Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Just Roll To Your Rifle and Blow Out Your Brains

The Sunday Herald has an article on Kandahar's most fearsome lady detective, going up against all manner of Afghan perps, while swathed in a burqa. (Hat tip: MIG).

First her six children are breakfasted, their faces washed and hairbrushed and they are made ready for school. Next comes the firearms check. Malalai Kakar counts bullets into a curved AK-47 metal clip, rams it home into her assault rifle, and makes sure the safety catch is on.  ... When these morning rituals are completed and the kids are off to school, Kandahar’s most fearsome woman hoists a blue burkha over her head, climbs into a pick-up truck and heads off to the office; another busy day with murderers, sexual abusers and wife batterers is about to begin.

Malalai Kakar is testimony to Arthur Eddington's observation that "not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine". Many years ago, in a mountain village on the Zamboanga peninsula, I met a follower of the charismatic cult leader "Tootpick", who founded a militia dedicated to the murder of Muslims. Toothpick's beef against Muslims started when a band of armed Muslims raided his village, killed his entire family then shot and left him for dead in a well. While in that dark hole he found a bottle of merthiolate filled with what he imagined to be a mysterious liquid to which in his delerium he attributed mystical powers. Although his neighbors dragged him out of the well and took him to the hospital, Toothpick forever attributed his survival to the strange power that pulled him literally from the grave. He ever after wore that bottle of merthiolate as an amulet around his neck. It wasn't long before he and his band of know-nothings had added to their store of ritual. One practice which his recruits found particularly impressive was that of playing Tony Orlando's "Knock Three Times" over a portable sound system as they went dauntlessly on the attack. The Kandahar story continues:

Shuffling around her office is one of the victims she rescued, 45-year-old Anar Gul, who was chained in a basement by her husband until Kakar discovered her and burst in with a truncheon in one hand and a pistol in the other. The woman’s first husband had died, so according to tribal custom Anar Gul was forcibly married to his brother, an abusive heroin addict. “I beat the husband,” Kakar says, “first in the house, then in the police station: punch, kick, slap, I was so angry. If I’d used my stick, he would have died.” ... Few of the male criminals who hate Kakar are brave enough to attack her. They have all heard the story of how during the Eighties she shot dead three would-be assassins who came on a mission to kill her. 

British filmmaker Polly Hyman is making a film about Kakar’s life. I guess she'll never get around to doing Toothpick's. Too grotesque; too funny and too weird.


Blogger Elam Bend said...

Wretchard, you've had some life. Can we hear more sometime?

6/29/2005 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

These people are establishing their credibility in the Arab world. The kind of credibility that was squandered with every president since Nixon.

6/29/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Wow. Absolutely no redeeming features, whatsoever. Yours is a post to strike absolute dread in the heart of today's 'libber'.

Women's 'empowerment' is not supposed to work this way. What went wrong, Betty?

6/29/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Reading your posts leads to alot of interesting research and continued learning

The province of Zamboanga del Sur is bounded on the north by the province of Zamboanga del Norte; on the south by the Moro Gulf; on the southwest by Zamboanga Sibugay; and on the east and northeast by Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Panguil Bay.

The original inhabitants of the Zamboanga peninsula were the Subanons, who settled along the riverbanks. The next group of settlers to arrive were Muslim migrants from the neighboring provinces. The Maguindanaoans and Kalibugans were farmers; the Tausugs, Samals, and Badjaos were fishermen; and the Maranaos were traders and artisans. The Muslim settlers also looked on mat weaving as its major occupation.

Zamboanga del Sur occupies the southern section of the Zamboanga peninsula that forms the western part of the Island of Mindanao. It is located within a longitude of 122º 30"" and latitude of 7º 15"" north. It has a total land area of 473, 491hectares or 4,734.91 sq. m.

Stretching northward from Sibugay in the southwest and running along the northern boundary to Salug Valley in the east is the province’s mountainous countryside. The coastal plains are extending regularly from south to west then spreading into wide flat lands when reaching the coastal plains of the Baganian peninsula in the southeast.

The major dialect is Cebuano, spoken by 61.31% of the population. Also spoken are Tagalog, Subanon, Chavacano, Ilonggo, Maguindanao, Tausug, Boholano, and Ilocano.

