Under the Black Flag

Stoned in the Desert

“People were very happy seeing this” was the quote in the New York Times report about a couple being stoned to death after they tried to marry without permission.  About 200 villagers took part in the stoning in the Kunduz Province of Afghanistan, including the man’s brother as well as other relatives.  It was a festive occasion, and the crowd cheered as the unfortunate couple expired.  Nice, as they say in Brooklyn, a New York province.  In Badghis Province, Northern Afghanistan, the festivities continued when a 48-year-old widow, made pregnant by a man who had promised to marry her, was given 200 lashes and then shot to death.  Her crime: fornication.  Again, very nice.  Finally, two brides, 13 and 14 years old, were also flogged within an inch of their lives for trying to flee their husbands.  This took place in Ghor Province, which I assume is a more liberal one, although no one can attest for certain whether it was named for an American vice president or one of our greatest living writers.

Never mind.  The point is that Afghanistan was, is, and always will be a mess, a savage antediluvian society not fit for the shed blood of American soldiers.  The reality is that we took sides in a complex civil war that has been running since the 1970’s, siding with the north against the south, town against country, secularism against Islam.  It is as simple as that,...

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