Sunday, November 19, 2006

Can One Small Voice Change the World?

One Small Voice
as performed by Myra, Camille Winbush and Taylor Momsen
From the CD, NO WAY! It's Like So CHRISTMAS

Music and Lyrics by J. Brooks and A. Kasha
St. Nicholas Music Inc. (ASCAP)

One small voice can change the world
One small voice can still be heard
In the darkest place on earth
He hears every word

One small voice, a way to start
Words of truth, straight from the heart
Man or woman, boy or girl
It starts out here and goes 'round the world

Kumbaya, Kumbaya
kumbaya, kumbaya
It doesn't matter what the language only what we say
Give us peace on earth this Christmas day

One small voice in the endless night
Full of fear and full of fright
Why can't there be more love for all?

What can I do, for I'm so small?

repeat chorus

One small voice, all it takes
makes the world a better place
One small voice, can be heard
Around the world

Repeat Chorus 2x

One small voice can change the world
One small voice can still be heard

I was listening to
Wizard Radio while reading the news on the Internet tonight.......
Myra, a talented singer with a lovely voice, is especially popular among the early teen and pre-teen "Disney Radio" audience. This song is originally from the Public Television Series Sesame Street.

And I was reading....

Afghan women commit suicide by fire
By ALISA TANG, Associated Press Writer
Sat Nov 18, 6:04 PM ET
Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan - Blood dripped down the 16-year-old girl's face after another beating by her drug addict husband. Worn down by life's pain, she ran to the kitchen, doused herself with gas from a lamp and struck a match.

Desperate to escape domestic violence, forced marriage and hardship, scores of women across Afghanistan each year are committing suicide by fire.
While some gains have been made since the fall of the Taliban five years ago, life remains bleak for many Afghan women in the conservative and violence-plagued country, and suicide is a common escape.

Young Gulsum survived to tell her story. Her pretty face and delicate feet were untouched by the flames, but beneath her red turtleneck sweater, floral skirt and white shawl, her skin is puffy and scarred.

More than a month after her attempt, her gnarled hands still bleed.

"It was my decision to die. I didn't want to be like this, with my hands and body like this," she said, sitting on a hospital bed in Kabul and hiding her deformed hands beneath her shawl.

Reliable statistics on self-immolation nationwide are difficult to gauge. In Herat province, where the practice has been most reported and publicized, there were 93 cases last year and 54 so far this year. More than 70 percent of these women die.

"It's all over the country. ... The trend is upward," said Ancil Adrian-Paul of Medica Mondiale, a nonprofit that supports women and girls in crisis zones.

The group has seen girls as young as 9 and women as old as 40 set themselves on fire. But many incidents remain hidden, Adrian-Paul said.

"A lot of self-immolation and suicide cases are not reported to police for religious reasons, for reasons of honor, shame, stigma. There is this collusion of silence," Adrian-Paul said on the sidelines of a conference this week in Kabul on self-immolation.

Five years after the fall of the repressive Taliban regime, domestic violence affects "an overwhelming majority" of Afghan women and girls, according to a recent report from Womankind, an international women's rights groups.

An estimated 60 to 80 percent of Afghan marriages are forced, the report said.
More than half of Afghan women are married before they turn 16 and many young girls are married to men who are several decades older, the report said. The exchange of women and girls to resolve a crime, debt or household dispute is also common.

Under the hard-line Taliban regime, women were unable to vote, receive education or be employed. In recent years, women have gained the right to cast ballots and female candidates have run for parliament, but women are often still regarded as second-class citizens.

Is this acceptable? How should we act when faced with this reality?

Do we say, "It's their country and it's none of our business how they treat their women?"

Is the American (NATO or UN) presence actually preventing the country from making progress?

Do we join the rapidly growing chorus of Democrat Leaders calling not only for a pull-out of Iraq but also a quick exit from Afghanistan?

Were we right to overthrow the Taliban?

Now the Taliban are returning with greater strength. Can the Afghan government stand against them if we leave?

And what will happen to the women of Iraq if we pull out of that country?

Is an American life really worth more.... much, much more.... than an Iraqi or Afghan life?

What do we tell our daughters?

Your comments and observations are most welcome.





Anonymous said...

Any woman who lives in an islamic country anywhere, is a second or third class citizen. The women in Afghanistan are far better off without the Taliban than they were under Taliban rule. Under the Taliban, they could not vote, receive and education, hold a job or even leave the house (unless accompanied by an adult male relative). They could be divorces by their husband and just thrown on the street with nothing. However, Afghanistan is still an islamic country. The treatment of their women will not change unless islam changes. It is also with much irony that I see feminist in the west remain absolutely silent about the plight of female muslims and say nothing of the creeping islamiziation of Europe and parts of America. When Rosie O’Donnell says fundamentalist Christians are as bad as the Taliban – we are in trouble – she doesn’t even see the irony that she can live the lifestyle she does, become wealthy and say such things in the free and mostly western (Christian) world, and how she would be treated and mostly likely killed in nearly all Islamic countries.

Messenger said...
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the WIZARD, fkap said...

It was Representative Dennis Kucinich who I first heard speak (rather eolquently, in fact) about withdrawal from Afghanistan on election night. I believe it was on MSNBC.

I now understand this was not a particularly a new position for Kucinich, but it the first time I heard him speak.

Chris Matthews indicated this was an undercurrent among many antiwar Democrats, but there is political cover provided by NATO's role in Afghanistan. NATO in effect legitimizes the role the US plays.

I noted with some interest that Italy is withdrawing from Afghanistan. Will other countries follow?

We sure as hell didn't get Osama. And I don't think we ever will without a major war with Pakistan.

The Taliban defeated the Soviets in a war I've studied extensively.

I am genuinely curious as to what you think about the Euro-American adventure in Afghanistan. Are we helping or hurting the people who live there?

What should our position be on the treatment and position of women in the strict Islamic countries like Afghanistan and perhaps even more importantly, Saudi Arabia?

the Wizard.....

Vigilante said...

I had forgotten about Dennis Kucinich, Wiz. He should have been my first suspect. He's definitely an ideologue.

I have always been bullish and bull-headed on the Afghanistan campaign, as you might have guessed. But you and I are operating on different channels. Although I have despised the Taliban ever since they took control, my preoccupation has never been with (yours) relieving the oppression of women, not to say the whole Afghan people. My only justification and motivation for the campaign was revenge: get Osama and his keeper, Mullah Omar.

Now, because of the diminution of this effort starting as early as November 2001 with preparations for Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) in November 2001, this noble effort may falter.

I cannot answer your other questions at this moment. I have not studied the matter sufficiently. But I am worried, frankly.