As of the year 2000 census, Zamboanga del Sur had reached a population of 836,147.

The province has a relatively high mean annual rainfall that varies from 1,599 millimeters in drier areas to 3,500 millimeters in the wettest portion. Temperature is relatively warm and constant throughout the year ranging from the minimum temperature of 22 to 35 degrees Celsius

6/29/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then there is this

Thursday, June 30, 2005
3 suspected Davao airport bombers arrested in Maguindanao
By Al Jacinto

POLICE and military announced on Wednesday the capture of three suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists, who were tagged as behind the 2003 bombing of the Davao International Airport in the southern Philippines, officials said.

The trio, Ali Salipada, Norodin Mangalen and Pedro Guiamat, were also linked by the authorities to the Southeast terror network Jemaah Islamiya, officials said, adding, the three men were captured separately last week in Maguindanao province.

or this

Travellers are advised to avoid travelling to most of Mindanao, an island in the southern Philippines, especially the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago, where ethnic and religious animosities fuel ongoing violence. Boat safety is also a concern throughout the country.

Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist group, is responsible for bombings, kidnappings and murders targeting foreigners, including tourists. They operate principally on Mindanao, but have also claimed responsibility for bombings further north.

6/29/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ticker said...

desert rat,

Look up the words "Ipil" and massacre in connection with Zamboanga. You'll discover it refers to the sack of a major town on Zamboanga del Sur by the Abu Sayyaf. I wasn't there but I know some survivors well. One farmer was hogtied to a barber's chair, doused with gasoline and set alight. Abu Sayaff humor. The Abu Sayyaf killed everyone they could in the town hall, police station and market. Although the town itself is a very short distance from a Philippine Army garrison, none of the troops figured out what was happening until the entire town, one of about 30,000 people, went up in flames. Fancy that.

One of the heroes of that siege was a character who oddly enough, is called "Boy" and who busted into the the local AM station and kept broadcasting a Mayday until the Philippine Army guys finally figured out what was happening. If this all sound too strange, it is.

6/29/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

and from the Clinton News Network

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Australian and American citizens have been warned to postpone all but essential travel to the Philippines because of fears of terrorist attacks.

The high alert travel warning was issued by authorities in the United States and Australia after they said they had received information that terrorist attacks were being planned in the Philippines.

Authorities said that citizens should defer all non-essential travel to Mindanao in the south, and defer all travel to the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.

The alerts in particular warn citizens to stay away from areas known to be frequented by foreigners, including coastal resorts.

"We continue to receive reports that terrorists in the region are planning attacks. Recent reports suggest that terrorists may be in the final stages of planning an attack," the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement late on Thursday.

6/29/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What a mess that country is
Just a little over a decade has passed since that particular event.
These guys are still running wild.

6/29/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

There are cargo vessels going from Bitung to General Santos/Southern Philippines but there is no fixed schedule. US$ 50 (ow) for this not very comfortable trip seems a bit steep. Better take the plane which takes you directly to Davao. Moreover General Santos has not exactly a good reputation.

IMPORTANT: "Island hopping" to the Philippines via the Sangihe Talaud Islands is NOT possible for Non-Indonsians! Don't even bother trying, even if someone tells you differently. After a trip of several days you will end up just a few km's from the Philippine border but not be able to enter. Instead you will be sent back all the way to Manado!

6/29/2005 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder if they'll allow the film to be shown in the USA?
Couldn't expect the GOP to help it get seen.
Might be protests by anti gun groups, feminazi's for Bill and Hill, and etc.

6/29/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I betcha some folks here believe in the magic power of merthiolate!
Don't know who else brought in the magic system of belief here, or if they had it already.
...but he did survive!

6/29/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Good post W.

Not to be fatuous but...

I am of an age that still remembers merthiolate (as perhaps some of you others do).

The best it did for me was to instill great fear and loathing for the little brown bottle.

