Pubdate: Mon, 04 Jun 2001
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
Copyright: 2001 PG Publishing
Author: Rebecca Stallings


I was outraged to read that our government has given $43 million to the 
vicious rulers of Afghanistan ("Taliban End Crop of Opium Poppies," May 
20). The Taliban may have managed to reduce drug production, but they also 
kill and torture women! Since they took control of Afghanistan, females are 
not allowed to work, attend school or receive basic medical care. A woman 
who accidentally exposes a tiny bit of her skin in public may be brutally 
murdered with the government's approval and encouragement.

Oddly enough, the article didn't mention the Taliban's crimes against 
women, nor did it remind readers that this is the same group of Islamic 
extremists who recently destroyed many ancient statues of Buddha. The 
article says that the loss of poppy revenue adds "another layer of 
difficulty for a government that is already isolated and not recognized 
diplomatically by most nations," but it doesn't say that the reason for 
that non-recognition is Afghanistan's repeated affronts to human rights and 
religious freedom.

Now the Taliban are forcing all non-Muslims in their country to wear 
special clothing that identifies them. Gee, that sounds familiar! Our tax 
dollars are going to support a regime as evil as the Nazis, yet somehow 
this news only merited a small article on page A-6. How ironic that it 
appeared in the same issue as the Forum piece "The Drug War Is Insane." The 
insanity of making drug eradication our only priority is clearly 
illustrated by the Bush administration's willingness to give millions of 
dollars to these monsters.

Rebecca Stallings,
Squirrel Hill 
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