Leadership: Taliban Orders Its Troops To Lay Off the Sodomy

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December 14, 2006: The Afghan Taliban underwent a major reorganization last Winter. In addition to accepting suicide attacks (previously a no-no), and a more aggressive use of terror tactics against Afghans, a list of 30 "Rules" were issued. The word went out that members of the Taliban were to live and, in some cases, die by, these rules. Most of them have to do with pretty basic stuff. Like obeying orders, not ratting out your buddies to the police, not stealing from each other, not using Taliban assets for personal gain (there are several rules for this one, indicating that there are continued problems in this area), not recruiting existing Taliban members from another Taliban gang, fair distribution of loot captured in battle, and so on.

There are also warnings about not killing people who work for the government, who want to come over and work for the Taliban. Apparently, many Taliban are trigger happy and short tempered in this area. There is also a warning about sadism towards civilians, and an admonition that repeat offenders in this area will be expelled. Not executed, just tossed out of the Taliban. Taliban are also told not to steal from civilians, smoke cigarettes (nothing is said about opium) or sodomize young boys.

Taliban are explicitly forbidden from working as teachers for the government. The Taliban sees the growing number of schools, especially those that educate girls, as the most dangerous threat. If the Taliban can get to a teacher, they must first warn them to stop teaching. If that is ignored, the teacher is to be beaten. If that doesn't work, the teacher is to be killed. So far this year, twenty teachers (male and female) have been killed by the Taliban, and hundreds beaten, and even more threatened.

NGOs working on reconstruction projects are also seen as a threat, and are to be attacked as if they were part of the government. If foreigners are kidnapped, you cannot demand ransom and keep the money for yourself.

Men with a bad reputation (sadist, irreligious, thief) are not to be accepted into the Taliban. Anything not covered by the 30 Rules, is to be referred up the line to higher commanders. This includes disputes with civilians. There has been a lot of trouble with this in the past, as well as with guys spying for the government. But the rule is clear. If you are not sure, kick it upstairs.

These rules must be read by new Taliban recruits or, as is often the case, read to them by their commander. Many Taliban are illiterate. The school thing again. But you got to have rules.

 


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