Saturday, August 22, 2009

Taliban Cuts off Voter Fingers

Before the Afghan elections, it was a threat, now it has become a reality. According to the Los Angeles Times the Taliban said they would cut off the ink stained fingers of anyone who voted.

The Los Angeles Times reports as follows about the grisly amputations.

"Today, two days after the balloting, election observers disclosed that they had confirmed two such cases in the south of Afghanistan, and were investigating a third in an eastern province.

The two known finger amputations took place in Kandahar province, where the Taliban movement was born. Officials asked that the name of the district not be disclosed because it would endanger the observer who reported the grisly act."

The brutal tactic turns against the government the technique of dipping voter's fingers in ink to insure that voters only vote once. The Taliban had hoped to deligitimise the elections by creating through a mix of apathy and intimidation a low turnout. Widespread reports of corruption and voter intimidation could form the basis for challenges to the legitimacy of the elections. Pressure was particularly strong on women not to vote.

Corruption has dimmed voter enthusiasm for the Hamed Karzai government that has ruled since 2004, after the Taliban were deposed with the assistance of American and allied forces in 2001. It should not be assumed that the Taliban had clean hands either. It is widely reported that one effect of driving women from the open workplace was a surge in prostitution. The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, no friend of the Americans or of the Taliban reports of the degradation of Afghan women under Taliban rule. The RAWA report on prostitution in Afghanistan notes in part as follows about the grim situation in that country.

"Taliban arrival has increased the social and especially the economical problems of Afghan women. The women of Afghanistan live under monstrous oppression of both Jehadi and Taliban fundamentalists in disastrous situations where most of their basic human rights are denied of them. The Taliban denial of women to have a job has created a flood of unemployed women in Kabul. These unemployed women face serious financial problems and as a natural consequence their children suffer from hunger, malnutrition, different illnesses and a chronic state of poverty. Most of them has have lost their last resorts of income and have sold most of their possession to buy food. Those who could afford leaving the country have done so, and those who could not are making the bulk of beggars in our country. A large number of these beggars are ex teachers and civil servants.

Bad state of economy especially in Kabul has hit hard the pity income of these beggars. The ban on female beggars to enter shops, inns and other trading premises is even further affected their income forcing a number of them to enter into prostitution for their survival, and survival of their children.

A large number of young widows who are the sole breadwinner of their families and with all doors of opportunity closed on their face are joining prostitution as well."

The report makes for depressing reading. It is also a wake up call for the Taliban's useful idiots in the west who want to push the belief that any enemy of the west is a standard bearer of peace and progress.

It seems that the Taliban has limited its participation in Afghan national life to intimidation and the use of military force. Since the Taliban is cutting off voter's fingers, it might be interesting if ten Taliban tough guys found their trigger fingers and their thumbs missing for every voter that lost a finger. Such deterrents have been used before in combat areas. It might be a desirable alternative to school teachers and schoolgirls having acid thrown in their faces.

The Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores of the world might want to blame Afghanistan's problems on the evil west. Unfortunately, it seems as though Afghanistan has some home grown evil of its own. Whatever decision America and its allies make about the level and nature of their presence in Afghanistan, we should certainly not wring our hands in pious dismay if the government in Kabul gives the Taliban a dose of its own medicine.

What is most unfortunate is the realisation that on 9/11, war was brought to our soil before we ever were in Afghanistan or Iraq. However appealing isolationism may be to Obama and his supporters, it seems that a war with Islamofascism has been thrust upon us, whether we want it or not.

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