NOTE- please pray for my daughter Becky this next week or so- she has a serious health issue that she is facing- thank you]
This past week we have been able to read more of the Wikileaks memos; what more have we found out? It was revealed that last year we put pressure on the president of Afghanistan to remove a corrupt official from his govt. The man- Ismail Khan- was a former warlord for the Mujahedeen, he heads up the water and energy department. It is estimated that he is stealing around 100 million a year- his total cash assets say he’s worth around 250 thousand- what a shame. When we put pressure on Karzai to get rid of the man, he said he was told by Hillary Clinton that he could stay- as long as would appoint better officials under him- our U.S. ambassador says he told the president [Karzai] that if he didn’t fire the man- we would stop giving them financial aid. When all was said and done, Karzai kept the man- basically saying ‘I don’t care what you do’- we are still giving them the aid.
In Iraq- the govt. finally cobbled together a unity coalition from the various ethnic/religious tribes and formed a ‘unified’ govt. One of those included [Muqtadar Alsadr- I’m guessing on the spelling?] was one of the chief warlords who used to be deemed a serious threat to our troops in the region- he had his own militia and he killed our men- as we did his. I remember years ago during the height of military action we said we were going to kill the man and dismantle his little army. Now he’s part of the government. After he got in- the president of Iraq gave a major press statement- he said the 2011 date for the removal of all U.S. forces was non negotiable- even though our country was hinting about extending the deadline. I’m glad they want us out- the point is once again those in authority are not leaders who are embracing western democracy [except for the corruption!] nor do they view us as their friends- these are the countries our sons and daughters are spilling blood in.
Last but not least. In the province of Punjab [Islamabad, Pakistan] their progressive- pro western governor was assassinated by one of his security team. This governor was educated in the U.S. [Harvard?] and was considered one of the most moderate voices in the country. Why was he killed? He publicly criticized the death penalty verdict given to a Christian woman who broke the blasphemy law of Pakistan. This woman said something that was deemed offensive to Islam [?] and she was given the death penalty- by a government that is supposed to be our ally- who we pour billions of dollars in aid every year- this same government whose intelligence agency is infiltrated with those who we are fighting- yes our boys and girls have shed much blood working hand in hand with this government.
The other day the Pope gave an address after the recent bombings of Christians in Egypt and Iraq. He said there were 2 main threats in the world today; religious extremism and secularism. Secularism is the belief that religion and morality should be a private matter- that nations and governments should be totally free from the influence of religion and those who wish to practice it should practice it in private. The other threat- radicalism- is the belief that religion and those who embrace its tenets should try and impose their views on others by force. The Pope saw both of these extremes as being dangerous. As I’m reading thru the book by Christopher Hitchens [god is not great] those of you who have been reading my posts see that I am very critical of the man- showing his flaws in logic- the obvious mistakes he is making in his quest to ‘secularize’ religion. Yet at the same time I must admit I agree 100 % with his argument against radical religion- the ‘fundamentalism’ spoken of by the Pope [not talking ‘fundamentalism’ as defined as the bible churches we see spread throughout the Bible belt].
The main reason we are in Iraq and Afghanistan is to repel Al-Qaida from territories where they might plan attacks against the U.S. [of course the other ‘main reason’ we are in Iraq is because of false intelligence that said Iraq was amassing W.M.D.’s] The terrorists who flew the planes into the towers on 9-11 were people who have been influenced by radical Islam- not all Muslims hold to these views- but the majority of terrorist networks in the world today do. In our attempt to ‘rid the world’ of this danger- we have embarked on a worldwide agenda that has cost the lives of many innocent women, children- as well as our soldiers and even soldiers who joined the Taliban or Iraqi forces simply as a means to put bread on the table- many Taliban fighters are in it for the job! After all these years of trying to deal with the threat of radical fundamentalism thru the means of force- where has it got us? The poor [deceived] religious fanatic who took the life of his governor in Pakistan- he killed him because the governor spoke out in defense of a Christian woman who was given the death penalty [by stoning!] because she insulted Islam. My friends- this is a war that cannot be won with bombs and guns- we cannot rid the world of the threat from ‘fundamentalism’ by means of violence. The sooner we figure this out- the better off we will all be.