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Mar 12 2012

America’s Afghani Puppet Sells Out Women

Afghani President Hamid Karzai has signed an edict from the Afghan Ulema Council, the Muslim leaders of that country, that explicitly designates women as second-class citizens who may be beaten by men and denied even the most basic rights.

Last Friday, the Council, Afghanistan’s highest Islamic authority, issued a non-binding edict saying that women were worth less than men — a statement released by Karzai’s office and then endorsed by the president on Tuesday.

“Men are fundamental and women are secondary,” it said, adding women should avoid “mingling with strange men in various social activities such as education, in bazaars, in offices and other aspects of life”.

Such advice effectively implies that women should not go to university or to work at all, no matter that in the lower house of parliament, for example, 27 percent of seats are reserved for women.

The edict went on to say that women would wear “full Islamic hijab”, should respect polygamy — Islam allows a man to take up to four wives — and comply with Sharia law on divorce, which severely restricts women’s rights.

It further stated that “teasing, harassing and beating women” was prohibited “without a sharia-compliant reason” — leaving open the suggestion that in some circumstances, domestic abuse is appropriate.

Karzai, who has formally outlawed violence and discrimination against women, caused consternation on Tuesday by publicly endorsing the statement, saying that it “reiterated Islamic principles and values” in supporting women.

In response, Afghanistan’s first deputy speaker, Fawzia Koofi, who was this week listed as one of the world’s “150 Fearless Women” by US website The Daily Beast, accused the Council of returning women to the dark days of Taliban rule.

“This move by the Ulema council drives Afghan women rights towards Talibanization,” she told AFP. “Nobody has the right to interfere in women’s rights, not even President Hamid Karzai.”

Is this what we’ve fought for in Afghanistan?

52 comments

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  1. 1
    d cwilson

    The Taliban restricted women from education, offices, and other aspects of life and required them to wear the “full Islamic hajib”, but they did require men to have a “Sharia-compliant reason” for beating their wives.

    That’s progress, right?

  2. 2
    baal

    Given the recent spate of insane anti-women rhetoric from the Republicans, I wonder how their presidential canidates would respond. (best guesses follow, paul intentionally omitted, i didn’t want to channel him)

    Romney: I wouldn’t use those words. I like lamp.

    Santorum: About Time! Why aren’t we doing this here!

    Gingrich: Historically, women haven’t had the right to vote and things went really well. Shouldn’t we have $2.50 gas, non-voting women and moon bases?

  3. 3
    Area Man

    It’s a good thing we brought them freedom bombs. Can anyone explain to me what we’re still doing there?

  4. 4
    Michael Heath

    Ed asks, rhetorically:

    Is this what we’ve fought for in Afghanistan?

    While I get that Ed asks this question sarcastically, I think it bears a response.

    President Bush was criticized by some for his decision to remove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, not just seek and destroy al Qaeda, as was President Obama, even by his own Vice President. I think both sides had and have credible arguments where reasonable people on both sides concede they’re arguing for the least worst of only bad options.

    Part of Mr. Bush’s reason was that removing the Taliban from power reduced the odds al Qaeda could rebuild and re-engage from Afghanistan if he were successful in taking out al Qaeda (where he mostly failed). But he also repeatedly argued, as did his wife, that we should use this opportunity to better defend the human rights of both women and children, especially women at the start of engagement in Afghanistan.

    I always found President Buhs’s advocacy hypocritically ironic, especially when he and VP Cheney took up the same arguments in Iraq. That’s because they were the most powerful people in the U.S. at the time fighting against the rights of women and children in this country.

  5. 5
    Abdul Alhazred

    Without minimizing the atrocious character of this edict, is it correct to Karzai “sold out” anybody?

    Did you think Karzai was a western style liberal? He is an Afghan Muslim and this is completely in line with his culture.

    Taliban harbored Al-Qaeda and his outfit did not. That is all.

  6. 6
    Tualha

    Expect to see Ms. Koofi stoned to death within the next few months. By a totally anonymous crowd of course, acting completely on their own. And the Afghan president will be shocked, shocked, to learn of this, and even more shocked when the police fail to find any leads whatsoever (except perhaps some of the president’s political or personal enemies).

  7. 7
    democommie

    Hamid Karzai is a despot, nothing more or less.

    We are in Afghanistan for precisely the same reason we are in Iraq. The energy sector players can’t make money if they have to fund their own invasion forces. Parse them any way that you want to, all of the arguments for being in Iraq–including those of the Tebalipan boil down to that same gooey, reduction.

