Last week, I posted Col. Douglas Macgregor's excellent piece entitled "No Existential Threat to US in Afghanistan; So Why Are We Propping Up a Narco-State?" But now I take issue with the premise, ironically speaking. There is indeed an existential threat to US in Afghanistan, a dire threat to our own nation's heart and soul. Not only are we propping up a backward narco-state of kleptocrats, pederasts and child rapists, we are propping up an Islamic justice system that punishes if not kills converts to Christianity.
This has been going on for a long time, too. And so has this. We're at the wrong rodeo, folks. It's past time to let Afghanistan go.
Five countries are appealing to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to prevent two Afghan men who converted to Christianity from being sentenced to death for "apostasy" -- their decisions to abandon Islam.
Representatives from the United States, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Italy have been in contact with Karzai to ask for release and safe passage for Shoiad Assadullah and Sayed Musa.
Because Afghanistan, watered by the blood of thousands of mainly Christian Coalition forces, isn't safe for Christians.
Assadullah has been in jail since Oct. 21 after his arrest in Mazar-e-Sharif, and Musa has been detained since his arrest last May.
For leaving Islam.
International Christian Concern's Middle East Specialist Aidan Clay said Assadullah's case is urgent.
"The case that concerns us most now is Shoiad Assadullah. He was brought to court in late December and was told he would have one week to recant his faith in Christianity and return to Islam. Otherwise he would be given the death penalty," Clay explained.
Clay said Assadullah has been denied the right of legal representation and has been charged with apostasy, a crime that Clay points out isn't in the Afghanistan criminal code.
"The second court date was Jan. 4, but fortunately the attorney general in Afghanistan intervened. We can only assume that was because of foreign pressure in the country," Clay said.
Clay reports that confidential sources in the U.S. State Department say that Assadullah's case is "on the radar."
Clay said that outside pressure was responsible for Musa being moved to a safer prison.
"In the first prison where he was held, he was abused, actually sexually abused by the other inmates because he was a Christian," Clay reported.
Clay said that even with the outside pressure, the fate of the two men is in doubt.
"We aren't sure of what's going to happen, but we do know that the Afghan legal system is determined to give them the very harsh penalty of the death sentence for apostasy," Clay stated.
"The only reason that hasn't happened yet is because of international intervention," he added.
But even $350 million a day doesn't buy more than more jail time for this man.
Italy is one of the other countries pressing for release of the two Christian men in Afghanistan.
Remember Abdul Rahman? The Afghan convert to Christianity had to be spirited out of the country to Italy to avoid death at the hands of those people Gen. Petraeus is always telling our troops to protect.
Speaking on behalf of the Italian government, Italian Sen. Lucio Malan said in a statement that Italy stands with the men.
"At this particular moment of awareness and commitment to religious freedom, Italy cannot remain indifferent to the case of Shoaib Assadullah, an Afghan who risks the death penalty or 20 years in prison for having converted to Christianity, according to apostasy law in force in Afghanistan," the senator stated.
The senator said he will ask the Italian ministers of foreign affairs and defense to intervene.
"Italy has done and is doing much for Afghanistan, and it is very difficult to think that those who receive our help implement a law in such a flagrant violation of basic human rights," he said.
Clay said he believes the only reason that both Assadullah and Musa haven't been given the death sentence yet is because of the interest from other nations.
"After an almost 10-year presence in their country fighting for democracy and fighting for human rights, the fact that Afghan judges still have the mindset that they did under the days of the Taliban shows us that there's been very little progress in Afghanistan's judicial system," Clay observed.
Still, Clay said that any publicity about the men's case is a positive step.
"We need to ensure that whatever happens to Shoiad Assadullah and Sayed Musa, we need to make it public so we can expose and condemn it very loudly," he said.
"The last thing we want is for these guys to be executed in secret where the Afghan people don't hear about it. With exposure comes awareness," Clay added. "Also something comes that is like tolerance, eventually."
Is he kidding?
"That's the hope at least. So we need to publicly condemn it and expose it so these lives will not have been in vain."
Afghan authorities have increased their anti-Christian actions after a television program showed Afghan Christian converts being baptized.
"The crackdown also led to the arrests of four Christians in Heart on Aug. 9, including a South African and a Korean-American. All four have been released as a result of outside pressure. None of those arrested was offered due process of law," Clay said.
"The overall mindset towards non-Muslims and the overall mindset towards democracy are like the days of the Taliban.
Al-Tweedledum and Al-Tweedledee.
"There has been a progression of the Taliban taking over and Islamic fundamentalism coming into the country," he said. "The only way we're going to see change is if the Afghan people can [1.] see beyond their own cultural norms, which are [2.] rooted in the philosophy of the Taliban. To see change, we need to encourage education."
Clay believes that education will expose the people to a wider range of ideas.
"Until there is a broader worldview in the Afghan mindset; until they're able to think outside this very narrow-minded box the Taliban have put them in; and see that there are other religions, ideas and ideologies, and see that there is a broader world, we're not going to see any change," Clay said.
Just make that: We're not going to see any change.