The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement, and will take the following measures in this regard…
With the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the United States will initiate an administrative review of current U.S. sanctions and the rewards list against members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban with the goal of removing these sanctions by August 27, 2020…
With the start of intra-Afghan negotiations, the United States will start diplomatic engagement with other members of the United Nations Security Council and Afghanistan to remove members of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban from the sanctions list with the aim of achieving this objective by May 29, 2020…
Signed in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020…
Remind us. Who was president and who was running the Department of State in 2020?
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
With this latest act of incompetence, the Biden administration’s track record of repeated negligence has resulted in crises at our border, in our communities, and now overseas in the Middle East.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
In Afghanistan, gone and lost are decades of progress for women, who will now see their advances crushed under Sharia Law.
I pray for them on this somber day and condemn our current administration for their bungled and failed withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Some of the responses:
Actually, the former guy, who you supported, wanted us out earlier.
In the meantime, what should Biden have done?
I missed your call for sending more troops. Did you?
Do you have the reaction with Trump inviting the same Taliban to Camp David? How about Pompeo just 10 months ago in face to face meeting with the man who is being called new Taliban President?
This isn’t Biden’s fault. It’s a losing game. What are we to do?
So you must have been furious when Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David.
1) Afghanistan is not “the Middle East”. 2) Biden inherited this 20 years war. US had already drawn down troops when he took office. Did you criticize Trump for that?
“…In Afghanistan, gone and lost are decades of progress for women, who will now see their advances crushed under Sharia Law.”
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) met for coffee early this morning in downtown Warrensburg with Johnson County Democrats (and anyone else who showed up). She spoke at length about the 2014 election, the Missouri General Assembly, Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act, and also took questions.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) in Warrensburg – October 8, 2014.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): ….I have watched, from afar, Jefferson City. And, you know, um, I’ve spent some time in Jefferson City. And it isn’t as if I don’t understand what this state is. I think you all know I get Missouri….I get that there are a lot of conservative people in this state. But if you step back from it and you look and you see that I have been elected and reelected statewide four times. [Governor] Jay Nixon has been elected and reelected state, in statewide office one, two, three, four, five, six times. [Secretary of State] Jason Kander was elected, [State Treasurer] Clint Zweifel was elected, [Attorney General] Chris Koster was elected. All of these are Democrats that are winning statewide. Now how do you reconcile that with the Missouri legislature, because the Missouri legislature is way, way, way to the right? It’s so far to the right you can hardly see it on the horizon. And the reason that’s happened is because of two things. One, they controlled redistricting, but, more importantly is because they have recruited candidates, funded candidates, and helped candidates run and win and….we behaved, well, you know, that Jeff City, it just is hopeless. You know, they’re in charge and there’s nothing we can do. Well, they cast votes that are completely out of step with most Missourians. I guarantee you they’re out of step with the people that would be in Gary [Grigsby]’s district [51st Legislative District]. Um, I could go through a list. I mean, how many Missourians want them to be spending time on Sharia law? Um, how many Missourians really think Agenda 21 is a problem? How many Missourians think it’s a good idea to tell the local sheriff and the local police department that if they’re gonna work on an interdisciplinary task force with Federal officers they could go to jail if they arrest somebody in that effort that has a gun that’s prohibited by the Federal government. They wanted to put local law enforcement in jail for cooperating in a Federal investigation that could involve guns. I mean, this is crazy time….
…You know what people of this state want from their state legislature? They want good roads and bridges, they want good public education, and they want to make sure that their money is being spent wisely. They don’t want rape victims to have to wait three days to terminate a pregnancy that their rapist caused. They don’t want that. Vast majority of Missourians do not want that….
Question: …You must fight, the Democrats must fight no matter what happens in November, it [the Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare”] must not be repealed.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): Well, it won’t be repealed as long as, uh, Barrack Obama is President of the United States. Um, and I do, I will tell you that I think our, I’m traveling next week on behalf of my colleagues, I do think that, um, we are in pretty good shape. It’s gonna be close across the country. Um, but I will be surprised if we don’t hold on….
….The election that will determine the future of health care reform in this country, as to whether or not we continue down the path, will be, um, electing Hillary Clinton in, in twenty-sixteen. I will be back here and this place will be full, wall to wall, with people, I hope, working, um, on behalf of Hillary Clinton in twenty-sixteen.
