Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dying for an Education

cnn.com
Is it morally right to bring a change to people that would be beneficial in the long run, but that could kill them in the short run?

What if that beneficial change conflicts with that society's values?


CNN has written another article on the challenges of educating girls in Afghanistan, Despite Deadly Risks, Afghan Girls Take Brave First Step.

In it, they tell of the challenges facing the girls and those who struggle to educate them.
There were at least 185 documented attacks on schools and hospitals in Afghanistan last year, according to the United Nations, and the majority of those attacks were attributed to armed groups opposed to educating females.
It's heartbreaking, but you know what? I read stuff like this and I just don't care anymore. God have mercy on my soul, because I should care, and probably somewhere deep inside I really do.

Deeper down, I wonder what we are doing trying to change other people. It's bleak, and the sad fact is, if enough Afghans really disagreed with the taliban types who throw acid in little girls' faces, it wouldn't happen anymore. But they don't, so it does. We are fighting heroically to give this benighted society something it does not want.

"...Nasty, Brutish and Short"

The actions of the heroic women featured in the CNN article end in tragedy. Young daughters burned alive inside of schools, others attacked and killed on their way home after a happy day of learning.  Life is cruel:  Those girls would still be alive if we had just left them alone and not tried to educate them. 

But that begs the question of a life lived heroically or cowardly:  Is it better to be a semi-literate third-grade girl who ends up getting blown up in your school? Or would it be preferable to remain illiterate and unschooled and die from a hemorrhage at 28 after giving birth for the fifth time with no health care because you had to cut wood and cook for the men hours after giving birth?

51 comments:

conservativesonfire said...

Clearly there are Afghan parents that want their doughters to get an education and have a better life than their culture has historically permited. They parents know the risks. My opinion is that the parents should only take those risks if the Afghan government supports the idea and will do the utmost to protect those children. Otherwise, the parents should educate their daughters at home, in secrecy.

Thersites said...
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Shaw Kenawe said...

The answer to your question is, tragically, a lose-lose answer.

Though, I'm not sure it is "cowardly" for girls and women in Afghanistan to live their lives under the repressive Taliban regime. I think it takes as much courage to withstand oppression as it does to resist it. It takes courage day after day to make the decision to go on living at all under those conditions. And for that I admire all the girls and women who do so.



I have no idea how girls, women, and their families will triumph over the murderous monsters in the Taliban. But history teaches us that eventually they will.

I highly recommend the 2003 film, "Osama."

Always On Watch said...

Not only the tragedy cited in the body of the post but also how these girls may, in the long run, turn out politically.

Education is not magic, you know.

Shaw Kenawe said...

AOW,

Because the woman in the link you provided turned out to support causes you don't approve of, you question whether giving women like her an education because it may turn them into activists with political ideas you don't approve of?

Seriously? You imply that on a blogpost about repressing women?

Education is not magic?

Education gives people a kind of freedom--freedom to make informed choices. Those choices aren't always the ones authoritarians approve of, and that's why repressive regimes, as well as repressive fundamentalist religions don't like to educate the masses. It's easier to control ignorant people.

Radical Redneck said...

Shaw Kenawe said...
I have no idea how girls, women, and their families will triumph over the murderous monsters in the Taliban. But history teaches us that eventually they will.
I highly recommend the 2003 film, "Osama."


Obama cancelled three operations to kill Osama bin Laden before finally going ahead with the mission
It took billions of dollars and 11 years to find Osama ben Laden, and it took Obama 3 days to decide if we should get him. Are You Kidding Me ?
It’s amazing how some people say how bold the decision was to get Osama. Tell me again what AMOUNT OF “guts” it takes to say, Yes, kill our enemy? And they say he made a “Gutsy” call? What a pathetic Commander-in-chief!
Only Fools Would Vote To Re-Elect Obama!
If Obama is re-elected, I’m moving to afrika.!

So you know what you can do with your 2003 film, "Osama."!

Ducky's here said...

This issue has been a constant in governance in Afghanistan for a couple hundred years.

