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Internet Censorship's First Death Sentence? 475

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-bit-harsh-i-think dept.
mrogers writes "A journalism student in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death by a Sharia court for downloading and sharing a report criticizing the treatment of women in some Islamic countries. The student was accused of blasphemy and tried without representation. According to Reporters Without Borders, sixty people are currently in jail worldwide for criticizing governments online, fifty of them in China, but this may be the first time someone has been sentenced to death for using the internet. Internet censorship is on the rise worldwide, according to The OpenNet Initiative."
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Internet Censorship's First Death Sentence?

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  • by mwasham (1208930) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:22PM (#22275428) Homepage
    But not the first death sentence due to the idiocy of sharia law.
    • by Captain Splendid (673276) * <{capsplendid} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:26PM (#22275464) Homepage Journal
      True, but considering the country was recently 'liberated' and democracy was 'brought' to it, it is a little weird.
      • by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:28PM (#22275484) Journal
        That is why democracy fails. It is literally two wolves and one lamb voting on what is for dinner. A constitutional republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote*.

        *paraphrasing ben franklin
        • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:22PM (#22276008)
          Hah. Pure idiocy. If the nation that is voting is that fractured, it has no business being a nation. The underlying assumption of democracy is that the vote is done by a general public that has some common interest, some common denominator (even if it the lowest).

          Besides, your analogy is completely misleading. What if it's 2 lambs and a wolf voting on what's for dinner? You're implying that the minority has an inherent right to protect itself via violence from the outcome of a vote. Do you really want to open the door to wahabists buying guns and contesting votes via shootouts because in America, they're the lamb in the minority? Didn't think so.
          • by rucs_hack (784150) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:44PM (#22276224)
            If the nation that is voting is that fractured, it has no business being a nation

            Alas if it is left alone, we get a repeat of the same situation that led to the reason we had to 'help' [koff] them in the first place.

            The Taleban used to execute women for, well, pretty much anything. That's not good, but neither is it representative of the entire population.

            The problem is, there are a fair few million people who are Afghans, and they'd rather not leave, what with it being their ancestral home of many tens of thousands of years. What do you think would happen if, say, Utah lost proper government for a while and became a place ruled purely by the whims of religious men with absolute power and no desire to let things change?

            Do you think the normal folk in Utah would all think it was ok to leave and let the state collapse/be fenced off? Or that they might perhaps want a little help to sort things out.
          • by c6gunner (950153) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:44PM (#22276234)

            You're implying that the minority has an inherent right to protect itself via violence from the outcome of a vote.
            That's absolutely correct. I don't much care if the whole nation votes unanimously to kill me, I'm still going to defend myself until I run out of ammo.
            • by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:48PM (#22276796) Journal
              concur - people lead themselves into tyranny when they get themselves into the mindset that personal self-defence is not the single most important; fundamental; inalienable and absolute right that exists for all.
        • by nutshell42 (557890) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:49PM (#22276272) Journal
          That is why democracy fails. It is literally two wolves and one lamb voting on what is for dinner. A constitutional republic is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote*.

          Completely ignoring the fact that wolves are likely to be well armed too and much better trained and more ready to use violence.

          "Between the weak and the strong one it is the freedom which oppresses and the law that liberates" --Jean-Baptiste Henri Lacordaire

          Our rights are based on the insight that everyone's in some kind of minority and that it's important to protect the rights of everyone instead of just the will of the majority.

          In other words: We should have written the constitution and the law books as the US did in Japan after WWII, with some minor input by the Afghanis, to prevent stuff like this from happening. Yes, that would have alienated a lot of them but they don't love us now either. And if we have to go through an insurgency that will probably last for another decade we should at least make sure that we do it for a new order that's actually worth fighting for, not for a slight variation of the old one that's almost as oppressive but a tad less ready to export terrorism.

