Saturday, June 12, 2010

A reminder on why we continue the fight in the Afgan War

Too often today the line is blurred between the Taliban being terrorists, and being a government-in-exile or an armed political force.  The distinction wouldn't matter if there weren't elements, both within the Afgan government and the US, who support peace with the Taliban and their integration into the new political system.  Just in case you were getting a bit war weary, here's a reminder about the animals we fight:

British troops risk being infected with HIV as Taliban fighters are hiding contaminated needles with their bombs.

Heroin syringes as well as razor blades are being buried in the ground by insurgents in Afghanistan so that they prick bomb squad experts.

It is believed that the needles, used in Helmand province, are contaminated with hepatitis and HIV as the Taliban use increasingly 'despicable' tactics.

You don't get much lower than shoving dirty syringes in bombs or sticking contaminated razor blades in the ground around them, but this comes awfully close:

Suspected Taliban militants executed a seven-year-old boy in southern Afghanistan after accusing him of spying for the government, a provincial official said Wednesday.

The child was captured by the militants in Sangin district of southern province of Helmand Tuesday, Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

"The militants killed the seven-year-old boy in Heratiyan village of the district, on charges of espionage for Afghan government," Ahmadi said, citing information provided to police by relatives.

The thing to remember about most of these killing is that the charges are usually complete fabrications.  Generally when the Taliban take over an area they start ruling as if they were a government, and one of the things they do to keep order and ensure loyalty is to pull out random people and execute them for "being spies".  Making an example out of a grown man or woman is bad enough, but putting a seven year old child on his knees and shooting him is incomprehensible.

When liberals were in full surrender mode over Iraq conservatives reminded them that our withdrawal would likely result in a bloody genocide.  In Afghanistan we have to remind them that the end result may very well be the return to power of the Taliban, and the bloody, repressive rule that comes with it.

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