Is Truth a matter of political correctness?

This article is reason for great concern. The rewriting of history has become, in this case, a tool by which to not only misrepresent the truth but to define the present situation. As Cohen says, it is a call to action. Can this be? RLC

EDITORIAL OBSERVER

The Difference Between Politically Incorrect and Historically Wrong

By ADAM COHEN

Published: January 26, 2005


I f you’re going to call a book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History,” readers will expect some serious carrying on about race, and Thomas Woods Jr. does not disappoint. He fulminates against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, best known for forcing restaurants and bus stations in the Jim Crow South to integrate, and against Brown v. Board of Education. And he offers up some curious views on the Civil War – or “the War of Northern Aggression,” a name he calls “much more accurate.”The introduction bills the book as an effort to “set the record straight,” but it is actually an attempt to push the record far to the right. More than a history, it is a checklist of arch-conservative talking points. The New Deal public works programs that helped millions survive the Depression were a “disaster,” and Social Security “damaged the economy.” The Marshall Plan, which lifted up devastated European nations after World War II, was a “failed giveaway program.” And the long-discredited theory of “nullification,” which held that states could suspend federal laws, “isn’t as crazy as it sounds.”It is tempting to dismiss the book as fringe scholarship, not worth worrying about, but the numbers say otherwise. It is being snapped up on college campuses and, helped along by plugs from Fox News and other conservative media, it recently soared to No. 8 on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list. It is part of a boomlet in far-right attacks on mainstream history that includes books like Jim Powell’s “FDR’s Folly,” which argues that Franklin Roosevelt made the Depression worse, and Michelle Malkin’s “In Defense of Internment,” a warm look back on the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.It is not surprising, in the current political climate, that liberal pieties are being challenged, and many of them ought to be. But the latest revisionist histories are disturbing both because they are so extreme – even Ronald Reagan called the Japanese internment a “grave wrong” and signed a reparations law – and because they seem intent on distorting the past to promote dangerous policies today. If Social Security contributed to the Depression, it makes sense to get rid of it now. If internment was a good thing in 1942, think what it could do in 2005. And if the 14th Amendment, which guarantees minorities “equal protection of the law,” was never properly ratified – as Mr. Woods argues – racial discrimination may be constitutional after all.At the start of the “Politically Incorrect Guide to American History,” Mr. Woods says he is not trying to offer “a complete overview of American history.” That frees him to write a book in which major historical events that do not fit his biases are omitted, in favor of minutiae that do. The book has nothing to say about the Trail of Tears, in which a fifth of the Cherokee population was wiped out, or similar massacres, but cheerfully points out that “by its second decade Harvard College welcomed Indian students.”The “Politically Incorrect Guide” is full of dubious assertions, small and large. It makes a perverse, but ideologically loaded, linguistic argument that the American Civil War was not actually a civil war, a point with which dictionaries disagree. More troubling are the book’s substantive distortions of history, like its claim that the infamous Black Codes, passed by the Southern states after the Civil War, were hardly different from Northern anti-vagrancy laws. The Black Codes – which were aimed, as the Columbia University historian Eric Foner has noted, at keeping freed slaves’ status as close to slavery as possible – went well beyond anything in the North.The book reads less like history than a call to action, since so many of its historical arguments track the current political agenda of the far right. It contends that federal courts were never given the power to strike down state laws, a pet cause of states’ rights supporters today. And it maintains that the First Amendment applies only to the federal government, and therefore does not prohibit the states from imposing religion on their citizens, a view that Clarence Thomas has suggested in his church-state opinions.Most ominously, it makes an elaborate argument that the 14th Amendment was “never constitutionally ratified” because of irregularities in how it was adopted. This, too, is a pet cause of the fringe right, one the Supreme Court has rejected. If it prevailed, it would undo Brown v. Board of Education and many other rulings barring discrimination based on race, religion and sex. But Mr. Woods does not carry his argument to its logical conclusion. If the 14th Amendment was not properly ratified, neither, it would seem, was the 13th, which was adopted under similar circumstances, and slavery should be legal.These revisionist historians have started meeting pockets of resistance from those who believe they are rewriting reality to suit an ideological agenda. A group called Progress for America recently produced an ad that, incredibly, used Franklin Roosevelt’s picture to support President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. But Progress for America lost the public relations war when James Roosevelt Jr., F.D.R.’s grandson, announced that his grandfather “would surely oppose the ideas now being promoted by this administration.” Then there was the large Christian school in North Carolina that assigned its students a booklet called “Southern Slavery: As It Was.” At first, the school argued that the booklet – which describes slavery as “a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence” – simply provided a valuable “Southern perspective.” But after North Carolina newspapers reported on its contents, and quoted local pastors expressing their concern, the school quietly withdrew the text last month, apologizing for the “oversight.”