  8. 8
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    It’s a good thing they oppose domestic violence unless the voices in their heads tell them otherwise. Or the voices some nomads heard a few centuries ago heard in their heads. What a relief.

  9. 9
    Michael Heath

    democommie writes:

    We are in Afghanistan for precisely the same reason we are in Iraq. The energy sector players can’t make money if they have to fund their own invasion forces. Parse them any way that you want to, all of the arguments for being in Iraq–including those of the Tebalipan boil down to that same gooey, reduction.

    I understand the hypothesis that energy sector constituent interests was a motivating factor in Iraq, in fact there’s a solid argument their interests are in line with the country’s best interests. But I don’t understand how you get there when it comes to President Bush’s lethargic skeletal-crewed invasion and occupancy of Afghanistan. Especially given our not exploiting the resources that area has, which doesn’t include oil or natural gas IIRC.

  10. 10
    Ingdigo Jump

    Taliban harbored Al-Qaeda and his outfit did not. That is all.

    Then you’re saying we killed numerous Afgan civilians because our right to life was more than theirs. Because the mere THREAT justified our decision to sacrifice them by the truck load and offer them exactly squat in return.

  11. 11
    Gregory in Seattle

    Not only is the Afghan regieme a fundamentalist Muslim one, it was put into place by American Republicans. So, seriously, can anyone really be surprised at this?

  12. 12
    Chiroptera

    “Men are fundamental and women are secondary,” [a dumbass and barbaric edict] said….

    I have to admit, it would be refreshing if our Religious Right would be this forthright and honest.

    Although, to be fair, Santorum and Limbaugh are getting pretty close.

  13. 13
    Raging Bee

    No, it’s not what we fought for, but it’s what we should have expected, whether or not we supported the invasion as an appropriate response to 9/11. Maybe I’m missing something, but I really don’t see how we can stop this, short of using our troops as local cops intervening in routine domestic disputes all over the country. I’m sure both the Afghans and the American voters would love to see that, wouldn’t they?

    I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Afghanistan is a society that’s been thoroughly brutalized by 34 years of continuous merciless war, which isn’t really about to end any time soon. In the long run, no lasting progressive change is even conceivable until the Afghans have managed to establish some sort of peaceful civil order; and that will have to mean all the foreign troops get out and pretty much just accept what happens next, however heartbreaking, as the Afghans try to iron out their own self-governance. (Getting Pakistan to lay off too will be a serious problem here, and may not even be politically possible.)

  14. 14
    Nick Gotts

    But I don’t understand how you get there when it comes to President Bush’s lethargic skeletal-crewed invasion and occupancy of Afghanistan. Especially given our not exploiting the resources that area has, which doesn’t include oil or natural gas IIRC. – Michael Heath

    Until 9/11, Unocal were negotiating with the Taliban for a pipeline to carry oil from central Asia through western Afghanistan to the coast in Pakistan, and I’ve seen that suggested as a motive for the occupation, but it seems pretty thin to me.

  15. 15
    Chiroptera

    Abdul Alhazred, #5: …is it correct to Karzai “sold out” anybody?

    Since Karzai’s main job is to help the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, and making the important religious leaders angry would create further problems for the US-maintained regime, I guess that, no, he did not sell out anybody: he’s doing exactly what is expected of him.

    What? You expected that he would be doing anything out of sincere belief in any principles beyond just staying in power?

  16. 16
    democommie

    There is a fair amount of information on the intertoobz about U.S. and multi-national oil and gas firms trying to get a pipeline into Kazakhstan via Afghanistan, Pakistan in the early 90′s. Whether all of the information is fact or conjecture, based on fact, there’s enough of it out there to raise a flag or six. Forgetting about that, why would we waste our time in some backwater shithole, excuse me, some vibrantly independent and traditionally freedom loving backwater shithole like Afghanistan UNLESS there was a payday for somebody? I doubt that Bushco’s lack of resources committed to the original “house call” on a nation in desperate need of some firstworld daddying related to anything other than its notorious ineptitude in the fields of intelligence and war planning.

  17. 17
    tassilo

    I agree with democommie. I’m convinced its oil and gas politics that guide our interests in the Region. Specifically, its Caspian Basin oil and gas. One of the best ways to get those resources to markets is through Afghanistan and Pakistan, and for those resources to flow smoothly, Afghanistan needs to be stable.

    I’m not up on the details, it takes time to sort the wheat from the chaff of information, but to me it explains US policy towards all of the countries bordering the basin, including Iran.

