Monthly Archives: August 2010

Murder In Afghanistan

Nine years have passed since the first American troops entered Afghanistan in what was thought to be a lightening military strike that would destroy Talliban forces and result in establishment of a democratic government in the country. Nine years have gone by of walking along dusty roads under a blazing sun. Nine years have passed since soldiers are sitting in a truck when suddenly there is an explosion and several are either dead or wounded. Nine years have passed since the Afghan offering fruits to sell suddenly places his hand on a device which sends him to heaven along with a few Americans. Nine years in a land whose people and customs are vastly different from what the ordinary American knows. We have not examined in sufficient depth the psychological impact of this struggle upon the minds of ordinary American soldiers. Five soldiers in Afghanistan now stand charged with plotting the killing of innocent Afghan civilians. New charges by the military indicate the five also brutally assaulted a fellow soldier who informed on their murder plot.

A few of the men in the plot claim it all began one day when Sgt. Calvin Gibbs joked with them how easy it would be to “toss a grenade” at Afghan civilians. From that initial “joke” evolved a plan to create a “kill team” that would randomly execute Afghan civilians. Any soldier who dared to report what was going on was warned he faced death himself or a severe physical beating.

As far as investigators can tell, there was no motive, no philosophical rationale why Afghan civilians should be killed. They decided to kill for no reason, just to kill. Yes, these men committed a brutal act. Yes, these men are guilty of murder. But, so are former President Bush for his incompetence in failing to complete the task in Afghanistan of eliminating the Taliban and focusing on creating an honest, effect Afghan government. These soldiers are guilty and will wind up in prison, but their leaders who also are guilty are chopping wood in Texas or working in a corporate office.

Palin, Beck, Giuliani, Fox News Succeed-Hate Attack!!

Ahmed Sharif picked up the passenger near Times Square, looked at the clock and noticed he had a few more hours to make money, and then home to the wife and four kids. The passenger appeared pleasant as he asked Ahmed about observing Ramadan and fasting. They exchanged a few words when suddenly, the 21 year old man became furious, and began shouting, “Assallamu Aliakum Consider this a checkpoint,” and then drew out a knife and slashed Mr. Shairf from nose to lip while his words of hate and violence raged on and on. The police finally arrived and arrested Michael Enright, who attends the School of Visual Arts and had just returned from Afghanistan where he worked on a film project. Ironically, he had previously worked with groups urging religious tolerance. Mr. Sharif told the media: “I have been here more than 25 years. My four kids were born here. I never feel this hopeless and insecure before.”

Why did Michael Enright, a young man who previously had worked for religious tolerance turn around and initiate a hate crime? He most probably has been watching Fox News with its non-stop diatribes against Muslims, it continual attempts to link American Muslims with a handful of Saudi terrorists, and after images of shouting, hateful men and women fill the TV screen, something clicked in the mind of Enright. He turned from being a quiet man to a man bent on hateful revenge.

Fox News, Palin, Beck, and the entire crowd of haters have gained a new follower. Of course, somewhere in Afghanistan, a young Muslim man watched Fox News hate and decides to take revenge. Unfortunately, his revenge will not be on Palin or Beck or Giulinai or the entire crowd of smug, vicious hate mongers. His revenge will be upon an American soldier somewhere in Afghanistan.

Exactly Who “Won” In Iraq??

Seven long years ago on a March evening then President George Bush announced to Iraq and the world that unless Saddam Hussein and his sons left Iraq within 48 hours, it “will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choice.” George Bush has long since abandoned defending the infamous quest for WMD that he claimed threatened the security of the US and the world. Saddam and his sons are dead, along with 100,000 Iraqis, and over 4,000 American soldiers. Untold thousands of Iraqis are either physically or emotionally wounded, along with 35,000 Americans who served in this conflict. On August 31, 2010, the last American combat units will leave Iraq and the country will be on its own. Well, not exactly on its own since 50,000 American soldiers will remain to assist in training a new Iraq army. President Barack Obama proclaims he has kept his pledge to end the war in Iraq and bring home our soldiers–or, at least some of them. In July, 222 Iraqis died due to insurgent actions.

