Four Afghan women have achieved something that would have been unimaginable a decade ago: they are training alongside male recruits to become pilots in the Afghan Air Force. Amidst headlines about poverty, illiteracy, and breathtaking levels of violence against women, their accomplishments are beyond heartening.
Second Lt. Sourya Saleh hopes to serve as a role model for other Afghan women after completing her aviation training in the United States.
“We are very happy to be going to open these doors for the other women to come and join the military, to show them you can do this and make our country proud,” she said. “We want for all Afghan girls to know they can do anything.”
Another newly minted officer, Second Lt. Mary Sharifzada, told the Air Force Times that becoming a pilot has been her dream since she was a little girl:
“I want to show the people of Afghanistan that women are strong,” Sharifzada said. “We want to show the people of the world that the women of Afghanistan are strong and they can do anything they want.”
“They said I’m as brave as a man,” said Second Lt. Masooma Hussaini.
As brave as men, and according to Lt. Col. John Howard of the Thunder Lab training program, as capable as their male counterparts. But these women and future recruits may not get the chance to prove “they can do anything they want” if the United States selects Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to supply turboprop planes for the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan.
That great lefty favorite, the Peace Corps, just had a 50th birthday! You can tell, because it’s demanding presents. The Lefties who totally love conscience-salving stints in third world countries rejoiced and then swiftly returned to their soy lattes and organic arugula. Senator Harry Reid issued a breathless, sycophantic statement in which he, being Harry Reid, couldn’t resist making things up, pouting and petulantly trying to cling to funding.
I’m deeply discouraged that Republicans have proposed slashing significant funding for a program that trains workers for a 21st century global economy, builds good will around the world and promotes public service. Instead of reducing the effectiveness of a highly cost-effective program, we should cut government spending in a smart, responsible way that targets waste and excess while keeping our economy growing.
Of course, he had nothing to say in response to charges that perhaps the Peace Corps isn’t so peaceful. At least not for the women who were raped – and then blamed for being raped - during their stints in the corps.
Western journalists seem shocked—shocked!—by the apparently shabby day-to-day living conditions of master villain Osama bin Laden. After all, the multimillionaire occupied a villa in an elite region where Pakistan’s military elite lived. Had he grown long in the tooth, had Bin Laden “lost it”? How surprising that he lived shabbily, in one room, with an ancient television set.
If the journalists had done their homework, they would not have been surprised at all. Bin Laden chose to live in relatively primitive, ramshackle, sparsely furnished settings for a long time. While he still lived in Saudi Arabia, before he had to flee to Sudan and thereafter to Afghanistan, he condemned his wives and children to lives of physical, medical, and psychological hardship.
Life is funny, life is great, but life is also strange, the way it all boils down to one’s views on only two or three subjects, namely Israel, Islam, and America.
Yesterday, I met with a potential intern sent my way by a local area college with whom I’ve happily worked before. She seemed alert, bright, interested, talented and ready to start her (unpaid) full-time summer internship almost immediately. I had already told her to visit my website and to read some of my articles and assumed that she knew my current subjects and views. She did. In fact, on the phone, she went out of her way to agree with me on my critique of the academic feminist view that the Islamic face veil and polygamy are “liberating” for women.
Just after we finished discussing hours and possible projects, she stopped, smiled smoothly, and said this:
“But I have to tell you that I take issue with your position on Israel.”
American leftists have never really cared much for things like national security, anti-terrorist initiatives, and the United States military. Too much manly posturing scares them, for one thing. Protecting things like freedom, capitalism, and traditional Judeo-Christian values disgusts them. It’s why they always side with Palestine over Israel, for example. And it’s why they’re so anxious to get the United States to lose the War on Terror–and blatantly ignored a possible terrorist attack this week.