Welcome to The Kettle!

Primarily, "The Kettle" publicizes and manages the "Three Cups of Tea Book Project." However, as described in our very first post (click here), we also hope to use "The Kettle" as a medium for individuals interested in social issues to become more aware of the lives of those less fortunate. Ideally, whatever we write or publish here will take that nascent concern and transform it into action. To inspire any action, small or large, in the genuine interest of doing better for the world is our ultimate goal.

Though heavily slanted towards Pakistan and Afghanistan presently, we do try to include news, opinions, and reference materials regarding diverse topics, including poverty, reconstruction, human rights, Africa, "Green" developments, Micro Finance, and other solutions and considerations for what are essentially man made problems in the world. In the universe of charitable options, we endorse and support multigenerational solutions and initiatives for multigenerational problems.

The education made possible by the Central Asia Institute is one such solution, but there are certainly others. We encourage the commitment of resources and people that goes beyond merely "patriarchal" handouts to the multitude of people in need. We agree that it is good to charitable, but charity that only treats the symptoms and not the root causes has proven to be insufficient. A consistent commitment to work with the local communities of people in need to provide and/or improve education, nutrition, access to capital, human rights, security, sustainable development/redevelopment, and environmental stewardship are what will lead to an enduring improvement in people's lives.

If you have any questions, general comments, and suggestions for improvements, please leave a comment on any of the posts below, and we'll follow up with you!

The Kettle's shared items

Sunday, May 10, 2009

NY Times: Pakistan Strife Fills a Hospital With Refugees

May 7, 2009

Pakistan Strife Fills a Hospital With Refugees

"MARDAN, Pakistan — The dank and shadowed hallways of the Mardan Tuberculosis Hospital, crumbling relic of another age, were transformed here on Wednesday into a clinic of a more modern sort, when the refugees of nearby battles came streaming in the whole long day."

Excerpt: "If you do something wrong, if you miss your prayers or something like that, the Taliban will flog you in the street," he said. "We are Muslims. We don't have much problem with people trying to enforce the religion — it's when they cut the throats of the policemen that people become angry. Yes, they are doing that."


It's interesting that the refugee the author interviewed expressed the same suspicion of the Pakistani military with regards to their links (and seeming complacency--and according to some, outright support in the past) to the Taliban as I've read in "Descent into Chaos" by Ahmed Rashid and "Punishment of Virtue" by Sarah Chayes. How much of the offensive going on now in Swat and Buner is merely a show to to placate the U.S.? It could very well be that many soldiers do have a genuine mission to eliminate the threat, but is their toil and suffering merely a calculated setback for leadership in Pakistani military intelligence that still sees Islamic militants as a useful tool to covertly support Pakistani military interests in Kashmir and Afghanistan? I hope not--it's bad enough that civilians are caught in the middle. Perhaps the military's position on the issue will change as they have apparently lost control of the same militants they had fostered all these years (as it seems is widely believed)...

-- The Kettle Rumbles

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