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The Afghanistan Situation

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Deepthought

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Women protect children.

Also - it would be completely wrong to think that women don't fight back. But they do it (necessarily) in ways that can't be seen by the men who would kill them for it. They educate girls - very brave little girls. They send them to hidden school, teach them themselves, tell them stories and make them promises for the future. They keep hope alive. And they fight.
They send them to public school too, as they are now open. https://www.voanews.com/a/south-cen...-insurgent-held-afghan-territory/6199746.html Besides, the Taliban already built thousands of schools for little girls and them there. I wouldn't call them brave for that.

To be frank, I think the crux of this matter here is that there seems to be a huge communication gap between the various sides. Let's accept that the Taliban was indeed brutal and barbaric and everything that had been said about them in the previous rule was true. Is that the case now? Girls are going to school, working, and so on. Not everywhere, its true. It will take more time to see if the commitments are adhered to and built upon. The country is currently in a state of humanitarian crisis, and survival has taken priority. It takes money to buy food, and takes money to pay teachers. Should they spend money on food, or education? That's the problem here.
Thank you for the video. I see what you mean, there.

I think you're really cherry-picking your arguments in this thread. And I think that taking the word of the aggressor over the word of the victim is never acceptable - especially where the word of the aggressor is not or cannot be interrogated.
We just have to be objective about it. Compare the amount of media spending the US does to Afghan news stations. I think we need to look at both sides of the issue; if we only ever take the word of a defendant over a plaintiff, the justice system would quickly erode.
I mean...yes? This is essentially high school.

If you're going to live on the planet with beautiful women you'd better grow up and learn how to get done what you need getting done without getting "distracted." This is called being an adult.

If men are really so distractible, then they have no business in positions of power anywhere on this planet. And yes, I mean that.



Things must have changed. I spent some time in Europe in the 1990s, and there were unisex bathrooms in a great many places. Shame if we've backslid on that. It's far more convenient.



As I'm an atheist, I make no excuses for any religion. Too many of them seem based on centuries-old social norms that elevate men's rule over everything, and attribute the reasons to some poor, unsuspecting supernatural being (who, if they exist, is probably wondering why we're blaming them for our limitations).
Being distracted by a stop sign is okay...? Its how that distraction manifests which is a potential issue. I'm not a robot. Philosophically speaking, If I look at a jelly bean vs had a jelly bean never been there, I technically was distracted.

Fair enough. There are lots of problems with religion imo. But I think its because they're dogmatic and irrational that they can do things that require sacrifice on the mass level, which isn't always a bad thing. Muslims are required to pay 2.5% each year to the poor (people usually do it through paypal to some charity) which would probably be a lot less if there was no requirement.

But anyway, the reason of this whole thread was for the activism component, which is why I had linked the Red Cross in the first post. Shall we shift the topic back to that, or continue with the women's rights issues? It is a major part of the Afghanistan thing
(And I still think you could benefit from meeting more women. If nothing else, it would help you with what seems to be acute objectification.)

Women are just people, yeah?
How am I objectifying? I can appreciate a lady without making a remark or staring. My point is, I'm not a robot.
 

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Women protect children.

Also - it would be completely wrong to think that women don't fight back. But they do it (necessarily) in ways that can't be seen by the men who would kill them for it. They educate girls - very brave little girls. They send them to hidden school, teach them themselves, tell them stories and make them promises for the future. They keep hope alive. And they fight.
True. I was thinking more about history, though.

The general explanation is that in non technological societies women were too busy having kids and performing their daily tasks to start revolutions or even contemplate notions of equality, but that does support the idea that feminism is simply an artificial construct of technology and likely to crumble like a cookie when our technology collapses upon us and we destroy our civilization.

Depressing thought.

I think the take home message with Afghanistan, though, is that we can't conquer countries and expect to successfully re-engineer them, and women in different cultures have to decide how to change their system from within. Though keeping an open door and offering refuge for those who want it seems reasonable.

It would be so lovely if all the women were able to simply leave with their kids and the patriarchs were left alone and incapable of propagation. I know it's impractical, but one can wish.

I do worry that decisions to remain engaged politically with oppressive regimes usually have more to do with allowing our corporations to make money than it does with empowering people to embrace democracy.I'm thinking of South Africa and the attempts by Reagan and Thatcher to oppose sanctions back in the 80s, claiming Nelson Mandela was a Commie and terrorist. I remember conservatives at the time earnestly telling me that sanctions would hurt Black South Africans the most, but it felt a bit like what we now call "concern trolling." Isn't there a consensus opinion that widespread sanctions helped bring about change there?
 
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lizmonster

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Being distracted by a stop sign is okay...? Its how that distraction manifests which is a potential issue. I'm not a robot. Philosophically speaking, If I look at a jelly bean vs had a jelly bean never been there, I technically was distracted.

Don't move the goalposts. Noticing something is not being distracted by it. And we're not talking about things here - we are talking about human beings. If an individual high school student is severely distracted by being sexually attracted to the people around them, that is their problem and they'd best figure out how to cope before they're released into the real world.
 

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They send them to public school too, as they are now open. https://www.voanews.com/a/south-cen...-insurgent-held-afghan-territory/6199746.html Besides, the Taliban already built thousands of schools for little girls and them there. I wouldn't call them brave for that.

To be frank, I think the crux of this matter here is that there seems to be a huge communication gap between the various sides. Let's accept that the Taliban was indeed brutal and barbaric and everything that had been said about them in the previous rule was true. Is that the case now? Girls are going to school, working, and so on. Not everywhere, its true. It will take more time to see if the commitments are adhered to and built upon. The country is currently in a state of humanitarian crisis, and survival has taken priority. It takes money to buy food, and takes money to pay teachers. Should they spend money on food, or education? That's the problem here.

We just have to be objective about it. Compare the amount of media spending the US does to Afghan news stations. I think we need to look at both sides of the issue; if we only ever take the word of a defendant over a plaintiff, the justice system would quickly erode.

Being distracted by a stop sign is okay...? Its how that distraction manifests which is a potential issue. I'm not a robot. Philosophically speaking, If I look at a jelly bean vs had a jelly bean never been there, I technically was distracted.

Fair enough. There are lots of problems with religion imo. But I think its because they're dogmatic and irrational that they can do things that require sacrifice on the mass level, which isn't always a bad thing. Muslims are required to pay 2.5% each year to the poor (people usually do it through paypal to some charity) which would probably be a lot less if there was no requirement.

But anyway, the reason of this whole thread was for the activism component, which is why I had linked the Red Cross in the first post. Shall we shift the topic back to that, or continue with the women's rights issues? It is a major part of the Afghanistan thing

How am I objectifying? I can appreciate a lady without making a remark or staring. My point is, I'm not a robot.
A close reading of the article you posted does not say that anyone has yet set up any schools, public or otherwise. Everything you post, you are posting without questioning source or intent or audience. This is exactly the thing you are accusing people here of doing - although no-one here has posted cherry-picked items and expected you to simply accept them, without considering the source. That would be a very rudimentary mistake for a writer to make.