          Another problem's of course that too many people in the West are ready to throw out 200 years of lessons learned the hard way to protect themselves against terrorism, the 456th leading cause of death in the western world.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by amorsen (7485)

            We should have written the constitution and the law books as the US did in Japan after WWII, with some minor input by the Afghanis
            The Japanese knew that they were beaten in a war they started themselves. They knew they'd have to do as the victors demanded. This mindset is completely different from that of the Afghani people.
        • by ggvaidya (747058)
          Hi,

          All the other posters replying to your post seem to be of the opinion that the point of the analogy you drew was that armed lambs will be able to defend themselves against attack by the wolves. A naive interpretation, such as mine, of this analogy would instead be that in a constitutional republic, the constitution acts as the guns of the lamb - both figuratively and, through its agent the Executive, literally - to protect it from assault by the wolves, despite them being in the majority. This could be r
      • by mwasham (1208930) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:29PM (#22275506) Homepage
        Unfortunately, if you give a bunch of religous zealots democracy they will vote to stone you to death and revert to a dictatorship.
        • by towsonu2003 (928663) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:54PM (#22275730)

          Unfortunately, if you give a bunch of religous zealots democracy they will vote to stone you to death and revert to a dictatorship.
          I am utterly confused. I never expected such anti-Americanism on /. You are talking about the US, right?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mwasham (1208930)
            To compare the US with countries that utilize Sharia law shows your ignorance.
            • by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:40PM (#22276714) Journal
              The issue here is a group maintaining its power, that just happens to be making use of the local religion to do it. Sharia law is NOT uniform in all islamic countries, or even amongst different sects in the same nation in some cases. The clergy in afghanistan ARE NOT the ones who are considered the be all end all for interpretation of sharia law.

              To polarize this by religion is ridiculous when its a governing body making the judgement to begin with. Yes, they are the clergy in afghanistan, but they're just humans maintaining their positions of power not widely accepted views from the entire world of islam. If I were to use the same tactic in reverse, i'd be spouting things like
              "What part of "Thou shall not kill" is so hard to understand?" like the onion, or perhaps suggesting one contemplate when it was that executing the mentally challenged was finally banned in texas....part of the proverbial bible belt yes?

              Course its always a lot easier to spout a knee jerk response and feel righteous about it. I suppose thats why springer existed to begin with. Look at it this way, culturally a blanket statement of "blasphemy" tends to have other people look the other way when someone is sentenced to death in that country, so that is the bent the officials used to silence their critic.

              In north america, we call it "witchcraft" "communism" or "terrorism" and replace death with life without parole, economic destruction, or character assassination...except for certain states of course. We also have a culture of questioning blanket statements concerning freedom of speech, and went through our own embarrassing period with Salem and such.

              Granted, I prefer here to there based on this, but i've lived in this system all my life so I cannot really compare at all. The arrogant attitude that the US is somehow of a "superior class" and shouldn't be compared with other governments is just racism enhanced by jingoism in the end though.

              If we want to be angry, be angry with Hamid Karzai for not demanding a pardon. He's been dealing with western diplomats long enough to know what kind of outrage this would cause, even if he isn't humanitarian enough to do so on his own. And if he somehow doesn't have the balls to step up to the clergy, then who is REALLY in power in afghanistan currently?
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by KTheorem (999253)

            Unfortunately, if you give a bunch of religous zealots democracy they will vote to stone you to death and revert to a dictatorship.

            I am utterly confused. I never expected such anti-Americanism on /. You are talking about the US, right?

            The United States in not a democracy, never has been. Democracy is an insanely stupid form of government. What we have is a constitutional republic. As another poster said, perhaps it is our actual system of government we should be exporting, and not the sanctioned mob rule that is democracy.

            • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <.tms. .at. .infamous.net.> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:44PM (#22276232) Homepage

              The United States in not a democracy, never has been. Democracy is an insanely stupid form of government. What we have is a constitutional republic.

              It's a constitutional democratic republic, which is a form of democracy.

              Our puppet government in Afghanistan is also a constitutional republic, the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan", with a constitution adopted in 2004 [wikipedia.org]. Instead of being in the name of "We, the people", theirs is in the name of "In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful".

              Article Thirty-Four of said constitution states [president.gov.af]:

              Freedom of expression shall be inviolable. Every Afghan shall have the right to express thoughts through speech, writing, illustrations as well as other means in accordance with provisions of this constitution. Every Afghan shall have the right, according to provisions of law, to print and publish on subjects without prior submission to state authorities. Directives related to the press, radio and television as well as publications and other mass media shall be regulated by law.

