Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS: Didn't we invade Afghanistan & Iraq to secure freedom?
by Wayne Besen
2009-08-26

This article shared 2737 times since Wed Aug 26, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In the not-too-distant past, most Americans couldn't tell a Pashtun from a cartoon; a Sunni from a Moonie; or a Kurd from bean curd. Then came 9-11, and we learned our very survival depended on securing freedom for people we barely knew existed. Exorcising the region's demons through democracy was so important, we were told, that America would pay for the effort in blood and bankruptcy.

Despite the bumbling and fumbling of the war effort, the bitter divisions in our country and the wheelbarrows of dough dumped in the desert, there was always the faint hope that a better Middle East might just emerge from the mess. And, whatever one thinks of the two wars, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban were real villains who were vanquished.

The idea, of course, was that once these monsters were slain, they'd be replaced with the sane. But, the monsters have multiplied and Sasquatch has morphed into a bevy of Bigfoots ( or is it Bigfeet? ) . It appears that for all of our sacrifice—and that of the secular Iraqi and Afghanistani people—the crazies are back in control. Or, at least fanatics have instilled enough fear that "mainstream" Iraqi and Afghanistani politicians are tripping over themselves to please and appease.

In Iraq, "extremism" is too mild a word to describe the acts of those who abuse gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The situation is so hideously haunting that Human Rights Watch released a new report this week titled, "'They Want Us Exterminated': Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq."

According to the report, the post-Saddam sadists "practice grotesque tortures, including gluing men's anuses shut as punishment." Human Rights Watch spoke to doctors who said that hospitals and morgues have received dozens of mutilated bodies, living and dead.

"Murder and torture are no way to enforce morality," said Rasha Moumneh, Middle East and North Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "These killings point to the continuing and lethal failure of Iraq's post-occupation authorities to establish the rule of law and protect their citizens."

The New York Times reports that in Afghanistan the law has been quietly revised to give Shiite men the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met and that Shiite women must obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their houses, "except in extreme circumstances."

President Hamid Karzai—our pro-Western buddy—signed the law and sold out the country's women. He did so to gain the support of Sheik Muhammad Asif Mohseni in this week's presidential election. This is the same pedophile-promoting sheik the Times reports is angry that Parliament had introduced a provision that banned men from marrying girls under the age of 16.

Frankly, I don't give a damn whether Karzai gets reelected. But, I do care about the rights of women. It is incomprehensible to waste American lives fighting the Taliban to protect a regime that looks an awful lot like the Taliban. If women are not equal partners, let's pack up and leave.

As far as national security, we could use the money saved by our swift exit to buy a new fleet of missile-equipped drones, which will keep Al Qaeda from operating terrorist camps in the open. The rest of the funds could be used at home to support healthcare, pay down the national debt or provide a one-time tax rebate to cash-strapped Americans. Sorry, but if Karzai can only offer Taliban-lite, I rather disengage and keep the pocket change.

The Obama administration needs to straighten out this fiasco or risk an erosion of public opinion. The American people will simply not support an Afghanistani government that treats women like stray dogs in Michael Vick's dog pound.

Of course, the current situation traces back to President George W. Bush. The president's zealotry made it difficult for the United States to identify spoiled spirituality as the root of our problem. Consumed by his own theological excesses, he was the wrong messenger to articulate that America was fighting for open, secular societies that allowed personal and religious freedom.

A battle still rages against fanatics who share a twisted view of faith. Yet, we continue to bury our heads in the sand and imbibe on the collective delusion that women's rights and gay rights are peripheral issues that can be bargained away for the "greater good."

Lands that won't respect the rights of minorities, in the name of religion, will continue to be God-awful places that land the United States in tumult and turmoil. I pray we have a grander strategy than merry-go-mullah, which swaps dictatorial despots for deranged demagogues. If Iraq and Afghanistan won't embrace modernity and freedom for all of its citizens, let's get out now and let Allah untangle the ugliness.


This article shared 2737 times since Wed Aug 26, 2009
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'LGBTQ Rights on the Line: The Role of Communicators Advocating for Equality' event preview 2022-05-22
-- From a press release - Celebrating, honoring and acknowledging Pride Month is more important this year than ever (and it should be celebrated all year, not just during one month). The expected Supreme Court ruling that will undermine the right to ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry 2022-05-06
- It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

VIEWS Biden, Democrats must end Title 42 now 2022-04-26
- The Biden Administration should honor its commitment to immediately end Title 42 restrictions which were imposed by former President Donald Trump, to deny asylum seekers their basic, protected rights. It would be a mistake for Democrats ...


Gay News

VIEWS The closing of civil society: Russia and the U.S., or fear the queer! 2022-04-23
- Putin's invasion of Ukraine has made manifest the fragility of civil society in Russia and the strength of civil society in Ukraine. It has also once again focused an intense spotlight on our own civil society. ...


Gay News

LETTERS A difference in opinion about Vatican document 2022-04-07
- I am responding to DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burks, who issued a press release that Windy City Times published. A newly released document from the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education could trigger a new wave of ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Mixed reactions to Will Smith's slap 2022-04-05
- By now, everyone has seen or heard about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars for making a tasteless and misogynistic joke about his wife's short hair resembling Demi Moore's buzzcut in the 1997 movie ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT On A Scale of 1 to 10: Sex, Religion, Power, Politics--A Public Meditation 2022-04-03
- QUESTION: "On a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are, in terms of religion?"—U.S Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), South Carolina RESPONSE: "… there's no religious test in the Constitution under Article ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For Elise, I promise to advocate to ban the trans/gay panic defense 2022-03-29
- Elise is dead. We don't yet know how or why. But Elise is dead, and my heart is breaking. Trans activist Elise Malary was an inspiration for me. She was the driving force behind the legislation ...


Gay News

VIEWS Putin's war and anti-queer Christian nationalism 2022-03-15
- —'Don't Say Gay' bill clears Florida Senate awaiting signature of Governor Ron De Santis (March 08, 2022). —Texas attorney general Ken Paxton issues legal opinion classifying gender-affirming medical care for ...


Gay News

VIEWS Bannon, the Catholic vote and our democracy 2022-02-20
- "I don't want anybody to take their eye off the ball for what we do every day... We're taking down the Biden regime." Stephen K. Bannon speaking to reporters as he turned himself over to federal ...


Gay News

Social commentator Fran Lebowitz at Auditorium Theatre April 15 2022-02-16
- Social commentator, satirist and author Fran Lebowitz will be at Chicago's Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., on Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. Lebowitz essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current ...


Gay News

LETTER Love is the road to healing 2022-02-15
- I am writing this letter to the editor in response to the press release that was printed in the present online issue of Windy City Times. The press release ("Program for LGBTQ people/families pushed by Archdiocese ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT: FDA must lift discriminatory blood-donor policy 2022-01-26
- With the nation's blood supply at its lowest point in a decade, and the American Red Cross declaring its first-ever national blood crisis earlier this month, it is time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor? 2022-01-20
- The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.