Friday, September 15, 2006

On the Ground

A friend (thanks, Jim M.!) forwarded this email, sent to the father of an Army Captain (Rangers, Special Ops) on the ground in Afghanistan. Read it:

Dear Dad,

Tell people that doubt the US should be here to travel over here, particularly women and liberals. The only women here that advocate the Taliban or al-Qaeda are those that know nothing else, and are effectively brain washed. But they dare not say or do anything with another Afghan around that might tell the woman’s husband, father or brother, who would probably beat them to death for speaking to an infidel without a tribal elder or father as chaperone, even when seeing a medical team, which we try to get them to regularly. They can see medics and doctors only when in a large group and even then only with a father or older brother there.

The way women are treated here is that they are property and nothing more. The livestock is treated better because they have monetary value and women don’t. Just two days ago I saw a grown man strike a little girl in the head with a rock because he could. They work morning till dusk like slaves while the men sit around and do largely nothing. They do all of the work over here while the men busy themselves with killing each other, or other trivial things. The way women are treated is so bad that about 70% of the men, even in the cities, prefer to have sex with boys because they view women as not worth having sex with. There is a saying here that “Women are for babies, boys are for sexual fun.” Such a sad culture. The Koran says homosexuality is wrong, but to these people if a man is married to a woman and has sex with another man, that’s not being a homosexual. If two single men have sex, they are executed. I thought a homosexual act is a homosexual act, whether married or not.

Hard to accept, but boy sex slaves are kept in the man’s house and treated as their own child by the wife, otherwise she is beaten. When the boy reaches puberty, he is released to go back home, but most don’t and join a Wahadi group which are Taliban or al-Qaeda.

Remember the tribal battle I told you about that started when a father and uncle of a 10 year old boy were killed because they objected to his being taken as a sex slave by the leader of another clan. Such is life in this part of the world.

Oh yeah, another custom the outside world ignores, especially the UN, NATO and EU authorities. If a girl or woman is raped, she is the guilty one and is put to death, usually by stoning with her father and brothers casting the first stones. I have sadly come across the aftermath of this several times when traveling through villages. The family will leave the girl where she died for days, which means she can’t go to heaven in their belief. The first time I wanted to stop and bury the young girl we were told was 15, but both interpreters said if we did there would be an instant gun battle as infidels interfering with a Muslim.

The civilized world has two choices, either change it by being here or stay home and allow it to spread, because they live only to kill the infidels so they can spread their beliefs and customs. When in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, my Muslim counterparts often told me the militant and fundamentalist Muslims are growing stronger and will some day rule the Middle East. As far back as 1989 some of the CIA men I know told me that someday Muslim’s will rule the world because of their fanatical battle against the “infidels” is growing stronger and the Western countries are in denial and think they can be negotiated with.

Irma and I are looking into adopting some kids from here, to get them away from this hell-hole. Tell those people that said Afghan women don’t want change to get out of their comfortable living room, and travel some before they come to conclusions.

Kevin Boyd


I have never been able to figure out how American liberals could reconcile their anti-war views with the facts outlined above. Just to pick on one example, I would have expected American feminists to whole-heartedly support the military efforts to eliminate the oppression of their Afghan sisters. Instead we get platitudes about the stylishness of burqas.

Reading Captain Boyd’s description of conditions in the areas he’s operating in reminds me, once again, of this strangeness. I think there’s a deep message somewhere in here about the mindlessness and hypocrisy rampant in modern American liberalism, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. Part of it, I’m sure, is that two irreconcilable liberal viewpoints are in tension here: equality of all people vs. equality of all cultures. To the modern liberal, both of these are a given — but in Afghanistan (and everywhere else fundamentalist Islam prevails), the culture says that women and children are not equal at all. If you have a liberal mindset, how do you reconcile these two issues? How can you be simultaneously supportive of the equality of women and the equality of the Islamic culture? Tilt!

For me, this is not a quandary at all — I reject the notion that all cultures are equally valid, equally worthy, or equally good. I have no conflict here at all.

But what does a liberal do when confronted with this? From the evidence at hand, it appears they just avert their eyes from the plight of women in Afghanistan — while (in some cases) supporting the likes of Khatami, Chavez, Nasarallah, and so on. Their actions, if not their words, indicates that in their minds cultural equality trumps human equality. Let the women of Afghanistan and other Islamic regimes suffer, so we can proclaim the cultural equality of fundamentalist Islam.

What crap.

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