I am going to suggest again that you volunteer for some work in assisting refugees. You will meet some brave and brilliant women, and make friendships that go beyond headlines.
 

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FWIW, my understanding is that there are many schools inside Islam that vary in teachings and culture. That complexity tempts westerners--like me--to lump them all together in a way that's easy for us to understand. That's a bad idea, though.

As for face coverings, the most gentle argument I've heard is that female beauty distracts a man from the content of her character. So, covering a woman's face in conversation allows for a more unrestricted conversation. That said--pending the school, that is--Muslim women traveling inside a foreign country where face coverings are not the norm are encouraged to discard them so they don't offend anyone. Same goes for Muslims eating meals as guests when the food is not prepared Halal.

As for prayer, I've heard it argued that women should pray in the back of the mosque--or abstain from the mosque in the presence of men-- for the same "distraction" reasons DeepThought alluded to.

I'm a student on this subject, though. Not an expert. Feel free to correct me if my understanding is flawed or a bit too shallow regarding anything I just said.


Roxxsmom said:
It's still puzzling to me why and how these rules came into existence to begin with and why they have persisted for so long. Even given the long and sordid history of treating women as property, they represent an extreme.
Women protect children.
Exactly. These three words can explain so much--like why we lost the war.



Deepthought said:
If we push it to its logical conclusion, should we surround a horny teenage boy with beautiful women in various states of dress and see if he gets distracted?
I mean...yes? This is essentially high school.

I mean no offense to you Deepthought, but I just wanted to say that Liz's reply to this made me laugh out loud:)
 
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How am I objectifying? I can appreciate a lady without making a remark or staring. My point is, I'm not a robot.

'Appreciate' is an objectifying term. We are not here to be assessed and appreciated. We are not here for men to judge. We are not here to pass some test of aesthetics.

We are here.
 

Deepthought

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Don't move the goalposts. Noticing something is not being distracted by it. And we're not talking about things here - we are talking about human beings. If an individual high school student is severely distracted by being sexually attracted to the people around them, that is their problem and they'd best figure out how to cope before they're released into the real world.
They remain unmoved. This is a difference in semantics. Believe it or not, I was once called rude by a girl simply because I hardly paid any attention to her at all during a group project, simply because I was focusing on working on my part. If anything, it was the opposite of distraction. But my point is that it comes down to behavior. If you can't tell a behavior has changed, your argument isn't objective and thus becomes subjective, which is inherently unprovable.
A close reading of the article you posted does not say that anyone has yet set up any schools. Everything you post, you are posting without questioning source or intent or audience. This is exactly the thing you are accusing people here of doing - although no-one here has posted cherry-picked items and expected you to simply accept them, without considering the source. That would be a very rudimentary mistake for a writer to make.

I am going to suggest again that you volunteer for some work in assisting refugees. You will meet some brave and brilliant women, and make friendships that go beyond headlines.

"If an individual high school student is severely distracted" which manifests in behavior. If the behavior is unnoticeable, then there is no objective ground for accusation.
A close reading of the article you posted does not say that anyone has yet set up any schools, public or otherwise. Everything you post, you are posting without questioning source or intent or audience. This is exactly the thing you are accusing people here of doing - although no-one here has posted cherry-picked items and expected you to simply accept them, without considering the source. That would be a very rudimentary mistake for a writer to make.

I am going to suggest again that you volunteer for some work in assisting refugees. You will meet some brave and brilliant women, and make friendships that go beyond headlines.
I posted that one because it showed it was set before the US withdrawal. If it had been after, then the claim would be its only for aid money. The notion of cherry-picking is inherently subjective; anything one posts is cherry picked, unless it isn't.

Yeah I've already helped some refugees. One of my father's friends fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan before he moved the the US and opened a mechanic shop. I know some Afghans too.

FWIW, my understanding is that there are many schools inside Islam that vary in teachings and culture. That complexity tempts westerners--like me--to lump them all together in a way that's easy for us to understand. That's a bad idea, though.

As for face coverings, the most gentle argument I've heard is that female beauty distracts a man from the content of her character. So, covering a woman's face in conversation allows for a more unrestricted conversation. That said--pending the school, that is--Muslim women traveling inside a foreign country where face coverings are not the norm are encouraged to discard them so they don't offend anyone. Same goes for Muslims eating meals as guests when the food is not prepared Halal.

As for prayer, I've heard it argued that women should pray in the back of the mosque--or abstain from the mosque in the presence of men-- for the same "distraction" reasons DeepThought alluded to.

I'm a student on this subject, though. Not an expert. Feel free to correct me if my understanding is flawed or a bit too shallow regarding anything I just said.


Roxxsmom said:
It's still puzzling to me why and how these rules came into existence to begin with and why they have persisted for so long. Even given the long and sordid history of treating women as property, they represent an extreme.

Exactly. These three words can explain so much--like why we lost the war.



Deepthought said:
If we push it to its logical conclusion, should we surround a horny teenage boy with beautiful women in various states of dress and see if he gets distracted?


I mean no offense to you Deepthought, but I just wanted to say that Liz's reply to this made me laugh out loud:)
The face cover isn't actually a big deal. Its not considered an obligation. It might surprise you to know that covering the face is actually forbidden during the pilgrimage and both men and women freely mix during walking around the site. But yeah that's the gist of it. And it doesn't bother me, I laughed too.

I think its very obvious why the US lost the war. If we look at the drone bombing program for example, so many civilians were hurt that lots of average guys became Taliban. They just wanted to protect their kids. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/10/world/asia/us-air-strike-drone-kabul-afghanistan-isis.html You may have heard of the time the US bombed the aid worker and kids, then said it was ISIS, then admitted they lied. Now imagine that happening for 20 years straight. I wonder, is there any other group that ever took over a country in less than 2 weeks with hardly a single shot fired? If they hated the Taliban, I would expected they would have put up some degree of resistance. But as it is, its currently a world record of the fastest takeover of a country in history. Women protect children- but so do men. That's why so many men died in the war.
'Appreciate' is an objectifying term. We are not here to be assessed and appreciated. We are not here for men to judge. We are not here to pass some test of aesthetics.

We are here.
Ok. But my behavior doesn't let you know that either way, so its just playing the mind-reading game.
 

lizmonster

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They remain unmoved. This is a difference in semantics.

No, it's not. "Notice" and "distract" are two different words with distinct meanings.

Humans are sexual beings (in aggregate), and sexual beings notice each other - and yes, are occasionally distracted. But if I'm distracted by some cutie at the grocery store, that is not their problem, nor is it grounds to suggest they ought to be shopping elsewhere.

I don't care who finds who attractive. I care when that attraction is used as an excuse to make laws that deny people equality.
 

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No, it's not. "Notice" and "distract" are two different words with distinct meanings.

Humans are sexual beings (in aggregate), and sexual beings notice each other - and yes, are occasionally distracted. But if I'm distracted by some cutie at the grocery store, that is not their problem, nor is it grounds to suggest they ought to be shopping elsewhere.