    Also, Karzai has attempted for some time now to negotiate with the Taliban for a diplomatic resolution to differences. Throwing women to the wolves, as a token gesture to the Taliban, may suit him just fine.

  18. 18
    grumpyoldfart

    It’s never going to change. Won’t be long and the Afghans will taking the kiddies down to that football stadium to watch the women getting executed – just like the good old days.

  19. 19
    slc1

    Hey, Karzai sound like Limbaugh’s kind of guy.

  20. 20
    Raging Bee

    I thought that Unocal pipeline was for gas, not oil. Oh well, at least you spelled the company name right, unlike the last idiot who brought the pipeline up.

    Seriously, does anyone really believe it would make economic or military sense, under ANY circumstances, to invade a chronically unstable country just to build a fucking pipeline? You really thnk that’s what the Republican evil geniuses were thinking? You really think the profiteering corporate bigwigs wouldn’t think of something a bit cheaper and less risky, like, oh, I dunno, re-routing the pipeline? (Most of the pipeline routes from Central Asia that I’ve heard about go west through Turkey and into Europe, not south through another chronically unstable country we CAN’T invade, Pakistan.)

  21. 21
    D. C. Sessions

    Romney: I wouldn’t use those words.

    Their hems are just the right height.

  22. 22
    Wes

    It further stated that “teasing, harassing and beating women” was prohibited…

    Hey, that sounds good…

    …“without a sharia-compliant reason”

    …Oh, I see. It’s one of those things. Sigh…

    Anyways, apart from putting diplomatic pressure on them, I doubt there was ever much we could do to prevent this kind of thing from happening. We can’t really force them to give up misogyny.

    The reason we went in was to disrupt al Qaeda, which we accomplished. But all the talk of a happy liberal democracy emerging from the ashes was just that–talk. It ain’t gonna happen right away, if ever. But it would be wrong to call Afghanistan a failure because they haven’t turned into liberal democrats–that was never really the goal. The strategic goal, as I understand it, was to drive al Qaeda out and make it harder for them to operate.

    Afghanistan is in fact a failure, though, for a different reason: the Bush administration totally botched the occupation by diverting troops to Iraq and letting Afghanistan slowly descend into chaos between 2003 and 2008. That just makes a bad situation even worse. An environment of chaos and fear is what reactionary, bigoted ideologies thrive on. It happened here, too, after 9/11.

  23. 23
    bachalon

    Why am I reminded of the religious exceptions for various anti-bullying bills?

  24. 24
    tassilo

    #20
    Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research and look at the politics of all of the countries who have a stake in Caspian basin oil, or who might want to have one, and then look at US relationships with them. You could start with records of congressional hearings on a Unocal pipeline through the country before Bush Light assumed the position under the direction of Cheney.

    Then think of Afghanistan as Pipelinistan and you might start to appreciate its strategic importance to petroleum economics. It isn’t all about US markets or European markets, either. Asian countries are one of the driving forces behind pipelines east, or south from the basin. They have a growing thirst for oil, and they don’t have a lot. Everyone would like a piece of Caspian Basin oil.

    Then there is Iran. While the US has been struggling to secure Afghanistan for a pipeline from Uzbekhistan south to ports on the Indian Ocean, for Asian markets, Iran just closed a deal for a pipeline through Afghanistan to ports via Pakistan. You don’t have to invade to control resources, that was a Bush mistake, but as far as oil and gas is concerned, you have to control them in some way. And along the way, high minded principles for human rights become a casualty.

    This is a highly simplified snapshot, but any way you slice it, Afghanistan is strategically important, and it has been for a long, long time.

  25. 25
    juice

    Sorry to be so boringly pedantic here, but Afghani refers to the currency of Afghanistan. The term for someone from or something related to Afghanistan is Afghan.

  26. 26
    Nick Gotts

    Raging Bee,

    I thought that Unocal pipeline was for gas, not oil. Oh well, at least you spelled the company name right, unlike the last idiot who brought the pipeline up.

    I’m not sure whether you’re refering to me@14, but some sources say gas, some oil; google “Taleban pipeline Unocal” to see both.

    Seriously, does anyone really believe it would make economic or military sense, under ANY circumstances, to invade a chronically unstable country just to build a fucking pipeline?

    Oh I agree. Unlike Iraq, Afghanistan was not long-planned by the neocons. Initially, it was simply a response to 9/11 – to get the Al Qaeda leadership, and push the Taleban out of power as punishment for shielding them. But having failed in the former task, Bush felt obliged to prop up the regime he’d installed in order to justify the costs and losses already paid, even though it never had any chance of independent viability – the fallacy of sunk costs in operation.

