The Corner

Why Ignore the Moral Justification of the Afghan War?

A video posted on the BBC website shows the Taliban stoning to death a couple accused of adultery in northern Afghanistan. It includes only short clips because “most of the video is too graphic to be shown.” The website describes the event as follows:

The video begins with Siddqa, a 25-year-old woman, standing waist-deep in a hole in the ground. She is entirely hidden in a blue burka. Hundreds of men from the village are gathered as two mullahs pass sentence. As Taliban fighters look on, the sentence is passed and she is found guilty of adultery. The stoning lasts two minutes. Hundreds of rocks – some larger than a man’s fist – are thrown at her head and body. She tries to crawl out of the hole, but is beaten back by the stones. A boulder is then thrown at her head, her burka is soaked in blood, and she collapses inside the hole. Incredibly Siddqa was still alive. The mullahs are heard saying she should be left alone. But a Taliban fighter steps forward with a rifle and she is shot three times.  Then her lover, Khayyam, is brought to the crowd. His hands are tied behind his back. Before he is blindfolded he looks into the mobile phone camera. He appears defiant. The attack on him is even more ferocious. His body, lying face down, jerks as the rocks meet their target. He is heard to be crying, but is soon silent…

It is a shame that the Obama administration and its European allies no longer justify the war in Afghanistan on moral grounds, such as democracy and human rights. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai now lashes out at its Western backers and courts Taliban terrorists and those that harbor them. The brutal execution of the young couple, however, is a grim reminder of what will happen to the 30 million Afghan people, especially women, if the United States and NATO forces leave the country prematurely.


The Latest