fwd: One in four Afghan children dies before fifth birthday

On conditions in Afghanistan. RLC

Forwarded Message:

From: Rasul Mobin
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: One in four Afghan children dies before fifth birthday
Date: Jan 19, 2005

>
>
> The Independent (london)
> One in four Afghan children dies before fifth birthday
> By Maxine Frith
> 18 January 2005
>
>
> Afghanistan has one of the poorest records in the world for women andch ildren’s health. And despite the grand promises made to post-war Afghanistan, there is no sign of improvement any time soon.
>
> Unicef says 1,600 women per 100,000 die in childbirth in Afghanistan; in the UK, the rate is 16 per 100,000. In the most remote areas the maternal mortality rate is 6,000 per 100,000, meaning that 6 per cent of women die during labour.
>
> Even if mother and baby survive, their prospects are dismal. One in four children dies before their fifth birthday; in most Western countries, the rate is fewer than 30 per 1,000 live births.
>
> The 26 million people have just 900 clinics for reproductive health and childbirth. Charities and aid agencies have been frustrated that the Millennium Development Goals did not directly address the issue of reproductive health.
>
> The US refuses to fund organisations promoting abortion. Lucy Palmer, support manager for the sexual health charity Marie Stopes International in south Asia, said: “Because of the work we do on abortion, we have to rely on European partners.
>
> “The Americans had committed a lot of money to a basic healthcare package in Afghanistan which would have given women better access to services, but just before the elections the cash was diverted to building roads.
>
> “Contraception is not illegal in Afghanistan but women only have access to these services if there is a clinic two or three kilometres away, and for most that is not the case.”
>
> Chronic shortages of trained doctors, midwives and hospitals also mean most women who develop complications during labour are likely to die.
>
> Ms Palmer added: “[We] are struggling just to get our teams out ther and working. The country needs a national training centre for doctors and midwives.”

Attack Iran? Cole thinks so

The following is from Juan Cole: www.juancole.com Jan 18, 05

His comments on Hersh’s article help me to have some perspective on the article. In fact, it is incredible to me that the Bush administration would still be thinking about Iran. I can’t really believe that they want to attack Iran. It would have been a blunder when they first declared Iran part of the Axis of Evil and a folly beyond imagination now. I hope Hersh and Cole are

wrong. RLC

JUAN COLE, JAN 18,05

The Accountability Moment and Hersh on Iran

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh threw Washington, Islamabad and Tehran into consternation Monday with his report in the New Yorker on the activities of Bush’s Pentagon with regard to Iran. He said that the Pentagon had already sent some special ops teams into Iran to look for evidence of a nuclear weapons program, with Pakistani help. Bush used the Pentagon instead of the CIA, Hersh alleged, because Bush maintains that there are no reporting requirements with regard to Congress this way. Using the CIA would have required informing the Senate Intelligence Committee, by law. Probably Pentagon intelligence gathering falls under the same statute, but that is an untested theory and for the moment Rumsfeld is acting as though the Pentagon is unconstrained.

