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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Get the Idea

posted by on June 6 at 9:40 AM

Utterly grim is this piece of news:

A female owner of a radio station in Afghanistan has been shot dead. _43014943_afghanjourno_body.jpg

Zakia Zaki was shot seven times, including in the chest and head, as she slept with her 20-month-old son at her home north of Kabul, officials say… [T]he attackers were three men armed with pistols and rifles, who broke into Ms Zaki’s house and got into the bedroom.

An older son, aged three, was with her at the time of the attack, but none of her six children was injured.

Zakia Zaki, was 35 years old and worked as a reporter and a schoolteacher.

She was one of the few female journalists in the country to speak out during the Taleban’s rule. She had also headed the US-funded station, Radio Peace, since it opened after the fall of the Taleban in 2001.

The fact the assassins didn’t kill her children is somehow more terrifying than if they had done so. Why is that? The answer must be close to this: It shows a committed hatred, one that has a design, a purpose. This is not random violence, or even a thirst for blood; it’s reasoned violence. The assassins may even have nothing against the person as such, but the will inside of the person. They killed an idea that happened to be embodied.

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Fucking savages...

Posted by pablocjr | June 6, 2007 10:06 AM

This is terribly sad news, but it is even sadder Charles, that you think the killers sparing the children makes this more terrifying than if they had just slaughtered the entire family.

Posted by elswinger | June 6, 2007 10:08 AM

Hooray FREEDOM!!


Posted by seattle98104 | June 6, 2007 10:11 AM


it IS more terrifying to spare the children. they live with the terror of the experience. their terror, shame, and motherlessness serves as an example to other afgani women not to challenge the misogyny & ignorance of the taliban.

america needs to wake the fuck up & either
A. begin brutalizing the populace on a larger & more terrifying scale than the jihadis., or
B. accept that the islamic world is going backwards in time, both as a reaction to our blundering & its own monotheist prison of ignorance, & isolate ourselves from it.

Posted by maxsolomon | June 6, 2007 10:26 AM


There's always option C:

Try and empathize with the middle east in order to see what is causing this kind of thinking, and then shift public mindset in a more positive direction- i.e. shift away from religious extremism to a truly free thinking society. (The secret to winning public opinion is always through marketing.)

Then of course, we'd have to do the same ourselves...

Posted by Griff | June 6, 2007 10:50 AM

Uh, marketing? Jesus.

The secret to moving away from extremism is economic development and security.

If only some rich Western nations could devote some time and effort to Afghanistan, instead of getting distracted by some other pipe dream practically before they started.

Charles is exactly correct on two points: they were killing an idea, not a person, and sparing the children is far more terrifying. It makes the point of the incident much more terrifyingly clear: don't have that idea. Don't think. That way the seed of terror is planted in everyone's mind. No one will ever think of anything else.

The Quran doesn't say anything about shooting women in the head and chest as they sleep. These thugs need to be destroyed, physically, intellectually, and culturally. I'm afraid though that the light has gone out for good in Afghanistan.

Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 11:38 AM

Don't be confused- the killers weren't 'sparing the children' -because they didn't care about the children, living or dead. Killing a woman who is lying asleep with two children, and not shooting the kids just means they weren't worth the bullets. Extra bonus points- now the children live in fear and learned the hard way not to step out of line.

Posted by Mo | June 6, 2007 12:15 PM

It's an interesting technique. Quite different from the Mafia's style of killing you and your family and everyone you know. Probably more effective in the long run, though the Mafia wasn't trying to effect total mind control, just economic obedience.

Killing that radio station woman is more effective than killing thousands of random villagers, too. You are killing the very thing that moves you AWAY from the mind control, the idea of communication and knowledge. They attack schools, mostly; same thing. God doesn't want you to go to school; he wants you to memorize the Quran.

Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 12:26 PM

Religion is nothing more than organized ignorance.

Posted by adam smith | June 6, 2007 12:34 PM


i agree with your idealism, but your option C is part of my option B.

it is not realistic to expect that, given our historically explicit identity as a christian nation, we can influence islam away from extremism towards an open mind. letting them develop their monotheism without our interference is, is fact, practicing empathy.

isolating ourselves from (as well as ceasing the funding of) a misogynist, medieval, intolerant monotheism is simply a sensible safety precaution.

Posted by maxsolomon | June 6, 2007 4:06 PM

oh, and yes, we should do the same thing ourselves.

but 70% of murka believes the bible is literally true, so don't hold your breath. this is generational change - you & i won't live to see reason & enlightenment triumph over faith & ignorance.

Posted by maxsolomon | June 6, 2007 4:09 PM

The first thing that needs to happen to change a population like Afghanistan's or Saudi Arabia's is a wider spread of education, because as it is now, the most educated individuals are the ones holding the power and directing these actions. You can't expect a bunch of uneducated mindless thugs to grasp Machiavellian concepts. Think about every senseless act of insane murder perpitrated by a massive group of fucking stupid, angry people. The more you know the more options you have to question this level of psychotic group think.

Posted by stiletto | June 7, 2007 1:04 AM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:43 PM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:43 PM

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