  27. 27
    Michael Heath

    Gregory writes:

    Not only is the Afghan regieme a fundamentalist Muslim one, it was put into place by American Republicans. So, seriously, can anyone really be surprised at this?

    If President Gore had been elected president and 9/11 happened on his watch, there’s little argument we’d have invaded Afghanistan. That decision was an overwhelmingly bipartisan decision, with the public almost monolithically in support. In addition VP Gore campaigned on our responsibility to be cops in some cases, Bush was the one who reversed course from his faux-isolationist campaign to his neo-con presidency, putting in a place an impotent version of what Gore campaigned on. Lastly Afghanistan is a country dominated by fundamentalist Muslims.

    So given these premises, exactly how does the fact Republicans held the Administration change what Democrats would have instead done post-9/11 when it comes to the demographic make-up we currently have within the Afghani government?

  28. 28
    Michael Heath

    KG writes in support my challenge to democommie regarding evidence our invasion of Afghanistan was due to oil interests:

    Until 9/11, Unocal were negotiating with the Taliban for a pipeline to carry oil from central Asia through western Afghanistan to the coast in Pakistan, and I’ve seen that suggested as a motive for the occupation, but it seems pretty thin to me.

    democommie responds to my challenge:

    There is a fair amount of information on the intertoobz about U.S. and multi-national oil and gas firms trying to get a pipeline into Kazakhstan via Afghanistan, Pakistan in the early 90′s. Whether all of the information is fact or conjecture, based on fact, there’s enough of it out there to raise a flag or six. Forgetting about that, why would we waste our time in some backwater shithole, excuse me, some vibrantly independent and traditionally freedom loving backwater shithole like Afghanistan UNLESS there was a payday for somebody? I doubt that Bushco’s lack of resources committed to the original “house call” on a nation in desperate need of some firstworld daddying related to anything other than its notorious ineptitude in the fields of intelligence and war planning.

    I remember the Unocal thing now, I forgot about it. But this makes no sense regarding what President Bush and our Congress did. If they were motivated by this, why go in so weakly and then make no effort to exploit the opportunity? The Chinese are now, we’ve never tried.

    By far the most parsimonious answer is the obvious one. That we invaded Afghanistan solely as a response to the 9/11 attack. Where our president didn’t really give a shit just like he didn’t give a shit about most things, coupled to the fact our CENTCOM commander Gen. Tommy Franks was both a chicken-shit and the worst commander in modern times. It’s not that unusual for commanders at the start of the war to be incompetents at war, primarily because they climbed the ladder during non-wartime by learning to suck-up to their supervisors rather than ascend by being effective leaders.

  29. 29
    slc1

    Where our president didn’t really give a shit just like he didn’t give a shit about most things, coupled to the fact our CENTCOM commander Gen. Tommy Franks was both a chicken-shit and the worst commander in modern times.

    That’s a pretty strong statement relative to General Franks. Worse then Lloyd Fredendall, worse then John Lucas, worse then William Westmoreland?

    Depending on what is meant by modern war, we could add a trio of Civil War generals to that list, namely George McClellan, Joseph Hooker, and John Pope, in addition to Braxton Bragg from the other side. In WW1, the list of incompetent commanders is longer then Heath’s arm, including the likes of Ian Hamilton, John Joffre, and Douglas Haig.

  30. 30
    Raging Bee

    tassilo, instead of demanding I do your research for you (what, you actually think I’ve never read anything about that conflict until now?), why don’t you just post a link to the information you think I need? Making a lot of highly implausible assertions and then demanding _I_ back them up sounds like a bluff.

  31. 31
    Raging Bee

    While the US has been struggling to secure Afghanistan for a pipeline from Uzbekhistan south to ports on the Indian Ocean, for Asian markets…

    Which Asian markets? Uzbekistan is IN ASIA, so why would a pipeline have to go to a port to serve Asian markets? The only way you’d need a pipeline is if you’re selling to the Indochina area — and laying the pipeline through China would get you a better deal from both a security and a terrain/logistical standpoint. (And besides, China itself is a much bigger market, so why not just pipe the stuff to China?)

    Your “war for a pipeline” theory needs work. A LOT of work.

  32. 32
    democommie

    Michael Heath & Raging Bee:

    This link (http://www.ringnebula.com/Oil/Timeline.htm) is one of several “clearing houses” of sorts that is on the web.

