Climate Change and The Taliban


What does climate change mean,  how do people define global warming? Do we think of melting ice caps in terms of rising ocean levels, threatened animal habitats, violent unpredictable weather? Do we think about it at all? Are we confused by anti warming propaganda, suspicious of scientific proof? How many ponder a connection between climate change and the Taliban?

Founded in 1994 by Mohammed Omar, iron fist Taliban fundamentalism seized control of Afghanistan in 1996. Brutal Taliban justice, horrific oppression of women, terrorist agendas, outraged the global community long before 9/11. One of the first Taliban edicts – eradicate all opium poppy fields as an offense to Islam. From 1996 to the American ousting of Taliban rule in 2001, Afghan farmers who once supplied of 60% of world heroin, grew wheat crops.

Unfortunately 2001 coincided with a period of unprecedented drought in Afghanistan. Devastated farmers had families to feed – the Taliban needed money, soldiers and safe havens. Fragmented Taliban forces came up with a solution. In exchange for “taxes”, recruits and absolute indifference to caching weapons or hiding insurgents, they would protect impoverished farmers choice of crops. Opium poppies thrive on 1/6th the water of wheat.  Drought resistant poppies sustained a population whose only choice became Taliban loyalty or starvation.

Far from suggesting Afghanistan’s untimely drought was a direct result of climate change – it’s worth considering implications beyond rising sea levels. Religious fundamentalists outlawed opium poppies when rain fell, weaponized poppies by allowing starving farmers to plant them in exchange for loyalty.

Ponder climate change as a weapon. Consider ramifications of weaponizing crops We can ignore mind numbing climate change rhetoric, or wrap our heads around drought and Taliban support.

 

Bowe Bergdahl Nonsense


Obama bashing erupted with giddy vengeance following news of a prisoner trade with the Taliban for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl. Hardly able to contain themselves, right wing hot heads wasted no time calling foul on Obama and the Democrats. How dare the administration “negotiate” with terrorists?  Allegations Bergdahl was captured after deserting his post, fueled in no small part by Bill O’Reilly’s asinine statements – Bergdahl was a un-American deserter,  converted to Islam, and his father looked like a member of the Taliban.

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/06/fox_news_new_transformation_how_bowe_bergdahl_went_from_pow_to_terrorist/

Bowe Bergdahl survived years of unimaginable abuse. Torture, beatings, months held inside a metal cage in total darkness. His father claims he grew the beard in solidarity for his son, learning regional dialects in hopes of talking to the captors. Sgt. Bergdahl and his family have endured more than any of us could fathom.

Pondering reactions of opportunistic right wing trash talkers, a depressing and sobering prospect – a prospect close to eroding my few remaining shreds of optimism. In this case, optimism is defined as my hope average Americans can resist over blown anti-government grand standing, in favor of finding a crumb of decency to welcome Bergdahl home while allowing the truth to be determined.

Attempting reason with a pack of rabid dogs is futile. All I can offer are some facts – if nothing else, throwing them at America makes me feel better.

Soap box hysteria claiming  Taliban men exchanged for Bergdahl are poised to eradicate America’s way of life – alarmist propaganda at best. Statistically only 29% of detainees released  from Guantanamo make their way back to the Taliban. Compare that to the 2/3’s of American citizens who find themselves back in jail within 3 years of release from American prisons.

Your red faced indignation over Obama ignoring a perceived “America will not negotiate with terrorists” policy – stop listening to Fox News and spend a few minutes pondering reality. Jimmy Carter bargained for release of Iranian hostages. Ronald Reagan bargained for hostages held in Lebanon by agreeing to send arms to Iran – come on people, brush up on your history and remember a secret deal by Republican Ronald Reagan to use Israel to ship weapons to Iran, resupply Israel and come off smelling like a rose. Has America forgotten the disintegrating plan which ultimately led to funds from arms sales to Iran being diverted to support anti-Communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua?

What I find most disturbing is a willingness to seize upon blind  “discredit Obama” sentiment.  Claiming Obama destroys American values, using Bowe Bergdahl’s release as fuel for right wing campfires. Void of compassion, oblivious to “no soldier left behind” values, bereft of common decency, let alone intentions to stand behind your soldiers.

I have no doubt the “gotcha Obama” crew are mighty pleased with themselves. You must be patting each other on the backs, high fiving your good fortune, lost in a hazy delusion of righteous victory. All I can tell you is how pathetically un-American you are. How you dishonor the military, mock fundamental codes of conduct – all for the sake of your twisted political agenda. Using Bowe Bergdahl to bolster anti government propaganda is shameful – believe me when I tell you, no one is buying your embarrassing diversion.

Berdahl is an American soldier – his service and conduct, not the business of narrow minded lunatics bent on discrediting the government. Those of you calling him a deserter, making death threats against his family, claiming he converted to Islam (thus has become a terrorist) – while gleefully attacking Obama for bringing him home – know that you are the reason America struggles. You’re acting like petulant children – children in need of a “time out”.

Give it a rest Bergdahl haters. We all know you’re Obama haters – show us you’re capable of putting this issue in perspective by acknowledging your bias. Stop playing games and admit you care more for slamming Obama than waiting for actual facts in the Bergdahl case. Allow the military to sort out Bergdahl’s circumstances. Until such time as concrete proof exists in support of your hysterical accusations – put your claws away and allow an American soldier to come home.

nypost.com

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/us-taliban-prisoner-swap-five-points-the-critics-are-ignoring/article18983098/