Question: I think the one, the one issue that the state Republicans are the most opposite of their constituents is on Medicaid expansion. Because, a lot of my Republican friends, that is the one thing that they are really the most distressed about, is that we haven’t expanded Medicaid in the state and we didn’t accept the Federal money, because they have family members who should be Medicaid eligible and are not. And I see that’s just the most vulnerable issue for these, for, you know, at least our state representatives is that they didn’t support that.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D): There are, we have three hundred thousand Missourians, so you can speak to this when people that you, you talk to them, we have three hundred thousand Missourians who are working. You know, when people hear Medicaid I think they think of people that aren’t working. These are people that are working. They are working two and three jobs. They are making too little money to get on the [ACA] exchanges, but they make more money than they can do to get Medicaid. So, the, the weird thing is that, um, you know, we’ve got this gap. And that is all because they have turned down the Federal money that would, that would expand. [voice: “Our Federal money.”] Our Federal money is going to other states for their health care. And it is really hurting rural Missouri, uh, because in many rural communities the number one employer is the hospital. And these hospitals are dying on the vine. I mean, they are desperate. And that’s the irony, is the reddest parts of the state are gonna suffer the most ’cause that’s where a lot of the working poor are, people that are working two or three minimum wage jobs and don’t have insurance at work. And they can’t, they can’t get on the exchanges and they don’t qualify for Medicaid. Um, so it is really crazy. I mean, it would be, imagine if the Republicans said, you know, we’re not gonna take Federal Highway funding. They might cut it off some day so we better not take it. [laughter[ Let’s just not take Federal highway funding. We don’t want our money that we’ve paid, come back for our highways, because it’s the Federal government. And they might cut it off some day and then we’d be left holding the bag. And I’m like, well, I think you’re holding the bag now because, guess where all those people are going for health care? They’re going to hospitals who are treating them and then they’re passing on the bills to Missourians. It’s like a huge hidden tax increase. It’s craziness. And the only reason they won’t expand it is because they think it’s connected to Obamacare. So, it’s about the political messaging of Obamacare, it’s not about Missourians. It’s really unbelievable….
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) [center] with Gary Grigsby (D) [left], the Democratic Party candidate in the 51st Legislative District,
at an early morning coffee in downtown Warrensburg – October 8, 2014.
To amend chapter 506, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the laws of other countries.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Chapter 506, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 506.600, to read as follows:
506.600. 1. This section shall be known as the “Civil Liberties Defense Act”. The Missouri general assembly finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right protected by the constitutions of the state of Missouri and the United States, including, but not limited to, due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy.
2. The Missouri general assembly fully recognizes the right to contract freely under the laws of this state, and also recognizes that his right may be reasonably and rationally circumscribed pursuant to the state’s interest to protect and promote rights and privileges protected under the Missouri and United States constitutions, including, but not limited to, due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy.
3. As used in this section, the following terms mean:
(1) “Court”, any court, board, administrative agency, or other adjudicative or enforcement authority of this state;
(2) “Foreign law, legal code, or system”, any law, legal code, or system of a jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States, including, but not limited to, international organizations and tribunals, and applied by that jurisdiction’s courts, administrative bodies, or other formal or informal tribunals;
(3) “Religious organization”, any church, seminary, synagogue, temple, mosque, religious order, religious corporation, association, or society, whose identity is distinctive in terms of common religious creed, beliefs, doctrines, practices, or rituals, of any faith or denomination, including any organization qualifying as a church or religious organization under section 501(c)(3) or 501(d) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
4. Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions.
5. A contract or contractual provisions, if capable of segregation, which provides for the choice of a law, legal code, or system to govern some or all of the disputes between the parties adjudicated by a court of law or by an arbitration panel arising from the contract mutually agreed upon shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the foreign law, legal code, or system chosen includes or incorporates any substantive or procedural law, as applied to the dispute at issue, that is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions.
6. (1) A contract or contractual provisions, if capable of segregation, which provides for a jurisdiction for purposes of granting the courts or arbitration panels in personam jurisdiction over the parties to adjudicate any disputes between parties arising from the contract mutually agreed upon shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the jurisdiction chosen includes any foreign law, legal code, or system, as applied to the dispute at issue, that is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions;
(2) If a resident of this state, subject to personal jurisdiction in this state, seeks to maintain litigation, arbitration, agency, or similarly binding proceedings in this state and if the courts of this state find that granting a claim of forum non conveniens or a related claim violates or would likely violate rights protected under the Missouri and United States constitutions of the nonclaimant in the foreign forum with respect to the matter in dispute, then it is the public policy of this state that the claim shall be denied.
7. Without prejudice to any legal right, this act shall not apply to a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, business association, or other legal entity that contracts to subject itself to foreign law in a jurisdiction other than this state or the United States.
8. No court or arbitrator shall interpret this act to limit the right of any person to the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States constitution and by the constitution of this state. No court shall interpret this act to require or authorize any court to adjudicate, or prohibit any religious organization from adjudicating ecclesiastical matters, including, but not limited to, the election, appointment, calling, dismissal, removal, or excommunication of a member, officer, official, priest, nun, monk, pastor, rabbi, imam, or member of the clergy, of the religious organization, or determination or interpretation of the doctrine of the religious organization, where adjudication by a court would violate the constitution of this state or the prohibition of the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
9. This section shall not be interpreted by any court to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which the United States is a party to the extent that such treaty or international agreement preempts or is superior to state law on the matter at issue.
[emphasis in original]
….4. Any court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any foreign law, legal code, or system that is repugnant or inconsistent with the Missouri and United States constitutions….
Ah, that would be the blanket immunity from answering for crimes against humanity clause. I wonder who that was for? Just asking.