I don’t think there is any doubt that Bush and his appointees at the head of the Department of Defense intend to do something to Iran. If Iraq had gone well, they probably would already have attacked it. Since their land army is tied down in Iraq, they have to use special operations forces for aggressive action against Iran. The Pentagon and also Pakistan are denying the report

heatedly. But it makes sense. Iran has formed a close military alliance with India, Pakistan’s chief rival in South Asia, and Iran has come out on top in the new Afghanistan, with Tajik and Hazarah allies displacing the largely Pushtun, Pakistan-oriented Taliban. And Pakistan has reason not to want Iran to get nukes, thus surrounding Pakistan with nuclear powers on both the east and the south. So Pakistan has every reason to cooperate with the US against Iran.

As for Bush and his DoD hawks, they have been quite clear about their intentions. They announced that Iraq and Iran were part of an axis of evil, and we have already seen what happens to regimes so categorized.

The potential for trouble for the United States if the Bush administration acts aggressively toward Iran is enormous. It could turn the Iraqi Shiites and the Afghan Hazarahs decisively against Washington. An Iran in chaos similar to that in Iraq would be three or four times the problem for the US and the world that Iraq is.

Ironically, Bush revealed the day before Hersh’s article that he has learned nothing from his mistakes in Iraq.

Bush’s comments in the Washington Post on Sunday that he did not need to fire anybody over his Iraq policy because the US electorate had endorsed that policy cause a political uproar.

‘ “We had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 election,” he was reported as saying. “The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates and chose me, for which I’m grateful.” ‘

Bush doesn’t seem to know the difference between getting a mandate to lead and getting a mandate to continue failed policies. Those Americans who voted for Bush often did so, according to polls, despite worries that Iraq wasn’t going well. They didn’t put him back in to just keep on making the same stupid mistakes. They put him back in in hopes that he had been seasoned by the errors and was committed enough to the project to see it through properly.

That is why he should have fired the top three officials at the Department of Defense, to signal that he was going to make a course correction.

Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith don’t know how to fix the Iraq mess, and don’t even seem to pay much attention to the problems. In testimony before Congress last spring, Wolfowitz grossly underestimated the number of US troops that had been killed in the guerrilla war.

Rumsfeld either was involved in the decision to put the US into the torture business, or didn’t keep watch on subordinates who did make that decision. Either way, he goes down in history as the Marquis de Sade of Abu Ghraib. He didn’t know that it would only have taken a phone call to increase the number of armored vehicles sent to our troops in Iraq. And, when he was asked about the difficulties of holding elections in Iraq, he said it would be all right if the polls couldn’t be held in some areas of the country. He did not know that his subordinate, Paul Bremer, had set the elections up as national and proportional, so that if one region with a major ethnic group did not vote, it would end up not being represented in parliament. (Rumsfeld seems to have though it was like the US, where if you have a light turnout in a district, you still get a congressman, he or she just doesn’t represent much of the electorate). He should be fired.

Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing

———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2005 09:13:54 -0000
From: Musa Paktiawal
Reply-To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing

08 Jan 2005 07:24:16 GMT
Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing
By Sayed Salahuddin

KABUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Afghan security forces have detained a
supreme court judge suspected of being involved in an August car bomb
attack that killed 10 people, including three Americans, in the
capital Kabul, a court official said on Saturday.

The attack targeted offices used by the private U.S. security firm
DynCorp, which provides protection to President Hamid Karzai and
gives anti-narcotics training to Afghan police.

A supreme court official said the arrest of Judge Naqibullah followed
the interrogation of two al Qaeda members detained this month for the
bombing.

“The security forces several days ago arrested Naqibullah as an
accused over the bombing incident,” Wahid Mozhda, a spokesman for the
supreme court, told Reuters.

“They said the other two suspects had also said that they had spent a
night at Naqibullah’s house in Kabul.”

Naqibullah also served as the head of the preliminary court of a
district of Panj Sher province to the northeast of the capital, the
official said.

