August 1, 2011

America's decade in Afghanistan pays off

From the New York Times, a story about a Romeo and Juliet in Herat, Afghanistan:
This month, a group of men spotted the couple riding together in a car, yanked them into the road and began to interrogate the boy and girl. Why were they together? What right had they? An angry crowd of 300 surged around them, calling them adulterers and demanding that they be stoned to death or hanged. 
When security forces swooped in and rescued the couple, the mob’s anger exploded. They overwhelmed the local police, set fire to cars and stormed a police station six miles from the center of Herat, raising questions about the strength of law in a corner of western Afghanistan and in one of the first cities that has made the formal transition to Afghan-led security. 
The riot, which lasted for hours, ended with one man dead, a police station charred and the two teenagers, Halima Mohammedi and her boyfriend, Rafi Mohammed, confined to juvenile prison. Officially, their fates lie in the hands of an unsteady legal system. But they face harsher judgments of family and community. 
Ms. Mohammedi’s uncle visited her in jail to say she had shamed the family, and promised that they would kill her once she was released. Her father, an illiterate laborer who works in Iran, sorrowfully concurred. He cried during two visits to the jail, saying almost nothing to his daughter. Blood, he said, was perhaps the only way out. 
“What we would ask is that the government should kill both of them,” said the father, Kher Mohammed. ....
Family members of the man killed in the riot sent word to Ms. Mohammedi that she bears the blame for his death. But they offered her an out: Marry one of their other sons, and her debt would be paid.



39 comments:

wren said...

Perhaps we can bring all the women who want to leave Afghanistan to NYC to work as hotel maids.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the solution is to invite Romeo and Juliet to live in America.

And only a racist would oppose family reunification to bring over their relatives. What, would you split up a family?

crillus said...

wren said...
Perhaps we can bring all the women who want to leave Afghanistan to NYC to work as hotel maids.

...and send our entitled ones to afghan.?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:33.
Let's not quibble. Bring one. Bring all.

Or we can stay there until the magic democracy dust starts working.
Gilbert P.

Marlowe said...

No one reads Machiavelli it would seem:

"It makes him [a ruler] hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain. And when neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content, and he has only to contend with the ambition of a few, whom he can curb with ease in many ways."

- Chapter XIX That one should avoid being despised and hated

Anonymous said...

Hey we're also training female pilots!

Actually, when I first saw the "ny times story about aromeo and juliet" i thought you were cynically going to be talking about this:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/

NOTA said...

Just think, for only another 40 years of occupation and a few trillion more dollars, we can turn Afghanistan into someplace as decent to live as, say, Mexico. Since our supplies of soldiers and cash are limitless, what possible downside could there be to this?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time to admit Afghanistan is a hideous place and for the Air Force to reenact the final scene of Apocalypse Now, where a B52 Arc Light strike gets called in.

Anonymous said...

Now one understands why "Titanic" is Afghanistan's most popular movie of all time.

Anonymous said...

This culture is barbaric. The West would be close its borders to everyone associated with it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the key to winning would be to intentionally provoke a conflict like this that would force people to make an explicit choice between living like modern humans and living like medieval peasants — not choose internally but choose to physically go somewhere to support their belief.

Then we kill all the people who choose B, leaving a far less populated country where people who believe in modernity would have (a Steve favorite) many more resources per capita to support themselves. I bet you'd also raise the average IQ of the nation by 15 points do to the respective intelligence of people who'd choose either side.

Jack Quinn said...

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

Let's just leave or take Kipling's advice.

Currahee said...

makes "to die for Gdansk" seem rational by comparison

Whiskey said...

Steve, what you forgot to mention is that the country next over, Pakistan, is just like Afghanistan. Only with nuclear missiles.

We will never change Afghanistan, from what it is now, though it was not always like that -- in the 1950's the pictures, shocking now, of a secularized, coed society that is unrecognizable. Lesson? Secularization can be erased easily towards the Muslim norm.

Nevertheless, if we are not in Afghanistan we can't play whack-a-jihadi/military officer in Pakistan with drones. Drones require local intel, neighboring facilities, relatively short flight-times. Launching them from the Arabian Sea to vaporize a guy we find frightening to send a message is not really possible, doing so from Afghanistan has so far kept the lid on.

Hunsdon said...

