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A very, very simple question

The government of Afghanistan, with the support of President Karzai, passes a law that makes it just peachy-keen-OK for a husband to rape his wife. The law also makes it illegal for Shia Muslim women in the country to refuse to have sex with their husbands and restricts their rights outside the home as well.

Hey, they’re just chattel to these misogynists, aren’t they?


And protesters who marched against this law are pelted by cowardly men with stones.


Of course, not all Afghans are living in the Stone Age, right? Right?

In search of a life together, Abdul Aziz and Gul Pecha fled their remote Afghan village, hoping to leave behind their ultraconservative families and the sharia law of the Taliban-controlled region.

Their marriage hadn’t been arranged, and their parents didn’t approve. To try to elope in the remote Khash Rod district, where women face strict rules about appearing outdoors, was a risk for Mr. Aziz, 21, and Ms. Pecha, 19.

This is a country where tribal rivalries and honour killings are accepted as the norm. Furthermore, many of these despicable practices and beliefs are being codified as law under the watch of a government installed by the West – further ensuring this region’s place as one of the world’s most backward and crude.

So my question is:

Why is my nation still sending soldiers to this basket case of a country where the rule of law means nothing. Lives are cheap and guns even cheaper. And men hold onto the perch of power using any means available to them – moral or not.

Can someone tell me why wonderful young Canadians are still dying there?

This country is not going to change its ways in a few years or a few decades.

It is time we politely but firmly gave our notice.


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  1. Canada is taking a typically Canadian approach in Afghanistan – we’re trying to build relationships, protect and rebuild infrastructure and generally get the sane part of the Afghan population up and running.

    Unfortunately, there’s a small but very effective insane part of the population that is very good at undermining our efforts. From time to time, that costs us some lives, but it’s not easy on the Afghans either.

    Until the Taliban are crushed, Afghanistan will not be stable, just like Sri Lanka is only now starting to stabilize now that the Tigers are just about finished off. That took 30 years, and a lot of people didn’t really like it.

    Are Canadians prepared to crush the Taliban? Probably not.

  2. XUP says:

    I think this is one of those, \"for evil to exist it only takes good men to do nothing\" things. If people had stepped in way back when Hitler was first knitting brown shirts the whole holocaust thing might never have happened. Though I usually agree with you, I think the world is beyond the point where we can just let wacko countries carry on with their wacko agendas. On the other hand, I\’m not sure exactly what Canada is doing in Afghanistan aside from getting young Canadians blown to smithereens. It\’s been a long time and nothing much is changing or getting fixed. Maybe we\’re just not focussing on the right things.

    1. trashee says:

      And that is excatly my point – it has been a long time and not much is changing. Our approach to this situation has to shift.
      But I don’t think that “crushing” the Taliban is an answer unless we want to stay in that hellhole for another 25 years. It is difficult, if not impossible to defeat an unseen enemy. Ask the Russians. Or ask the Yanks how things worked out for them in ‘Nam.
      Yes, the Taliban are zealots that are not worthy of our contempt. But I don’t think that they are comparable to Hitler. If we want to look for Hitleresque types, we should look into Africa where Mugabe has been carrying out a war on his own people for years. Or look to North Korea where the wackos in charge of that hermit country have pushed the population to the brink of starvation.
      I guess that this peacenik is just tired of seeing those bright and young faces on the front pages of the Globe and Mail.

  3. Their minds are fried by a combination of opium and religion. I think the Russians may well have succeeded if the US hadn’t been propping up the insurgents. Of course, we wouldn’t have liked what the Russians did there…

    and that’s my point. We have to shit or get off the pot. Get in there and start kicking major ass, or pull out, admit we aren’t winning and suck up what happens. Either way we lose face.

    It only seems like we can’t defeat the Taliban because we’re unwilling to do what is necessary to defeat them. Make no mistake, the Taliban know that too. They’re COUNTING on it. They are absolutely banking on the assumption that the west will not come in like the four horsemen and start laying waste to anything that even might be Taliban. They’re banking on our restraint, our value of life, and so on… traits that they do not really have (or at least don’t seem to exhibit).

    We’re treating them like peers, they should be treated like insects if we want to win. Of course, if we win that way, we lose the PR battle big-time.

  4. trashee says:

    C’mon Darin – you can’t really believe that “cranking it up a notch” will eliminate the Taliban? It just won’t work that way. The Soviets – will all of their military might and unbound by any Canadian niceties – tried and failed.
    This is a region that is so f***ed up, that any attempt by outsiders to bring it 21st (or even 19th, for that matter) civilization will ultimately fail. It is unfortunate, but true.
    So why should Canadian lives be put in harms way to pursue goals that will not be achievable? That is my question.
    My wife thinks their minds are fried by the opium!

  5. >>Can someone tell me why wonderful young Canadians are still dying there?

    Because without us the Taliban will be in control in 18 months and we’ll have whackjob terrorists blowing up buildings again here in 36 months? Not to mention the women who will be summarily executed for supporting the “other side” during the last half-decade.

    I think we have only two options: leave and let the chips fall where they may, thereby giving up any claim to moral high-ground when it comes to supporting gender equality and human rights; or stay and crank it up a notch to exterminate the Taliban, thereby ending the threat, sending a clear message that we’re not to be fucked with, and losing any moral high-ground when it comes to saying that we’re a peace-loving nation.

    Being Canada, we’re likely to do neither of those things, thereby looking like dorks on the international stage.

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