We cannot let Taliban win


I thought hell would freeze before I'd be defending an Obama decision in opposition to the U-B Editorial Board (US must find quick exit from Afghanistan, Dec. 8) or Annie Capistany (Obama's Afghanistan plan is wrong, Dec. 13). Apparently it did (despite Al Gore's claim that the Earth's core is "several million degrees").

Nobody likes war. However, sometimes wars are necessary and just -- as in Afghanistan. How could any compassionate person accept a Taliban return to power? That would be the result of a premature pull out. Remember Harry Reid's public announcement, "the war in Iraq is lost" when it wasn't? The same is now being heard regarding Afghanistan.

War is indeed costly. Make it up by cutting some of Obama's lavish "stimulus spending."

Has everyone forgotten what the Taliban did when it took over Afghanistan before? I'll spell it out.

Mullah Omar's Taliban slaughtered thousands in genocidal killing frenzies -- men, women and children -- including 6,000-8,000 Hazaras in two months.

In Kabul and Kandahar. it renewed public amputations, lashings, stoning women in football stadiums (see or read the "Kite Runner"). Religious police closed schools and forced women off the streets. It imposed the strictest Islamic system of sharia law ever seen.

Girls' schools and colleges were closed, affecting some 70,000 female students (even home schooling was outlawed) and they imposed a strict dress code -- the burka, a head-to-toe veil. Every day Radio Kabul (renamed Radio Shariat) announced "Thieves will have their hands and feet amputated, adulterers stoned to death and those using liquor will be lashed."

TV, videos, satellite dishes, music and all games including chess, football and kite-flying were banned and soldiers even arrested men without beards.

How can anyone -- including those who claim to be "liberal" -- ignore that? Who can't understand that freedom is worth fighting for? This radical Islamist movement's goal is to impose such sharia law globally.

Yes, al-Qaida attacked us on 9/11, but it had Taliban support and protection. On Sept. 11, 2001, we applauded President Bush when he said, "We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

Obama's proclaiming an end date was a blunder, however. U.S. troops have fought hard and sometimes died to achieve many gains and victories against these fanatics while helping to build schools and protect Afghan communities.

We must never negate their accomplishments by pulling out and letting the Taliban win.

Steve Singleton
Walla Walla


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