The once prosperous nation of Iraq now produces less oil than under Saddam, has less electricity than under Saddam, and has more people lacking work. It’s once proud university system and medical programs are in shambles. At least a million Iraqis are scattered in nations throughout the Middle East and a few thousand lucky people made their way to countries like Sweden. Women who once could walk the streets of Baghdad with free flowing hair now worry about their dress in the more Islamic world of contemporary Iraq.

A reporter heard an American soldier shout as his Humvee crossed the border: “We’ve Won! Åmerica!” and then was gone. The people of Iraq remain. The questio

Cry The Beloved Country Of Congo

Former President George Bush was determined to spread democracy in the world, but for some strange reason ignored an opportunity to offer democracy to a region that hungered for peace and security. The Congo has witnessed the death of over four million during the past ten years and rape of untold thousands of women. In the latest episode, Rwandan and Congolese rebels gang-raped 200 women– and even some baby boys– over a four day period while UN peacekeepers kept their peace. UN workers knew rebels had occupied the town of Luvungi and were within a few miles of the impacted area, but no patrols were sent out to check on what was happening in the town. A UN peacekeeping unit was about twenty miles away, but rebel forces blocked the road in order to prevent villagers from leaving. About 200 or so rebels entered the village and proceeded to rape women. There was no fighting and not deaths, just battered and damaged women who will never forget their ordeal.

Women reported being raped in front of children and husbands and days later women are still returning from jungle areas in naked and battered conditions. There are no helicopters wandering in the skies to oversee the lives and safety of Congolese people. For some reason, Bush and neo-conservatives never thought these people might be receptive to democracy. They are just the oppressed and victims in a world that is filled with anger and hate. I wonder if those shouting at the World Trade Center about a mosque ever would spend a moment worrying about women being raped?

Do You Have To Read To Fight?

American military leaders in Afghanistan constantly complain about the reality of how few Afghan soldiers are able to read and write which they believe is a major hindrance to becoming a fighting soldier. As General Caldwell notes: “how do you expect a soldier to account for his weapon if he can’t even read the serial number?” An interesting question, but one might ask, “how many members of the Taliban are able to read and write?” There is overwhelming evidence Taliban fighters have about the same literary or illiteracy rates as those fighting for the Afghanistan government, but they continue to be dedicated to their cause. During the Vietnam war, soldiers fighting with Communist forces were not necessarily able to read and write. The issue is not being able to read a serial number on a weapon, but having conviction that what one fights to achieve is important to your own values and ideals.

A more important question is desertion rates. At present, about 23% of Afghan soldiers desert and either return home or join the Taliban. Obviously, we lack figures on Taliban desertion rates, but there is scant doubt they are much lower. The issue has been and will be– how can the Afghan government offer its people a vision of competence, honesty and dedication to their interests. And, that does not require literacy.

Mosque And Pakistan And Our Image

US aid has begun to enter Pakistan as that nation battles an horrendous flood which has resulted in the death of over 2,000 people and impacted the lives of seventeen million. An estimated $150,000,000 is now available to provide food or shelter or equipment that will save lives. However, a new Pew survey reports that six in ten Pakistanis regard the US as an enemy. They believe Americans are more interested in killing insurgents than in aiding the poor people of the country. The recent mosque dispute has aroused anger among many Americans, but it has aroused anger and hate toward the United States by millions of people in Muslim nations. Every time Fox News produces idiot programs in which ignorant people draw pictures about Muslim “terrorists” it simply produces more enemies in the world.

Fox News, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and the other producers of hate do nor realize that what goes over well in America simply goes over well in persuading young Muslim men to join terrorist groups.

Cup Of Tea, Senator McCain?