Various kings attempted to improve the educational state of the populace and focus on non religious education and education of women.
The Soviet devils tried to expand education for women (imagine that) and now we try.

So it has been an ongoing cultural struggle compounded by civil war. And despite Silverfiddle's implication it hasn't been the great white knight, the United States of Drones, who first attempted to bring change.

As for AOW's assertion that a woman objecting to a deliberately inflammatory sign calling her a barbarian is an example of education gone awry, I would ask about the education of the pig Geller. Myself, I'll side with those who insist on their dignity rather than the hateful manipulating filth like Spencer and Geller.
In this manufactured hatred of all things Muslim just who are the total of the uneducated?

Shaw Kenawe said...

I don't respond to commenters like Radical Redneck--a creepy person who has left on my blog links to photos of nude women's genitalia.



My Conservative Thoughts said...


Obama wants to get full credit for killing Bin Laden. Although most Americans don’t feel that way, the killing of Bin Laden has largely been forgotten already and now the voters are focusing on economic issues exclusively. I for one don’t give to much thought behind the poll results. I think that Obama is in big trouble. For several reasons, mainly because the economy hasn't recovered....after all, he inherited a huge mess from Bush (sarcastic) . Obama's problem is that voters believe that Obama's policies HAVE contributed to our lack of recovery and that Obama intends to stay the same failed course if he is reelected. The economy is not only in the tank, but there's no prospect it will get any better at all in the next four years under Obama, and why should it? He doesn’t extend to do anything differently. . And you can add to this the increasingly clear picture that Obama simply does not like or trust the private sector. Add to this the increasingly clear picture that Obama's top priorities are expanding the social safety net and redistributing wealth...and that improving the economy is simply not at the top of his list. The recent events in Lybia and Egypt has also put a lot of doubt in Obama. Obama has surrounded himself with the mentors of Socialism, Progressives, Marxist and Islamist from his earliest years right up to this very moment. And FORCING the American people into his health insurance plan is not capitalis,. It is communism, or socialism, and the majority of Americans who work for a living don’t want it. Forget about the FREE RIDERS!
And in my humble opinion, Benghazigate is far worse than Watergate, no body died in Watergate!

Mustang said...

When such stories tug at the heartstrings, it means you are a civilized human being. My perspective is admittedly harsh. It is this: sending little girls to school wasn't an Afghani idea; it belonged to Laura Bush. But sending little girls to school within a nation of cave dwellers won’t matter one second past the withdrawal of civilized forces. This is because the Afghans do not value education, and whatever is not valued is never permanent.

What is “education” in Afghanistan? It has nothing to do with the three R’s. It has everything to do with teaching young boys to hate vis-à-vis the verses of Satan. There is no room for little girls in this kind of society.

Whenever you begin to feel a tug on your heartstrings, try to recall the picture of the disfigured young woman; the one whose nose her men folk removed to show her that he place was in the back of her cave. This is not a civilized people, and there is no hope for them for as long as they cling to decadent Islam.

Z said...

Sadly, probably even those young girls who have had some schooling now will end up dying from childbirth with no health care, cutting wood and cooking for men...

nothing we've done is working there except exposing some children to school, to better living conditions, to kind soldiers who've helped the people and their children; stories we've all heard of, which are appreciated by the people there....

It is 'morally right' to try to bring peace to those people...but it hasn't worked. If it had, girls going to school would have n naturally morphed out of that peace as they came out of the dark ages they live in now.
Until more Afghans speak out, the taliban will win; we need to go home.

Jack Whyte said...

It's easier to control ignorant people.

This statement explains why so many people have lined up behind Barack Obama; if nothing else, it demonstrates the success of the Progressive (communist) movement in America.

KP said...

Fine article, SF. It appears to be a puzzle we (America) cannot solve in the short term. Definitely time to come home. I suspect we will have to try and control the contagion in ways that don't include tens of thousands of boots on the ground. In the present atmosphere we might have troops fighting there for 25 years and make little progress. Afterall, 25 years is only one generation!

Ducky's here said...

No KP, the point is that NOBODY has been able to solve the problem.

America is no exception and has no insight.