              So I see they're doing as good of job of following their constitution as our government is of following ours.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by kylben (1008989)

                Every Afghan shall have the right to express thoughts through speech, writing, illustrations as well as other means in accordance with provisions of this constitution. Directives related to the press, radio and television as well as publications and other mass media shall be regulated by law.

                They're following the same way the US is, alright. Using the loopholes that allow the government to do whatever it wants to do... well whatever it wants. In the US, the weasel clause is "without due process". In the Afghan constitution, I'm sure there's a clause about not blaspheming Allah, and so "in accordance with this Constitution" means that free speech is inviolable unless it blasphemes Allah - which is whatever the government says it is.

          • by sukotto (122876)
            No, Americans use guns, not stones :-)
        • by snl2587 (1177409) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:00PM (#22275778)

          Which is why democracy can't just suddenly be implemented. The people have to want it, leaders included (or, at least, the majority of them). The U.S. democracy (or, I should say, democratic republic) only got started because the people at the time didn't want a monarchy or the like and would not have immediately voted to change it back (not like votes matter all that much as it is, they only put people in power to "represent" you).

          In short, this just helps to prove that the neo-con idealogical goal of converting the world to democracy is misguided at best.

          • by The Breeze (140484) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:53PM (#22276322) Homepage
            With respect,in response your statement that democracy can't suddenly be implemented, I would submit that General Douglas MacArthur and postwar Japan would prove your argument to be false.

            A more correct argument would be that "Democracy can't just suddenly be implemented without extreme skill and a firm hand in control during the transition."

            Alas, extreme skill - or, indeed, skill of any sort - seems to be lacking in our "nation-building" efforts of late.
            • by plover (150551) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @07:10PM (#22276964) Homepage Journal
              I agree that it took both tremendous skill and discipline to restore Germany and Japan to the world, and the success is incredible.

              But there are a lot of significant differences between them and the nations following sharia law, and nobody has yet figured out how to bridge them.

              In both Germany and Japan, there was a central figure of extreme authority, a small group of insiders hoping to be next in line, a larger group of thugs willing to do their bidding because they enjoy hurting people, and a large percent of the populace that was willing to believe that their crappy lot in life was the result of "population X" (fill in the X with Jews, Poles, gypsies, westerners, Chinese, blacks, Arabs, homosexuals, or whoever is a convenient target.) All forms of tyranny essentially use this same model. And defeating them is also quite well understood: destroy the head, remove the insiders, and the movement dies. But in those cases, it was the national government that was responsible for the war. They were well known, easy to identify, and easy to physically locate. The fact that our politicians were willing to sacrifice a lot of innocent civilians with our bombing campaigns made it that much easier.

              But the current situation with violent Islamists is very different. First and foremost, their battle is based on religion, rather than politics. Despite the occasional memo coming from Osama bin Laden, there is no official head, no single "pope" of Islam dictating the violence -- mullahs all over the place are free to interpret the Qu'ran however they wish and issue fatwas of their own. Many are corrupt, seeking only to establish or maintain a power base for themselves, and the Westerners|Su'unis|Shi'a are easy and convenient targets for raising the ire of the populous. But being heads of religions, they have elevated themselves to being "above" questioning -- indeed, TFA is about the impending death of one such questioner. And the blanket of religion protects them all -- an attack by the U.S. on even a minor but corrupt mullah would rally much of ordinary non-violent Islam against the Americans. And each corrupt mullah has built himself up as a mini-tyrant, and is surrounded by a small group of insiders plus a wider group of thugs, making each individual sect almost as hard to clean up as a whole nation.

              The historical example would suggest a strategy such as the simultaneous assassinations of all the corrupt mullahs and their circles. And that is so heinous and illegitimate as to be unthinkable, even to our current violence-prone government, not to mention impossible to coordinate. And who would decide their guilt? Who would do the investigating? Where would the trials be held? We'd essentially be using both a Gestapo AND a schutstaffel to pull it off. It would require an absolutely corrupt process, bringing new corrupt people and a new horrible set of problems into the mix.

              We in the West know very little about Islam, or how to influence it. I'm sure we're trying to find ways to convince the honorable mullahs to discredit the corrupt ones, but they already have a huge base of well-deserved mistrust for us. New meddling in their business will not endear us to them, either.

