> I feel no nationalist rage here, only an awareness that many
> Middle Easterners values are what is behind their own misery,
> poverty, inequalities, and injustices; but they use America
> as a scape-goat.
To which Charlie responded with a summary of the history of the
region. (Yes, Charlie(!) -- *keep* reminding us of how we have
contributed to the situation. We definately wrote part of the
recipe for part of the stew now on the table and need to avoid
doing so in the future. I wonder if the U.S. military is
getting tired of cleaning up the messes left behind by the CIA.)
I'll only add my 2 cents worth from previous posts that a
couple of concepts central to Islam (polygamy and the
idea that interest may not be collected on loans) *may*
be associated with the perceived inequalities, injustices
I'll add one more that just occured to me which is that
it seems Islam (or at least some branches of it) actively
seeks to disempower women. Emperical evidence (from The
Hunger Project) strongly suggests that you cannot solve
fundamental problems associated with poverty -- such as
malnutrition - which contributes to lower intelligence,
increased susceptibility to disease, high infant mortality
rates, etc. until you deal with *empowering* women.
So, if we are going to make a long term contribution to
the region -- we are going to *have* to come to grips
with three fundamental issues -- disempowerment of women,
laws that discourage efficient forms of capitalism
and polygamy. I see the U.S. doing at least one of those
with recent statments by the President and Mrs. Bush.
> Or if some 4 million of them die this winter
> because we will not open up the bridges and passes for the aid
> to get to the people before the smows make aid impossible?
A main supply line between between Uzbekistan and some of
the places in Afghanistan where food is in shortest supply is
the "Friendship Bridge" to Uzbekistan. The government of
Uzbekistan closed it over 4 years ago due to perceived
security risks associated with the Taliban regime.
I will note Samantha, that it is *not* "our" bridge and
that "we" did not close it. Nor are "we" responsible
for the 4 year drought that has put so many Afghanii's
at risk. Now, officials are already trying to convince
the goverment of Uzbekistan to reopen it. See:
The question is -- would you condone the use of military
force to reopen it?
I'll note on a slightly more positive note that I believe
that Canada has sent several teams of snow clearing
experts to the region -- the question is whether their
security can be guaranteed or whether they will end being
murdured by armed militia such as the 4 reporters killed
several days ago.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:21 MDT