He belonged to a faction of the Mujahideen, or holy warriors, which
fought the 1980s Soviet occupation and then the Taliban from the late
1990s, helping U.S.-led forces topple them in 2001.

Security forces said they discovered explosives during a raid on
Naqibullah’s house, Mozhda said.

The Taliban, ousted from power in 2001 for harbouring al Qaeda and
its chief, Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility for the bombing
and the suicide attack.

Bin Laden is the architect of Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. cities and his
whereabouts remain a mystery, though officials speculate that he is
hiding somewhere along the rugged border between Afghanistan and
Pakistan.

Taliban remnants and their al Qaeda allies are mostly active in parts
of southern and eastern Afghanistan.

********************************************************************
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By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
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fwd: Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing

Very interesting. One never knows what is actually happening out there. Things
are never what they seem. Best, RLC

Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/

Forwarded Message:

From: Musa Paktiawal
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing
Date: Jan 8, 2005

>
>
> 08 Jan 2005 07:24:16 GMT
> Afghan judge arrested for Kabul bombing
> By Sayed Salahuddin
>
> KABUL, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Afghan security forces have detained a
> supreme court judge suspected of being involved in an August car bomb
> attack that killed 10 people, including three Americans, in the
> capital Kabul, a court official said on Saturday.
>
> The attack targeted offices used by the private U.S. security firm
> DynCorp, which provides protection to President Hamid Karzai and
> gives anti-narcotics training to Afghan police.
>
> A supreme court official said the arrest of Judge Naqibullah followed
> the interrogation of two al Qaeda members detained this month for the
> bombing.
>
> “The security forces several days ago arrested Naqibullah as an
> accused over the bombing incident,” Wahid Mozhda, a spokesman for the
> supreme court, told Reuters.
>
> “They said the other two suspects had also said that they had spent a
> night at Naqibullah’s house in Kabul.”
>
> Naqibullah also served as the head of the preliminary court of a
> district of Panj Sher province to the northeast of the capital, the
> official said.
>
> He belonged to a faction of the Mujahideen, or holy warriors, which
> fought the 1980s Soviet occupation and then the Taliban from the late
> 1990s, helping U.S.-led forces topple them in 2001.
>
> Security forces said they discovered explosives during a raid on
> Naqibullah’s house, Mozhda said.
>
> The Taliban, ousted from power in 2001 for harbouring al Qaeda and
> its chief, Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility for the bombing
> and the suicide attack.
>
> Bin Laden is the architect of Sept. 11 attacks on U.S. cities and his
> whereabouts remain a mystery, though officials speculate that he is
> hiding somewhere along the rugged border between Afghanistan and
> Pakistan.
>
> Taliban remnants and their al Qaeda allies are mostly active in parts
> of southern and eastern Afghanistan.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3300 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
> TO SUBSCRIBE
> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afghaniyat/
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> afghaniyat-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
>

fwd: The war for Afghans’ hearts: After years of hostility toward foreign troops, the

As indicated in an earlier note, it is always hard to tell how strong one or
another so-called public sentiment is among a group of people, so this is to be
read with some reserve, but it is promising news in so far as it is true. RLC

Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/

Forwarded Message:

From: Rasul Mobin
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: The war for Afghans’ hearts: After years of hostility toward foreign
troops, the
Date: Jan 9, 2005