    It is apparent that energy resource exploitation is a fairly signicant driver of U.S. foreign policy. As long as the oil and gas are coming our way or, at least not going to the russians, iranians or chinese, we’re good. When the supply is “diverted” towards those parties, unhappiness in the western oil companies is the result.

    I can’t think of one genuine objective that has been reached in the Afghan situation. The Taliban is not eradicated, nor does it seem signifcantly weakened, if its presence at the negotiating table means anything. The problem of the opium trade is as bad as ever. What we have succeeded at is squandering a lot of money and lives on a failed bid to put that region in our “sphere of influence”.

    It’s been pretty well documented since the time of Alexander the Great that invading Afghanistan is doable; pacifying it? not so much.

    If it’s not oil and gas, what is keeping us there. If you’re going to say that it’s so Iran, Russia, Pakistan or China don’t take control of the area–then it’s still about money, in the form of oil and gas from the former SSR to the north and west of Afghanistan.

  33. 33
    Raging Bee

    I can’t think of one genuine objective that has been reached in the Afghan situation.

    Failure of a policy does not prove a conspiracy; it only proves someone fucked up. If our policy had been more successful, would you consider that a disproof of your conspiracy theory?

    Oh, and that link you cited? It looks like crap from the very first line:

    July 3, 1979: President Carter signed a secret directive aiding opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, calculated to induce a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

    Excuse me, but the Soviet-aided Taraki coup was in March or April of 1978, and rebellion against it started immediately, without waiting for any foreign leader to sign any directive. That’s what “induced” the Soviet invasion.

    And who the fuck is “ringnebula.com” anyway? Another Republican front created to manipulate liberals into making fools of themselves?

  34. 34
    Raging Bee

    It is apparent that energy resource exploitation is a fairly signicant driver of U.S. foreign policy.

    Broad, vague, oversimplified generalizations do not prove motive for any specific action.

    As long as the oil and gas are coming our way or, at least not going to the russians, iranians or chinese, we’re good. When the supply is “diverted” towards those parties, unhappiness in the western oil companies is the result.

    Wait, what?! Now you’re saying the US is trying to cut off ANY energy input to Russia, China, AND Iran? First, the oil companies (the evil profiteers who practically run the Republican Party, remember?) would never allow themselves to be deprived of even ONE of those huge emerging markets. And second, how many governments would devote any resources or effort to the kind of grand alliance required to achieve an objective even one tenth as ambitious (and unrealistic) as that?

    When I said ‘Your “war for a pipeline” theory needs work,’ I didn’t mean “make it more ridiculous!”

  35. 35
    democommie

    Raging Bee:

    You are entitled to be as abrasive and condescending as you like (I, ocassionally exhibit a bit of that myself) but you offer no better support than I do for your own assertions. Quote some policy papers from a reputable source if you’re going to dismiss mine. I did not suggest that the link I provided was THE ONLY source out there.

    My original:

    “It is apparent that energy resource exploitation is a fairly signicant driver of U.S. foreign policy.”

    Your rebuttal:

    “Broad, vague, oversimplified generalizations do not prove motive for any specific action.”

    You furnish NO support for your contention, none.

    I did not say that the oil companies run the gummint, nor even suggest it. Your implication is that I’m engaging in some sort of conspiracy mongering.

    Furnish a better explanation for why we REMAIN in Afghanistan. Not for why we invaded in the first place. Why do we remain there when virtually no credence is lent–by anyone whose expertise is recognized in the area of Afghan politics–to the notion that the government of Karzai is going to emerge as a democracy at some point. That is NOT going to happen.

    We are spending a shitton of money and far too many lives in Afghanistan for, what, exactly? And the fact that we got the NATO and the U.N. to get involved in what was, essentially, our war against the Taliban and Al Queda does not obscure the fact that Bushco was going to go in regardless NATO or UN protests.

    I don’t doubt that Shrubya’s lack of interest in foreign affairs, lack of intellectual curiousity about most things and his desire to be seen as a badass contributed to his acceptance of half-assed war planning by various commanders and civilians. Bad intel, bad war planning and a lack of clear objectives, both battlefield and post invasion/subjugation of Afghanistan were all at play. That some less scrupulous business people might see the whole exercise as an opportunity to line their pockets is not surprising, nor unprecedented.

    “Wait, what?! Now you’re saying the US is trying to cut off ANY energy input to Russia, China, AND Iran?”