              MacArthur had it easy, by comparison.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Plutonite (999141)

                We in the West know very little about Islam, or how to influence it.

                I'm sorry to say this is quite true, even in your own post above. Religious figures do not have much influence over the "violence" in most parts of the muslim world. Osama bin Laden is not a religious figure, he has no formal religious training and does not have any association (nor do his lieutenants) with the major scholarly institutions of religion (which are the only authority in Muslim matters in places that do implement shariah). In fact, most religious figures have been declared by the extremists as

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That is one of the things that so many people fail to understand. You cannot give a country democracy. When a critical mass of people in the country are free within their own minds then they will take steps to become free. Then we can jump in and help. If the people are not mentally/culturally ready for democracy then it won't work. They will just vote who they are told to vote for by their imam,priest,televangelist,newscaster,celebrity. We have a different level of the same problem here in the US, people v [webmd.com]
        • by flyingsquid (813711) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:38PM (#22276150)
          Unfortunately, if you give a bunch of religous zealots democracy they will vote to stone you to death and revert to a dictatorship.

          Actually, this case is about political censorship; it isn't about religion, or even about the journalism student at all. The student's brother is a journalist who has written pieces critical of one of Afghanistan's political factions, they haven't been able to get him, so they resorted to arresting the journalism student and trumped up some charges. This is about suppressing political dissent; there was a story about this on NPR a few days ago. It's unlikely that the student is in real danger of execution: apparently Karzai has to OK any executions. He doesn't strike me as that kind of a guy, but even assuming he was completely lacking in moral fiber, it's doubtful he would: doing so would cede power to his rivals and piss off his international allies. But I agree that Sharia is an idea whose time came and went in the Dark Ages, along with burning witches and trial by duel. When your court claims to execute God's Will, that gives it power that is difficult to check, and as seen here, that leads to abuses.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lewrker (749844)
        They have democracy now, no quotation marks. The people of Afghanistan have decided that they want to follow a certain set of laws as a sovereign country, how stupid those laws are is none of our business.
        But please, let's stop letting them into European countries and the USA, because those entities are also democratic, and once people who believe those laws are just are in majority due to low birth rate in most of them and high immigration rate, we will have to let them democratically choose to obey the sa
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by goldspider (445116)
        Just goes to show you that Democracy and Liberty do not necessarily come hand-in-hand.
    • by WilliamX (22300)
      Long before this was posted, the Afghan senate voted to overturn the death sentence.
  • by Perp Atuitie (919967) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:28PM (#22275482)
    I guess the RIAA will be moving its headquarters to Kabul.
  • Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by BertieBaggio (944287) * <bob@manicsBOYSEN.eu minus berry> on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:31PM (#22275520) Homepage

    The Afghan Senate decided to go back on it's original decision [independent.co.uk]

    But the first story / headline is much more likely to bring in people from the RSS readers / aggregators etc. Not that internet censorship isn't a topic worth discussing; but the latest information is more useful than this misleading summary.

    Sheesh.

    • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:02PM (#22275796) Journal
      The fact that they made this "original" decision at all shows what kind of government we've installed/allowed to rise to power in Afghanistan.
      • by JustASlashDotGuy (905444) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:35PM (#22276116)

        The fact that they made this "original" decision at all shows what kind of government we've installed/allowed to rise to power in Afghanistan.
        I am torn. Half of me agrees with you, while the other half is in conflict. As sad as it is, this government is much better than what they had before. In the past, the Taliban would have just killed you and then gone about their day. There would no time for an appeal by the international community nor local population.

        The government isn't the problem, it's the politicians that are currently making up the government. The framework is in place for the elected officials to lose their standing as soon as the next election comes up. It would not necessarily be a bad thing in my eyes for an entirely new senate to be elected. One side may claim its a failure of the government 'we set up', however I would see it as a beneficial option given to the citizens as a result of the government 'we set up'.

        We didn't select their leaders. They selected their own leaders. The US cannot be blamed because the citizens didn't choose wisely nor know how their elected representatives would act. Picking candidates wisely comes with time and experience; many of us in the US still haven't learned how to look past the flashy smear commercials during our election time.