I don't care who finds who attractive. I care when that attraction is used as an excuse to make laws that deny people equality.
They are two different words, but they don't always have different meanings.
no·tice
/ˈnōdəs/
noun
1/the fact of observing or paying attention to something.
It is possible that noticing something in itself inherently becomes a distraction.

Its also possible that parents, even atheist ones in atheist societies, don't want their kids to go out and wear nothing, with the very reason being attraction. That's the logical conclusion, but in reality, parents do affect their child's dress code because of that.
 

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FWIW, my understanding is that there are many schools inside Islam that vary in teachings and culture. That complexity tempts westerners--like me--to lump them all together in a way that's easy for us to understand. That's a bad idea, though.

As for face coverings, the most gentle argument I've heard is that female beauty distracts a man from the content of her character. So, covering a woman's face in conversation allows for a more unrestricted conversation.
I am pursing my (uncovered) lips skeptically at this.

Anyway, shouldn't that work in reverse too? And as lizmonster said, if men were that easily distracted by attractive members of their preferred gender (and women are not), then maybe the male gender is the one that should be kept out of public life.

There's also the issue that covering someone's face makes it rather harder to have an actual conversation, since facial expressions are such an important element of communication in humans. We've discovered this in the era of public masking for hygienic purposes.

I can't think of a way to make enforced face coverings (for non medical reasons) a respectful thing, especially when one segment of society is imposing it on another.

I have read, however, that some Muslim women like the privacy and freedom from prying male eyes they gain from wearing veils, headscarves, and clothing that generally hide their body shapes. It would certainly cut down on random male strangers telling a woman to "Smile!"

I've also seen headscarves and Islamic dress that are very beautiful and clearly express their wearer's individuality and tastes. The point is that things are different when someone chooses to do it. I don't think highly observant Orthodox Jewish men wear yarmulkes because women arrest them or harass them on the streets if they go bare headed. It's a tradition, and in the modern world they choose to follow it to express their beliefs and culture.


As for the discussion derailing to be about the way women are treated by the Taliban, it's hard to avoid this conversation, imo. True, the way the Taliban treats women is only one of many things that stand out about them, and they violate male human rights in plenty of ways too, but the way they regard and treat 50% of the population is a very observable element of their philosophy.

Reminds me of an interview I saw (I think it was on PBS News Hour) with a Saudi government official some years ago. The interviewer began to press him on on how backward Saudi Arabia was with respect to women's rights. The official exclaimed in frustration, "Why do you people always want to talk about women?"

Well, women are half the population.
 

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They are two different words, but they don't always have different meanings.
no·tice
/ˈnōdəs/
noun
1/the fact of observing or paying attention to something.
It is possible that noticing something in itself inherently becomes a distraction.

In all that has been brought up, is this really the hill you want to die on in this discussion?
 

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I am pursing my (uncovered) lips skeptically at this.

Anyway, shouldn't that work in reverse too? And as lizmonster said, if men were that easily distracted by attractive members of their preferred gender (and women are not), then maybe the male gender is the one that should be kept out of public life.

There's also the issue that covering someone's face makes it rather harder to have an actual conversation, since facial expressions are such an important element of communication in humans. We've discovered this in the era of public masking for hygienic purposes.

I can't think of a way to make enforced face coverings (for non medical reasons) a respectful thing, especially when one segment of society is imposing it on another.

I have read, however, that some Muslim women like the privacy and freedom from prying male eyes they gain from wearing veils, headscarves, and clothing that generally hide their body shapes. It would certainly cut down on random male strangers telling a woman to "Smile!"

I've also seen headscarves and Islamic dress that are very beautiful and clearly express their wearer's individuality and tastes. The point is that things are different when someone chooses to do it. I don't think highly observant Orthodox Jewish men wear yarmulkes because women arrest them or harass them on the streets if they go bare headed. It's a tradition, and in the modern world they choose to follow it to express their beliefs and culture.


As for the discussion derailing to be about the way women are treated by the Taliban, it's hard to avoid this conversation, imo. True, the way the Taliban treats women is only one of many things that stand out about them, and they violate male human rights in plenty of ways too, but the way they regard and treat 50% of the population is a very observable element of their philosophy.

Reminds me of an interview I saw (I think it was on PBS News Hour) with a Saudi government official some years ago. The interviewer began to press him on on how backward Saudi Arabia was with respect to women's rights. The official exclaimed in frustration, "Why do you people always want to talk about women?"

Well, women are half the population.
Yes, there are differences of opinion in the law, but covering the face is not considered mandatory. The Taliban stated that the face cover is not required:
its old news and a non-issue at this point. The article you posted states that the Taliban prevented women from appearing on visual media, something that was proven false by the video female anchor on Afghan TV interviewing the Taliban, as well as other videos.

There were hundreds of thousands of fighters against the Taliban. The general amnesty has not seen them slaughtered en-masse. They did not say it was a blanket amnesty regardless, so its not an issue. The former government leaders publicly did such terrible things, they make the Taliban look like saints, and that's assuming the Taliban are devils incarnate. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/...ld-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html Those are the people the US allied with, who openly and regularly kidnapped and raped boys in the next room while the US soldiers ignored it. Dostum (Afghan general) tortured people brutally to death, and enjoyed doing so. He lived in a mansion with a few people, which was converted to a housing complex now housing 150 people. The police chief was among the most corrupt in the world, and once the Taliban took over, they shot him in the street in broad daylight. I'm not sorry they're dead. That's a hill I'll die on.
In all that has been brought up, is this really the hill you want to die on in this discussion?
Semantics. I'm talking about behavior.
 

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They are two different words, but they don't always have different meanings.
no·tice
/ˈnōdəs/
noun
1/the fact of observing or paying attention to something.
It is possible that noticing something in itself inherently becomes a distraction.

Its also possible that parents, even atheist ones in atheist societies, don't want their kids to go out and wear nothing, with the very reason being attraction. That's the logical conclusion, but in reality, parents do affect their child's dress code because of that.
You are correct that many people fear public nudity because we equate nudity with sexuality (plenty of research, of course, suggests that this view is incorrect) and "indecency," though there are public health related reasons to keep certain body parts covered (germs shed from uncovered butts and left on surfaces) and of course clothing is also protective in some situations.

We also have weird inequalities in how we regard female nipples and areolae compared to men's.

I suspect many women are perfectly happy with covering certain body parts because it means we don't have to worry about yet another "attribute" being continuously scrutinized and judged.

We also don't sanction flogging (or other forms of cruel and unusual punishment) as a penalty for crimes, petty or otherwise. Pointing out our own shortcomings, hypocrisies, and abuses doesn't make the behavior of the Taliban less appalling.

This was from an interview with a Taliban official, and if we are going to believe them when they say they aren't doing something someone else claimed they are, surely we should believe them when they say they are going to be doing something.

As for the face covering thing, social pressure can be very hard to resist too, even if it's not officially a law. If the law gives a woman's spouse power over her and he insists she wear one, how can she resist?

But that's just one element among many that concern me.