We can't even solve OUR OWN fucking problems. We let the siren song of the ignorant right rail against teachers at high volume and find ourselves incapable of any creative thought.

So we'll keep pumping the myths about our kind soldiers (kind drones?) and the idiotic myth of American exceptionalism.

Thersites said...
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Teresa said...

The question is have we approached helping them from an Afghan perspective or an American perspective? Or a bit of both? Obviously the Afghan culture is less dignified than ours with the Taliban and corrupt people like Karzai running things. While I do think it was right to try and bring the Afghan people freedom I do think it is wrong for us to Americanize them. I'm not saying we shouldn't try to teach them more humane ways of living and bettering their lives.

It is sad that these girls and women are living under a cloud of oppression. Another question: Is it a few or a majority who are committing the violence and intimidating women? Are we looking at tyranny of a few, them preying on the weak majority?

I have mixed feelings on whether the U.S. should leave Afghanistan or not.

Constitutional Insurgent said...

The issue is sound morally, but not feasible. In Afghanistan, the foundation to radically alter the paradigm of intellectual ignorance based on religion does not exist. The change cannot be forced upon from without....it must evolve and mature from within.

Yet another casualty of the ill fated experiment in 2002, to establish a representative government in Kabul. This backdrop is sadly forgotten in light of the current political theater and ignorant blame gaming.

Thersites said...
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Radical Redneck said...

Ducky's here said...
”We can't even solve OUR OWN fucking problems”

Bingo Ducky! You just won the coveted golden ring! Congrats and Thank you!
I used to think that you were a little paranoid, but you just hit the nail on the head.
And as for Shaw’s comment, I don’t see it as being relevant, but then again it hardly is..
Why does the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have Huma Abedin as an aide? Huma Abedin's background is well-known. Why does Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of take the side of the Muslim Brotherhood? In fact there was a mob protest against Clinton in accusing her of being on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood. And has our Sack of State Hillary Clinton compromised our security by having an affair with Huma? No wonder Anthony Weiner had to look elsewhere for his sex.
What is it about the left that causes them to continually stand on the wrong side of every issue? Take that, Feminist Commie !

Always On Watch said...

Mona Eltahawy is a feminist.

In fact, I have on occasion cited her in a positive way in posts I've done at Infidel Bloggers Alliance.

You do know that she has long been considered an enlightened Muslima, right?

And check out THIS VIDEO in which she talks about the niqab. She favors banning it! She also comes out strongly for freedom of expression.

I encourage those who want to take me to task for my deliberately provocative earlier comment to read Mona Eltahawya's web site. Note that she has long supported the First Amendment.

Yet, she went off like a Roman candle over a poster that ended with the words "Defeat jihad." The word "Islam" did not appear on that poster. Go look up what the sign actually said. How could that sign be offensive? Oh, wait, the sign did say "Defend Israel." Maybe that is what so offended Mona Eltahaway.

I also encourage commenters who are highly pissed off at me for making my earlier comment to check out THIS at The People's Cube.
--------------

I completely concur with Mustang's comment, especially this portion:

But sending little girls to school within a nation of cave dwellers won’t matter one second past the withdrawal of civilized forces. This is because the Afghans do not value education, and whatever is not valued is never permanent.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Myself, I'll side with those who insist on their dignity rather than the hateful manipulating filth like Spencer and Geller.

It is, of course, your choice to say that; and if you pay for an ad saying that, Geller and Spencer do not have the right to deface that sign.

But we digress from the topic of Silverfiddle's post.

Certainly, it is highly laudable to educate children. But if it costs them their lives?

That cost may be both short term and long term. Frankly, for centuries upon centuries Afghanistan has resisted the invasion of foreign ideas.

Always On Watch said...

Z said: Until more Afghans speak out, the taliban will win; we need to go home.

I agree.

We've been there 10 long years. We cannot root out the Taliban -- for several reasons.

Past time for the infidels to go home.

Jack Camwell said...

Shaw,

In the 30's and 40's, the Germans were considered among the most educated and cultured people in the world. Education can be liberating, yes, but it has a dark side: it gives us the ability to rationalize even the most unspeakably horrifying behavior.