6/29/2005 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The End of the Hudna .
The "peace talks" had begun with high hopes when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took the helm from disgraced President Joseph Estrada in 2001. Estrada had attempted to destroy the MILF encampments spread throughout the length of the Cotabato valley (Green flags in the map above). Arroyo reversed Estrada's policy and essentially returned those installations to the possession of the rebels.
The strategic dilemma facing the US is how far to pick up the slack for Manila, which lives in a Byzantine dreamworld fed by the fantasies of a Leftist "intelligensia". American support enabled Manila to recover lost ground in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi but many of the gains have been thrown away by the "peace lobby" which gave the MILF space to rearm and train thousands of fighters according to the playbook developed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unless Manila reforms its Armed Forces and reorganizes it as a mobile, offensive force the Philippines faces an eventual and crushing defeat at the hands of the international Muslim militancy

6/29/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(as perhaps some of you others do)
Hadn't been invented yet when my memory gave out.

6/29/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So if the Sheriff Burka Lady was slapping bad guys around in the 1980's ... what did the Taliban think about that?

Were the Phillippines as screwed up when the American base was still there, before they raised the rent to extortionate levels and asked us to leave? Rather like South Korea is in the process of doing?

When Shoe Lady Imelda (and her dictator husband Marcos) held the Beatles captive, it seemed to me at the time they might be just the teensiest bit out of control. Remarkably at that time no one seemed to think it was odd or unusual that a 4th rate banana republic would hold hostage the most famous group of entertainers in the world.

I really need someone to keep pointing out and reminding me why I'm supposed to feel sympathy and empathy with countries like the Phillippines and Zimbabwe and Sudan, etc., et al., where they keep on killing each other year after decade after generation. While they're bad-mouthing America and simultaneously trying to take us for all they can pry out of us in the way of food assistance and free grants and other monetary gifts.

Not to mention the current Filippino President paying ransom for her countryman to the Iraqi brigands, allowing this whole Iraqi kidnapping/ransom thing to build up a good head of steam. What a *really* good ally that country seems to be to America, ranking right up there one step behind France.

6/29/2005 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Monday, October 13, 2003
The death of Fathur Roman Al-Ghozi as he 'attempted to run a checkpoint' in Pigcawayan, North Cotabato probably did not happen as advertised. But first, to the basics. It apparently is Al-Ghozi. Compare this file photograph of the Light Rail Transit bomber from the Sydney Morning Herald to his picture, lying on a mortuary slab, in the Philippine Star. One will at once notice that his two prominent front teeth are identical in both photographs, in addition to the striking resemblance between the two faces. It is Al-Ghozi.

Fathur Roman Al-Ghozi killed many people in the December 30, 2000 bombing of a commuter train in Manila, including children. Although his death removes a public danger, there is little to be gained by this crude Philippine government dramatization. If there's one thing we should hate more than being lied to by the enemy, it is being taken for fools by our friends. The Philippine government should say he was summarily executed, and that he had it coming. That would be the manly and responsible thing to do.
. What Shootout?

6/29/2005 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Whose Bells are Ringing?
Crossing the border from Jordan into Iraq, I meet a young Filipino-American private named Conrad Vasquez (shown in the photo at the top of this post). He has an M-16 with 40mm grenade launcher slung over his chest. He is highly professional and remarkably good-natured considering he has been here going on eight months now. He says border duty is a vacation after a tour in the infamously hostile city of Fallujah, one point of the so-called Sunni Triangle filled with Saddam die-hards. I ask him if he wants to use my phone to call his family.
“No sir,” he says, “it’s just me and my sister and she’s serving in Baghdad.”
“What happened to your parents?”
“My mother died of a stroke and my father…well he was killed in the Philippines.”
“Well sir, have you heard of Abu Sayef.”
“Of course, the Philippine fundamentalist Islamic group with reported ties to Al Qaeda.”
“Yes. Well sir, he was a member.”
“So are you Muslim,” I ask.
“No sir. I’m Catholic. But the people around here are very respectful when they heard my father was.”
That one story encapsulates the improbabilities that every person of Filipino descent is heir to. Anglo first name, Hispanic surname, dark complexion, American infantryman with a sister in the US armed services, father killed while a member of an Islamic fundamentalist group, Roman Catholic. Yet indubitably, fighting for us all. What would you make of Conrad Vasquez?

Well, the answer that most Filipino customs officials would give is: money. Philippine officialdom, remiss in nearly all things, sedulously finds ways to shake down any person of Filipino descent returning for a visit. Is that chocolate you have in your bag? Do you mind if I have it? How about $50 as a homecoming gift?