Senator John McCain, once a supporter of reaching a compromise solution on illegal immigrants and a man who wrote about being a “maverick” changed his clothes by slipping into phone booth and re-emerging as the man with no values except winning. He readily beat back a challenge by the incompetent J.D. Hayworth and won the primary. John is a man who will go to any length, survive any challenge, eat any shit as long as the end result is his election to the US Senate. Ah, in the old days, he portrayed himself as a “maverick” who could take on the entire Republican Party in the name of truth, freedom and the rights of Mexican immigrants. When questioned by the media regarding his changes, the stalwart defender of truth and the American way, could only respond: “I do not buy the party line that I have changed.” Of course, you did not change, the world around you changed and the last thing on John’s mind was to get out of step with the Tea Party.

However, his Senate buddy, Lisa Murkowski, was not so lucky. She apparently was unable to beat back a challenge from Tea Party candidate Joe Miller who still holds a slight lead in the Republican senate primary. Who knows, maybe Lisa has become the maverick and John has become the bull.

President Zardari Defends Trip Away From Floods

There appears to be a constant factor in any effort to confront Muslim insurgents throughout the world– “our guys” are incompetent, arrogant, and distant from the lives of citizens in their nations. Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari went on a trip to Europe as floods devastated his nation and while he was wandering the streets of Paris and London as well as exploring his beautiful chateau in Normandy, millions of people in his country were fleeing for their lives from floods that have damaged or destroyed at least 1.2 million homes, and forced millions to become refugees in their own country. Naturally, Muslim fundamentalists rushed to aid people and the president’s response to their efforts is to complain about “organizations taking advantage of this human crisis.” In other words, the problem is his enemies helped the people while he was sitting by his fireplace in the chateau sipping sherry and feeling the pain of his people. Wow, the bad guys are the ones giving food and shelter to people!

However, our beloved leader sees a “silver lining” in this tragedy. He notes that Taliban and al-Qaeda followers may have been drowned or their weapons swept away in the floods. He assures one and all in the world: “the fight goes on.” I am not quite certain which fight is going on, but as our beloved leader wants us to know, “I have my reasons for being where I was at what time.” Tune in to learn what are those reasons.

Madness Of Death In Somalia Continues

The legacy of George Bush lives on in Somalia where militant members of al-Shabab continue their efforts to kill and wound fellow citizens of what passes for a government in the country. Three years ago, Bush encouraged Christian Ethiopia to invade Somalia and attack its government because he believed fundamentalists were in charge. The only result was to create even more chaos since the presence of Christians in a Muslim nation was bound to arouse anger and hate. Yesterday, al-Shabab continued its efforts to create chaos by sending a suicide bomber and gunmen dressed in army uniforms into a hotel in Mogadishu where they commenced to kill 32 people, including six members of Parliament as well as a shoe-shine boy. Al-Shabab leaders claim their object is driving out the African Union army which is in the country in an attempt to create the semblance of order. It has not succeeded in that task.

Al-Shabab has at least 7,000 soldiers and an “army of morality” which wanders the streets and countryside imposing a strict Muslim sharia law, particularly towards women. As in Afghanistan, these mad men of morality gain power and women suffer. Unfortunately, there is scant hope things will change.

Greenpeace In The Arctic

A Danish warship confronted a Greenpeace ship which is on a mission to protect the environment against drilling for oil in places that we should not be drilling for oil. The incident occurred off the coast of Greenland when the protest ship, Esperanza, challenged a British company that was engaged in drilling for oil. After the experience of BP doing its bit to pollute the Gulf of Mexico for years to come, there is some concern about oil companies wandering around the world seeking interesting places they can pollute with oil and other ways of making planet Earth a harmful experience for one and all. The Danish government sent a warship to protect drilling sites against the hordes of peaceniks seeking to end drilling, baby, drilling sites. A Greenpeace activist, Leila Deen, in the wilds of the Arctic could only report: “To see a huge drilling rig in this beautiful and fragile environment is deeply shocking.”

During World War II the world confronted the barbarism of Nazi, Germany. Today, the new barbarism is not out to establish death camps, it simply just wants to pollute the whole damn world and kill us off slowly, but surely.