With all the talk to the Taliban talk going on everywhere it was refreshing to find an op-ed in the February 17th Boston Globe by US Representative Stephen F. Lynch that hit the nail on the head. Titled "The Price of Appeasing the Taliban," it framed the true nature of the scam being perpetrated on the Afghan people. Even though the latest poll of Afghans reveals that only a puny 6% want the Taliban back, it seems nobody from the Obama administration is talking to the Afghan people except Representative Lynch.
Here are some of Representative Lynch's facts:
"The Taliban is a violent and oppressive regime that has given support to Al Qaeda and employed brutality against the general population, especially against women. The Taliban has massacred ethnic minority civilians and used rape as a tool of intimidation. It has burned hundreds of schools to prevent the education of girls. It has stormed schools that teach girls and has beheaded teachers as horrified children watched."
"The Taliban enforces a strict doctrine that, in part, prohibits women from venturing outside the home except under specific and narrow circumstances and has so terrorized the population in parts of southern Afghanistan that you can drive for miles through crowded village streets and seldom see a woman or girl. Women who violate the Taliban rules have been publicly whipped with car antennas and ferociously beaten/".
"And if there is any lingering doubt about "outlawing'' the Taliban, consider this: in an absurd attempt to gain the support of the local Afghan population the Taliban's leader, Mullah Omar, recently announced that its members will, for now, "cease the practice of cutting off the lips, noses and ears of detainees."
'"I recently met with female members of the Afghan parliament who were angry Karzai had proposed the Taliban appeasement plan in London without getting the input of women in parliament. They said they fear for the women of Afghanistan, their basic rights of free speech, freedom of travel, freedom of association and voting rights. These women said that they respect the United States, not merely for its economic success or its military power, but for "upholding individual rights for all of its citizens.'' This, they said, "is the intoxicating idea of America."
As a member of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Relations, Representative Lynch has stated the facts about the Taliban with a clarity that now must be incorporated into the Afghan policy.
This scam against the Afghan people has gone on long enough. Whoever is behind all the talk to the Taliban talk should hide in shame and let the adults take over!
Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story published by City Lights. They can be reached at invisiblehistory.com
Copyright © Gould & Fitzgerald 2010 All rights reserved