - and didn't - tell Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al., "No. We won't help you do this."

    But, here we are. Afghan young people (human beings) have rocks hurled at their heads, Afghan young women (teenagers) are lashed while men stand around taking cell phone video, Afghan wives (rape victims) have their noses cut off. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead. Al-Quaeda has spread to Yemen, among other strongholds.

    Oh, the last seven and a half years have been just dandy. Just dandy for everyone.

  3. That just got me so worked up that I just opened the dishwasher in mid-cycle when I went to put my dirty glass in there. Awesome.

  4. The entire topic is just so upsetting that it makes my blood pressure go way up. I just can't fathom the idea that my tax payer dollars have been so misused and that our mission in Afghanistan is going so very, very wrong.

    Yes, Bush and Cheney did much wrong here. But what is the present administration doing?

    The Taliban may not be Al Qaeda but they certainly are terrorists in my book. The inspire and seek to control with fear.

    Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. (OED)

    Where did the War on Terror go wrong, I wonder, to have allowed the Taliban to gain greater hold?

    If we're going to tramp around the world telling people what to do and how to live their lives we damn well ought to do far better than we've done here. Our complicity in terrorizing the lives of Afghanistani women is shameful.