    Not hardly. What I AM saying is that the U.S. and other energy companies wanted to control the distribution of those energy assets flowing from the NATO’s interests in Afghanistan are no different than those of the U.S. Our “leaders” don’t, mostly, give a flying fuck what happens to those folks in Afghanistan or Iraq–or anywhere else–absent they’re being nice, friendly whitefolks or anykindoffolksatall, who sit on top of lots of nice energy or strategic material resources. Follow the money.

    Argue against the premise if you like. Don’t assume, because it doesn’t jibe with what you KNOW, that a level of greed, chicanery and realpolitik economics ISN’T a significant factor in the continued

  36. 36
    democommie

    “Not hardly. What I AM saying is that the U.S. and other energy companies wanted to control the distribution of those energy assets flowing from the NATO’s interests in Afghanistan are no different than those of the U.S.”

    is missing a chunk.

    It should read:

    “Not hardly. What I AM saying is that the U.S. and other energy companies wanted to control the distribution of those energy assets flowing from the former SSR’s. They have no opportunity to do that if those pipelines are in China, Russia or Iran. They also have to settle for considerably lower %ages of profit. If they control the pipeline through outright ownership or by proxy (something much more easily achieved in a country that has no significant military capability) their slice of the pie is MUCH greater. That pie slicing is the matter of no small amount of maneuvering between the oil companies and their client gummints.

    NATO’s interests in Afghanistan are no different than those of the U.S. They want secure, affordable sources of energy for their industrial economies. If they can buy it, fine; if not, well, there we are in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    We regret the fumbling fingers of typin’.

  37. 37
    Kevin nyc

    Great! our tax dollars at work. Things were bad under the Taliban, and they will be bad under Taliban-lite that Karzai is going to have to push to stave off the competition.

    and look at Iraq. Great progress there in making women second class citizens. Women were part of society, went to university, drove, wore western clothes.. now?

    actually I don’t know about now but I doubt its good… (have to google)

  38. 38
    Raging Bee

    You furnish NO support for your contention, none.

    It’s not a “contention,” it’s a fallacy in your logic: the existence of certain economic interests does not automatically mean a certain specific thing we do is related to said interests. I need food to stay alive, but not everything I do is related to that need.

    And you can talk all you want about how we’re not accomplishing anything in Afghanistan; but (like I said before and you didn’t notice) none of it supports an argument that our ulterior motive is something else entirely. Seriously, if you really think that failure or mistakes are proof of ulterior motives, then you’re gonna be seeing nefarious conspiracies everywhere you look, every day. Get used to being ridiculed.

  39. 39
    Raging Bee

    NATO’s interests in Afghanistan are no different than those of the U.S. They want secure, affordable sources of energy for their industrial economies.

    And guess what — those interests are not served by military meddling in volatile places like Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s the ginormous hole in ALL of these “war for oil” and “war for a pipeline” stories: the alleged objective is best served by the exact opposite of what the alleged conspirators have allegedly been doing all this time.

    Seriously, boy, if our overriding interest was secure, affordable energy for the West (and I agree that is a vital interest), then we would have made nice with Saddam, dropped all the sanctions and such, helped him rebuild his oil infrastructure, and watched everyone prosper as Iraq resumed production, energy supplies went up, prices dropped, and economies recovered. If you’re too dumb to see that, then don’t think you can talk down to anyone here.

  40. 40
    Raging Bee

    I did not suggest that the link I provided was THE ONLY source out there.

    No, but the one link you provided was so amazingly stupid that I can safely disregard your arguments until you come up with something more credible. (Brezizinski saying he knew in advance that an Afghan war would destroy the USSR, and was willing to start a genocidal war for that purpose? Really?!)

  41. 41
    Raging Bee

    What I AM saying is that the U.S. and other energy companies wanted to control the distribution of those energy assets flowing from the former SSR’s. They have no opportunity to do that if those pipelines are in China, Russia or Iran.

    Um…have you ever seen a map of the region in question? How, exactly, does our meddling in Afghanistan keep a pipeline from being built in China, Russia or Iran?

    (Oh, and some of the pipelines that bring gas and oil to Europe are already going through Russia. And proposed new pipelines will go through Russia to avoid the Bosporous region, which I hear is an awful bottleneck these days. Why is a pipeline through Russia so bad we have to go to war to prevent it? And why is routing stuff through Pakistan a better alternative?)

  42. 42
    Michael Heath

    democommie writes:

    I can’t think of one genuine objective that has been reached in the Afghan situation.

    Which supports my argument we went strictly as a reaction to 9/11 better than any premise I previously asserted.

  43. 43
    Michael Heath

    democommie writes:

    I can’t think of one genuine objective that has been reached in the Afghan situation.

