When she is finally killed, the progressive left will have a difficult time choosing between women’s rights and Muslim sensibilities. From The New York Times:
By Fatima Faizi and Rod Nordland | October 4, 2019
MAIDAN SHAR, Afghanistan — Zarifa Ghafari, who at 26 became one of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, has said that she fully expects to be assassinated.
Not that she is keeping a low profile.
After taking office in March in Maidan Shar, a town of 35,000 in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province, she had a banner hoisted with her name, a picture of her wearing a bright red head scarf and the slogan of her anti-littering campaign: “Let’s keep our city clean.”
I’d note here that the Times’ article has several photos of the Mayor with her head uncovered.
Ms. Ghafari is well aware that she is on the front lines of the struggle for women’s rights in Afghanistan, at a time when recent American peace talks with the Taliban have Afghans thinking about what might happen if the ultraconservative insurgents ever take part in running the country again.
“My job is to make people believe in women’s rights and women’s power,” she wrote on Twitter.
Miss Ghafari was initially appointed to her position by President Ashraf Ghani, and was run out of town by the men. An angry rabble, supposedly supported by Wardak province’s Governor, Mohammad Arif Shah Jahan, was threatening her on her first day in office, and National Directorate for Security paramilitary officers had to rescue her. She was able to return to her post nine months later, after the Governor resigned.
But, how much does it matter. The article describes her beginning with starting a meeting with the twenty civic officials, all of whom were male. They mostly ignored her. Wardak is a very conservative area in Afghanistan, in which many roads are not safe for travel, due to strong Taliban support in the area. The Mayor herself does not live in Maidan Shar, but Kabul, and commutes to the town to work.
The United States has been in Afghanistan for eighteen years this month, and while we destroyed al Qaeda’s bases there, ran Osama bin Laden into hiding in Pakistan, where he was eventually killed by Navy SEALs, and deposed the Taliban government, in all of these years we have still not pacified that mountainous country, nor installed a decent government that has enough support to survive by itself. President Trump wants to get American troops out, and has dramatically reduced their number.¹
And we aren’t really even trying anymore: the United States has been negotiating with the Taliban for months:
WASHINGTON – The Trump administration’s envoy to Afghanistan said Monday that the United States had reached a preliminary peace deal with the Taliban that will pave the way for a phased withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and bring an end to America’s longest war.
U.S. negotiators have agreed to remove approximately 5,000 American troops from five bases over the next five months if the Taliban fulfills promises to reduce violence and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists, the U.S. special envoy, Zalmay Kalilzad, told the local news channel TOLO .
The deal – the fruit of months of negotiations between Trump administration officials and Taliban leaders – could allow Trump to declare victory on a core campaign promise as he enters the 2020 reelection cycle. The president has repeatedly said the U.S. should not be engaged in expensive “endless wars.”
“We have reached an agreement with the Taliban in principle but of course until the U.S. president agrees with it, it isn’t final,” Khalilzad said in an interview with TOLO News.
Then the deal got scuttled after a Taliban suicide bombing killed an American soldier, and the President said that he was concerned that the Taliban wasn’t strong enough to deliver peace. Since then, Military Times has reported that the US has stepped up the air campaign against the Taliban:
By: Shawn Snow | October 8, 2019
As peace negotiations between the Taliban and U.S. unraveled, the U.S. dramatically ramped up its air campaign against militants in Afghanistan.
According to U.S. Air Forces Central Command, U.S. aircraft dropped 948 munitions in Afghanistan during the month of September.
That’s the highest number of munitions dropped for a single month since October 2010 — near the height of America’s involvement in the 18-year long war. In October 2010, according to figures provided by AFCENT, U.S. and coalition aircraft dropped roughly 1,043 munitions.
The U.S. had nearly 100,000 troops on the ground by October 2010, as part of then-President Barrack Obama’s troop surge. Today, there are roughly 14,000 service members operating in Afghanistan.
I am reminded of Operation Rolling Thunder, the steadily increasing bombing campaign by President Johnson in Vietnam. Rolling Thunder was supposed to ‘encourage’ North Vietnam to cease its support for the Viet Cong, by promising ever-increasing pain to the North if it did not.
It didn’t work.
Neither did President Nixon’s incursion across the border into Cambodia, to wipe out Communist safe havens.
In the end, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger wound up with discussions with North Vietnam’s Le Duc Tho, leading to the sham of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. The United States promised to withdraw troops from South Vietnam, while the Communists promised to return American prisoners of war and stop fighting to conquer South Vietnam. President Nixon promised that American troops would return if the Communists broke the peace treaty, but everyone, including Dr Kissinger, President Nixon, all of the members of Congress and both the North and South Vietnamese, knew that once out, US troops would not return. North Vietnam took a break to regroup and retool, and then invaded and conquered the South.
And, let’s be honest here: something very similar will happen in Afghanistan when — not if, when — American forces are pulled out. Eventually we’ll be given some fig leaf agreement, to cover our leaving — perhaps Mr Trump will borrow Mr Nixon’s phrase and call it Peace With Honor™ — and the Taliban will surge again, in an effort to reconquer the country.
If Miss Ghafari has lived that long, she will have to flee the country, because the Taliban don’t hold with the idea that women are real citizens and have a right to share in political power. When they were in power before, they banned education for girls, forced them to wear the burkha, and forbade them from leaving the home unless accompanied by a responsible male.
This is the conundrum for the left: they’ve been strongly supportive of Muslims ever since they thought that the younger President Bush had declared war on them following the September 11th attacks, even though he went out of his way to claim that it was a war against terrorism, not against Islam.
Yet the left also strongly support women’s and homosexuals’ rights, and those things are greatly at odds with Islam. Most Islamic nations curtail women’s rights, making them second-class citizens, and homosexual activity is a crime everywhere in the Muslim world, in some places punishable by death.
So, what will the left say when the Muslims they support retake Afghanistan and start repressing women and killing homosexuals again? Because, make no mistake
¹ – Full disclosure: my older daughter briefly served in Afghanistan. She is not in Combat Arms, but the Corps of Engineers, and was not in combat. Officially, her deployment was to Kuwait, but toward the end, the Army asked for volunteers to do a bit of time in Afghanistan, and she raised her hand.
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