Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Unspeakable act

Be warned: this is a disturbing story.

According to The New York Times, the Taliban have been stepping up their tactic of assassination of government officials as a method of undermining coalition attempts to build up the Afghan government.

The Times story states:

"Some of the victims have only the slimmest connections to the authorities. The most egregious example came Wednesday in Helmand Province, where according to Afghan officials the insurgents executed a 7-year-old boy as an informant. "

The story continues:

"...Taliban insurgents went to his village and dragged the boy from his home at 10:30 in the morning, accusing him of acting as a government informant by telling the authorities of their movements. They killed him by hanging him from a tree in the middle of the village..."

Earlier tonight, I had read in this story from Fox News that Defense Secretary Gates, speaking to reporters in London today ... suggested that winning the war will have to include reconciliation with at least some elements of the Taliban.
"At this point the Taliban are part of the political fabric of Afghanistan, and to adopt a strategy that basically says we're going to eliminate the Taliban I think is unrealistic," Gates said.

Some elements of the Taliban hung a 7-year-old boy on the same day that Gates made this statement.

The boy was identified only as "the grandson of a farmer named Qodos Khan Alokozy, from the village of Herati in the Sangin District of Helmand Province."
Honestly, how do you reconcile with such people?

What is the answer?

Credit here for the photo of children in Helmand Province.


Proud Mom, Brave Girl

Over the weekend, the Handsome Husband and I dashed down to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to say farewell to our fair daughter. Very soon, she will leave for her second deployment to Afghanistan. Her own handsome husband is already there, having departed on Memorial Day for his second deployment.

Brave Girl tells me that the scene on base for her husband's departure was quite poignant. He is with a medical unit, which has a higher than average number of female soldiers compared to other combat units. Standing around the bus were many young husbands, holding babies or small children.

The looks on their faces, Brave Girl said, were as if they were thinking, "How is it that I am standing here holding the baby, watching my wife go off to war? It should be me going."

"Tell me about it," her own father said.

The Taliban are not nice people.
They weren't good to their own countrymen and women.
Under the Taliban in Afghanistan, girls were not permitted to attend schools.
Women were rarely permitted to venture out of their homes.

A RAND analyst wrote, "Afghan women face a horrifying array of restrictions, among the most repressive in the world."

The Taliban punished theft by amputating a hand.
Accused adulterers were stoned to death.

The Taliban destroyed hundreds of cultural artifacts, the holdings of major museums and private art collections.
They blew up the great Buddha statues in the city of Bamiyan which had stood there for nearly 2,000 years.

The Taliban lashed anyone caught drinking liquor but allowed the opium poppy trade to flourish.

I hope that my brave daughter, her husband, and their fellow soldiers do their jobs well.

I hope that one day soon, schools in Afghanistan will be rebuilt and that the young girls can go there without fear.

Brave Girl thinks this is something worth fighting for.