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Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion

by on December 27, 2010

10. “There has been significant progress in tamping down the insurgency in Afghanistan.”

9. Afghans want the US and NATO troops to stay in their country because they feel protected by them.

  • Fact: In a recent CIA director Leon Panetta admitted that there are only 50-100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan! The US is mainly fighting two former allies among the Mujahidin whom Ronald Reagan dubbed “freedom fighters” and the “equivalent of America’s founding fathers:” Gulbaddin Hikmatyar and his Hizb-i Islami, and Jalaluddin Haqqani and his Haqqani Network. These two organizations, which received billions from the US congress to fight the Soviets in the 1980s, are more deadly and important now than the ‘Old Taliban’ of Mulla Omar. The point is that they are just manifestations of Pashtun Muslim nationalism, and not eternal enemies of the United States (being former allies and clients and all). Hikmatyar has roundly denounced al-Qaeda.

An example of how major policy is based on false reality.

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2 Comments
  1. These “thoughts” appear to point in the same direction and toward the same outcome. That is the great shame.

    Many too many so-called experts have consciously and willfully chosen NOT to openly discuss the root cause(s) of the global predicament resulting from human overpopulation of the Earth because they did not think it would be helpful, I suppose. But look at what silence during the last 60 years has wrought. Elective mutism by so many experts regarding outstanding empirical research of certain human population issues, particularly human population dynamics, has effectively and perniciously vanquished science. This outcome could be the most colossal failure of nerve in human history. The consequences of this incredible mistake do not simply threaten a civilization with collapse. The collapse of civilizations has occurred before. Sometimes on a smaller scale and other times on a larger one. But at no time in history can I find records of the precipitation of a human-driven collapse with such profound implications not only for a civilization, but also for life as we know it and the integrity of Earth as a fit place for human habitation. The ‘brightest and best’, most knowledgeable people, those in positions of much influence and great power, have not spoken out loudly, clearly and often enough.

    When scientific knowledge is deludedly regarded as a threat to human wellbeing, and intellectual honesty, moral courage and personal accountability are everywhere eschewed, how on Earth do we ever give ourselves so much as a chance of mitigating damages, much less “solving” problems for which we bear a large share of responsibility?

    I do not know what the future holds for the children. I am hoping they will find ways to muddle through. If they manage to do so, it will likely not be the result of the efforts of those in my not-so-great generation of elders. We have failed them so far “on our watch” and will continue to do so as long as we continuously choose to keep doing the same unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities we adamantly advocate and relentlessly pursue in our time, I suppose.

    Silence will not save anyone from anything, and surely will not save humanity from itself. Perhaps we can agree that the Earth will go on, with or without the human species.

  2. The human-induced global predicament that looms before the human family today has been allowed to rampantly grow in my lifetime from a challenge that was manageable to a leviathan of a much more forbidding size. With every passing day, the worldwide challenges resulting from, and driven by, the overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities of the human species become larger, more formidable and much more difficult to address and overcome. The demand characteristics of this unprecedented situation appear to require the active involvement of “all hands on deck”. We have to stop denying what is visible to naked eyes as well as ignoring that which we need to confront, and immediately begin changing the ‘trajectory’ of the predominant civilization from what is soon to become patently unsustainable to an alternate path marked by sustainable lifestyles and right-sized human enterprises.

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