I can't help but be reminded of a conversation many years ago with someone from South Africa. He insisted that Black people in South Africa were better off overall than Black people in African countries ruled by Africans. And tribes often hated and oppressed one another. And of course the US had its own problems with racism.

So all this would mean that Apartheid wasn't wrong and brutal?
 
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Deepthought

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You are correct that many people fear public nudity because we equate nudity with sexuality (plenty of research, of course, suggests that this view is incorrect) and "indecency," though there are public health related reasons to keep certain body parts covered (germs shed from uncovered butts and left on surfaces) and of course clothing is also protective in some situations.

We also have weird inequalities in how we regard female nipples and areolae compared to men's.

I suspect many women are perfectly happy with covering certain body parts because it means we don't have to worry about yet another "attribute" being continuously scrutinized and judged.

We also don't sanction flogging (or other forms of cruel and unusual punishment) as a penalty for crimes, petty or otherwise. Pointing out our own shortcomings, hypocrisies, and abuses doesn't make the behavior of the Taliban less appalling.

This was from an interview with a Taliban official, and if we are going to believe them when they say they aren't doing something someone else claimed they are, surely we should believe them when they say they are going to be doing something.

As for the face covering thing, social pressure can be very hard to resist too, even if it's not officially a law. If the law gives a woman's spouse power over her and he insists she wear one, how can she resist?

But that's just one element among many that concern me.

I can't help but be reminded of a conversation many years ago with someone from South Africa. He insisted that Black people in South Africa were better off overall than Black people in African countries ruled by Africans. And tribes often hated and oppressed one another. And of course the US had its own problems with racism.

So all this would mean that Apartheid wasn't wrong and brutal?
I wonder if there's a study that compares rate of sexual excitement when viewing nude vs non nude women, all else being equal. My guess is that naked women get guys more excited, all else being equal.

Cruel and "unusual" punishment is norm in the US. Mark DeFreist has been in prison for decades just for taking a toolbox that was given to him by his late father: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mark-defriest-jailed-theft-1980-8986868 There are lots of prisoners serving years and years for relatively minor offenses- a lot more than the Taliban has punished, I daresay.

While people including children in the US administered Abu Ghraib prison were beaten, raped, tortured, and so on. Many people perpetrating this were not prosecuted. Cruel and unusual punishment is normal in the US justice system.

I am arguing that the Taliban justice system is more humane than the examples I've showed. I'd rather lose a hand than five years off my life for theft, for example. And if I killed or raped, I would deserve to die.
 

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I wonder if there's a study that compares rate of sexual excitement when viewing nude vs non nude women, all else being equal. My guess is that naked women get guys more excited, all else being equal.

Cruel and "unusual" punishment is norm in the US. Mark DeFreist has been in prison for decades just for taking a toolbox that was given to him by his late father: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mark-defriest-jailed-theft-1980-8986868 There are lots of prisoners serving years and years for relatively minor offenses- a lot more than the Taliban has punished, I daresay.

While people including children in the US administered Abu Ghraib prison were beaten, raped, tortured, and so on. Many people perpetrating this were not prosecuted. Cruel and unusual punishment is normal in the US justice system.

I am arguing that the Taliban justice system is more humane than the examples I've showed. I'd rather lose a hand than five years off my life for theft, for example. And if I killed or raped, I would deserve to die.
If that were generally true, why the huge amount of money spent on fancy lingerie? Not arguing that an attractive naked person of one's preferred gender isn't going to be enticing, at least in the right context, but again, that's hardly the point. Most people learn to cope with a world that is highly distracting in various ways. Indeed, there are cultures where people of all genders wear considerably less than we usually do here, and they seem to be able to cope with it. Humans are funny. With our brains being our largest sex organs, we tend to eroticize what is forbidden. There was a time when people in the US thought men might be overcome with lust by the sight of women's legs too, and even bare male chests were considered taboo.

Controlling the sartorial choices available to women specifically because men might find them distracting is unjust, and yes, I feel the same way about some of our laws that differentiate what men and women can wear in public.

That the US very often fails to achieve its own ideals and applies its own laws unevenly isn't really the point either. Yeah, we're hypocrites in various ways. And we've got a significant number of people who are champing at the bit to take women's rights away here and impose their own brand of theocracy here. We also have a significant number of people fighting them and fighting for a better system of justice as well.

But this still feels a bit like someone from Apartheid-era South Africa saying we had no right to criticize them since we have plenty of racism too.

I would not rather lose a hand than go to prison for five years. The lost hand is never coming back. I will never be able to do the things I could do with two hands ever again. Five years of my life would definitely suck and also be hard to come back from, but mutilation is forever. For many people it ends any possibility of making a living. Dismemberment is also incredibly painful, lurid, terrifying, and sadistic and clearly demonstrates the level of control the authorities have over people's lives. And that's why the Taliban does it, not because it is a kinder, more merciful, or even more efficient, form of punishment for petty crimes. Same for public floggings.
 

mccardey

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I would not rather lose a hand than go to prison for five years. The lost hand is never coming back. I will never be able to do the things I could do with two hands ever again. Five years of my life would definitely suck and also be hard to come back from, but mutilation is forever.
This, but you know what else? I'll sign up for a religion that investigates theft as a sign of need and inequality before it sees theft as a reason to lose a hand.
 

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If that were generally true, why the huge amount of money spent on fancy lingerie? Not arguing that an attractive naked person of one's preferred gender isn't going to be enticing, at least in the right context, but again, that's hardly the point. Most people learn to cope with a world that is highly distracting in various ways. Indeed, there are cultures where people of all genders wear considerably less than we usually do here, and they seem to be able to cope with it. Humans are funny. With our brains being our largest sex organs, we tend to eroticize what is forbidden. There was a time when people in the US thought men might be overcome with lust by the sight of women's legs too, and even bare male chests were considered taboo.

Controlling the sartorial choices available to women specifically because men might find them distracting is unjust, and yes, I feel the same way about some of our laws that differentiate what men and women can wear in public.

That the US very often fails to achieve its own ideals and applies its own laws unevenly isn't really the point either. Yeah, we're hypocrites in various ways. And we've got a significant number of people who are champing at the bit to take women's rights away here and impose their own brand of theocracy here. We also have a significant number of people fighting them and fighting for a better system of justice as well.

But this still feels a bit like someone from Apartheid-era South Africa saying we had no right to criticize them since we have plenty of racism too.

I would not rather lose a hand than go to prison for five years. The lost hand is never coming back. I will never be able to do the things I could do with two hands ever again. Five years of my life would definitely suck and also be hard to come back from, but mutilation is forever. For many people it ends any possibility of making a living. Dismemberment is also incredibly painful, lurid, terrifying, and sadistic and clearly demonstrates the level of control the authorities have over people's lives. And that's why the Taliban does it, not because it is a kinder, more merciful, or even more efficient, form of punishment for petty crimes. Same for public floggings.
Its the same reason the people buy a variety of cookies, I suppose. People often spend more on what they don't need than what they do need. The tribes of some places that wear little, may just be desensitized. People that are used to wearing more, become more sensitive to the fluctuations of change in clothing. We could go further than merely clothing, and push it to acts as well; why not sex in public too? After all, its just people doing normal bodily functions like eating or playing around. People might be distracted, but they'll get desensitized eventually- studies on pornography have shown this. A woman showing her legs was taboo and distracting, but not anymore- why even have a limit at all?

