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Taliban claim to kill 2nd Korean hostage

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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A purported Taliban spokesman claimed the hardline militia killed a second South Korean hostage Monday because the Afghan government failed to release imprisoned insurgents. Afghan officials said they hadn't recovered a body and couldn't confirm the claim.

The Al-Jazeera television network, meanwhile, showed footage that it said was seven female hostages in Afghanistan.

Militant spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said senior Taliban leaders decided to kill the male captive because the government had not met Taliban demands to trade prisoners for the Christian volunteers.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070730/ap_on_re_as/afghanistan

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Bush's Faustian Deal With the Taliban

By Robert Scheer

Published May 22, 2001 in the Los Angeles Times

Enslave your girls and women, harbor anti-U.S. terrorists, destroy every vestige of civilization in your homeland, and the Bush administration will embrace you. All that matters is that you line up as an ally in the drug war, the only international cause that this nation still takes seriously.

That's the message sent with the recent gift of $43 million to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan, the most virulent anti-American violators of human rights in the world today. The gift, announced last Thursday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, in addition to other recent aid, makes the U.S. the main sponsor of the Taliban and rewards that "rogue regime" for declaring that opium growing is against the will of God. So, too, by the Taliban's estimation, are most human activities, but it's the ban on drugs that catches this administration's attention.

Never mind that Osama bin Laden still operates the leading anti-American terror operation from his base in Afghanistan, from which, among other crimes, he launched two bloody attacks on American embassies in Africa in 1998.

Sadly, the Bush administration is cozying up to the Taliban regime at a time when the United Nations, at U.S. insistence, imposes sanctions on Afghanistan because the Kabul government will not turn over Bin Laden.

The war on drugs has become our own fanatics' obsession and easily trumps all other concerns. How else could we come to reward the Taliban, who has subjected the female half of the Afghan population to a continual reign of terror in a country once considered enlightened in its treatment of women?

http://www.robertscheer.com/1_natcolumn/01...umns/052201.htm

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And it was later revealed that the Taliban's destruction of opium crops was not as a point of stopping drugs, but of control:

  • basically Taliban wanted to show farmers "you plant what we say you plant, don't ask any further"
  • they had already stockpiled three years worth of heroin, and were seeking to "spike" demand so its selling price would rise grossly (of course, they forgot that opium poppies are easy to grow, and were also grown in countries never under Taliban control, which would mitigate such spikes)


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