Drat! We have been set back three Friedman Units in our quest to turn Afghanistan into Arizona. However, comrades, our quest to turn Arizona into Afghanistan continues apace.

Gene Berman said...

Just roll to your rifle
And blow out your brains.

Svigor said...

America's decade in Afghanistan pays off

From the New York Times, a story about a Romeo and Juliet in Herat, Afghanistan


Instant facepalm.

Paul said...

Don't overlook what a testament to the power of teenage hormones this story is.

ExtraMedium said...

100% off topic but:

Slate Is Looking for a Culture Blogger!
Are you a voracious, omnivorous consumer of popular culture? You should apply.

http://www.slate.com/id/2300411/

THAT'S YOU STEVE!

tommy shanks said...

>>Family members of the man killed in the riot sent word to Ms. Mohammedi that she bears the blame for his death. But they offered her an out: Marry one of their other sons, and her debt would be paid.

Dead man's family to "Juliet": "You're an awful whore whose foul behavior caused the death of one of our relatives.

"... How would you like to join us?"

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the key to winning would be to intentionally provoke a conflict like this that would force people to make an explicit choice between living like modern humans and living like medieval peasants ... Then we kill all the people who choose B, leaving a far less populated country where people who believe in modernity would have (a Steve favorite) many more resources per capita to support themselves. I bet you'd also raise the average IQ of the nation by 15 points do to the respective intelligence.

My god man, that's so ... Nazi!

But it's probably the only thing that would work for the Stan.

Anonymous said...

If the Shah couldn't turn Iran into Japan after twenty years of gushing oil wealth, then nobody could turn Afghanistan into Mexico.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 7:13 said:

Maybe it's time to admit Afghanistan is a hideous place and for the Air Force to reenact the final scene of Apocalypse Now, where a B52 Arc Light strike gets called in.

Hunsdon replies:

Careful, your exterminationist fantasies are showing through. We could, perhaps, if anyone could, put paid to the whole Afghan people. But the, you know, all those other Muslims, who might resent that. Best do them too, you know, just to be sure? And if we could do that, the question. Is that really something we ought to be doing? Do we really want to make Hitler, Stalin and Mao look like pikers? Call me a pink humanist if you will, but it seems a little extreme, by my lights.

My hillbilly soul responds to the Afghans, as it does to the Chechens. Hard, miserable, brutal, cruel, yes, God love 'em.

I'd suggest curtailing Muslim immigration to the West, and requiring assimilation to what we used to call Western norms among the ones we let in.

But Arc Light? As they said in the McCarthy Army hearings, "Have you no shame, sir?"

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I wonder what Chinese hegemony will look like?

Mr. Anon said...

"Whiskey said...

Nevertheless, if we are not in Afghanistan we can't play whack-a-jihadi/military officer in Pakistan with drones. Drones require local intel, neighboring facilities, relatively short flight-times. Launching them from the Arabian Sea to vaporize a guy we find frightening to send a message is not really possible, doing so from Afghanistan has so far kept the lid on."

Whiskey has not set us straight. I thought that we were involved in Pakistan in order to keep watch on Afghanistan - turns out that we are in Afghanistan in order to keep watch on Pakistan. Either way, we'll be in it for the long haul - a hundred years perhaps.

Mr. Anon said...

Perhaps we should encourage our soldiers to be seen with every young Afghani girl and woman. Then the Afghani men will have to kill them all, and in a few more years, we won't have to even think about these foul, obstreperous, stupid people.

Anonymous said...

Side note, but not really, its a direct result of "intelligence' or aid 'fighting terror' in exchange for greencards but the number of burkha and hajib wearing muslims in Brooklyn is SOARING. I try to tell liberal friends about it and they can't bring themselves to admit that it will change anything... Urgghh.

globe trotter said...

In a similar situation in Iraq, Dua Khalil and her boyfriend were "apprehended" while on the road. I will never forget the cell phone video of that 17 yr old girl dragged out in headlock, stoned, kicked, stomped and twisted to death by cousins and uncles, for 30 minutes with a cast of thousands whooping like chimpanzees while the blood flowed out of her lifeless, once gorgeous, head, and cell phone cameras were shoved into her bloody, dying face. She was not a muslim, but the boy was.

