Author Topic: Afghanistan  (Read 565 times)

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Offline Quesi

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Afghanistan
« on: May 29, 2012, 09:03:06 PM »
I cannot imagine a hell more horrible than Afghanistan. 

A few days ago, there was another poisoning incident targeted at young schoolgirls.  125 were rushed to the hospital.  Government officials blame the Taliban, but the Taliban have not claimed responsibility.  Of course, at this point, it is unclear who speaks for the Taliban, or what that Taliban even is.  Membership, especially among the tribal Pashtuns, and among other wartorn, uneducated Afghanis, is fluid.  And even those individuals and families and tribes who might not currently identify with the Taliban, have most certainly been influenced by them.  For all we know, some guy’s family has been disrespected because some 15 year old girl broke a marriage contract in order to go to that school, so the family, in an attempt to restore his honor, pooled scarce resources together to poison all the girls at the school. 



I’ve worked with refugees from all over the world, but I’ve never heard stories of horror like those that have come out of Afghanistan. 

A while back I posted about the role that the US played in the creation of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s rise to power.  After I wrote, I quickly googled some random sources to back up my argument.  It occurred to me later that there is one very famous article that everyone has forgotten. 

Well, the article isn’t famous.  But the picture is.  Many of us were haunted by the 1985 photo of the Afghan girl.  She was a refugee and an orphan, having fled the Soviet invasion, languishing in Peshawar, Pakistan, surrounded by mujahedeen hopefuls, who would later become the Taliban. 

And in 2002, the photographer went back and found the young woman who was the girl in his photo.  In the second photo, she is in her late 20’s.  Maybe 30.  No older than that.  But her hard life had taken a toll on her face. 

   


And here is the original 1985 article.  Although the young refugee’s eyes haunted a generation, the content of the article has been long forgotten.  I think everyone who was impacted by 9/11 and the subsequent attacks in Europe and Africa and the South Pacific should read this article. 

 http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/original-story-text   

Offline Nick

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 10:24:43 PM »
Bring our people home.  How can you help people who do, allow, seem to be ok with this kind of sh*t.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Offline shnozzola

Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 07:57:39 PM »
Interesting about the culture in the Afghani  part of the world – people seem to have no individual stone fast values - today the culture embraces the western wind, tomorrow the wind changes, and the eastern wind is the new basis of society – does that make sense?  Maybe it is just my own perception.  Maybe a survival instinct after so many years of war, and years of the repression and Taliban type thinking.   Although my guess is there are many, many very smart Afghani's who are just so sick and tired of always being occupied by russians, taliban, americans, british, etc. that they smile and do as they are told, rather than risk death, and only family members hear each other's complaints.  Sometimes, if we think of how easy expression can be in western culture, standing in the shoes of these repressed cultures, we may be surprised at how similarly we would act.  I don't know if they are OK with this s**t, Nick.
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Offline thunderridge

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 09:47:34 PM »
Compare countries with much religion (Pakistan, Afghanistan) to those with little religion (Sweden, Denmark).  Let the girls go to school for crying out loud (an American expression).

Offline pingnak

Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 03:50:23 PM »
Nah, they believe women are sub-human cattle.  They'll slaughter them, burn them, spray acid on them, whatever it takes to show them their place.


Online nogodsforme

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 03:59:45 PM »
The entire modern infrastructure of Afghanistan was destroyed, along with most of their civil society, by war dating back to 1980. Those people do not need more bombs and more warfare. They need food, medical care and basic security. They need a few centuries of peace so they can rebuild their culture and society. Which means all foreign troops get out and let non-partisan aid agencies help the people get their acts together.

The Taliban and their ilk almost always rise up when the civil society breaks down. Someone had to keep order, distribute food and establish laws.  That's where most dictatorships begin. But the rest of the world does not have to help them kill more efficiently with high-tech arms and military training. The women's groups in Afghanistan never got a fraction of the money and help the US gave the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline thunderridge

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 09:25:37 PM »
Nah, they believe women are sub-human cattle.  They'll slaughter them, burn them, spray acid on them, whatever it takes to show them their place.

