Where Have I Seen This Before?

I agree that the Taliban, of Afghanistan are bad people. Irredeemable savages mostly. When the Biden administration called them ”business like” and ”professional” I think they meant in a psycopathic way, right? How else would they be able to justify this very businesslike treatment of some of the people of Afghanistan? I can see some of the commenters from TV sitting back , saying I told you so, and they would be correct as to those in the Taliban and their allies (terrorist groups).

This all seems a bit familiar to me. Not that I’ve been to Afghanistan when the Taliban were in charge and witnessed even a small part of the depravity described in the linked article. I have, however, seen the same type of treatment of those deemed criminals in other places. One place in particular.

It’s strange to me to read stories like that one as though that kind of treatment happens in some sort of black hole, foreign and mysterious to even those that believe they have an understanding of such cultures. I’m not referring to any country we may call an adversary on the world stage, but even those we often refer to as allies. Mostly our allies in the War on Terror where we and other western countries sell them sophisticated military equipment that these may keep their countries free of terrorists.

It’s not that I don’t want to see the Taliban portrayed in their true colors, because if some don’t, we’ll soon forget that the U.S. l;eft American citizens behind when, under orders from Joe Biden, the military slipped out in the dead of night leaving thousands vulnerable. I know that the Biden administration would love for us to forget what they did, but these kinds of stories will hopefully keep it fresh in people’s minds. some outlets will, others won’t. But I digress.

In late 2006 I was on a business trip to Kuwait. I really had no desire to go since jI had just returned from Iraq less than 2 years prior having spent 13 months in that hell hole. But it was either a plane to Kuwait City or find a new job. Accommodations were very nice; I stayed in the Hilton Resort which was right on the beach. The rooms (regular rooms) were fabulous, with marble everywhere.

Every morning, having coffee in my room, I’d skim the local newspaper, The Kuwaiti Times(in English of course) to get an idea of what was happening in the remainder of the world, from their perspective, of course. One morning, while paging through, there was a story about a man convicted of dealing drugs, heroin specifically. He was found guilty and sentenced to death – for possession of 2 ounces. I’m uncertain when the conviction occurred but the story made it seem like it was very recently. I also don’t recall if there is an appeals process for those condemned, but if there is, it’s awfully short compared to the U’S. where it could be years, decades, before some of those sentenced to death are actually executed.

To put a fine point on the story in the paper, there were photos included. Photos of the executed drug dealer, hanging from a pole truck. A pole truck is a truck with a long arm and a steel cable that’s used to set poles for utilities. It has a loop on the end to place around an end of the pole to allow it to be raised, and moved to be set in it’s hole. The man was shown hanging (a hood over his face). Note that this type of hanging is actually strangling someone to death as the death occurs when the arm of the pole truck is raised and the loop tightens around the neck. Hos legs and of course hands and arms, legs and feet were also bound. You can imagine why. And yes, this was a public execution, in a square in the city. Men, women, children could attend if they desired.

So when I read something about the depredations of the Taliban, I remember this and note to myself that this kind of treatment is not unknown throughout the middle east. Among some of those we refer to as allies.

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