Afghan Report

MEMRI: Taliban messages to operatives. MEMRI presents the following excerpts from video messages at the Taliban website:
Speaker: "Oh, people of 'There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah's Prophet' – 'Rank hatred has already appeared from the mouths of your enemy, but what their hearts conceal is worse still.' You all heard what the American general Boykin said, when he was speaking at a certain church. He said: 'This war is a war of faith between Satan and Christianity.' Who is this Crusader describing as Satan? Is it not God Almighty who ordered His believers: 'Fight them until there is no more discord, and the religion is held wholly for the sake of Allah?'"

Go to the link for the full rant. (MEMRI)

Winds of Change: The torture place. Cicero at Winds of Change presents a five-year-old piece on Abhaseen Barikzy, an Afghan communist who was tortured at the hands of the Taliban. Go to the link to read Barikzy's harrowing story in his own words. Cicro says: 'I really don't have much to add to Barikzy's story. It speaks for itself. I was struck by the commander who said, "I want to kill a very bad pagan among the prisoners to receive more blessing from Allah." I think his reasoning is emblematic of what we're up against with respect to Islamic fascism. We in the West desperately want to believe that we can find common, rational ground and negotiate with Islamic fascists. The Commander exemplifies why negotiation, in the end, is folly.' (Winds of Change)

Afghan parliamentary elections. Afghan Lord posts some pictures from the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, including US Ambassador Ronald Neumann's visit to the Ministry of Women's Affairs, and several photographs of women voting - and a woman candidate's billboard ads. However, the elections - and the participation of women in them - were not an unqualified success. Sohrab Kabuli writes:
A large number of women in Zabul, Nangarhar, Khost and other provinces failed to vote in Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections in more than three decades. In remote villages of the southeastern Khost province, eligible female voters were avoided to go in polling station to vote for their destiny. Thus no women voted. Not even a single woman could exercise her begging rights. As women candidates was very less comparing to men but presence of women in polling stations were not much. Many of them has disappointed with the last presence in the presidential election last year. Afghan woman still suffer from injustice and pains from their men.
Nor is the presence of women candicates on the ballot necessarily reassuring to women voters: a woman interviewed by Sohrab Kabuli protested that she found no acceptable candidate - man or woman - on the ticket, and that women, too, are capable of injustice.
Meanwhile, Afghan Warrior has this report:
Afghanistan's first parliamentary election will be remembered as one of the most important days in the history of Afghanistan. Despite threats from the enemies for the last few months, millions of Afghans rushed towards polling stations to elect their representatives for the parliament. Women equally with men cast their vote. During the Election Day there were separate
polling stations for men and women in capital Kabul and other provinces. But unfortunately most women were not able to vote in Helmand and Zabul provinces even though they were registered, especially in Helmand province because the JEMB did not establish any separate polling stations for the women in 12 districts, but the JEMB officials in Helmand province claim there were no registered women voters so there was no need for establishing the separate polling stations.

Some people did not vote even though they were registered. On the election day I talked with a taxi driver and I asked him if he had voted. He said "not yet". I asked him if he was going to vote. He said "no, because during the presidential election I voted for president Karzai but he did not do anything for poor people we still suffer from the lack of power and drinking water". Some people that didn't vote said most candidates were former commanders and warlords so they don't want to elect them because of their bad past and they said we can not trust the new candidates because we don't know them very well. ...

Read the full posts at the links. (Afghan Warrior, Afghan Lord)