>
>
> Ottawa Citizen
> January 9, 2005
> The war for Afghans’ hearts: After years of hostility toward foreign
> troops, the people of Kandahar have finally warmed up and are helping
> the soldiers
> by Jim Farrell, The Edmonton Journal
>
>
> If Canadian troops move from Kabul back to Kandahar next year — and
> it appears likely they will — the Canadians will find a changed city
> and an American-run base that is almost unrecognizable.
>
> When Canadian troops served alongside Americans from January to
> August of 2002, occasional firefights erupted around the perimeter of
> the airport where they were stationed. In the city and surrounding
> villages, locals tended to be standoffish. Every soldier was aware
> that Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban.
>
> The Kandahar base now features wooden huts where row upon row of four-
> person tents once stood. Cyclone fencing topped with razor wire,
> rather than soldiers dug into trenches, provides security. The
> southeast corner of the camp, once featureless desert, is a vast
> storage area of steel cargo containers. Where soldiers once carted
> away steel drums of human waste from improvised outhouses, civilian
> workers scrub down full-service bathrooms.
>
> But the most significant change is found in the city of Kandahar and
> the surrounding countryside, where most children now wave or give
> thumbs-up to patrolling American troops. Their fathers often smile as
> armoured Humvees flying the Stars and Stripes motor by.
>
> “Down here in Kandahar the sharp end has been somewhat blunted,” Maj.
> David Flynn of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery
> said.
>
> There are still incidents of roadside booby-trap bombs and rockets
> lobbed toward the city, but these incidents are more common in Kabul,
> the capital city 500 kilometres to the northeast.
>
> “We have been successful in interdicting improvised explosive devices
> (booby traps) thanks largely to locals tipping us off about people
> out to cause trouble,” says Maj. Flynn. “Our message is getting out
> and people are assisting the command.”
>
> That matters to Canadians because Afghanistan’s defence minister has
> proposed that Canadian troops move from Kabul to Kandahar in February
> 2006 to provide security for Provincial Reconstruction Teams,
> civilian/military groups that will stabilize the area and aid
> reconstruction.
>
> If Canadians return to Kandahar, they will receive a warm welcome
> from the local populace, Maj. Flynn says.
>
> “Generally we have exceeded my expectations,” he says. “People are
> happy to be able to go back to their homes. They are happy their
> children are going back to school. These people are tired of war.”
>
> That seemed to be the case when Lieut. Noel Bergeron led a patrol of
> four Humvees around and through Kandahar to show the flag and drop in
> on local police headquarters. On their maps, they named the local
> roads after beers — such as Michelob, Labatts, Rolling Rock, Amstel,
> Killians, Heineken, Bud Lite and Molson Ice.
>
> Levity aside, as he prepared to drive down a road named for a
> forbidden beer, Lieut. Bergeron cautioned his soldiers.
>
> “It’s never a routine patrol,” he told them.
>
> As the convoy hit the first mud-walled desert village south of
> Kandahar, children rushed to the roadside, waving and giving the
> thumbs-up signal.
>
> “We’ve also taught them the Hawaiian shaka,” Lieut. Bergeron says,
> extending the thumb and small finger of one hand in the ‘be cool’
> surfer salute to illustrate what he means.
>
> The convoy stops at a 44-man station on the northern rim of the city.
> Police chief Manan Khan, a member of the Alokozie tribe, runs it.
>
> “Most district police chiefs are Alokozie because the police chief of
> Kandahar province is Alokozie,” Lieut. Bergeron says. “It works
> better that way.”
>
> He makes notes in a small black book as Manan Khan explains his
> peacekeeping problems. Most involve members of the Afghan Militia
> Force — the old Afghan army — breaking into houses or robbing
> people at gunpoint. Lieut. Bergeron explains that will soon stop. The
> program to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate members of the Afghan
> militia into the civilian population is under way.
>
> There is also a campaign to register all guns — primarily AK-47
> assault rifles. Families may keep those weapons in their homes for
> self-defence, but they won’t be allowed to take them into the streets.
>
> “It’s just like Montana,” says Lieut. Bergeron. “Everyone here has a
> gun but soon the police will be the only ones carrying AK-47s.”
>
> As Lieut. Bergeron prepares to leave, Manan Khan tells him that
> everyone must learn to be patient.
>
> “Afghanistan was not broken in just 30 days so it will not be fixed
> in one day,” he says through an interpreter.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3300 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
> TO SUBSCRIBE
> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afghaniyat/
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> afghaniyat-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>
>

fwd: Afghan tribe threatens to burn opium growers’ houses

More good news, I hope. Best, RLC

Please see my “concerns” page:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~canfrobt/Concerns
My blog: http://rcanfield.blogspot.com/