    One significant accomplishment is that we’ve severely crippled al Qaeda. In spite of the fact President Bush’s efforts were listless in Afghanistan and actually enlarged and strengthened al Qaeda in the Middle East through our invasion of Iraq. But over the past couple of years they’re no longer the same threat nor are they increasing their abilities to re-emerge as an equivalent or greater threat.

    They can’t raise revenues nor have they had an effective leadership for quite some time now.

    The fact we can’t extract ourselves from Afghanistan without the Taliban going back to terrorizing the people of Afghanistan so close to a nuclear Pakistan. A country which has repeatedly demonstrated their inability to protect their nuclear weapons technology keeping us slogging along in Afghanistan with only bad choices available.

  44. 44
    democommie

    Raging Bee:

    Once again, your attacking my position is fine. You provide nothing to support your counter assertions–nothing.

    You say, in not so many words, that I’m full of shit, possibly delusional and a conspiracy theorist–is that about the way you read me? Again, fine.

    Just tell me why we’re still there, in Afghanistan, and why we’re not in a lot of other countries–Somalia being one–where the rule of law and effective governance simply don’t exist. Why have we not sent three or four brigades into Mogadishu to sort the hash of the warlords and pirates, there? Why are we not deeply involved in Yemen or any of the other countries that are harboring and aiding Al Queda and its operatives? Why haven’t we gone after the Saudis who support Al Queda? Why did we go after the regime in Libya and not after the regime in Syria?

    What is the difference between a group of countries including Syria,Yemen,Somalia and a group of countries including Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan? Tell me why the west thinks that the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the downtrodden masses in one group of countries matters–enough that we have sent troops/other military assets to “assist” those people–and that in the other group of countries they don’t.

    You said:

    “Um…have you ever seen a map of the region in question? How, exactly, does our meddling in Afghanistan keep a pipeline from being built in China, Russia or Iran?”

    I did not say that our meddling would prevent such a thing from occurring.

    Your claim that various other pipelines run through the region is noted. This link (http://www.sras.org/geopolitics_of_oil_pipelines_in_central_asia) is to a five year old study. As I said of the previous link, it’s not the only one out there. Rebut it, or dismiss it, but if you’re going to make the noises you’ve been making with nothing to support them, then they’re just noise.

    You said:

    “Brezizinski saying he knew in advance that an Afghan war would destroy the USSR, and was willing to start a genocidal war for that purpose? Really?!”

    I didn’t say that he said that, the quotations are in the article that you dismiss. That he would say such a thing is certainly possible, given his paranoic hardline anti-communist stance.

    You can say it’s a lie if you like, I think it’s probably not.
    means what? That the report is a forgery, that it’s a lie.

    Michael Heath:

    Perhaps I was unclear. I don’t doubt that George W. Bush’s rationale for invading both Afghanistan and Iraq was short sighted and self-serving. I’m sure that there are several books being written about Shrub’s psychological need to be a man.

    “One significant accomplishment is that we’ve severely crippled al Qaeda. In spite of the fact President Bush’s efforts were listless in Afghanistan and actually enlarged and strengthened al Qaeda in the Middle East through our invasion of Iraq.”

    and

    “The fact we can’t extract ourselves from Afghanistan without the Taliban going back to terrorizing the people of Afghanistan so close to a nuclear Pakistan. A country which has repeatedly demonstrated their inability to protect their nuclear weapons technology keeping us slogging along in Afghanistan with only bad choices available.”

    seems to indicate that we have not, in fact, acheived much for the billions expended and the lives lost.

    Our being in Afghanistan is not likely to deter the fanatics in Al Queda or elsewhere from dealing with the fanatics in Pakistan’s ISI or others in attempting to acquire nuclear weapons. Al Queda has been decimated and, at the same time, the actions of the U.S., NATO and the U.N. have guaranteed them thousands of willing fighters and martyrs.

  45. 45
    democommie

    Raging Bee:

    “And who the fuck is “ringnebula.com” anyway? Another Republican front created to manipulate liberals into making fools of themselves?”

    Did you bother to check? http://ringnebula.com/

    I think not. But, hey, when your argument is unsupported and someone else gives you a link, by all means ignore it, dismiss it or denigrate the provider.

  46. 46
    Raging Bee

    demo, I raised some common-sense objections to your “it’s all about the pipelines” blithering; and you not only totally failed to address any of them, you vehemently denied I’d said anything. That’s classic denialism, of the “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” variety. It’s also a classic feature of nearly all paranoid conspiracy stories: total disregard for common sense.

