Saturday, June 12, 2010

Seven Year Old Hung?

There are unconfirmed news reports of a seven year old child being hung by the Taliban in Helmand province Afghanistan. According to these reports, the child was accused of being a spy.

If true, it is simply awful, an atrocity. But I’m not convinced that the story has any validity at all. The story is completely unsourced, which isn’t necessarily proof of a lie, but we shouldn’t cast aside skepticism either.

Strategically placed tales of atrocities have always been used to keep the public in a war loving mood. I find it odd that there hasn’t been any press interviewing family or other towns people. President Karzai called the killing a crime against humanity, “if confirmed.” Doesn’t the president have confirmation? I would think he would. Such confirmation would constitute a huge propaganda victory.

Even if true, this report should give rise to some self criticism on the part of Americans.

A Taliban source in Helmand told CBS News' Sami Yousafzai on Thursday he was aware of the boy being killed, but that it was a case of a militant settling a personal vendetta against the boy's family, then using the spying charges as an excuse. The source said he believed the boy's executor had fled across the border to Pakistan.

The hanging comes as a Taliban commander in neighboring Kandahar province -- the Taliban's traditional home territory -- tells CBS News that a suicide attack on a wedding party that left 40 people dead was "collective punishment" for villagers standing up to the Islamic militants' control in the region.

If Israel massacres Gazans to exact collective punishment, why is it worse for the Taliban to do the same thing? When Israel was dropping bombs that killed little children, the United States Congress passed a resolution supporting that atrocity. Only five House members had the courage to vote nay. If the Taliban did commit this act they have now made themselves the equal of the Israeli and American governments.