Monday, July 09, 2012

Afghan Woman’s Execution

A video obtained by Reuter’s allegedly shows a woman being executed for adultery at close range via shots from an automatic rifle. The execution was carried out in front of a crowd of approximately 150 men who cheer the event praising the “mujahideen,” a name the Taliban use for themselves. This reportedly happened in Shinwari, about an hour outside of Kabul.

Needless to say the Afghani government condemns the atrocity in the strongest terms. Lucky for them such a priceless piece of propaganda materialized during a major donor’s summit in Tokyo where $16 billion in development aid was pledged over the next four years.

The Taliban has denied any involvement.

This story bothers me. It’s just a bit too pat. If you wanted the perfect argument for the need for financial support it’s hard to come up with a better one than this. I smell a rat.

I mean think about it. It’s about the grossest violation of women’s rights you could come up with and we all know that’s a real issue in conservative Islamic countries. How scary is it that most people accept this video at face value and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be overly shocked if it turned out to be true.

Then we have the “cheering crowd” that, luckily, pinned the vile deed on the Taliban. This is sort of like the broken watch that identifies the time of the murder. And, luck of luck, there just happened to be someone with a video camera that was allowed to capture the whole thing for posterity. How many video cameras do you figure there are in Afghanistan?

Look, if you allow something to be videotaped then it’s usually because you think what you’re doing is right. Yet the Taliban have denied they’re responsible. Did they have a change of heart? They don’t strike me as the sort of folks that allow themselves to be swayed by popular opinion.

Maybe I’m just getting too cynical in my old age but I don’t like the feel of this one. I haven't seen the video. Perhaps if I did I wouldn't have any doubts, but I can't shake the "government hoax" feeling on this one. Then again, it wouldn't be very easy to keep 150 conspirators quiet either so perhaps I'm being overly suspicious.

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