Think about that “any foreign law, legal code, or system” phrase for a minute. Apparently America popped into existence fully formed. One minute it wasn’t there, then, “poof”, it was. Go figure.
Last January I wrote about the efforts of Tea Partier extraordinaire, Rep. Paul Curtman (R-105), to introduce into Missouri law Anti-Sharia prohibitons on the order of those found unconstitutional in Oklahoma last year. I observed about Curtman’s legislative forays at the time that:
… it was pretty easy to dismiss his anti-Sharia bill out-of-hand, although it’s difficult to say if that will be the case in the lege given some of their recent antics.
Indeed. The House will soon debate Curtman’s anti-sharia law while pretending, as in the past, that it’s anything but an effort to diss Muslims – a difficult thing to do when, according to reports, earlier debates of the same bill introduced last year centered on almost nothing but Sharia. Curtman will no doubt persist in hiding behind behind an understanding of the Constitution that seems to have been derived from the comic book version of the document:
This bill is about one thing and one thing only, and that is to protect the fundamental rights that are guaranteed to our citizens under our founding documents, in the federal constitution and in our state constitution.
Actually, there’s lots of guarantees in the Constitution that this law abrogates. Try the Freedom of Religion Clause in the 1st Amendment. And, for the record, Sharia is religious law, not “foreign” law which Curtman & Co. claim to be worried about – not that international law can’t be constitutionally recognized in U.S. courts. We couldn’t have international commerce if that were the case.
All of which is to beg the biggest problem with this type of legislation. In San Diego recently, an Iraqi Muslim woman died after being found, brutally beaten, in her home with a note which, according to her daughter, read “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Muslims are scarcer in Missouri, but we’ve still had examples of bigotry in action such as vandalism at a local mosque. So tell me, how is stupidity like Curtman’s little exercise doing anything more than feeding the prejudice that results in such actions? And while you’re at it, tell me how this level of ignorance is allowed to go unchecked in the state capital?
Thanks to St. Louis Activitist Hub, I got my first real introduction to the strange mixture of hysteria and ignorance that is Dr. Gina Loudon, local Tea Party luminary. Adam at the Hub was having a little fun with her over the top spiel about the Burlington Coat Factory Muslim community center (known on Fox News as the Ground-Zero mosque), which she compared to a Nazi war memorial in the center of London. Enough said. What struck me, though, was Loudon’s evocation of a tenet of “Sharia law”* to justify her bigotry.
Sharia law seems to have become one of the concepts that gets wingers salivating right now. Oklahomans will vote this November, for instance, on whether or not to ban Sharia law – in spite of the fact that there is not even the slightest indication that anyone would ever try to impose Sharia in Oklahoma.
Closer to home, winger William Teach wonders why those who have a problem with the religous overtones of Missouri’s most recent anti-abortion legislation aren’t fighting Sharia law instead. The fact that right-wing Christians rather than Muslims have a stranglehold on the Missouri legislature doesn’t seem to strike him as germane to the topic.
Nevertheless, Teach’s emphasis on religious law is suggestive. If you go to Loudon’s Webpage, you will find, immediately following the mosque harangue, a post titled “A Call to Christians,” the burden of which is the need to get Christians energized to take back the country.
Now, I’m not too keen on Sharia law, but neither am I keen on Christian theocracy. While I have no evidence that Muslims in the U.S. want to impose Sharia, there’s lots of evidence that many in the Christian-leaning right-wing here in Missouri would just love, as Loudon suggests, to take back the country and stick me with their version of biblical law.
Consider Cynthia Davis, dogged purveyor of Christian Nation legislation. Davis takes her cues from people like David Barton, revisionist pseudo-historian and founder of the Wallbuilders, a group dedicated to establishing a Christian nation – or as Barton would prefer, returning the nation to its Christian roots.
*Photo of Cynthia Davis and David Barton
And who could forget Todd Akin – who carried the Barton banner into battle to retain “under God” in the pledge of allegiance? If you doubt his Christian Nation credentials, just listen to his discussion of the topic at last year’s prayercast against Health Care Reform (beginning at 49:45):
To summarize the highlights, Akin is unequivocal that the Bible provides:
“… a blueprint for all of mankind … a blueprint to tell us abut the economy, to tell us about education, to tell us about government … an entire blueprint for how civilization can be structured.”
Akin, is of course, limited in his role in the U.S. House – he seems to spend lots of time on mostly symbolic gestures. Davis and her ilk, however, are apparently able to lead the Missouri legislature around by a ring in the nose – even our Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, doesn’t dare veto her Christian-inspired abortion legislation. So while, I don’t see Sharia law hiding over the horizon, the proponents of a particular, narrow brand of Christian law seem to stand a much better chance of success.
* Loudon is quoted on the St. Louis Activist Hub as saying: “They are using the Sharia law concept of lying in the best interest of Allah … .” Her Webpage now reads: “They are using the concept of taqiyya (lying) in the best interest of Islam … .” Unfortunately, that is not exactly what taqiyya means. It is a Sharia tenet that allows Muslims to conceal their faith when under threat and its use is carefully circumscribed.