Friday, November 25, 2011

Nick Swisher and wife Joanna Garcia visit troops in Afghanistan over Thanksgiving

  • Above man blindfolded before being stoned to death in Afghanistan, Aug. 2010, liveleak. Video below.
Video emerged of public stonings to death in Afghanistan from August 2010. Onlookers yelled Allah Akbar! as they threw huge stones at a burka covered woman drenched in blood. A Pew Poll shows increasing enthusiasm for stoning among Islamic populations. "In the video a Taliban leader explains to a crowd of roughly 200 people last August that a couple deserves to die because they were committed to other people when they eloped together.

Dozens of men then throw rocks at the woman, who stands in a four foot hole, while yelling “Allah akbar.” But despite being clobbered for two minutes by countless large stones that left her burqa soaked in blood, the woman, identified as Siddqa, survives the stoning and is eventually shot by a spectator with an AK-47.

The man, Khayyam, is then brought out, blindfolded and subjected to an even more ferocious attack with even larger stones as he lies face down on the floor....

"Hundreds of people attended the stoning but no-one was charged."...

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In a 2010 BBC report Karzai said stoning should be done through proper channels:

"A spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Waheed Omar, said if the incident (stoning to death) was confirmed it would be condemned in the strongest terms by the government.

This month (Aug. 2010) the Taliban also reportedly flogged and killed a pregnant widow in western Baghdis province."...

7/8/10, "Where is stoning legal, and how is it done?" MSNBC and news service reports

  • Stoning is part of sharia law in many places.
"It still exists on the law books in Afghanistan, Iran, sections of Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. Ayatollah Shahroudi, the head of Iran’s judiciary, ...in 2002 said stoning should no longer exist in Iranian law. Despite Shahroudi’s stance, stoning continues to remain on the law books in Iran and ---------------------------

"Cash from part of a $2.16 billion U.S. transportation contract in Afghanistan has ended up in the hands of Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The disclosure is another example of the persistent difficulty the U.S. military has in keeping its massive war funding from reaching the insurgents it is fighting in the unpopular, decade-old Afghan war.

The United States is spending more than $6 billion a month in the conflict."...

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"A major investigation into an influential Afghan governor accused of taking bribes has been shut down and its top prosecutor transferred to a unit that doesn't handle corruption cases, Afghan and U.S. officials said. The closing of the investigation into the former governor of Kapisa province, Ghulam Qawis Abu Bakr, comes on the heels of a grim, unpublicized assessment by U.S. officials that no substantive corruption prosecutions were taking place in Afghanistan."...
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"In early 2010, I was asked to make a presentation to a counter-narcotics symposium at the Marshall Center in Germany. In attendance were several hundred high-ranking military and law enforcement officers from around the world. I dutifully explained the opium economy in Afghanistan, which I've had a chance to observe during nearly a decade living and working in Kandahar. But I could not resist inserting two slides at the end of the talk. They depicted the phenomenon that really interests me: the increasingly structured capture of the Afghan government by what amounts to a set of interlocking, vertically integrated criminal networks. I have watched the phenomenon evolve over the last 10 years. At first, there was a furtive testing of the limits, as Kalashnikov-toting ruffians shook down travelers for "sweets" (as extorted bribes are prudishly called). Over time, the corruption expanded and evolved, and today, Afghanistan is controlled by a structured, mafiaesque system, in which money flows upward via purchase of office, kickbacks or "sweets" in return for permission to extract resources (of which more varieties exist in impoverished Afghanistan than one might think) and protection in case of legal or international scrutiny. Those foolish enough to raise objections are punished. The result is a system that selects for criminality, excluding
  • and marginalizing the very men and women of probity
  • most needed to build a sustainable state.

When I finished my presentation, to my astonishment, the participants rose in a standing ovation. Many came down to the front of the room to talk further. "You just described my country," they chorused. I was stunned. For so long had my nose been buried in Afghanistan and its peculiarities that I had not realized I was experiencing just a sliver of a global phenomenon. As I spoke to these symposium participants (who came from Nigeria, the former Soviet republics, Pakistan and elsewhere), I couldn't help but notice a correlation between mafia government and the existence of violent religious extremism. And I realized that the phenomenon of public corruption often pooh-poohed or viewed as a part of the ambient "culture" of South Asians, or Muslims or whomever —

  • poses a substantial threat to international security.
Then my musings led me further afield, to consider political philosophy. Was mafia government, I began to wonder, also posing a threat to the entire phase of political history in which we live?"...
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"A group of armed men have stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in Afghanistan's Ghazni province, security officials have told the BBC.

The officials blamed the Taliban, who they said had accused the women of "moral deviation and adultery"."...

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(The US and $6 billion a month US taxpayer money should obviously be out of Afghanistan tomorrow, should never have gone there to begin with. Those who live there like it the way it is.) ed.

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