    Perhaps I was unclear…

    Yeah, that tends to happen when you have no idea what you’re talking about, make assertions you can’t defend, and have to walk back and reword your arguments after they’ve been debunked.

    Also, I really don’t see how your last citation supports any of your previous assertions. Can you point us to a “money quote?” Or are you just bluffing again?

  47. 47
    Raging Bee

    PS: I just had another look at “ringnebula.com,” and guess what — they’re also parroting the same 9/11 conspiracy theories that have been debunked since 2002, if not earlier. Seriously, all those questions of why we didn’t shoot any of those planes down were answered years ago. This is where you get your “understanding” of foreign policy? You’d do better reading Mad magazine.

  48. 48
    democommie

    Raging Bee:

    “demo, I raised some common-sense objections to your “it’s all about the pipelines” blithering; and you not only totally failed to address any of them, you vehemently denied I’d said anything.”

    Bullshit. You’re flapping your gums, but, as has been the case throughout this thread, you’re not saying anything AND furnishing any backing for your assertions.

    The tactic of saying that someone is wrong about something and thus dismissing EVERYTHING that person or group says is, as you are well aware, the resort of those who have preconceived notions about how things “should be” and aren’t going to accept anything that doesn’t gibe with their view.

    You keep telling me that I’m blithering while not offering a shred of evidence to supportt any of your assertions. You’re usually much better than this.

    I asked you if you thought that the quote by Ziggy B was a lie and you don’t, apparently, feel that the question was asked.

    And you accuse me of being an idiot, pot meet kettle.

  49. 49
    John Phillips, FCD

    As raging bee and Michael Heath said, we went into Afghanistan purely as a reaction to 9/11. Bush, for whatever reason, my opinion is that he wanted to one up his father by finishing off Saddam and in this was encouraged by the neocons, then got sidetracked into Iraq and forgot Afghanistan. This then allowed the Taleban years to regroup while our major effort and finance was tied up in Iraq.

    There is a very strong possibility that if we had concentrated on Afghanistan, the Taleban would not have had the opportunity to regroup and, with the majority of the Afghans on board, which they were for a long time, we might now have, not exactly a democracy as we understand it, but something moving in that direction plus a developing economy. Instead, we went into Iraq, giving the Taleban plenty of time to regroup and spoil any chance of real development outside the major cities.

    Then by allowing them to regroup without adequate troops to keep land which we had to keep retaking, the opportunity for civilian casualty screw ups grew and began losing us the support of many of the Afghan people. From there, it was downhill all the way and Obama’s effort was far too late by then, well unless he was prepared to commit hundreds of thousands more troops and a lot more resources to the conflict. Something he could not afford, economically or politically.

  50. 50
    Raging Bee

    Bush, for whatever reason, my opinion is that he wanted to one up his father by finishing off Saddam and in this was encouraged by the neocons, then got sidetracked into Iraq and forgot Afghanistan.

    Exactly: Bush Jr. was advised by belligerent neocon chickenhawks who never forgave his father for not “finishing the job” in 1991. Also, I suspect there was a LOT of oedipal rage to which the chickenhawks pandered: he probably spend LOTS of time hearing everyone say his daddy was a wimp, so he was desperate to prove he was more of a man than his daddy, and the chickenhawks showed him how to prove his manhood.

    Let’s face it — Bush Jr. was a moron, nominated and supported by a party run by morons. Who needs a conspiracy or nefarious ulterior motives to explain moronic failure? (As if any Republicans are competent enough to even carry out a nefarious conspiracy, let alone run one.)

    The tactic of saying that someone is wrong about something and thus dismissing EVERYTHING that person or group says is, as you are well aware…

    …part and parcel of the kind of basic judgment people are forced to exercise every day when faced with huge amounts of conflicting information about complex subjects. Intelligence analysis: it’s not just for spies.

  51. 51
    democommie

    Raging Bee:

    Since you have nothing of substance to say, carry on babbling.

  52. 52
    democommie

    I liked this comment on the thread about racial profiling that’s up on the front page of the blog.

    “So, if you look into the study, see if the bias you pose is present, come back with the results, and modify your view as is appropriate, THEN you are demonstrating intellectual integrity. Posing the question without looking for verification, while dismissing the study as if it had been verified, is the opposite of intellectual integrity. It’s a pseudointellectual way of keeping one’s worldview intact by dismissing all counter-intuitive (to you) studies.”

    Granted, I’m not quoting studies. Raging Bee is not either; nor is he furnishing anything in the way of data to back up his assertions.

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