Pointing out US failures wasn't the point. But the notion that it purports to be at the forefront of freedom and justice while evidently not being so simply reflects the double standard. If the US is considered "not great but still not too bad" then another nation which has equal or better metrics when it comes to prosecution rate, incarceration rate, etc. can have that title too. The US should not get an exception, nor any other country. Thus the point becomes a matter of fair judgement when comparing systems.

I wouldn't say its like Apartheid-era South Africa saying we had no right to criticize, because the US offensive has objectively killed more civilians than the Taliban during the war, and has captured and abused a greater number of people in prisons, black sites, and the like. I would liken it more to a Ku Klux Klan man telling off a white child for calling a black boy a name.

How many years would it take off your life before you would reconsider? Mark DeFreist is currently in for 4 decades for a toolbox (under the US prison system). And let me mention it here that the Taliban does not enact the harsh "limit" (Hudud) punishments for petty crime, which is usually what comes to mind when you hear "Sharia Law". Petty crime is subject "to punish" (Tazir) on a smaller level. Here is one example of the Taliban punishing a petty thief with Tazir- public humiliation. They blacken his face and parade him around the street to humiliate the thief. They have done this before, where a man tried to steal a motorcycle. They got money and stuffed it in his ears and made a public mockery of him. The cutting of the hand is done under several conditions. One, if the person did not have the financial need. Two, if the value of the item is high (I don't know how they calculate it). This is designed to target professional thieves, as they can be punished with the cutting of the hand, if they do it for a living. And dismemberment is often done by a doctor with anesthesia, so there isn't much pain.
This, but you know what else? I'll sign up for a religion that investigates theft as a sign of need and inequality before it sees theft as a reason to lose a hand.
The successor to the beginning of the Islamic Empire suspended such punishments during the famine. And like I said in the other answer, there is a strict criteria before such a punishment can be administered. They used to implement Toyota's Total Quality Management over a thousand years before Toyota- wherever there were higher crime rates, investigations were done to see what that place was worse and thus they had found a point to improve the system. Remember, if people commit crime out of need, there is no punishment. In fact, this is the theory they used to develop a concept the floating labor rate- a man had once stolen a camel from his employer. So they took him to court and he claimed that the employer had paid him too little to live well enough. This was the case, so the man was not only not punished, but the employer was forced to pay the man. Under such a system, people will really think hard before stealing. So what happened was that employers of the time saw that they would have to pay their workers fairly or else the workers could simply steal and simultaneously remain immune, causing too much damage to their business. Thus, the floating labor rate under such a system was developed. I wonder what would happen if Walmart or Amazon employees did this today. Its a concept worth investigating.

Because people don't get imprisoned for long, they can get to work quicker. The taxpayer is not on the hook for paying for criminals- I believe the US spends roughly $30,000 per year per prisoner on average. That amount would save many lives in a poor country. That's another benefit of swift corporal judgement and thus help the economy.

It seems that people are under the impression that the law book is literally a few pages long, with just a few big punishments for a handful of crimes. But like in all other societies, the law books are thick tomes, and it requires a lot of knowledge to be a judge. At least there are no lawyers though. This helps in getting a fair and speedy trial regardless of money- something the US litigation system has yet to advance towards.
 

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At least there are no lawyers though. This helps in getting a fair and speedy trial regardless of money- something the US litigation system has yet to advance towards.
As I understand it, you are in fact allowed under the law to provide financial recompense to the victim (or their family) rather than suffer the legal consequence. So I'm not sure that your argument holds up.

Am I wrong about that?

And I'm not sure that you can equate Taliban law with the original incarnation of Islam which was quite lovely for its time, and nothing at all like the Taliban. (If a woman needs to express herself as a human by having the rights to her own autonomy - does that need hold up under Taliban law?)
 
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They send them to public school too, as they are now open. https://www.voanews.com/a/south-cen...-insurgent-held-afghan-territory/6199746.html Besides, the Taliban already built thousands of schools for little girls and them there. I wouldn't call them brave for that.

To be frank, I think the crux of this matter here is that there seems to be a huge communication gap between the various sides. Let's accept that the Taliban was indeed brutal and barbaric and everything that had been said about them in the previous rule was true. Is that the case now? Girls are going to school, working, and so on. Not everywhere, its true. It will take more time to see if the commitments are adhered to and built upon.
Nah, dude. The Taliban, as a whole, are evil beasts. Sure, they're wiser now having spent the past two decades planning on how to govern their country without getting thrown from power again. And you're right that they're making significant improvements to the image they're projecting to the rest of the world. But that doesn't mean their ideology has changed. As you note, they are making exceptions to that ideology--such as the woman news anchor--but those are exceptions to the norm.


Before my translator fled Kabul to head to Pakistan, he told me how he was at the barbershop when some Taliban broke into the building and started beating up the barber for trimming beards and eyebrows and playing music. This is the kind of culture that will exist in Afghanistan as far as the Taliban can reach, and as we know, it's only the tip of the ice burg when it comes to their brutality and human rights violations.

I've been reading through your comments on this thread and I got to tell you, I feel for you. To me you seem like the kind of guy that's really just trying to figure things out, and your bouncing some of your convictions off the folks here in an effort to make them stronger. I respect that, and I hope you don't find me patronizing. As a younger man, I sure thought I had things figured out on complicated issues like this one. And if I'd had the opportunity to enter a discussion about those issues in a community like this, I probably would've leapt at it.

My advice, though--if you don't mind me offering it-- is that you maintain the distinction between moral relativism and keeping an open mind.

If you're really curious about who the Taliban are, I strongly suggest reading mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef's autobiography, "My Life with the Taliban." Zaeef helped found the Taliban with Mullah Omar, fought with the U.S. against the Russians, helped the Taliban rise to power in the 90s, then got sold by Pakistan to the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo for a while. Now he's living in Kabul.

Listen to what he has to say. I don't think you'll see his convictions regarding women and human rights as having the sort of moral fluidity capable of evolving with the times.

EDIT:
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/...ld-to-ignore-afghan-allies-abuse-of-boys.html Those are the people the US allied with, who openly and regularly kidnapped and raped boys in the next room
This is as true as it is atrocious, and it illustrates very well the inconsistencies of the international community's motivations.
 
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Roxxsmom

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Another thing to consider is that you have a right to attorney in the US, and if you cannot afford it, one will be provided to you. You can also waive your right to attorney, though it's not clear how doing so would expedite matters much or get you a fairer trial.

The reason for attorneys and for jury trials that don't always proceed quickly are beyond the scope of this thread I think, but as unfair as our system can be, I don't think swifter justice is going to dispense with bias and inequalities in our legal system.