     I don't care if I was indoctrinated into this bullshit as a child.  Eventually I would have realized "Hey WTF."

Online 12 Monkeys

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 11:38:54 PM »
The entire modern infrastructure of Afghanistan was destroyed, along with most of their civil society, by war dating back to 1980. Those people do not need more bombs and more warfare. They need food, medical care and basic security. They need a few centuries of peace so they can rebuild their culture and society. Which means all foreign troops get out and let non-partisan aid agencies help the people get their acts together.

The Taliban and their ilk almost always rise up when the civil society breaks down. Someone had to keep order, distribute food and establish laws.  That's where most dictatorships begin. But the rest of the world does not have to help them kill more efficiently with high-tech arms and military training. The women's groups in Afghanistan never got a fraction of the money and help the US gave the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.
The religions ....ALL religions are male controlled and dominated.....as a tool of control this society is in the stone age,while Christianity,still dominated by men has abandoned some of these ancient ideas of women as mere equal to livestock......these people need to be eliminated(the clerics and leaders) or brought into the 21st century....but how?
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Offline grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 05:50:25 AM »
Many of us were haunted by the 1985 photo of the Afghan girl.  She was a refugee and an orphan, having fled the Soviet invasion, languishing in Peshawar, Pakistan, surrounded by mujahedeen hopefuls, who would later become the Taliban. 

And in 2002, the photographer went back and found the young woman who was the girl in his photo.  In the second photo, she is in her late 20’s.  Maybe 30.  No older than that.     

Sorry, don't believe ya. Don't believe everything journalists write.
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?

Offline Quesi

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 01:52:20 PM »


Sorry, don't believe ya. Don't believe everything journalists write.

I'm sorry.  What don't you believe?  That the woman is the girl in the photo?  The she is no older than 30?  Or anything about her life story.

I know people who spent chunks of their lives traveling between the isolated mountain villages in the tribal areas, and the urban slums of Peshawar.  Neither the details provided in the later article, nor the premature aging seem artificial. 

I didn't link the 2002 article, the one about the photographer's search for this woman.  But if you are interested, here it is. 

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text

Edited to add:  I have a friend who traveled back to Peshawar 7 or 8 years ago, (with her young son) to visit family she had not seen in more than a decade.  They decided to take the trip into the Tora Bora region to visit more family, and her family/escorts were very surprised to be stopped by the US military on a trip between the regions that they had always traveled.  Because my friend (now a US citizen) had a US passport, the US soldiers told her she could go on.  But they would not let her family, some of whom had been born in the region, continue on without a passport to allow them to travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Her family members were outraged by the US soldiers who were enforcing borders that they, as tribal Pashtuns, had never acknowledged.  This was THEIR land.  For thousands of years, this was their land, and foriegn invaders were telling them they could not travel in their land to visit their family without papers that none of them had.  Passports?  They had no birth certificates.  They weren't born in hospitals.  They didn't have calendars to mark the dates of births and deaths.  And nothing to prove which side of the border they belonged on.  But they believed that both sides of the border were theirs.  As they traveled back to Peshawar, having missed the opportunity to reunite family, my friend was surprised that some in her extended family, even the women, supported the Taliban.  The Taliban knew the land was theirs to travel freely on. 

As i read about this woman, who, in 2002, traveled freely between Peshawar, Pakistan, and the tribal villages in the mountains of Afghanistan, I wondered if the US enforced borders now keep her apart from her husband, who works all year in Peshawar.  Did she get trapped on the Afghani side of the border.  She, like the family of my friend's family, certainly has no papers. 
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 02:44:53 PM by Quesi »

Offline pingnak

Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 04:06:48 PM »
     I don't care if I was indoctrinated into this bullshit as a child.  Eventually I would have realized "Hey WTF."
At least you would like to think so, which is a credit to you, but a bit naive.

