Friday, March 28, 2014

Monsters Inc

The Americans are cutting their losses (who can blame them), Karzai is straddling the fence (he is fooling himself) and the evil people are free to scare little kids.

It sounds just like a fairy (horror) tale but there will be many more true stories like this from Taliban controlled Af-Pak territory.

It is beyond belief that the powers that be (from America to Afghanistan) are waiting (for what?) to designate the Taliban as terrorists. They will feel bad, the poor dears. Nelofar's life is presumably lost in vain.

The story is heartbreaking. A Facebook status update on July 16, 2013, from Ahmad Sardar, the Afghan journalist in Kabul. Nelofar, his 5-year-old daughter asks her dad, “Do the Taliban kill animals too?” The father answers no, and the little girl says: “I wish we were animals.”
Little Nelofar is dead now, brutally murdered by the Taliban – shot in the head – together with her dad, her mom and her 8-year-old brother. Of Nelofar’s family, only her 2-year-old brother has miraculously survived, in a coma with three bullets in his body.

On March 20, 2014, on the eve of the Persian New Year, the Taliban managed to enter the highly fortified Serena Hotel, located just a kilometer away from the Afghan presidential palace, where Nelofar and her family were celebrating the Nawrooz, the arrival of the spring and of the New Year.
The Taliban suicide mission left nine people dead and many more injured before Afghan forces killed the four attackers, who had managed to sneak pistols and ammunition inside the hotel, despite the tight security measures.
The deadly attack on the Serena Hotel occurred on the same day that yet more Taliban fighters were freed from Bagram Prison, complete control of which was transferred to the Afghan government exactly a year ago. Since, then, most of the prisoners – considered dangerous members of the Taliban – have been let go without formal trial and over the strong protests of both U.S. officials and a majority of the Afghan people.
Despite the fact that the Taliban’s use of deadly force against the civilian population is widely branded as “terrorist attacks” inside and outside of Afghanistan, neither the Afghan government nor the U.S. officially recognizes the Taliban as a terrorist organization.
There is no sign that Karzai will put aside his vain hopes of winning the hearts and minds of his “dissident brothers”; not even at the cost of the many lives taken during the bloodshed perpetuated by the Taliban on a daily basis. Karzai has lost the faith and trust of the Afghan people on this.
It is an open secret that Mr. Karzai’s refusal to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the Americans is purely political, with an eye to winning the Taliban’s favor.
The Afghan public meanwhile worry that the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan will mean a return of the Taliban to power. There is an increasing need for the international community, led by the United States, to take a clear stance with regards to the Taliban.
In short, it is time for Washington to put objective facts above political wishful thinking and officially recognize the Taliban as a terror organization. Many other members of the international community would then surely follow suit, resulting in real and effective pressure on the Taliban and its supporters, both inside Afghanistan and at a regional level. Acknowledging the Taliban as a terrorist entity will also facilitate more cooperation between the international community in their fight against terrorism, based on universal legal conventions and international law.
Little Nelofar was surely not the only Afghan child to be so frightened of the Taliban; the fear has paled the face of every Afghan. The first step in overcoming that fear, however deep and complex, is for people to know what they are dealing with: insurgents or terrorists.

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