Monday, October 19, 2009

Working with the Taliban

Lately, we're hearing that we can "work with the Taliban" in Afghanistan.

Who are the Taliban?

". . . life in Afghanistan before U.S. forces overthrew the Taliban. These ultra-fanatical Muslims tried to replicate their vision of 7th century Islamic life. Even Iran said they went too far. They destroyed women's lives. They forbade women's education, banned them from work, forced them to cover all, even their eyes when they went out, and banned them from leaving their houses unless accompanied by male relatives. Public executions and beatings for minimal infractions became regular events. In 1998 Physicians for Human Rights declared, "The extent to which the Taliban regime has threatened the human rights of Afghan women is unparalleled in recent history.'' PHR researchers described Kabul in 1998 as "a city of beggars -- women who had once been teachers and nurses now moving in the streets like ghosts under their enveloping burqas, selling every possession and begging to feed their children.'' Women could not be treated by male doctors or go to hospitals, except for a dilapidated 35-bed facility with no running water. The Taliban forbade women to wear shoes that made a sound and even banned laughter. Happiness was out of reach."

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