Silver,

This is one of those morally gray areas that I always talk about. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario. The best one can do is hope against hope that by helping these people crawl out of the muck of oppression, that they may one day leave it all behind them altogether.

It is tragic and soul-sickening to watch these young girls brutalized for their desire to exercise their humanity. But even though it seems that there is little chance for improvement, doing nothing ultimately means there's virtually no chance for improvement.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Damned if you do and damned if you don't. I believe that the only way one can succeed is if there is enough out side pressure put on the Afghan government to protect the women and girls who seek an education. As to the morality of bring education to the female population, I believe that the answer to that is best left up our Creator, as it depends on what the women do with the knowledge they acquire.

beamish said...

FJ moaning about sock puppets is rich.

=====

In response to Silverfiddle, our problem is that we're trying to rebuild Afghanistan before we're done destroying it. The Marshall Plan in Europe came AFTER the devastation, not before or during.

Z said...

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/state-department-action-on-lgbt-rights-could-split-catholic-countries/

SF...talk about forcing things on people who don't want it? I just saw this and thought you might like to see it...I didn't know that we're doing this overseas, even in Islamabad.


Ducky! Conservatives are intelligent enough to realize that indoctrination isn't "creative thought"... And we WILL keep railing for open minds and our kids learning ALL sides of every subject. Teaching kids to think is the goal, not to regurgitate liberal pablum.

Thersites said...
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beamish said...

Ducky! Conservatives are intelligent enough to realize that indoctrination isn't "creative thought"... And we WILL keep railing for open minds and our kids learning ALL sides of every subject.

From your keyboard to the One True God's eyes, Z.

Aren't your the latest left-wing blogger that deletes conservative posters on sight?

beamish said...

FJ,

I've long abandoned the left-wing practice of pretending to be more than one commenter.

Teresa said...

Beamish,

Stop talking trash and Z won't delete your comments. I know... I know... Being respectful is a challenge for Leftists that you fail at miserably most of the time.

Thersites said...
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Jack Camwell said...

Teresa,

"Jack Camwell is a selfish, immoral fascist."

Need I remind you that the market on being disrespectful is not cornered by liberals?

Anyway, aren't we getting off topic here?

beamish said...

Teresa,

So I'm "leftist," and being "conservative" is supporting a candidate that legalized gay marriage, put judges and prosecutors against parents trying to stop their 12 year old girls from getting abortions, stop the deportation of an illegal immigrant so she could keep her government union teaching job, and socialized health care?

I guess I should have bitched when your progressive leftists hijacked the word "liberal." Wasn't that enough? Now you commies want to be "conservative" too?

beamish said...

FJ,

I've never visited Shaw's blog. Sounds like she's got you rather butthurt.

Teresa said...

Hey now Jack I thought we turned over a new leaf and yet you bring up the past. I haven't called you any names like that since my post, http://teresamerica.blogspot.com/2012/07/do-machiavellianism-and-moral.html

Remember?

Thersites said...
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beamish said...

FJ,

Who? Shaw or Z?

Thersites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...

Teresa,

Machiavelli was writing satire. A healthy outlet when the Medici's held the power of the Catholic torture chamber of which he was intimately familiar with (on the receiving end).

Thersites said...
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beamish said...

FJ,

No, she just goes into moderation when "conservative" comments deviate much from backslapping and praising her Wendy Williams monologues.

beamish said...

I never was good at polishing an apple.

Thersites said...
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KP said...

@Ducky << the point is that NOBODY has been able to solve the problem. >>

I agree.

beamish said...

FJ,

And people wonder why you strap crash test dummies to yourself?

Silverfiddle said...

I will delete every comment in this thread from the next off-topic commenter.

I invite those with personal grudges to take their pissing contests elsewhere.

Doing it here is being rude to me and the others who are having an adult conversation.

Thersites said...
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Ducky's here said...

Well at least we've pretty much seen that beamish isn't a Farmer John pseudonym but you never know.

I'm struck by a couple things.

