Do not flinch from studying these images.
The hitch for me is the scene for the women. I went a long time thinking I could bear the agonies of the Afghanistan and Pakistan murderating if it could make the women safer at last, if this travesty could end up defending life instead of pure profit for plutocrats, but I had to take a hard enough look to admit to myself that was just dreaming of decency again, where no decency inheres... only the unstoppable spin of virtuous exceptionalism tumbling out the unstoppable mouths of unspeakably evil people. Just as the "Westernization" of Eastern Europe has worsened things for their population, by dint of capitalism's complete failure to look after the real needs of all its people, so too would/will it leave the women of the Middle East to their public and private hells.
So seeing this has me strangling in my hopes for decency again, another Zen teaching to rise up from it into the pure air of reality, and desperate to make that manifest to you as ever. So do not flinch from watching the video in this Kristof piece either. WILL the people prosecuting these military adventures across the globe see to it that this is stopped for good and ever... or even for a week? You KNOW the answer to that question.
A little while back, Scott Horton had Malalai Joya on Antiwar Radio to tell us to get the hell out of Afghanistan, find ways to help, but not occupy her country, that Afghanistan can work out their own civil liberties if we will just butt out. This, of course, was enough to quell his fears that Code Pink may have been right about the need to save the women, but Malalai Joya is very young, and not very wise, for however brilliant she certainly seems to be. I wonder if she's ever even seen women being treated like this, if she has the first part of a clue about the reality of it. I didn't at her age. It was still abstract to me then. I had to wait until the night I had to go over and save my next door neighbor from her husband to get the picture. In fact, I think entirely too many people, women and men alike, have to have it come that close before it ever dawns on them just how real this is.
So this truth still stares us in the face, like the acid thrown in these women's faces, even if we cannot look, cannot bring ourselves to admit it, even if we cannot shed our delusion enough to agree that we WILL not save these women... short of a miracle, short of enlightenment beaming into the heads of a lot of awful, awful murderating fucks.
Stop. Look. This is not pretty, but it is the truth.