The Reception for the Taliban

The Taliban once again took control of the government of Afghanistan in August 2021. Many people felt that it was only a matter of time for the group to prevail, despite the massive military and political will directed against the group for two decades. Now that the group has returned to power, the critical question is how it will impact the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

After the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the U.S. responded with actions of military attacks of its own against the attackers and their backers. The United Nations supported the right of the U.S. to the principle of self-defense to wage war in Afghanistan. The results seemingly came quick: on November 13, 2001, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan welcomed the fall of the Taliban from power.

The U.N. Security Council backed those attacks against the Taliban. UNSC 1390 of January 16, 2002 condemned “the Taliban for allowing Afghanistan to be used as a base for
terrorists training and activities, including the export of terrorism by the Al-Qaida
network and other terrorist groups as well as for using foreign mercenaries in hostile
actions in the territory of Afghanistan.

Twenty years later, the Taliban is back. Will Afghanistan become a breeding ground for international terrorist groups once again?

In 2001, the world rallied to the side of the United States to fight the scourge of terrorism, but that will is seemingly in decline, even within the U.S.

The United Nations allowed Syria, which has committed war crimes against its own people, to join a U.N. Human Rights committee in February 2021. China still sits on the U.N. Security Council, despite its treatment of the Uyghur minority. The United States enabled Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism, to have a legal pathway to nuclear weapons in 2015. The Democratic Socialists in the U.S. Congress condemn western countries as colonial-terrorist groups in an inversion of the War on Terror.

Does the U.N. stand for principles or is it a forum for the ugly spectrum of mankind? Has the United States concluded that it has no better moral standing than any other country?

In less than one month, on September 14, the 75th United Nations General Assembly will convene in New York City. Will members of the Taliban represent the people of Afghanistan? Will the United States allow their representatives into the country?

In 1973, the UNGA refused to grant credentials to the government of South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, which had been deemed a “crime against humanity” in 1966. Will the United Nations need to coin a new apartheid-like term for the persecution and denial of rights for women and girls who suffered under the Taliban, to deny the Taliban any standing?

While the civilized world is undoubtedly concerned about the fate of women and girls in Afghanistan under the Taliban, they are even more concerned about the spread of global terrorism.

Twenty years ago, the United Nations Secretary General welcomed the common fight and fall of “the oppressive and intolerant Taliban regime” as the United States sought both revenge and security for itself. It remains to be seen how the world will react to the Taliban’s return.


Related First One Through articles:

Considering Nazis and Radical Islam on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

The Global Intifada

To Serve Jews, United Nations Style

The Veil of Hatred

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Honor Killings in Gaza

The Unmentioned Murders of the Middle East

Honor killings have a sad history throughout the Muslim world. Many families deliberately and systematically kill wives and daughters if there is any suspicion of the women bringing “dishonor” to the family. The cause of such shame may come from actual or feared adultery, refusal to marry a designated spouse, or even dressing inappropriately. The cultural rationale for the honor killings is that by murdering the offending women, honor is restored to the families.

Gaza and the West Bank are similar to other parts of the Muslim world regarding the reasons for honor killings. However, the recent spike in the number of killings in the territories has been very dramatic and atypical. In 2011, there were five such murders in the territories. The number of homicides jumped to 13 in 2012, and doubled again to 27 in 2013. In just the first two months of 2014, 8 honor killings were reported by Palestinian media sources, a pace that would have put it on course for nearly doubling again.

By comparison, in Afghanistan an estimated 150 women are killed each year in honor killings. Afghanistan has over eight times the population of Gaza and West Bank, and 18 times Gaza alone. Therefore, on a proportionate basis, the Palestinians now kill twice as many women in honor killings as Afghanistan (or over three times as many if one only counts Gaza where most of the murders take place).

Adding insult to these horrific murders increasing popularity, was the lax way such murders were treated in Palestinian courts. According to the Palestinian Law (Article 340), the killers were not subject to any punishment.

He who discovers his wife or female relative committing adultery and kills,
wounds or injuries one or both of them is exempted from any penalty,
and he who discovers his wife, or one of his female ascendants or descendants
or sisters with another in an unlawful bed and he kills, wounds or injures one
or both of them, benefits from a reduction of penalty
.”

The terrible jump in honor killing of women in Gaza and the West Bank did not make it to the pages of The New York Times. The courts absolution granted to the murderers was not a subject that the Times decided to cover. In 2011. In 2012. In 2013. In 2014.

The closest the New York Times came to an article about the Palestinians’ disregard for a woman’s life in the territories was in an article by Jodi Rudoren in October 2012. That article was about a particular women’s rights advocate. While one would imagine some specifics about the lack of women’s rights and a review of honor killings being covered in such an article, there was barely any mention.

  • There was no description of honor killings
  • No report on the increasing number of killings
  • No review of Palestinian Law absolving the murderers

Instead, Roduren chose to describe the difficulty of a specific woman acting as a rights advocate in Gaza (as opposed to the hardship all women face in Gaza). Of course, according to Roduren, the main source of the hardship was Israel:

  • ““psychological siege” imposed by a combination of Israeli restrictions on travel and trade”
  • “lost a personal battle last month when Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by her and three other women to study in the West Bank.”
  • “the resistance of the Israeli occupation as a priority,”
  • Israeli court ruled, 2 to 1, against the four women
  • “Israeli warplane hit an apartment building”

So what does a reader take-away from the New York Times?

    1. While the New York Times occasionally covered stories of honor killings in Afghanistan or Pakistan, it never covered those killings in Gaza, despite the greater prevalence in Gaza.
    2. When the paper had a chance to describe the honor killings in Gaza in an article about a woman’s rights advocates, it opted not to do so.
    3. The thrust of the sole article on the morbid topic laid most of the blame on Israel, as opposed to the Palestinians themselves

Hooray New York Times. You gave a pass for Mulim misogyny and murder meted out by Palestinians. Absolution of the Arab sins came from Jews just across the Green Line.

It would be much more convenient for the left-wing fringe if Israel bordered Pakistan and Afghanistan as well, so they could blame Jews for the entire reprehensible ritual.

honor_killings


Sources:

Jump in 2014 Honor Killings and Palestinian Law Article 340: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/palestine-honor-crime-women-abuse-law-abbas.html#

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/upsurge-palestinian-honour-killings-gaza-201432372831899701.html

http://www.mezan.org/en/details.php?id=18419&ddname=honour&id_dept=9&p=center

Jodi Rudoren NY Times 2012 article on Honor Killings: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/world/middleeast/andalib-adwan-shehada-a-bold-voice-for-gaza-women.html

CNN coverage of honor killings back in 2009: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/07/30/mideast.honor.killings/

Obama is the Drone President

Barack Obama promised a presidency of transparency- he has delivered the opposite.

His use of drones in Pakistan and other countries has killed hundreds of civilians.  He has also authorized the assassination of an American citizen without due process, and he has not made the legal papers rationalizing such extrajudicial killing available to the public.