Just how do you talk to people who think it necessary and right to cut off the nose and ears of a young woman because she fled an abusive home, or kill medical aid workers who are serving the poor in Afghanistan? How do we, as foreigners in a foreign land, effectively wrest power and authority and moral legitimacy away from these people? And if we can 't, what are we doing there? Killing our enemies [Al Qaeda] and the allies and harborers of our enemies [Taliban] is a good enough reason for me, but do we really think we are going to build a modern nation-state out of this place or its peoples? Do we really believe we have the god-awful power it takes to accomplish that?
Let's pull down a few headlines from the recent news:
Afghan medical mission ends in death for 6 Americans. (August 7 - Associated Press)
Ten members of the Christian medical team — six Americans, two Afghans, one German and a Briton — were gunned down in a gruesome slaughter that the Taliban said they carried out, alleging the volunteers were spying and trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The gunmen spared an Afghan driver, who recited verses from the Islamic holy book Quran as he begged for his life. -- You might want to browse the article because it's about a medical team bringing humanitarian assistance to people without doctors and dentists who were murdered for their trouble.
Afghan woman whose nose, ears cut off travels to U.S. (August 4 - CNN)
Bibi Aisha, a young Afghan wife whose ears and nose were cut off by her husband, is heading to the United States on Wednesday for reconstructive surgery. Aisha made headlines and was on a recent cover of Time magazine, showing the plight of women in Afghanistan.
"When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out," Aisha said, describing the attack. "It felt like there was cold water in my nose. I opened my eyes, and I couldn't even see because of all the blood."
Aisha says her mutilation was an act of Taliban justice for the crime of shaming her husband's family.
At 16, she was handed over to her husband's father and 10 brothers, who she claims were all members of the Taliban in Oruzgan. "I spent two years with them and became a prisoner," she said.
She eventually ran away but was caught by police in Kandahar. And although running away is not a crime, in places throughout Afghanistan, it is treated as one if you are a woman. Eventually her father-in-law found her and took her back to her abusive home.
She was taken to a Taliban court for dishonoring her husband's family and bringing them shame. The court ruled that her nose and ears must be cut off, an act carried out by her husband in the mountains of Oruzgan, where they left her to die.
A few tender mercies of justice from the 'religion of peace'.
Stepping back in time there was the Spanish Inquisition in 1478 AD. That was 550 years ago, but The West is not without fault when it comes to religious torture. However we got over it a long time ago. Islam still boasts that sort of horror in the present day.
How can you make a silk purse out of a sow's ear in Afghanistan? Can you bring Islam kicking and screaming into the modern era where young teenage girls are not sold into slavery - and are punished by horrible mutilation when they try to escape?
CAN NASA REALLY DO THAT?
It's tougher then landing men on the moon and returning them safely to earth.