Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MR. HEKMAYTAR

It's a new name to learn.

All those foreign, un-pronounceable names of people and places we've had to learn ... Struggling with them, I'm amazed at the way names roll off the tongues of newscasters. The first few times I heard "Al Quaeda," it was pronounced differently by various announcers.

I'm still not totally sure -- is it "Kay-da" or "Ki-da?"


So who is this Hekmatyar person, and why is he suddenly important?

Reuters news said: "Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a vicious, brutal, devious warlord. He could also be one of America's tickets out of Afghanistan."

(THAT got my attention! Afghanistan to me is a fire and brimstone hell where we shouldn't be -- where we're stuck, mired like other countries have been. Has anyone ever won a war there?)

Here's more (more tricky names and places), gleaned from other major news sites: "Shamshatoo Camp, just outside Peshawar has always been the most tightly organized and disciplined Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan. The only law within its boundaries is that of Hezb-i-Islami (the Party of Islam), led by the notoriously ruthless warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar."

(Apparently, Hekmaytar is a well-known killer. When the camp was his main base, people of Peshawar saw corpses floating in the canal that runs next to the camp, and knew they were the bodies of Hekmatyar's enemies.)

Washington knows all about him. They've been contacted by Hekmatyar's spokesman and told that Mr. Hekmatyar will have to be reckoned with, if America wants to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Referring to the Party of Islam's 15 point peace proposal to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, that calls for a total U.S. withdrawal by the end of the year, the spokesman, Mohammad Daoud Abedi, (another name, a California businessman), says, "We have decided to make conditions right so that international forces can leave with honor."

So "WE" is Hezb-i-Islami, the Party or Mr. Hek? Is this good news, or is it a threat?

General Petraeus has told the Pentagon, "You make peace with your enemies, not your friends." Other officials in the Pentagon agree with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who recently, declared, "It's too soon to begin discussing peace in Afghanistan."

What do "we the people" think?

I'm pacing, circling, dizzied with wishing, hoping, praying we end the endless war and get out of there. Why is it important that we leave Afghanistan with honor? Does honor mean we've won? Does winning prove we're more powerful than the Taliban? Does it say the Taliban has lost?

Win?
Lose? In the eyes of which beholder?

Is it important because it proves -- sort of vaguely -- that the UN Forces have power, and must be dealt with? And an honorable exit will -- perhaps, maybe -- postpone other terrorist attacks?

Has terrorism terrorized us to such an extent that we let men die, so that we are winning, when we are not? Does war make the other guys our enemy? But we are their enemy!

For God's sake, for America's sake -- TAKE AWAY THE WORDS! SAVE THE LIVES!

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