I guess progress is in the eye of the beholder. This past Sunday, a young Afghan couple were stoned death for falling in love with each other and defying their parents dictates about who they could marry. Because the woman had been told to marry another man and refused, she and the man she loved violated a fundamental tenet of Sharia law. Councils made up of Islamic clerics are afforded considerable power to decide punishment in such cases. Stonings, amputations and lashing are common punishments meted out for violating Sharia law.
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley discussed on his blog the untenable position the U.S. government under President Barack Hussein Obama's leadership and Afghanistan's elected government is taking in accepting a role in governing for the Taliban, the religious fanatics who harbored Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist followers and suppressed the rights of women and minorites when they were in power, who we supposedly went to war against a decade ago and, in so doing, sacrificed countless numbers of American soldiers lives. Turley writes:
It seems that we are just trying to secure some semblance of peace to offer political cover for a pullout. So, with thousands of dead and wounded in our ranks, we could be declaring victory by leaving a country in at least partial Taliban control, where the most basic rights and protections to women and religious minorities are savagely denied. If we are just waiting for politically plausible moment to declare some pyrrhic victory, our continued sacrifice of lives and treasure in that country is grossly immoral. I have long been a critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, though I believe that the invasion of Afghanistan was justified in light of their protection of Osama Bin Laden. However, remaining in that country to try to build a new nation was folly in my view in light of the hundreds of years of strife and the extreme form of Islam followed by many residents. I am particularly disturbed by our soldiers fighting to protect officials who are opposed to the most basic rights of women. It is a bizarre scene to have our female soldiers dying so that government-supported clerics can continue to impose Shariah-based restrictions on their ability to be educated or even marry.Turley hits the nail on the head. We have accomplished absolutely nothing after ten years of fighting this costly war. We never caputred bin Laden, and the Taliban are still a force of influence in the country. For Rep. Carson to call this progress is either a reflection of his ignorance of what is actually taking place in Afghanistan or his approval of the Islamic tradition of treating women and non-Muslims as second class citizens and imposing barbaric medieval punishments against those who fail to subscribe to the dictates of Islamic law.
Sadly, things aren't much better in Iraq. Last year, Muslim fanatics rounded up hundreds of gays and tortured and executed them because of Islam's harsh view towards homosexuality. Honor killings commonly take place in Iraq despite the massive presence of U.S. troops there.