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Thursday, November 13, 2008

It’s different when the shoe is on the Taliban foot

The Taliban has urged the United Nations, the European Union and the Red Cross to press the government of President Hamid Karzai to stop executing Taliban prisoners on death row. As reported by Reuters, the Taliban said in a statement on their Web site: “We strongly request the U.N., the EU, the Red Cross and human rights groups to earnestly prevent this barbaric act.”

Pretty rich considering this outrage is coming from an organization that, during their 1996-2001 rule in Afghanistan, executed dozens of people, occasionally staging killings in public at Kabul’s main sports stadium.

Since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001, they have executed dozens of captured soldiers and civilians. Only yesterday, two men on a motorcycle used water pistols to spray acid on girls walking to school in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, blinding at least two of them. Arab-language network Al-Jazeera said Taliban militants were suspected to be responsible.

As reported elsewhere, last week a Taliban force fired on a U.S. military convoy from the close vicinity of a wedding party. The Taliban continued fighting without apparent regard for the safety of the civilians. NATO forces responded with an air strike that caused the death of 27 Taliban fighters and 36 civilians.

Almost daily, these Islamist extremists commit atrocious crimes, including public executions, many of which are against innocent civilians, yet it seeks international support to protect their captured fighters.

Their shameful record notwithstanding, the Taliban’s request has apparently falling on receptive ears, for both the United Nations and the European Union have reportedly called on President Karzai to halt the executions, citing concern about the standards of judicial fairness.

Funny old world.

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