I personally am opposed to the death penalty in my own (and other) countries. For one thing, people end up on death row and are sometimes executed for crimes they didn't commit. And even when people can be reasonably said to deserve death for crimes they committed, I feel that the act of killing in the name of vengeance is incredibly corrupting and toxic.

Human Rights Watch has released a report regarding Taliban reprisals against people who worked for the former government, btw.

 
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As I understand it, you are in fact allowed under the law to provide financial recompense to the victim (or their family) rather than suffer the legal consequence. So I'm not sure that your argument holds up.

Am I wrong about that?

And I'm not sure that you can equate Taliban law with the original incarnation of Islam which was quite lovely for its time, and nothing at all like the Taliban. (If a woman needs to express herself as a human by having the rights to her own autonomy - does that need hold up under Taliban law?)
Sorry, I should have clarified. Buy money, I mean that you can't do an OJ through the lawyer system and buy a dream team. Everyone knows OJ did it- but because he had money to get the best lawyers, he got away with it. But in this system, there are no lawyers. Its a free public service. Financial recompense is available for some crime such as accidental killing, and the amount is dependent on the wealth of the criminal, and only if the victim's family agrees. So a rich person would have to pay more, if the family agreed to the blood money.

I don't know how the Taliban are going to implement laws in regards to women's autonomy this time around. For example, Islamic law originally had women be accompanied by a male relative only if the distance to a journey was beyond a certain time limit. I suppose this was due to safety reasons back then. But the calculation of the speed of transportation within a single day in the modern era of airplanes have had some scholars opine that that women no longer require a male to go anywhere these days. I have also never heard of the original laws having segregated walkways in the streets or shops like how Iran did, so it would be wrong if they implemented those kinds of policies.
Nah, dude. The Taliban, as a whole, are evil beasts. Sure, they're wiser now having spent the past two decades planning on how to govern their country without getting thrown from power again. And you're right that they're making significant improvements to the image they're projecting to the rest of the world. But that doesn't mean their ideology has changed. As you note, they are making exceptions to that ideology--such as the woman news anchor--but those are exceptions to the norm.


Before my translator fled Kabul to head to Pakistan, he told me how he was at the barbershop when some Taliban broke into the building and started beating up the barber for trimming beards and eyebrows and playing music. This is the kind of culture that will exist in Afghanistan as far as the Taliban can reach, and as we know, it's only the tip of the ice burg when it comes to their brutality and human rights violations.

I've been reading through your comments on this thread and I got to tell you, I feel for you. To me you seem like the kind of guy that's really just trying to figure things out, and your bouncing some of your convictions off the folks here in an effort to make them stronger. I respect that, and I hope you don't find me patronizing. As a younger man, I sure thought I had things figured out on complicated issues like this one. And if I'd had the opportunity to enter a discussion about those issues in a community like this, I probably would've leapt at it.

My advice, though--if you don't mind me offering it-- is that you maintain the distinction between moral relativism and keeping an open mind.

If you're really curious about who the Taliban are, I strongly suggest reading mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef's autobiography, "My Life with the Taliban." Zaeef helped found the Taliban with Mullah Omar, fought with the U.S. against the Russians, helped the Taliban rise to power in the 90s, then got sold by Pakistan to the U.S. and sent to Guantanamo for a while. Now he's living in Kabul.

Listen to what he has to say. I don't think you'll see his convictions regarding women and human rights as having the sort of moral fluidity capable of evolving with the times.
We'll see if it becomes the norm or the exception in time. I heard that the hit series Ertugrul was allowed on Afghan TV by the Taliban, a show many times more popular than Game of Thrones worldwide. Women usually cover their hair on that show, but sometimes they don't.

Your link on the killing of the woman activist says that the suspects luring women to those locations had been arrested by the Taliban. At most, it said the Taliban fostered an environment where crimes against them could occur, not that it was the Taliban that killed them. I'll point out here that the so called activist list is apparently fake, according to the official spokesman: (Translation: A fake list was compiled and published by the intelligence agency of the enemy in which the names of many journalists, writers and activists of various societies were written and then threatened by the Cultural Commission of the IEA. This list and letter is absolute fake, no one cares.)

I've posted a video earlier where the Taliban Foreign Minister said he didn't have a problem with music being played on TV. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/...alwar-kameez-Taliban-hold-designer-items.html Here, some Taliban members are clean shaven. I'm not doubting your story about the translator and the barber. From what I've heard, it seems there are conflicts within the Taliban itself as to the direction they want to go. The older crowd seems to be more conservative, while a lot of the younger ones seem to be more liberal. The war took 20 years, and a whole generation grew up in that environment. The Taliban needed the support of the new generation, and it was because of this that they entered the ranks. So again, its the waiting game to see how it plays out. I think its worth mentioning that changes are occurring. I remember a few months ago there was a big idea that girls wouldn't be allowed to go to school and then that changed as the university stayed open as an exception, and then that changed to only a couple of provinces having schools open, and then this changed again to even more. Last time I checked, 8-9 provinces out of the 34 have women's schools currently open. Yes, it should be more, but this is more than just a few months ago and the country is in a state of humanitarian crisis.

And this is what frustrates me about the media- it would be fine if they just reported normally, but the overwhelming bias and outright fake news among all the so called independent sources forces one to go to sources beyond the mainstream, regardless of wing. Both the left and the right report the same when it comes to these types of issues. They report something which is supposed to be taken as fact in course, but it isn't. But the story is already out, so by the time something shows it wasn't the case, its already too late. And it keeps happening one-sidedly, which then divides people into 2 groups: one who accept that even if there were some fakes, its still generally the truth and two, people that suspect everything. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...ban-hanging-someone-us-helicopter/5668864001/ A viral video of a Taliban hanging someone from a helicopter turned out not to be the case.

Thanks for the book recommendation. I've seen Zaeef talk before on youtube, but I hadn't known he had a book out. I'll check it out.
Another thing to consider is that you have a right to attorney in the US, and if you cannot afford it, one will be provided to you. You can also waive your right to attorney, though it's not clear how doing so would expedite matters much or get you a fairer trial.

The reason for attorneys and for jury trials that don't always proceed quickly are beyond the scope of this thread I think, but as unfair as our system can be, I don't think swifter justice is going to dispense with bias and inequalities in our legal system.

I personally am opposed to the death penalty in my own (and other) countries. For one thing, people end up on death row and are sometimes executed for crimes they didn't commit. And even when people can be reasonably said to deserve death for crimes they committed, I feel that the act of killing in the name of vengeance is incredibly corrupting and toxic.

Human Rights Watch has released a report regarding Taliban reprisals against people who worked for the former government, btw.

Swift justice is only one part of trials. Like in the OJ example though, getting good lawyers affects the outcome. The US has 4% of the world's population, yet 20% of the incarcerated population. This system has the judge listen to both parties. The judge knows the law and is meant to give a fair trial. It isn't dependent on how well a lawyer talks.

