Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Comprehending the readily apparent, finally

Comprehending the readily apparent, finally

From today's NYT, Afghan Rights Groups Shift Focus to Taliban
KABUL, Afghanistan — International and local human rights groups working in Afghanistan have shifted their focus toward condemning abuses committed by the Taliban insurgents, rather than those attributed to the American military and its allies.

My first thought was some degree of sympathy with said groups: despite the likelihood that taking up abuses with the Taliban would be about as productive as discussing logarithms with a dog, they were going to give it a go anyhow.

Considering, however, the track record of HRGs excoriating the converted while ignoring the barbarians, I should have been less surprised than I was at the precipitating event. No, not throwing battery acid in the faces of girls hoping to become literate, or beheading people on a whim.

Rather, it was this:

A Jan. 29 attack on the Finest Supermarket in Kabul by a Taliban member, using both firearms and a suicide bomb vest, was both a recent example of the insurgents’ disregard for civilians and something of a watershed event for the human rights community.

Among the 14 civilian victims was a prominent human rights activist, Hamida Barmaki, her husband and their four young children; the youngest victim, her 2-year-old son, had a bullet wound in the head as well as blast wounds. When his body was found, clutched in his hand was the scorched remains of a plastic shopping bag handle.

That galvanized many in the rights community …

Well, its about bloody time.


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