Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Compare and contrast


New Zealand would like to applaud the contribution that the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan and member states have made in assisting the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan...

New Zealand is a small country, but we remain committed to supporting Afghanistan in its progress toward political and economic stability...Let me close by reiterating our commendations for the distance that Afghanistan as a nation has travelled in such a short time.


New Zealand statement on Afghanistan to the UN Security Council, 14/3/2006.

I strongly believe that we are making a difference in Afghanistan...Our actions in Afghanistan remind us that the New Zealand Defence Force has long distinguished itself in the range of humanitarian and peace support operations that it has undertaken. But there are times when the use of force is required. That is why the Defence Force is trained and equipped for all contingencies, including combat.

This has been underlined by the recent award of the Victoria Cross to Corporal Willie Apiata for his conduct when his SAS group was ambushed by Taliban fighters in 2003. This was a salutary reminder to us all that our Defence Force personnel face considerable risk when deployed.


- Helen Clark, speech on defence 11/12/07

Malalai Joya, haunted by death threats and assassination attempts in Afghanistan, sat on the other side of the world, clutching a cup of tea with her eyes cast downward...

In 2005, Joya was the youngest person to win a seat in the Afghan parliament's lower house, the Wolesi Jirga (House of the People).

"The international community will not succeed in Afghanistan, because the U.S. and its allies attacked Afghanistan under the name of liberating the country and the Afghan women, but they fought against the Taliban by supporting another bunch of terrorists," she said...

Earlier this year she bluntly told a journalist that the Afghan parliament was worse than a barn, "because at least donkeys and cows are somewhat useful."

Footage of the interview was played before her fellow MPs. On May 21, they angrily voted her out under Article 70 of the Afghan parliament's Rules and Regulations. The rule, apparently under revision at the time, states that lawmakers must not publicly criticize one another. Joya is suspended from parliament until after the current session ends in 2010.

- via the Defence Committee for Molailai Joya, 2007

via Associated Press, fifteen hours ago:

An Afghan court on Tuesday sentenced a 23-year-old journalism student to death for distributing a paper he printed off the Internet that three judges said violated the tenets of Islam, an official said...

Kambaksh's family and the head of a journalists group denounced the verdict and said Kambaksh was not represented by a lawyer at trial. Members of a clerics council had been pushing for Kambaksh to be punished...

Rhimullah Samandar, the head of the Kabul-based National Journalists Union of Afghanistan, said Kambaksh had been sentenced to death under Article 130 of the Afghan constitution. That article says that if no law exists regarding an issue than a court's decision should be in accord with Hanafi jurisprudence. Hanafi is an orthodox school of Sunni Muslim jurisprudence followed in southern and central Asia.


Square pegs, round hole...

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