        They are still a very young democracy with new ideals being forced upon them. There will be many more examples of this in the future. When/If Iraq's democracy takes hold, I guarantee you will see the same stories from there as well. It's up to all of us an in international community to tactfully and politically inform them that they are being idiots when they do something as idiotic as this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rhakka (224319)
          who says they didn't choose wisely?

          you?

          Me?

          Who are we to say who the afghans should have running their country?

          Who is to say that their elected representatives are not acting in accordance with their peoples' wishes?

          This is the whole problem with our "nation building" bullshit. We only think it's cool, when the people elect people we agree are good leaders.

          News flash everyone... THE MIDDLE EAST IS ISLAMIC, AND IF LEFT TO DEMOCRACY, ARE LIKELY TO VOTE IN ISLAMIC REPRESENTATION.

          Personally, I don't like it eit
        • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:52PM (#22276310) Journal
          We didn't select their leaders. They selected their own leaders. The US cannot be blamed because the citizens didn't choose wisely nor know how their elected representatives would act.

          That didn't stop us from setting policies in Iraq unilaterally, like banning anyone who was ever a member of the Baath party from holding any position in the new government. We installed the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ruled for over a year in Iraq. After that, a non-elected interim government ruled for (about) another year. I don't know offhand how that compares to our efforts in Afghanistan, but my point is this: we didn't relinquish control of Iraq until we were sure that relatively secular, pro-western leaders were going to take over.

          And we damn sure should have done the same thing in Afghanistan, especially if we cared about the potential for them to become future terrorist producers/trainers/harborers.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by amorsen (7485)

            we didn't relinquish control of Iraq until we were sure that relatively secular, pro-western leaders were going to take over.

            You are speaking in the past tense of something that may or not happen in the future.

            And we damn sure should have done the same thing in Afghanistan, especially if we cared about the potential for them to become future terrorist producers/trainers/harborers.

            How? Iraq apparently can't be ruled even with more than 100,000 troops. It's mostly nice and flat, with few places to hide. How are you going to impose something on Afghanistan with far fewer troops in a much more difficult area?

      • by dbIII (701233)
        There's more to it. The court really wanted his brother. This is the old story of trumped up charges on a relative of a political dissident to "send a message". It is still disturbing however.
    • Er...why don't you read your own article (obviously, you were too busy to read the /. summary to note which governmental body is involved)? FYI, in the Afghan system, there is a difference between a sharia court and the Senate. The Senate voted to support the sentence, and in the article you link to, then reversed its support. The guy still has a death sentence awaiting him until a higher court reverses it.
    • I read the entire article you linked. It doesn't look like the guy is out of trouble yet.
  • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Saturday February 02, 2008 @04:36PM (#22275566) Homepage Journal
    *=* America: At least it's not the Middle East *=*
  • that lead me to become an atheist. More and more it becomes evident that religious teachings are being used to push racism, censorship, other forms of hatred and oppressing those who have beliefs against societal norms.
    I personally beleve that religion going the way of the belief that the earth is flat will be a big step forward for humanity. This way we don't have ridiculous fairytales and superstitions getting in the way of education, human rights, science and technology.
    • More and more it becomes evident that religious teachings are being used to push racism, censorship, other forms of hatred and oppressing those who have beliefs against societal norms.

      This has always been evident. What's new is this (probably short-lived) idea that these are bad things to want. People think anything is OK if it's part of God's plan. [salon.com]
  • At least the publicity will give this guy has a shot at benefiting from outside pressure like the guy who was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.
  • In case you've forgotten, we invaded this country first, because they were supposedly harboring Osama bin Laden. Remember him? He had something to do with 9/11, if my memory serves me. He was the guy who HATED Saddam Hussein and actually OFFERED HIS SOLDIERS TO HELP SAUDI ARABIA FIGHT IRAQ. The royal family of Saudi Arabia laughed at him, preferring instead to rely on American troops. He got pissed, and has been an anti-American nutjob ever since.

    Oh, but I'm sorry... I'm sure I'm not telling you anyt
    • And the response? An 'offtopic' mod, natch. Because it's completely offtopic to talk about the fact that we installed this government (and/or allowed it to seize power) and our reasons for doing so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by goldspider (445116)
        No it was probably modded offtopic because, among many other reasons, this probably would have happened regardless of whether or not we invaded Afghanistan or Iraq.

