Reasons to be cheery and weary, from near and far.
From the La Lutte Continue file (it's thick and overflowing): In 2009, 18-year old Gulnaz was raped by her cousin’s husband. Pregnant, she was sent to prison for adultery, and her baby daughter was born in jail. Gulnaz and her child have been in prison ever since, and she's been told the way only way to get out of jail is to marry the man who raped her. Gulnaz has since been sentenced to three years for not reporting her attack early enough. Please sign this petition to President Hamid Karzai: Free Gulnaz now.
Of the 47 different ISAF countries with soldiers in Afghanistan, Canada is uniquely burdened by an overbearing caste of dainty "troops out" elitists. "Not the right mission for Canada," they drone on. For some reason, it's the right mission for plucky little Tonga, faraway Mongolia, tiny Bosnia - Herzegovina and of course that global hyperpower Latvia. But Canada? Don't be silly. We're peacemakers, not war-making lackeys of American imperialism!
The troops-out & peace-talks lobby will not not want you to know this: "Amid interviews with women that included police officers, surgeons, soap opera stars, cleaning ladies, frustrated widows, and hopeful wives, the greatest surprise, Danziger says, was that these women wanted foreign troops to stay. Every single one of them. 'We criticize Afghanistan’s treatment of women, but we don’t listen to Afghan women,' he laments."
Or this: Afghanistan will be unable to fight Taliban after Western withdrawal.
Or this: "We don't think anybody should be negotiating with the Taliban," says Esther Hyneman of Women for Afghan Women, which runs family centers and safe homes for abused women across Afghanistan. "If the Taliban wanted a role in the government, why don't they run for parliament in a democratic election? They don't want a role in the Afghan government -- they want the Afghan government."
Not good: Senior Pakistani officials say NATO helicopters attacked a Pakistani Army post in the Mohmand agency area along the Afghan border late Friday night, killing 26 Pakistani troops. They say the attack was "unprovoked and without reason." My pal Zack Baddorf is in the area. Noting the Pakistani foreign ministry official's comment,"There will still be demands from different segments of Pakistan to seek immediate revenge," Zack wonders out loud: "Like what? Sending militants with arms, money, and explosives into Afghanistan to kill Afghan civilians and American troops?"
From the Arab revolutionary front, Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer notices that Arab revolutionaries look to Israel for inspiration, while the Islamist threat of counter-revolution and reactionary chauvinism is never far away: At a Cairo rally, 'One day we'll kill all Jews.' In Syria, meanwhile, Robert Fisk, Nir Rosen and Andrew Gilligan do the dirty work of disinformation for the dictator Assad, Amal Hanano reports in Jadaliyya.
Heartbreaking news: In Azerbaijan, the journalist Rafiq Tagi has died of his wounds. Meanwhile, more out of me on Occumania, about 8':30" into this CBC All Points West program. Days later, shall I say 'I told you so'? Just asking, because here, Occupist ringmaster Kelle Lasn blasts "loony left" for enfeebling his movement, blames the evil MSM for it.
Highly recommended mini-documentary: Seamus Murphy's A Darkness Visible. Note well: "Nobody talks about the people of Afghanistan. It's as though we do not exist."