Forwarded Message:

From: Rasul Mobin
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Afghan tribe threatens to burn opium growers’ houses
Date: Jan 9, 2005

>
>
> Agence France Presse
> January 9, 2005 3:02 AM GMT
> Afghan tribe threatens to burn opium growers’ houses
> by Ramatullah Kawsar
>
>
>
> Tribal elders in southeastern Afghanistan have threatened to torch
> the houses of people found growing opium and make them pay a hefty
> fine in a bid to stamp out burgeoning poppy cultivation.
>
> By far the most drastic suggestion yet offered for tackling the
> country’s rampant drug trade, the punishment failed to win the
> approval of Afghan President Hamid Karzai despite his anti-narcotics
> stance.
>
> But with tribal law replacing a non-existent justice system in the
> outer reaches of Afghanistan and without a clearly defined strategy
> for eradicating drugs, the extreme solution shows just how tough the
> battle against opium is going to be.
>
> Backed by the United States and other western governments, Karzai
> vowed after his inauguration last month to launch a “jihad”, or holy
> war, against narcotics, which account for two-thirds of Afghanistan’s
> economy.
>
> The tribal council of southeastern Khost province appeared to have
> taken him at his word, announcing in a radio broadcast earlier this
> week that anyone arrested for robbery, setting explosives or growing
> opium would have to pay a 100,000 Afghani (2,083 US dollar) fine and
> would have their house burnt down.
>
> “All the tribes agreed to obey this agreement and all tribes signed
> it, so ordinary people in each tribe will obey and respect it,”
> Sultan Mohammad Babrakzai, assistant Head of Tribes Affairs
> Department in Khost, told AFP.
>
> Babrakzai added that the tribesmen would also burn down the houses of
> anyone who supports Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the
> region, which has been a hotbed for attacks on US and pro-government
> forces.
>
> Khost’s tribal elders made the headlines in September ahead of
> Afghanistan’s first presidential election for threatening to burn the
> houses of any locals found not to be voting for Karzai, who later won
> the October 9 poll.
>
> Now they are throwing their weight behind Karzai’s drive to stem the
> growth of Afghanistan opium crop which jumped 64 percent over the
> last year and now accounts for almost 90 percent of the world’s opium
> and its heroin derivatives.
>
> Karzai distanced himself from the threats, saying that violence was
> an unacceptable way to tackle the problem.
>
> “While welcoming the determination of many Afghans to rid the country
> of the curse of poppies and drug cultivation, the government asks all
> Afghans to abide by the constitution and laws. The Afghan government
> is opposed to threats of violence against any Afghan citizen,”
> Karzai’s spokesman Khaleeq Ahmad told AFP.
>
> Growing or trafficking opium is a jailable offence but across
> southeastern Afghanistan government structures are weak and ancient
> tribal law holds sway, enforced by young men belonging to tribal
> militias while local courts and police forces are not robust enough
> to tackle the problem through legal means.
>
> “Tribal leaders and rules have a big influence among ordinary people
> in Khost, so this agreement of tribal leaders will have an effect on
> security, reducing Taliban activities and clearing poppy cultivation
> in the region,” Ghazi Nawaz Tani, the head of Tribe Unity Council
> told AFP.
>
> He was one of the those who drafted the new declaration and said
> tribal support could play a positive role in dealing with the two
> major challenges for the Afghan government — security and stemming
> poppy cultivation.
>
> But the tribal ruling apparently fails to address the crux of the
> opium problem in Afghanistan — offering an alternative money-spinner
> to despairing, near-destitute local farmers.
>
> “I cultivated poppies on my own land and if they grow and sell it can
> lift me out of poverty. I don’t have an alternative,” Khan Bad Shah,
> a 36-year-old local farmer from Khost province told AFP.
>
> If tribal militias eradicate his poppy fields Shah would struggle
> because opium generates around 10 times more income that wheat or
> other cash crops.
>
> Khost province is not one of Afghanistan’s main opium growing regions
> because of the climate and the soil, and cultivation is mostly
> limited to more remote mountainous regions.
>
> However, unrest in southern Afghanistan linked to the government’s
> drive to eradicate opium poppies has already begun with at least one
> government soldier working on eradication killed Thursday in Deh
> Rawood district in southcentral Uruzgan province.
>
> The soldier, who was part of a convoy of 50 soldiers working on poppy
> eradication, was killed by two militants local authorities said were
> linked to the Taliban. The attackers were killed later by government
> soldiers.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Please inform those interested in Afghanistan to join the
> Afghaniyat Listserver Newsgroup, Afghanistan’s Largest Email
> Newsgroup with over 3300 members worldwide.
>
> By joining the server, you will recieve “One Daily Digest” containing
> news articles, essays, announcements from Afghanistan officials, international
experts,and Afghans worldwide.
> ===================================================================
> TO SUBSCRIBE
> Send an email to: afghaniyat-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
> *********************************************************************
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afghaniyat/
>
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A Shia scholar joins the Afghan Supreme Court for the first time