We agree to disagree then. If you've followed the Epstein case, you'll see that former US president Bill Clinton visited the pedo island 27 times, former Israeli PM Ehud Barak was a visitor too, and many other famous names. This has been going on for a long time, yet we all know, like OJ, who did it. The Taliban had dealt with similar situations in the past, and I'm sure you know what policies they took. Hung em all. Fast justice, cheap justice, not spending life in prison or wasting billions of taxpayer dollars. Objectively, there are metrics where this type of justice far outstrips US secular law. Europe can get away with doing this because much of their wealth was gained from colonialism from poor countries, which wasn't even long ago- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiti_indemnity_controversy Their inefficient governments and expensive policies are unsustainable, and this is why they are beginning to no longer able to keep such expensive systems running. Look at the eras before colonialism- they too used the corporal systems like the Taliban. If Afghanistan should use expensive incarceration system and not the cheap corporal system, then it cannot be expected to be sustained, as it is not as rich as other nations. Keep in mind that trillions were used militarily which destroyed Afghan infrastructure over the past 20 years, and only a few billion were actually spent on aid (much of which was stolen by corrupt Afghan officials). Thus, there was not advancement but actually regression, under the US. But its not like as though these countries are doomed to fail. In fact, Libya under Gadhaffi was a "good dictatorship". Before him, only around 15% of the people were literate, and he brought it up to over 80%. Housing was free. Education was free. Healthcare was free. No, it wasn't perfect. But it still shows how western style democracy wasn't needed to build something pretty good for the people.

The link that you posted of ex-officials, lets assume the worst and say the Taliban is indeed hunting them down. Sorry, but I don't feel bad about them, and won't even count that as criticism against the Taliban. You have to understand how corrupt and evil the former US backed government was. After the Afghan warlords defeated the Soviets, the warlords then turned on each other in a power struggle to control the country. These warlords were created by the US- these are pictures of the textbooks they made and funded with extremists from Saudi and Pakistan to radicalize little kids for battle on google. You ask how even regular men there had such a history of abusing and trampling on the rights of others? Simple. It's because they could. When you're the winner of the war with a bunch of weapons, you can do literally anything you want to anyone you see. And no one can stop you. Imagine going down the street and playing God. So these warlords and their soldiers took people's money, took their land, took their women, took their kids. Sure, they could have protected the people. But they didn't. I don't know if you've played Grand Theft Auto, but its where the character can do anything and commit crimes. It was just like that back then, anything goes.

But it was the Taliban that arose and protected the people, from the very people that were supposed to be heroes of the country. They quickly gained power and the rest is history. But the US, in trying to defeat the Taliban, allied themselves with the ones who had terrorized the people in the first place. https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/10/...e-night-raids-cia-backed-afghan-strike-forces The scale of US and US backed government crimes far outstrips the incidents you hear about the Taliban, by far. You hear of individual Taliban incidents, yet the US does far worse, and on an industrial scale level. So you would expect an investigation into the US for what they did. But no: https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-...hanistan-war-crimes-investigation-2021-09-27/ They decided to stop investigating the US and just go after the Taliban. You know, there's the so called Hague Invasion Act. If the US or anyone it deems to be an ally is ever held by the International Criminal Court, it allows the use of military force to invade Denmark. No, it doesn't mean the Taliban are good. But if the US is at least kind of good, what does that make the Taliban?
 
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This thread has turned a very odd corner for me now that I've realized I'm engaging a Taliban apologist--which is truly a fascinating experience to be having here.

The problem, though, is that Islam is such a complicated religion that this entire thread could be misinterpreted. I don't believe it was your intent to conflate Islam with the Taliban, but I'd hate for a future reader of ours' to think that you're talking about Islam in general when you're discussing/defending the Taliban. Albeit anecdotally, the Muslims I know--from the former Berkley philosophy professor friend to my Afghan colleagues to the Muslim entrepreneurs I'm proud to call clients--all detest the Taliban.

The comments you've made in sympathy to the Taliban are clearly well researched, but I think they represent talking points more than they do substance. And now you've veered into a moral relativist defense of the Taliban ("they might be bad but so are Americans"), which just doesn't support the point you're trying to make.

I mean no disrespect, but I'm not going to respond to the majority of your reply because at this point it feels like I'm arguing with a flat earther.

I spent a year and a half fighting the Taliban. I've had their Ak-47 rounds wiz by my head and dance in front of my feet, their bombs blow up in front of my face. I've seen them--first hand--murder dozens of their fellow Muslims by slitting their throats simply for driving semi-trucks along Highway 1. I've seen the devastation they cause after their brainwashed young recruits became suicide bombers who maimed and murdered innocent Afghan civilians. I follow them on twitter and see them proudly post pictures of newly murdered Muslims. I read reports about them routinely whipping their fellow countrymen with electrical cords just because said countrymen trimmed their eyebrows or got caught listening to music. I've seen videos of them violently beating faceless women on their knees before the U.S. invasion, and I've seen how they've murdered women's rights activists, homosexuals, and non-Muslims once they reclaimed power. I've sat across from them in dirty, dim lit, rooms for hours, talking to them through my translator after they were captured burying bombs that killed Afghan policemen. I've studied them, learned from them, and respected them. I've never dehumanized them.

Nope, they are not as fundamental as ISIS. Yes, there are plenty of young Pashtun men who joined the ranks of the Taliban not for ideology, but as a means to survive. They defeated not only the "greatest military in this history of the world," but the entire NATO effort. They rule by the barrels of rusty Ak-47s, robbing the innocent of their dignity, in the name of their religion, in exchange for providing the people with security.

They're evil fucking beasts we should have tried to work with instead of defeat.
 

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This thread has turned a very odd corner for me now that I've realized I'm engaging a Taliban apologist--which is truly a fascinating experience to be having here.

The problem, though, is that Islam is such a complicated religion that this entire thread could be misinterpreted. I don't believe it was your intent to conflate Islam with the Taliban, but I'd hate for a future reader of ours' to think that you're talking about Islam in general when you're discussing/defending the Taliban. Albeit anecdotally, the Muslims I know--from the former Berkley philosophy professor friend to my Afghan colleagues to the Muslim entrepreneurs I'm proud to call clients--all detest the Taliban.

The comments you've made in sympathy to the Taliban are clearly well researched, but I think they represent talking points more than they do substance. And now you've veered into a moral relativist defense of the Taliban ("they might be bad but so are Americans"), which just doesn't support the point you're trying to make.

I mean no disrespect, but I'm not going to respond to the majority of your reply because at this point it feels like I'm arguing with a flat earther.

I spent a year and a half fighting the Taliban. I've had their Ak-47 rounds wiz by my head and dance in front of my feet, their bombs blow up in front of my face. I've seen them--first hand--murder dozens of their fellow Muslims by slitting their throats simply for driving semi-trucks along Highway 1. I've seen the devastation they cause after their brainwashed young recruits became suicide bombers who maimed and murdered innocent Afghan civilians. I follow them on twitter and see them proudly post pictures of newly murdered Muslims. I read reports about them routinely whipping their fellow countrymen with electrical cords just because said countrymen trimmed their eyebrows or got caught listening to music. I've seen videos of them violently beating faceless women on their knees before the U.S. invasion, and I've seen how they've murdered women's rights activists, homosexuals, and non-Muslims once they reclaimed power. I've sat across from them in dirty, dim lit, rooms for hours, talking to them through my translator after they were captured burying bombs that killed Afghan policemen. I've studied them, learned from them, and respected them. I've never dehumanized them.

