Missing the point: Afganistan violence against women isn't what the war is about

Afghan woman on Time cover shows war stakes

While the picture of the horrors done to the young woman on the cover of Time is indeed moving, the article makes some weird connections between that and the War in Afghanistan. This horror is the horror of fundamentalist theocracy, it is the horror of a nation run by Islam and its woman-hating ways.

Is the United States supposed to stay there until we "convince" all the people in the country that this is no long acceptable? How long will that be? Can such a thing even be done with military action? If so, what other countries should be invaded for the sake of human rights?

The argument that this is the Taliban, and if we can beat them, this goes away, is fallacious. This horror, and others like it, happen in many Muslim nations. Just like you wouldn't get rid of crazy conservative Christians in the US by getting rid of the Republican party, you won't get rid of crazy Muslim extremists by getting rid of the Taliban.

The people that are arguing that we must stay in Afghanistan to stop violence against women are arguing for colonization.

...

That being said, what can we do to get these idiots to stop assaulting, maiming and murdering each other?


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I will agree that removing the Taliban will not remove these human rights violations. There are many countries and groups that use their religious dogma to inflict violent attacks on groups within their society. Just removing one militant group will not do the job. I also don't think military force is what is needed. The only true way would be to mobilize the population to make changes within their own society, it has to be done from the inside.
I agree with Dale, the only way a person or a society changes is from within, coercion never works or has the the staying power of personal conviction. We may not be comfortable with how they conduct themselves or how they treat each other, but it's not up to us to try to force them to be better, and our presence has certainly not brought them any closer to what we see as better.
This is the same thing they did during the Civil War, with slavery. It's propaganda, meant to stir people up and make them passionate about the war effort, again, at a time when it's badly needed, even before that massive leak of classified documents by that one asshole.

On the one hand, it's dishonest, and I'm not wild about it, because of that ... but on the other hand, it's also necessary. The war needs a serious re-branding, if we want the public to focus on it, after the Second Iraq War is almost done with.
Balls.

We would stop at nothing to fight this if it was happening next door, why should it should be so different because it's on the other side of the planet. She and others like her are either human beings or they aren't, she either deserves our protection or she doesn't. Whether this means killing every person who thinks this is ok, or expatriating every person who doesn't, this needs to stop.

So what if we can't stop all human rights abuses? Does that then mean we shouldn't try where we can? Maybe we can't stop abuses in Saudi Arabia -- or may be simply won't -- we have the opportunity to stop it in Afghanistan. Why isn't that good enough?

What other countries should we invade to stop human rights abuses? All of them. Even ours? Yes. Human rights abuses are not acceptable on any level committed by anyone against anyone else.

The war in Afghanistan wasn't fought for women? So what. If it's a side effect I'm happy to take it.
So what if we can't stop all human rights abuses? Does that then mean we shouldn't try where we can? Maybe we can't stop abuses in Saudi Arabia -- or may be simply won't -- we have the opportunity to stop it in Afghanistan. Why isn't that good enough?


The point I was trying to make is that I don't think Afghanistan is an opportunity to stop this madness.

Whether this means killing every person who thinks this is ok, or expatriating every person who doesn't, this needs to stop.

So, how many people are going to have to die in Afghanistan before crap like this stops?

That's the point. OF COURSE we should do something to stop this kind of horror everywhere we can...the question is what can we really do? Invasion really doesn't seem to be working. So my question from the main post:

what can we do to get these idiots to stop assaulting, maiming and murdering each other?
The war in Afghanistan wasn't fought for women? So what. If it's a side effect I'm happy to take it.

You're missing the basic point. It's not even a side-effect of the war. It's in no way related to the war. They're just using this as propaganda for the war.

If we succeeded in wiping out the Taliban, and the new government that we installed in Afghanistan started doing this same thing, maiming women, do you think we would go back in and take out that government? Can you really make yourself believe that we would?
This is just another convenient issue for the warmongers to use to justify more war, it's just moving the goalpost. There seems no limit to how low they will stoop to keep wars going. Not only does it line their pockets directly, but it keeps the country in a constant state of fear and distracted from other issues, such as the bankers picking our pockets and pension plans.

Their rants lately have been trying to convince us that we must attack Iran and N. Korea, disastrous ideas. Not to go all conspiracy theory on you, but I seriously suspect the supposed N. Korean submarine attack story is being manipulated entirely for this purpose.

Back to the Taliban - The more war we try to push in the middle east, the more nationalistic they become, the more entrenched in their ideologies they become, and the more they will hate and fight us. If we want to help liberalize the area, we have to take an intelligent approach. Make peace, then commerce, then cultural exchange of ideas. It will be by exposure to liberal ideas (and not at the point of a gun) that they will moderate their views. Iran is a good example, the educated and youth in the cities are very westernized and are pushing internally for change, it is the old, rural and uneducated that continue to support the theocratic system. (not unlike the US in that way)
So here is a follow up question for you...how do we go from Today's Afghanistan to a situation of peaceful trade and liberalization through the spreading of culture? I honestly don't have any good ideas...
If I knew the answer to that, I'd win the Nobel prize for Peace.

But I do know that war just makes it worse, not better. I'm not really a peacenik, I believe in the appropriate use of the military, such as the initial mission in Afghanistan, but they have moved the goalpost on that mission that at this point it just looks like a religious war. Considering the infiltration of the military, from the pentagon on down, by religious fundamentalism, it's hard to imagine that attitude not being very evident to the Afghans, who will just resent it, push back and radicalize even more.

In todays global economy, even the most backward country can't remain isolated from the outside world, and cultural exchange is just gonna happen. The goal is for it's influence to be positive, rather than negative. If we go in with guns ablaze, or just exploit them economically, the influence will be negative. If we try to play fair and honest, it will be positive.
If I knew the answer to that, I'd win the Nobel prize for Peace.

Heh, fair enough.

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