        If anything, the increased media presence in Afghanistan brought about by our invasion is probably the only reason we even know about this case.
        • No it was probably modded offtopic because, among many other reasons, this probably would have happened regardless of whether or not we invaded Afghanistan or Iraq.

          Bullshit. We installed our own interim government in Iraq, kept it running for at least a year and only allowed elections to take place when we were nice and sure that reasonably progressive, pro-western powers were in place and ready to take over.

          If we really wanted to--if we'd made even a QUARTER of the effort we have in Iraq--we could'
      • Someone just modded offtopic again. Seriously, are things so fucking bad that people cannot remember:

        1. That we invaded Afghanistan back in '01

        and

        2. Our reasons for invading Afghanistan

        ?

        Mentioning Iraq is also on-topic, because we have been using resources on Iraq that could have instead been used on Afghanistan to prevent another fucking totalitarian theocracy from coming to power.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by schon (31600)

      in 2005] 64 percent believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links to Al Qaeda
      How is it FUCKING possible that this has happened?
      Simple - because that's what the US Government [washingtonpost.com] wants them to believe.
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @06:54PM (#22276846)

      What is WRONG with you people--you jingoists, you untiring flag-wavers, you twin-tower-tattooing rednecks, you support-the-war-or-you-aren't-a-patriot fucks?

      There's a certain segment of the population that just likes things to be simple. They don't understand the world, and they don't want to. They rely on the President or Bill O'Reilly, or hell, even Susan Sarandon to tell them what's right. If the leadership tells them something simple like "we gotta get them terrorists" they'll defend that forever. Questioning that would be going down the path of trying to understand something they don't want to.

      Everyone does that to SOME degree with some topic. If my mechanic started talking about how bad Chevy transmissions are compared to Ford transmissions, and how Chevy was a rotten company for making bad transmissions, my eyes would glaze over, especially if I heard all the time how great Chevy transmissions are from my friends, family, etc. Obviously I think international politics are more important than transmissions... but my point is there's a certain amount of willful disengagement with the populace.

      Your message is right, but your approach is wrong. You sound like Ron Paul (in the sanest thing he's ever said) talking about Iraq at the Republican debate the other night. People, at least in the US, don't like to listen to ranting and raving people. It doesn't matter what they're saying, it's just an automatic "this guy sounds crazy, whatever he's saying is crazy".
  • by Ricin (236107) on Saturday February 02, 2008 @05:26PM (#22276032)
    From what I read here and there (google) this is really about this guy's older brother who's also a journalist and who has written about one or more of the tribal chiefs aka warlords (and since they're our "friends" now they have moved up into all sorts of higher positions). One thing that stung was apparently his reporting how this tribal chief and others (apparently it's an old custom) enjoy capturing and abusing teenage boys. Maybe before being sold and shipped to Guantanamo, who knows.

    I think, but am not sure that's in the Uruzgan province where our dear Dutch soldiers are protecting such scumbags while spreading freedom and democracy.

    And there are persistent rumors that Karzai (mayor of Kabul)'s brother is opium chief number one in that lovely place. Well I reckon something has to pay for weaponry and the squanders of war and newfound power. And they can cheerfully dump the heroin into countries such as Iran. You know, to stop the terrorists there.

    BTW, in Iraq they now HAVE sharia law. Officially. It's only a few pages away from the oil privatizing clauses in their new and illegal constitution brought to them by the benevolent US of A. Gays are killed. Single women (and there are MANY widows there) are targeted. The whole shebang. So they get death from above, death from starvation, death from disease, and death from their own governments militia (and the madhi). Almost makes death by M16 a mercy killing, doesn't it.
  • Sounds like a political move by a bunch of embittered loser Taliban cleric types.

    I hope for the young man's sake the glowering zealots get overruled.
    It's kind of incumbent on the US gov. to get their puppet to overrule these
    desperate, medieval, mysogynistic bearded dudes (I say that as a bearded dude myself.)

    Organized religion served its purpose:

    - It corrected peoples' wilder selfish or atavistic impulses, and aligned aspirations,
    to promote efficient co-operation in groups.
    -This enforced internal al
  • ...helping pay for this country were at least partially directed into wiping out all traces of religion there, it might be worth it.

    There is no god. Stop deluding yourselves, you morons.

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