The Corner

Cheek to Cheek

In America’s longest war, no hearts and minds but plenty of heads:

Officials in southern Afghanistan say Taliban insurgents have beheaded 17 Afghan civilians. Authorities in Helmand province say the militants killed the 15 men and two women in Musa Qala district late Sunday because the group had organized a mixed-sex party with music and dancing – activities the Taliban disapproves.

As the blogger Scaramouche notes, “disapproves”?

This is the so-called “Voice of America.” The attenuated euphemistic Princess Fairypants “voice” of the American media is part of the problem. Maggie Gallagher and the Taliban both disapprove of gay marriage, but only one of them’s gonna chop your head off for it. And, if your vocabulary’s so shrunken you only have one word for the two of them, you’re doing something wrong.

Other than that, this short VoA report is pretty much business as usual. Aside from the decapitated civilians, how’s that expensively trained Afghan security force holding up?

Hours after the beheadings, Taliban insurgents overran an Afghan military post in Helmand’s Washir district in a pre-dawn attack, killing 10 Afghan troops.

Oh, well. Fortunately, not every Afghan soldier has quite so little to show for his training. This guy, for example:

Meanwhile, in eastern Afghanistan, NATO officials say an Afghan National Army soldier turned his weapon on two of the coalition’s service members, killing them. NATO says its troops returned fire, killing the soldier.

The attack in Laghman province is the latest in a string of insider attacks this year, damaging trust between the two allies.

“Damaging trust”? See note above on anodyne, evasive language. They’re not damaging their allies’ trust, they’re damaging their internal organs.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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