micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Friday, January 30, 2004
What about all that freedom?
The march to war affected our psychology and confidence. It is hard to be optimistic about the future when you turn on your TV screens and say, America is marching to war. War is not positive. War is -- it sends the signal that there will be uncertainty. We're not marching to peace.Funny how in the same speech Bush expresses certainty about war:
We will never forget the lessons of September the 11th. We will stay on the offensive. We will win the war on terror, and make sure that America is secure and free.Funny how I never learned "the lessons of September the 11th" let alone had a chance to forget them. Of course I don't remember what happened on "September the 11th." Was that the day Michael Jordan was going to announce that he was coming out of retirement?
And what about the freedom and liberty we can bring to people? You know the stuff that is "God's gift to humanity." Since we get to bring it God's bounty to the lesser parts of the world through war, why shouldn't it make us happy?
Bush has some explaining to do.
Another proud moment in America's fight for freedom. The only downside is we didn't get a war out of it.
"President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan's new constitution into law Monday, putting into force a charter meant to reunite his war-shattered nation and help defeat a virulent Taliban insurgency," the AP writes. "The constitution outlines a tolerant, democratic Islamic state under a strong presidency -- as sought by Karzai -- a two-chamber parliament and an independent judiciary... the text also declares men and women equal before the law."
The Taliban isn't happy with this document and the same can be said of some members of loya jirga, the group that drafted the document, who say it has been altered from the one they worked on. George Thomas of Pat Robertson's CBN News says the constitution does not protect non-Muslim religious rights:
The 162-page document begins by declaring "Afghanistan is an Islamic republic." Article two of the constitution states that, "Followers of other religions are free to perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law." But article three notes that, "No law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam."...Of course Thomas' concern isn't based solely on theory:
And, depending on how judges interpret Islamic law, Christian evangelism could be considered a crime. Under the new constitution, distributing Christian literature, holding Bible classes and raising money for Christian activities, could be considered against the sacred religion of Islam." Simbal Khan of Hi Pakistan reports that the document has been criticized by both Islamists "for lack of direct reference to the Sharia" and liberals "for failing to provide adequate guarantees for human rights." He also notes that:
...there have been few dissenting voices regarding the efficacy of the whole constitution building exercise. The panel of political analysts involved in the democratic and constitutional initiatives, conveniently ignored that such US-led foreign policy initiatives wreak violent changes within the target countries, affecting populations that are already undergoing tumultuous changes socially, politically, economically and culturally...***
The Afghan government's website is located at www.afghanistangov.org.
"The Pentagon is planning a new offensive in the 2-year-old Afghanistan campaign to stop remnants of the Taliban regime and the al-Qaida terror network, officials said Wednesday," the AP writes.
I'm shaking my head.
" The Bush administration, deeply concerned about recent assassination attempts against Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and a resurgence of Taliban forces in neighboring Afghanistan, is preparing a U.S. military offensive that would reach inside Pakistan with the goal of destroying Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, military sources said," Christine Spolar writes in a January 28 Chicago Tribune story.
The Army's top general said Wednesday he is making plans based on the possibility that the Army will be required to keep tens of thousands of soldiers in Iraq through 2006.Shocking.
In another story Burns writes:
Even with the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bigger challenge in the global war on terrorism is the threat posed by extremists in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the commander of U.S. forces in that region said Thursday.Note Abizaid is not talking about the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but about groups within those countries. Of course continuing to support those governments means supporting repressive states, which isn't always popular...
Stephen Graham of the AP writes:
The U.S. military is ``sure'' it will catch Osama bin Laden this year, a spokesman said Thursday, but he declined to comment on where the al-Qaida leader may be hiding.LOL for a number of reasons.
"I have a sense for things that are more important than people think - or sometimes less important," Glenn Reynolds says. (The quote is from Wired but I will assume it is correct since Reynolds links to it without a correction.) The sad fact is that there are a fair number of people who agree with him on this.