Afghanistan: The Taliban Take on Heresy

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August 14, 2006: The Taliban offensive lurches forward, with groups of Taliban moving through the back country, delivering threats to villagers, and promises of better times once the elected government is eliminated. The Taliban believe democracy is heretical and wrong. Over 80 percent of Afghans turned out for the last few elections, so there is a difference of opinion on this point. Taliban morale is getting shaky, as more of the Taliban gunmen find out that they are not the only ones taking a beating from Afghan security forces and foreign troops. It's also discouraging to find that the al Qaeda roadside bombs and suicide attack tactics are not very effective, despite promises to the contrary. Most of the roadside bombs hurt no one, and the suicide bombers are lucky to kill one other person. The Taliban leaders across the border in Pakistan, had promised so much for this years effort. The Summer campaigning season is almost over, and the Taliban have not got much to show for it.
August 13, 2006: The Taliban war on children is having some success, with up to 500,000 children being deprived of schooling because of attacks on schools and teachers, and threats to parents who send their children to government schools. The Taliban only approve of religious schools, run by the Taliban. These schools only educate boys, as the Taliban discourage education for girls. The Taliban attacks on schools are nothing new, but became more numerous last year, when there were 60 such attacks (arson, bombs, etc). So far this year, there have been at least 172 attacks, that government officials know of.
August 10, 2006: As American troops move into northeast Afghanistan, they are encountering lots of resistance from pro-Taliban tribesmen who have not faced much opposition for a while. Several hundred Taliban tried to overrun a newly established U.S. base, but were defeated, losing at least 19 dead, and many more wounded. Two American soldiers were wounded. The tribesmen are losing even more warriors during encounters with U.S. patrols, or from smart bombs dropped on large groups of armed tribesmen caught out in the open. According to Afghan tradition, if this lop-sided fighting goes on for a few weeks, the tribal elders will meet to come up with a new strategy, one that will involve fewer dead tribesmen.
August 9, 2006: The Taliban denied that they had killed, by public hanging, a woman and her son, after accusing the two of giving the security forces information about Taliban activities. Murders of this kind have happened perhaps half a dozen times in the past year. The Taliban threaten far more suspected informers, and will also kidnap suspected informers and try to beat a confession out of them. These terror tactics are a matter of life and death for the Taliban, who continue to suffer heavy losses when they run into security forces. This double hanging was denied by the Taliban because of its horrific and public nature, which makes it more obvious what a bunch of thugs the Taliban are.

 

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