In her case, her parents prosecuted the killers after an autopsy confirmed she was a virgin, and her father even said that her falling in love with a muslim was not wrong and she had done nothing wrong. Her mother cursed the killers to hell, so I suppose she's on the outs with the family.
The clerics all agreed it was a nasty way to go, made their ethnic group look pretty bad, and they should have quietly shot her, but they couldn't understand the fuss. "Many other girls have been killed since her," they said, only a few weeks after the incident. Last year, four men were condemned to death but their people are protesting. One Kurdish leader agreed with the punishment, feeling it was the only way to stop such murders. It's a different world over there. They're not selling tickets and we can't help them.

Bourbon said...

Steve, you're out of your element. Every great military strategist throughout history knew that Afghanistan is the key to Pakistan, Pakistan is the key to the Indian subcontinent, and the Indian subcontinent is the key to the world. Alexander the Great knew it, Charlemagne knew it, Napoleon knew it, the British Empire knew it, and M. Bison in Street Fighter II knew it. Only if we dominate these Stone Age savages with NUKES can we possibly hope to sleep safely in our beds. We're talking about unchecked aggression here, Steve.

The thing you fail to understand Steve is that Afghan women hate, hate, hate, hate, hate BETAS. And this leads Afghan men to thug it up by stealing nuclear weapons from Pakistan, transporting them to the U.S. in speed boats, and blowing up major cities. Which we all know happens constantly. You and the paleocons like Pat Buchanon naively believe that America can protect itself from nuclear attacks by illiterate Muslim pederasts that are 7,000 miles away from us simply by refusing to let them in the country. So you have no frame of reference here, Steve, like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know what going on. You don't understand the simple lesson of history that the key to global hegemony is spending yourself into bankruptcy by playing ineffectual war games with irascible goat herders in central Asia.

You've got a lot to learn, Steve. Also you're a BETA.

(For the humor impaired - the preceding text is a parody. All errors and parallels to Whiskey and Walter Sobchak are intentional.)

Anonymous said...

Well, at a minimum, let's keep them from immigrating here.

mark said...

Michael Scheuer had it right when he said the USA realistically cannot implant a democratic and rights-observing political culture on a place such as Afghanistan. There is no tradition of intellectual inquiry, no affiliation outside of familial authoritarianism. It is nuts to think we can do anything "for them" especially while we have military occupation forces in place. I absolutely give up on American foreign policy. It is insane.

Whiskey said...

"In a similar situation in Iraq, Dua Khalil and her boyfriend were "apprehended" while on the road. I will never forget the cell phone video of that 17 yr old girl dragged out in headlock, stoned, kicked, stomped and twisted to death by cousins and uncles, for 30 minutes with a cast of thousands whooping like chimpanzees while the blood flowed out of her lifeless, once gorgeous, head, and cell phone cameras were shoved into her bloody, dying face."

That's a truly awful and cruel story, Globe Trotter. But think how much better off Iran is without the scourge of female hypergamy.

Truth said...

"You've got a lot to learn, Steve. Also you're a BETA..."


OK, I feel comfortable dying now.

Hunsdon said...

"You've got a lot to learn, Steve. Also you're a BETA..."


OK, I feel comfortable dying now.

The most interesting Hunsdon in the world said:

I don't always agree with Truth, but when I do, it's about Bourbon.

Kylie said...

"Well, at a minimum, let's keep them from immigrating here."

That's the funniest thing I've ever read here, other than the very best of Steve's witticisms.

Globe trotter said...

"That's a truly awful and cruel story, Globe Trotter. But think how much better off Iran is without the scourge of female hypergamy."

huh? Don't follow you. The girl was Kurd in Iraq, not Iran, and of some obscure religion as I recall. I don't think they would have been any happier about one of their men going off with a muslim but I don't know if they would have killed him. Maybe.

Anonymous said...

What?

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, maybe we can come to some sort of arrangement with Pakistan? Say, they promise to only allow their terrorists to use their nukes on New York or Tel Aviv and we let 'em keep 'em? Just putting it out there.

Felix M said...

Bourbon advises us that "... Afghanistan is the key to Pakistan, Pakistan is the key to the Indian subcontinent, and the Indian subcontinent is the key to the world".

So Afghanistan is the key to the world? Seems a tad extreme to me.

But then Bourbon tells us that "Alexander the Great knew it, Charlemagne knew it ..."

Charlemagne? Hey, let's be real! He lived in Western Europe's Dark Ages. His knowledge of eastern geography was minimal, and his understanding of it even less.