Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS: Didn't we invade Afghanistan & Iraq to secure freedom?
by Wayne Besen
2009-08-26

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


In the not-too-distant past, most Americans couldn't tell a Pashtun from a cartoon; a Sunni from a Moonie; or a Kurd from bean curd. Then came 9-11, and we learned our very survival depended on securing freedom for people we barely knew existed. Exorcising the region's demons through democracy was so important, we were told, that America would pay for the effort in blood and bankruptcy.

Despite the bumbling and fumbling of the war effort, the bitter divisions in our country and the wheelbarrows of dough dumped in the desert, there was always the faint hope that a better Middle East might just emerge from the mess. And, whatever one thinks of the two wars, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban were real villains who were vanquished.

The idea, of course, was that once these monsters were slain, they'd be replaced with the sane. But, the monsters have multiplied and Sasquatch has morphed into a bevy of Bigfoots ( or is it Bigfeet? ) . It appears that for all of our sacrifice—and that of the secular Iraqi and Afghanistani people—the crazies are back in control. Or, at least fanatics have instilled enough fear that "mainstream" Iraqi and Afghanistani politicians are tripping over themselves to please and appease.

In Iraq, "extremism" is too mild a word to describe the acts of those who abuse gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The situation is so hideously haunting that Human Rights Watch released a new report this week titled, "'They Want Us Exterminated': Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq."

According to the report, the post-Saddam sadists "practice grotesque tortures, including gluing men's anuses shut as punishment." Human Rights Watch spoke to doctors who said that hospitals and morgues have received dozens of mutilated bodies, living and dead.

"Murder and torture are no way to enforce morality," said Rasha Moumneh, Middle East and North Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "These killings point to the continuing and lethal failure of Iraq's post-occupation authorities to establish the rule of law and protect their citizens."

The New York Times reports that in Afghanistan the law has been quietly revised to give Shiite men the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met and that Shiite women must obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their houses, "except in extreme circumstances."

President Hamid Karzai—our pro-Western buddy—signed the law and sold out the country's women. He did so to gain the support of Sheik Muhammad Asif Mohseni in this week's presidential election. This is the same pedophile-promoting sheik the Times reports is angry that Parliament had introduced a provision that banned men from marrying girls under the age of 16.

Frankly, I don't give a damn whether Karzai gets reelected. But, I do care about the rights of women. It is incomprehensible to waste American lives fighting the Taliban to protect a regime that looks an awful lot like the Taliban. If women are not equal partners, let's pack up and leave.

As far as national security, we could use the money saved by our swift exit to buy a new fleet of missile-equipped drones, which will keep Al Qaeda from operating terrorist camps in the open. The rest of the funds could be used at home to support healthcare, pay down the national debt or provide a one-time tax rebate to cash-strapped Americans. Sorry, but if Karzai can only offer Taliban-lite, I rather disengage and keep the pocket change.

The Obama administration needs to straighten out this fiasco or risk an erosion of public opinion. The American people will simply not support an Afghanistani government that treats women like stray dogs in Michael Vick's dog pound.

Of course, the current situation traces back to President George W. Bush. The president's zealotry made it difficult for the United States to identify spoiled spirituality as the root of our problem. Consumed by his own theological excesses, he was the wrong messenger to articulate that America was fighting for open, secular societies that allowed personal and religious freedom.

A battle still rages against fanatics who share a twisted view of faith. Yet, we continue to bury our heads in the sand and imbibe on the collective delusion that women's rights and gay rights are peripheral issues that can be bargained away for the "greater good."

Lands that won't respect the rights of minorities, in the name of religion, will continue to be God-awful places that land the United States in tumult and turmoil. I pray we have a grander strategy than merry-go-mullah, which swaps dictatorial despots for deranged demagogues. If Iraq and Afghanistan won't embrace modernity and freedom for all of its citizens, let's get out now and let Allah untangle the ugliness.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Money bond, pretrial incarceration hurting Chicago's LGBTQ Communities 2018-06-20
What's happening to Pride? 2018-06-20
Cakeshop ruling doesn't crumple our opponents 2018-06-13
Trigger warning, mental health, suicide prevention and survivor guilt 2018-06-13
GUEST COLUMN Still a Cis World After All 2018-06-06
MOMBIAN Two new picture books tell story of the rainbow flag 2018-06-06
THEATER VIEWPOINT Don't just stand there 2018-06-06
Can the LGBTQ community trust Pope Francis? 2018-05-30
VIEWS Pimping King 2018-05-23
THE AMAZON TRAIL The six-foot table solution 2018-05-16
LETTER TO THE EDITOR Walking for immigrant justice and dignity 2018-05-16
MOMBIAN Of marriage and parenting 2018-05-09
GUEST COLUMN Steppenwolf's Multi-Cultural Fellows lead in minority artist alliances 2018-05-06
THE AMAZON TRAIL The terlet 2018-05-02
VIEWPOINT Another Black Harvard man arrested 2018-04-25
VIEWPOINT Catholic LGBTQIs see mixed record in first five years of Francis papacy 2018-04-18
MLK's assassination reminds nation of gun violence 2018-04-11
GUEST COLUMN How #METOO Becomes Culture Change; Tradeswomen and Sexual Harassment 2018-03-28
VIEWPOINTS Cardinal Cupich, Church and families 2018-03-28
SENIOR MOMENTS Letter from Palm Springs 2018-03-28
VIEWPOINTS The Seasoned Life 2018-03-14
GUEST COLUMN For theater critics, diversity, cultural connection imperative 2018-03-07
VIEWPOINTS Billy Graham's ministry of LGBTQ intolerance 2018-03-07
GUEST COLUMN My journey, my story 2018-02-28
THE AMAZON TRAIL My daily last straw 2018-02-28
LETTERS Don't boycott the boycott 2018-02-28
MOMBIAN Fighting for kids against religious exemption laws 2018-02-21
VIEWPOINTS Amid the noise in D.C., dreamers' fate hangs in the balance 2018-02-14
VIEWPOINTS Abortion access is an LGBTQ issue, too 2018-02-07
Sue the T. rex goes nonbinary 2018-02-06
GUEST COLUMN The Seasoned Life, Remaining Prepared 2018-01-31
SENIOR MOMENTS Letter from Palm Springs 2018-01-31
GUEST COLUMN Family Feud: Jay-Z, Beyonce, and the Desecration of Black Art 2018-01-30
GUEST VIEWPOINT Reclassifying "female condom" can revolutionize contraceptive industry 2018-01-29
VIEWPOINT Who Will Defeat Governor Rauner? 2018-01-26
MOMBIAN New PFLAG head is queer parent, professional 2018-01-24
GUEST COLUMN I Don't Mind Your Asking 2018-01-17
King's dream of 'the beloved community' extends to yours, too 2018-01-17
VIEWPOINTS Putting it to the test, 23andMe 2018-01-10
VIEWS Words have consequences 2018-01-03
 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.