The answer that most Filipino 'nationalists' would give, if they are ever to qualify for an interview with the BBC is: traitor. Never mind that the elite would never have admitted him into their homes or into their counsels. He has betrayed the nation in the deepest way possible: by forgetting his place, which was to serve as a menial and to obey without question the pronouncements of the graduates of the University of the Philippines.
The answer that most overseas Filipinos would give is: a man. A man who has seen the world, stands on his own two feet and is building a modest nest egg toward his future. A free man. And the Bells of Balangiga ring wherever he walks the earth.
. The Bells

6/29/2005 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That was the famous Kevin Sites!
...anybody been following him since "the incident."

6/29/2005 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I really need someone to keep pointing out and reminding me why I'm supposed to feel sympathy and empathy "
Why, because otherwise you would be labeled "empathy challenged."
...might get a victimhood grant, though.

6/29/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

also from the archives:
"Roses are red, Violets are blue. Most people make sense, But there's Doug, too!"
Wonder who that might be? Well, here goes.

6/29/2005 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


6/29/2005 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The good old days?

DoubleStandard said...
Dear "wretchard"
This is your blog site, therefore do as you wish.
I am one of the new people and am still learning your "moves".

But, I am willing, able and ready.

6/29/2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Guess the author:
"He said the West could not impose its values on the world and confuse democratisation and Westernisation. "Granted, it is still possible to organise the world based on a logic of power yet experience has taught us that this type of organisation is, by its very definition, unstable and sooner or later leads to crisis or conflict. ... It is by recognising the new reality of a multi-polar and interdependent world that we will succeed in building a sounder and fairer international order. This is why we must work together to revive multilateralism, a multilateralism based on a reformed and strengthened United Nations."
. Pro and Contra

6/30/2005 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Anybody hear about this one?

The Marines said the 16 Americans and three Iraqi contractors were arrested and held in a military jail for three days after spraying small arms fire at Iraqi civilians and U.S. forces from their cars in Fallujah late last month. There were no casualties.
. ____Suntimes___

6/30/2005 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Doug. I couldn't help but notice, but you're talking to yourself.

6/30/2005 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Nahncee: So if the Sheriff Burka Lady was slapping bad guys around in the 1980's ... what did the Taliban think about that?

• The Taliban militia are born, and advance rapidly against the Rabbani government.
• Dostum and Hekmatyar continued to clash against Rabbani's government, and as a result Kabul is reduced to rubble.

6/30/2005 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Tootpick is serious barbarian hilarity, Wretch--thank you. Raiding Muslims and retribution to the smooth sounds of Tony Orlando?
It's the aesthetic that gets me.

6/30/2005 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Tony - presumably the Taliban noticed she was slapping superior male-men around pre-1994. Again ... what did they think of that? (Not that they're capable of thinking a whole lot ...)

6/30/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger gm said...

That's one of the most entertaining posts I've ever encountered....

6/30/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...


You're right, the Taliban didn't like her, she had to take a sabbatical:
"Ms Kakar joined Kandahar's police force in 1982, with her father and brothers also being police officers.

But when the hardline Taleban regime took over Afghanistan she was prevented from working - something she recalled with bitterness.

"They really didn't treat women well at all," she said."

I just kind of threw in the historical record to show that yet another big thing happened during the wonderful peace years of the 90's.

If only we could go back to that blissful time, when there were no wars and everything was taken care of by the UN.

6/30/2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

The title of this thread is from a Kipling poem, right?

6/30/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Knock Three Times! I heard that song on the radio last night and now here it is again!

Claudia (The Wise and Benevolent Empress of the Blogosphere) and I were at a travel agency tonight pricing tix to the Philippines. She wants to take me to Davao city to her brother's place, but she knows this probably isn't the best idea, though I have had friends who have been to Mindanao in the not too distant past but... So we will keep it to Cebu & Manila.

Yeah, Ipil was a very sad story. I was in the UAE at the time that went down and I recall seeing it in the newspapers but not played up as much as it should have been.

The peso was beginning to climb in value but I see it is falling again.

Oh Sayang! :-(

6/30/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Moonbeams said...

Hi there, I was surfing the internet and I found your blog. I like the way how this all works.

I'll come by again.

Many thanks,

How to sell a timeshare

6/08/2006 06:13:00 AM  

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