Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Freshman

There will probably be an uproar during the next few weeks about why a former member of the Taliban is now studying at Yale. I have already witnessed the insipient signs of the attack, the fear-inducing questioning, the playing to ignorance and close-mindedness, the following him around with cameras, and terrorizing his life. No, I don't believe his desire to get an education and learn about the world beyond his village is by any means the same as our government turning over control of our ports to a foreign government owned company from the Middle East or anywhere. I am convinced that any open-minded souls willing to take the time to read his extraordinary story will empathize and recognize the distinction. Please read this story.

UPDATE: I know there are those who will think I am crazy just for posting this. I cross-posted it as a diary on and so far the only reactions are that this guy is bad; he represented the Taliban; he is not someone progressives can support. But what good are progressives if they can't take in new evidence. None of those comments were presented by people willing to read or even look at the article.

UPDATE: Here is my post over at dailykos. It is pretty much the same as here but with comments from some within the kos community. In the end, there was some diversity of views about this issue, but clearly the most vocal commenter, Ronald X, would not budge. He approached the issue with a fixed viewpoint, and nothing would shake him. The Taliban was bad. I agree. This guy represented the Taliban. He is bad.
Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi was a "roving ambassador" for the Taliban and toured America justifing their actions.

Maybe he is right. How can I be certain about anything (except that Bush and Cheney deserve to be impeached)? Perhaps I err on the side of uncertainty, or in accepting this Rahmatullah Hashemi's story, but I am also concerned about people who always feel they are right, and approach every issue with their own pre-conceptions and certitudes. No need to investigate. No need to listen to the experts or the people on the ground. That is one of my issues with Bush and Cheney, the likes of Sean Hannity, and with the Taliban.
As Laozi (Lao-tzu) says through Mair's translation:
To realize that you do not understand is a virtue;
Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.


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