Nope, they are not as fundamental as ISIS. Yes, there are plenty of young Pashtun men who joined the ranks of the Taliban not for ideology, but as a means to survive. They defeated not only the "greatest military in this history of the world," but the entire NATO effort. They rule by the barrels of rusty Ak-47s, robbing the innocent of their dignity, in the name of their religion, in exchange for providing the people with security.

They're evil fucking beasts we should have tried to work with instead of defeat.
This site is relatively liberal. Regardless, being labeled as an Talipologist is like accusing one of being a Hitler apologist simply for pointing out his beneficial economic reforms after the Weimar hyperinflation. I can and do recognize that the Taliban had or currently has, lots of wrong and barbaric laws, such as punishing people for their way they do their hair. Same goes for punishing homosexuals and others of different sexual orientation. They are simply in the wrong there. You may have gotten such an impression because I did not condemn everything they did, and some of their controversial acts I do support; I think kidnappers who harvest people's organs should get the death penalty, something I think both Taliban and many secularists would agree on.

My criticism of the US was not meant to deflect or even make a point on how the Taliban were good (they aren't), but to more clearly illustrate the double standard. I saw a video of the Taliban with SUVs blatantly run over a peaceful crowd of protesters over a killing they committed. Just kidding, that was actually the New York Police Department running over George Floyd protesters. So, you see what I mean. And the idea that they are proud of killing their own Muslim brothers should not surprise you, in the same way you should not be surprised when you, along with other members of the military, heard little kids screaming in the room literally next door while being raped by those same Muslims, and allies to the USA. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/...d-to-ignore-child-sex-abuse-by-afghan-forces/ So I don't know how you sleep at night. Out of all the rotten eggs in the basket, there was at least one noble good one, Green Beret Sgt Charles Martland who tried putting and to it. But, the Army kicked him out, as well as the other one who tried to stop them. And it wasn't just the Afghans who were child abusers; there were reports that US mercenaries joined in because they weren't subject to the same rules as the Army. And it didn't stop just there- the ANA was corrupt, the police were corrupt, the Afghan government was corrupt. It was actually called one of the most corrupt in the world. They stole the livelihood of the people and condemned them to starvation. Ghani himself was a speaker of a Ted talk in how to fix broken nations, yet fled with the money! So let me be clear, again. It doesn't matter if the people the Taliban kill are Muslim or not. Those police, those government officials, those officers, were bottom of the barrel, no matter their label of Muslim or not.

I didn't know the Taliban had banned driving semi trucks, at least along Highway 1 at any rate. Consider that another point against them. The point of suicide bombers is a valid one, but only when it hurts civilians. The Japanese used the same kamikaze against the US during WWII, and it has remained a valid strategy to this day in using an inexpensive method for someone who has little experience to inflict a relatively large amount of damage against an opponent. I remember an interview with a Taliban guy who said his (civilian) brother had been killed by the US in one of the routine drone bombing campaigns. He said he had no choice but to pick up a gun, RPG, or suicide vest.

And that's where you're wrong. They aren't being brainwashed into fighting so much as fighting simply because of the large amount of casualties the US inflicted on civilian populations in response. Remember the Mujahideen in the Rambo 3 movie, when they said they cannot be killed because "we are already dead"? They already accepted their death.
Decades later, we see an interview with a Taliban commander answering the very points you brought up of killing their fellow Muslims and how they do not fear death, the same things as it was years ago when they fought the Soviets, and the British the time before that, and the ones to defeat Genghis Khan even before that. That guy in this video was killed several weeks ago. He was the commander, not a new recruit. He rushed in to fight against ISIS, who had bombed a hospital. He could have walked away into safety, as his own men tried to make him. But he chose not to. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamdullah_Mukhlis

Yes, they've done terrible things before the invasion. But the reports after they have taken power are many times outright false. If you want to claim me being an apologist, then let me ask you if the man who's been at the head of fighting against the Taliban, and much longer than you, General Sir Nick Carter, is an apologist too? I've posted the video here. He has been vilified by his own countrymen for saying the same things I have. Actually, he went much further, and suggested that Afghanistan might become a tourist destination in the future under Taliban 2.0. Or UK's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who backed his statements? https://news.sky.com/story/afghanis...ter-over-taliban-has-changed-remarks-12385054

Yes, the US should have worked with them. The offer of working with them came from none other than the Taliban themselves, but the US said they "don't negotiate with terrorists": https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5 It wasn't just this time, but it was also the US that broke the Doha agreement, not the Taliban. It was the Taliban who agreed to work with the US backed government in fighting ISIS in 2018 in Jawzjan, which was when they backstabbed the Taliban and bombed them, and then negotiated the ISIS surrender and took the credit.
 

TrapperViper

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I'm not sure what it is we are agreeing or disagreeing on anymore.

I think you're in over your head with the below comment, though.

And the idea that they are proud of killing their own Muslim brothers should not surprise you, in the same way you should not be surprised when you, along with other members of the military, heard little kids screaming in the room literally next door while being raped by those same Muslims, and allies to the USA. https://www.militarytimes.com/news/...d-to-ignore-child-sex-abuse-by-afghan-forces/ So I don't know how you sleep at night.
I think you're referring to me with the statement I bolded.

Rambo 3 is a great point to bring up. My favorite quote from the movie is this one:

“There won’t be a [Soviet] victory. Every day, your war machines lose ground to a bunch of poorly armed, poorly equipped freedom fighters. The fact is that you underestimated your competition. If you’d studied your history, you’d know that these people have never given up to anyone. They’d rather die than be slaves to an invading army. You can’t defeat a people like that. We tried; we already had our Vietnam! Now you’re going to have yours.”
-Colonel Trautman to his KGB captor in Rambo III.

I have to apologize if you were offended when I called you a Taliban apologist. My understanding is that the definition of an apologist is "a person who offers an argument in defense of something controversial." It does seem to me like that's exactly what you've been doing in this thread.

And that's where you're wrong. They aren't being brainwashed into fighting so much as fighting simply because of the large amount of casualties the US inflicted on civilian populations in response.

This is where we agree, for the most part. Taking up arms against an invading army that dropped bombs on your family is not a "radical" concept. A child orphaned by a U.S. bomb doesn't need religious fanaticism as a motivation to fight against an occupying force.

But, convincing that young man into thinking that his life has more purpose if he's dead than alive, that's brainwashing. Strapping bombs to his chest after getting him high on opium, then sending him into a crowded restaurant to kill himself and his fellow Afghans...that's evil.

I really do get the sense that you're trying to figure out some pretty complicated issues in a way that's not "lemming like." You are rejecting group think on this issue, and you're probably doing the same thing on a host of other controversial issues. Keep on being you.
 
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