Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Highly Misplaced Fear and Trembling

It's been amusing (I guess that's the word) watching Republican politicians freak out over the exchange of 5 Taliban prisoners for a U.S. soldier. Yes, these guys were high ranking -- actually they were mostly civilian leadership of the Taliban government. They are described as "hardened killers" but that's because the Taliban regime was violent. The only people they ever bothered were Afghans. They can't be prosecuted because they haven't violated any U.S. laws. They were prisoners of war, which means they have to be released some day.

The U.S. has been trying for some time to arrange a peace deal in Afghanistan, as has the Afghan government. Qatar has been acting as intermediary all along. This is just part of that process, a necessary clearing of one obstacle which may help get to a result that will end the violence in that long-suffering country. Meanwhile, there are thousands of Taliban fighters. Adding five old guys to their numbers isn't going to suddenly make the Taliban more dangerous. It's inconsequential.

But we seem to view "terrorists" (which they actually aren't) as having supernatural powers. It's ridiculous. And oh yeah, whether Bowe Bergdahl deserted or was derelict in his duty is completely irrelevant. Get a grip, folks.

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