Thursday, February 19, 2009

Afghanistan: No Peace without Justice

If you are freedom-loving and anti-fundamentalist, you are with RAWA.
RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

Afghanistan needs troops—but it needs troops of doctors, troops of teachers, troops of Peace Corps volunteers, and troops of farmers to go and replant the fruit orchards.
~ Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women

I concur with the observation of Kavita Ramdas. Afghanistan is in need of doctors, teachers, and much more, primarily due to the United States abandoning the people of Afghanistan following their liberation from the oppression of the Taliban so that the Bush administration could enact its private vendetta against Saddam Hussein—does anyone remember him?—in Iraq.

The Taliban still exist and remain connected with the terrorists of Al-Qaida. From what I read, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda remain potent both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, always ready to impose their masculine subjection of women as if women were property with even fewer rights than animals: 

1- Complete ban on women's work outside the home, which also applies to female teachers, engineers and most professionals. Only a few female doctors and nurses were allowed to work in some hospitals in Kabul.

2- Complete ban on women's activity outside the home unless accompanied by a mahram (close male relative such as a father, brother or husband).

3- Ban on women dealing with male shopkeepers.

4- Ban on women being treated by male doctors.

5- Ban on women studying at schools, universities or any other educational institution

6- Requirement that women wear a long veil (Burqa), which covers them from head to toe.

7- Whipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules, or of women unaccompanied by a mahram.

8- Whipping of women in public for having non-covered ankles.

9- Public stoning of women accused of having sex outside marriage. (A number of lovers are stoned to death under this rule).

You can find many additions to the above list HERE.

Afghan Woman Being Prepared for Execution by Stoning

You may not agree, but here is my baseline: I consider myself a peacemaker; I do not like war. However, when appeasement results in oppression and injustice by such fanatics as the Taliban and Al-Qaida, then I believe the world has the obligation to protect and liberate the victims.

Therefore, I support the decision of President Barak Obama to increase our military presence in Afghanistan. We must no longer live in a world that turns its back on oppression and injustice.

I appreciate your comments on this post. 


  1. Wow, it's hard to believe we're in the 21st century when you know this type of law is in effect in parts of the world.

  2. I am saddened by the abhorable conditions in Afganistan against women. This started long before Bush, unfortunately Obama will have to continue to support the war efforts. I better be quite for now.

    Hope you're find and did not freeze.

  3. I am saddened by the abhorable conditions in Afganistan against women. This started long before Bush, unfortunately Obama will have to continue to support the war efforts. I better be quite for now.

    Hope you're find and did not freeze.

  4. Yep, we have some great people over there helping out! I pray that we can help out in securing the country for the people of Afghanistan and for our own security. They really are great people (with excellent food by the way). It would be disappointing if they gave up on the area and I am positive many more would loose their lives that way. Many times military presence is actually the most humanitarian action. That showed with Iraq:)

  5. Nick, So, there are weird people all over the world doing terrible things to others in the name of whatever. Got enough troops to send them to all those places to stop all those bad things?

    Hey, I deplore female circumcision as much as anyone, but....and who's to say that a continued military attack on the Taliban is going to stop them in their tracks? It may be the best way to build up Al-Qaeda. Let Iraq be a lesson on control through violence. We stopped more violence by paying Sunnis to stop shooting than we ever did by shooting at them.

    Between 15 and 18% of the people of Afghanistan want us there. How's that for an open invitation for our troops and a mandate for our President? We could build up hate faster than you can say "Barack Obama wants Osama bin Laden dead."

    I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that our "sacred/scapegoating/state sanctioned" violence used to stop "bad/evil/unsacred" violence is at least as bad, because it simply perpetuates the downward spiraling cycle of more and more violence. In fact, it may be worse because it is done in the denial of what it really is.

    The downward spiral could escalate into some kind of unholy "holy war." We flirt with that all the time as it is. Isn't it a bit presumptuous as a Western, secular nation (with a Christian majority) to be straightening out a Muslim group because we believe they have a crazy interpretation of the Qur'an? Shouldn't some of that be left up to the millions of Muslims who don't have a crazy interpretation?

    This really becomes a religious question for me. If Jesus' murder was to be the last act of scapegoating violence (One must die for the people, etc.), why do we continue to scapegoat all the time in the name of "good/sacred" violence? Have we not unmasked and confronted the powers? Apparently not within ourselves. I know, on a personal basis, I sure haven't about myself. Just let me loose in Chicago traffic, reputed to be the most aggressive in the country. I could kill.

    Peacekeeping troops to stop genocide is one thing; cleaning up every group's act using blunt force based on our understanding of what they should or should not be doing is quite another.

  6. I agree with you, Nick. I'm not a fan of war. I have learned a lot in reading, and even more in the years that I sat in waiting rooms at the VA hospitals, talking with vets of WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, and the various wars in the Middle East. There are more reasons than I can even go into here for why we need to be thinking in terms of military presence to support the "healing" forces. But you've said that well.

  7. We would like to thank you from the bottom of our sorrowful heart for your support and sympathies with your Afghan sisters.
    Kindest wishes,

  8. I hate war, but I would not want the people of Afghanistan to be again ruled by this kind of evil.

  9. I agree with the Rev. Dr. Bob. Very well said.

    We wanted to go to war in Afghanistan, presumably to get bin Laden after 9/11. And it's just been a mess ever since.

    I don't know how many civilians we've killed, since those numbers are not for us to know, but are their deaths more justified than the atrocities that women there have experienced?

    If we lobbed war on all of the countries that practice human rights abuses (including ours), we'd be warring all over the globe. And I believe that war is a human rights issue, also.

  10. Treating others HUMANLY is not just for the states. I think it's awful that women and children are being treated like this and I, too agree that Obama should increase the military for liberating our other countries so that we can live "peacefully".

    So sad.

  11. I’m in full agreement with you and have been for a long time. We should have put our resources in Afghanistan rather than in Iraq. The problem is in Afghanistan and will not go away by itself. Remember the lesson in Dostoevsky’s The Idiot: passive good will never overcome active evil. The Taliban is a very active evil.

  12. I sincerely appreciate and respect the comments of each of you. I shall not attempt to respond to each individually, unless you wish to dialogue with me via email.

    Tomorrow, God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, I shall post my general response to all of the comments I have received on today’s blog. As Alex says, OK?

  13. I was very upset when Bush abandoned Afghanistan to invade Iraq. I'm glad Obama will be putting things right.

    I do not see the Taliban as a "legitimate faith-based organization" anymore than I do the KKK.

  14. The Taliban with their Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Suppression of Vice and their "religious police" are in no way representative of Islam. They are wicked and should be suppressed.