1. The rush to make this a religious issue. Being a leftist I'm going to see these things more often in economic terms and history tells us that if you are a landlocked nation you better have real rich neighbors as Switzerland does otherwise education is just going to be one of your many problems.
Is the education issue uniform in the Muslim world (no) or is it more severe in Afghanistan?

2: There have been statements of concern about what girls would learn in these schools and the example of Mona Eltahaway the Egyptian women who got into it with one of Pam Psycho Geller's
signs. Now in the discussion of that sign it isn't mentioned that Geller calls all Muslims barbarians.
The women suffered broken bones during interrogation by Mubarak so maybe we can say she deserves a voice in this as well as Geller.
The subway incident played out exactly as intended and it was effective speech.
Hell, mustang can't even tolerate a leftist blogger on the new batshit crazy geeeeeez site.


So what's the answer to Silverfiddle's question which I believe was asked in good faith with a concern for what's happened to those young girls?
I would say that we are wasting our time if cultural development is our intent (and we know damn well it isn't)?
Let Afghanistan profit from its mineral wealth?
We all know that won't happen.

Wage war with a large segment of the country?
That's a typical American solution and it has a consistent habit of failing.

Maybe we do just cut and start listening to people like James Heckman who have a good idea why our absolute fixation on test scores is guaranteed to fail in poor neighborhoods.

Stop believing all the crap we are being fed constantly and pay attention to who profits from this bullshit.

FreeThinke said...

"May God grant us the SERENITY to accept the things we cannot change, the COURAGE to change what we can, and the WISDOM to know the difference."

Those wise words along with The Golden Rule and that famous passage about motes and beams in the eyes, are about ALL we need to live as competently, decently and happily as may be possible in this Vale of Tears.

Leftists-Liberals-Progressives-Laborites-Marxists- Communists-Socialists- Activists-D'Rats -- whatever you want to call them -- are well know for doing everything possible to mind OTHER people's business while they [usually with great sloth!] neglect their own.

Every one of these characters I've ever known -- with one or two of those exceptions that prove the rule -- is so busy "Saving the World," "Afflicting the Comfortable," and "Fighting for Someone ELSE's Invented 'Rights,'" they never have time to play with or read to their children, make the beds, sweep the floors, prepare proper meals, cut the grass, or do the dishes. Many of them don't even bother to bathe and groom themselves.

Leftists are the ACCUSATORY CLASS -- the SCOLDERS, the WHINERS, the DISRUPTERS, the DESTROYERS.

The Left always has and always will have the fervent ambition to be a Pain in YOUR Ass.

IGNORE them and they will eventually die. They thrive on OUR distress and become gleeful at the signs of rising panic THEY engender in OUR breasts.

So what can we do?

IGNORE THEM.


And for Heavens sake get the hell OUT of the Middle East. Let it implode. Let it explode and let the devil take the hindmost.

If we truly want to save ourselves, we must STOP MINDING OTHER PEOPLE'S BUSINESS.

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

Her village is a six-hour drive and three-hour hike across a border that swallows lives.

She is 28, perhaps 29, or even 30. No one, not even she, knows for sure.

She rises before sunrise and prays. She fetches water from the stream. She cooks, cleans, does laundry. She cares for her children

At the age of 13 she would have gone into purdah, the secluded existence followed by many Islamic women once they reach puberty.

In the street she wears a plum-colored burka, which walls her off from the world and from the eyes of any man other than her husband. "It is a beautiful thing to wear, not a curse," she says.

She can write her name, but cannot read.

She harbors the hope of education for her children. "I want my daughters to have skills," she said. "I wanted to finish school but could not. I was sorry when I had to leave."

It is possibly too late for her 13-year-old daughter as well, the two younger daughters still have a chance.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text

Alien culture, alien mindset, alien world.

You can not force western values onto them, any more than you would be willing to heve their values forced on you.

You can't really compare Europe and the Marshall plan to the mid-east.

Quite a curious predicament.


Hack said...

Watch it Silver. This post doesn't fit in with the whole "hateful, sexist, conservative" narrative.