Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And now some "real" world crap...

Regular readers know that I don't do this every day--talk about things out of the real world that trouble me--but I need to get this topic off my chest here since no one I know personally wants to listen to me talk about it.  I'll do another post about something fun later today to make up for it.

It's no secret, even in the mostly non-political M-Brane world, that I like President Obama a lot and that I hope and believe that he is making the correct decisions toward fixing the stupid old Bushed-up world.  But here's a couple decisions that he'd better be right about or I will be very disappointed: 1) the increase in our "investment" in Afghanistan and the implied support for its outrageously inept and corrupt government; 2) the slowness of our military withdrawal from Iraq and our continued support of the Iraqi government.

My reason for concern is the same in both cases. Aside from the probable ongoing waste of American "blood and treasure," I find it grossly inappropriate that American troops' lives are put on the line for governments that appear to have values as repugnant as those of the regimes of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, or which are at least heading that way. Two examples, one from each country:

1) The Afghan government, apparently conceding that it stands no chance of having legitimacy and asserting authority over its country, is caving in to nutty whack-job demands that a little thing that we usually call "marital rape" (or just "rape") be legal among Shia Muslims in the country. Or what the law actually says, as I understand it, isn't just that a man is not breaking the law when he rapes his wife, but that she is breaking the law by resisting him (thus "making" him "need" to rape her, I guess?). This is ridiculous. This is the sort of thing our troops are fighting for? Really? Fuck that. I know they are never going to come up with what we would recognize as a Western-style democratic society--and Obama has acknowledged that--but this is way too much to stomach. 

2) The Iraqi Interior Ministry, law enforcement and their government at the highest levels seems to be doing nothing at all about the wave of torture/murders of gay men and boys in Baghdad. This, of course, was incited by a whack-job issuing a crazy decree, including announcing on satellite TV channels that "sodomy" must be punished by death. I will not describe (nor show the photos) of one of the methods used to torture to death these boys, some of whom apparently survived the attacks but then were denied care at the hospital. Again, as in the above example, what are Americans doing there if this how things are to be? Granted, there are plenty of other societies where atrocities like this go on, but we didn't pay for all of them in blood and money like we did for this one. And it's not just an expected feature of it being a Muslim society (before anyone starts telling me about that, Mom and Fox News): while homosexuality is far from popular in any such societies (fundamentalist Christian compounds like Oklahoma don't dig it either), people who are gay don't always have to live in fear of being literally murdered in an ongoing serial murder campaign in more moderate places like Jordan and Lebanon. 

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Anonymous said...

This hurts deep in the heart to read about these sorts of atrocities, and even more so to see images or hear someone speak of their experience or that of a loved one. I wish I had an answer.

I'd like to think that a mass media (to disseminate ideas) coupled with standard education (so people can judge for themselves based on a valid ethic)leads to tolerance at the very least. But as you point out, there is Fox news (and Rush L. and Papa Bear) proving me wrong.

I am a religious person, after my own way. But I am not an ideologue. I do blame religion as the perfect tool for amplifying the worst in man. As with most things, there is a flip side to that. But by and large the onus is on the religious and their religions to demonstrate that they and theirs are an instrument for good and not for evil.

Many of the best people I have met have been either deeply spiritual people who saw Truth as more than something written in a book. And many of THOSE people were atheist or agnostic or of a religion other than my own.

As for homosexuality, most people use their religious tradition as justification for this hatred or prejudice. News flash: not a holy book or scripture in the world that wasn't written by the hand of another man (and it almost invariably was a man)... and most of them in largely preliterate times when our understanding of the world was vastly lacking compared to now. If someone justifies looking down at another human being, much less raping, maiming, or killing them, based on such words... then that someone has chosen to be the 'antichrist', the infidel, the devil.

Anyway, sorry... for going off. I know of hurts like this myself and it enrages me and saddens me and breaks my sense of understanding how people work.


Christopher Fletcher said...

Thanks, Brandon. And peace: you said it in a way that I couldn't have yet exactly in the way I would have meant it.


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