You had a fortunate birth.  But you know, personally with grandparents and aunts/uncles who are racist by standards established not so long ago, it's hard to discount your social influences and upbringing.  I'm not so sure any of us would be so different, if raised in such an environment.

There are probably fellow Americans/Europeans/etc. who think, 'Who gives a rat's ass about what happens to a bunch of sand niggers in burkas?" 

Actually, I know there are.  Though they wouldn't necessarily even know what a 'burka' is.

If you had been born into it, and indoctrinated/brainwashed from birth into NEVER QUESTIONING, who knows?  You wouldn't be 'you'.  You might have been some uneducated, wife-beating moron with nary a thought in his head besides 'Allah' and the 'social rules' of your tribe and 'family honor' while helping your dad drag your own sister out to be stoned for being raped.

You're not that monster, but that same 'monster', if separated at birth, raised and educated to western standards would not generally be one.

Offline grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 07:32:47 AM »

I'm sorry.  What don't you believe? 

Do the maths for a start. Then do a calculation of the odds of finding her 13 years later.

She's 30 years old MAX in the second photo according to your post, which makes her 17 years old MAX in the first?

Quote from the article: "But in the darkness and snows of December, sometime around the fifth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, she will give birth to her tenth child". So at 17, she has 10 kids. Seems legit.

Now lets find her. From the audio, some journalist shows the photo to some random guy in Afghanistan and he says "oh yes, I know her brother", even though he's never seen the photo before and, correct me if I'm wrong, and the whole point is, she no longer looks anything like the photo. How convenient for the journos, made even less plausible by the opening sentence "I WILL NEVER KNOW THIS WOMAN'S NAME" (capitals theirs).

I'm sure you're posting with good intent and I don't mean to offend, but really, its a long bow to pull to suggest this is the same "girl". Without that fact the story is unfortunately a beat up. Not the subject, this story.
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?

Offline Quesi

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 07:51:02 AM »
I'm sorry.  Perhaps you didn't understand that the woman described in the beginning of the 1985 article is NOT the girl in the cover photo. 

The first woman was a mom in Afghanistan in a home where they were staying. 

The girl in the photo was 12 or 13 and in a refugee camp in Peshawar Pakistan, where they arrive at the end of the article.   

17 years later, she was close to 30.  She got married a few years after the first photo was taken, and had, at the time of the article, given birth to 4 children, 3 of whom lived.  Her husband lives and works in Peshawar, and she (at the time of the article) spends the cold cold winters in Peshawar with her husband, but then travels back to Afghanistan to live in the mountains for the summer because the horrible pollution in Peshawar is bad for her asthma. 

But none of this is really the point of my posting these stories.  Afghanistan is a sad, brutal land, occupied by foreign forces for as long as most living Afghanis can remember.  The borders include groups of people who are ethnically, religiously, culturally and linguistically very different.  The infrastructure in the more developed, urban centers has been destroyed.  In the Pashtun tribal areas, which overlap with Pakistan, there was never any infrastructure.  Attempts by the occupying forces to "improve the quality of life" have failed miserably.  Education, of course, is the solution to their plight, but girls who attempt to go to school risk their lives by simply attending school 

It is time to get troops out of there, and provide support from a distance.  It will take many generations, I fear, for any real improvements in the lives of the Pashtun people.  But the urban centers could rebuild quickly.  After the Soviet invasion, (before the Taliban took power) there was a window of time in which women were teaching at universities in Kabul, and practicing medicine and moving towards a positive future.  Let's let them move towards that again. 

Offline grant

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Re: Afghanistan
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2012, 10:00:57 AM »
Thank you Quesi, I stand corrected.

How could I have possibly thought the person in the article was the person in the photograph? How was I to know the person they found some years later was not the one, nor meant to be, the one in the article? How can I compare prematurely aging with photographs of different people? How could I have not have seen that 2 photographs, side by side, were not meant to be related?

Wish these journalists would make it clear for us dumb readers.

The point of the story gets lost when misrepresentations are made, either intentional or accidental.

I do agree though, get out of Afghanistan. No good can come from ongoing occupation.
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?