Date: Thu, 06 Jan 2005 13:32:45 -0000
From: Kanishka Amani
Reply-To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
To: afghaniyat@yahoogroups.com
Subject: A Shia scholar joins the Afghan Supreme Court for the first time

A Shia scholar joins the Afghan Supreme Court for the first time
Pajhwok Afghan News (Afghanistan)
01/05/2005
By Habiburahman Ebrahimi

KABUL – After a separate decree was issued by President Hamid Karzai
and with the formation of an interim Supreme Court, a Shia religious
scholar has become a member of the Supreme Court in an unprecedented
move, in Kabul on Tuesday 4.

The interim Supreme Court was formed on Monday 3rd, with former Chief
Justice Mullawi Fazal Hadi Shinwari as its head.

According to the constitution, the interim Supreme Court will work
till the National Assembly (the Afghan parliament) is formed; the
elections for the Afghan Parliament are scheduled for April 2005.

The court has nine members of which Ayatollah Mohammad Hashim Salehi
is a Shia religious scholar and other members are Mullawi Abul Razaq,
Mullawi Sayed Omar Munib, Mullawi Samargul Ashraf, Mullawi Murad Ali
Murad, Mullawi Mohammad Azim Jalili, Mullawi Qiyamuddin Kashaf,
Mullawi Fazal Wahab and the ninth member is the former Chief Justice
Mullawi Fazal Hadi Shinwari.

Salehi has replaced Fazel Ahmad Manawi, the former deputy chief
justice and former member of the Supreme Court. However, there is no
official information about the fate of Manawi but it is said he is
going to be the governor of Laghman province.

Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Ayatollah Salehi said they expected
two members from the Shia sect in the Supreme Court but he is [still]
very happy about his appointment. “This decree of the President is a
step towards national unity.”

The Shia residents in the capital Kabul have also welcomed the decision.

Fatema Poya, speaking on behalf of her people said her problems will
be solved from now on, because, according to her, no one had paid
enough attention to this issue in the past.

According to Article 131 of the constitution, decrees of the Jafaria
doctrine (which is based on Sharia principles of law for a Shia sect)
will be applied in the cases related to the personal lives of the
followers of the Shiat sect in accordance with the law.

However this Supreme Court is a temporary one, but as Wahid Mojda,
spokesman for the Supreme Court and head of publication points out,
there will be no difference in the authority of the Supreme Court.

According to Wahid Mojda, following the new appointments, within
thirty days after the decree is issued; judges for a military court
will be chosen from the list of the Supreme Court and will be
introduced to the defense ministry.

Apart from Salehi, the interim Supreme Court’s members are individuals
who were criticized several times and were asked to be replaced, by
Amnesty International, Union of Human Rights’ Defenders, Afghanistan
Independent Human Rights Commission and some other international and
Afghan experts.

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