The Taliban released the 18 kidnapped deminers, but kept the dogs (probably for death since dogs are considered unclean) and the equipment they use. This effectively disables them in doing their worthy task of clearing mines that kill Afghani children until their equipment can be replaced.
Taylor Dinerman has an article that’s recommended reading here.
As long as we live in a world without an all-out major war, the most dangerous form of space power is non-military. The mullahs of Iran and, before them, the Afghan Taliban banned satellite dishes, for good reason. Commercial Western television is a subversive force of unmatched power. While pro-jihadi television such as al-Jazeera and al-Manar continues to have an immediate impact, the forces of western commercial culture, as well as dissident broadcasts relayed via satellite to the Middle East, are at least as destabilizing. At some point people get tired of ideology and long to be normal. It will probably take decades for this to have a decisive effect, but as long as the West maintains a steady stream of entertainment products flowing into the minds of young potential jihadis the outcome is predictable.
This is why Iran’s 2003 Cuba-based jamming of broadcasts from Persian exiles based in Southern California is so significant. They went after the Telstar 12 satellite in geosynchronous orbit because it was feeding the people of Iran with alternative ideas that originated from people whose basic culture and religion were identical to their own. Satellite television allows people who speak the same language and share the same culture to stay in touch and to maintain their identity even when living thousands of kilometers apart. For good or ill this is an inescapable aspect of what may be termed “soft” space power.
One of three boys kidnapped by Taliban earlier in the week has been slaughtered, alleges a district chief in the southern Kandahar province. Of the abducted teenaged trio, two youngsters were lucky enough to have a narrow escape from captivity but the third one had his throat slit, the Nawbahar districts administrative head said on Thursday. Mullah Zarif told Pajhwok Afghan News the 15-year-old – all too green to take sides in the ongoing insurgency – was killed on the ludicrous charge of spying for government forces. But Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, expressing ignorance about the teenagers execution, said he had not yet received any information in this regard.
Meanwhile, some who are willing Taliban show how inept and stupid they are:
Three militants died when a bomb they were planting on a road used by the Pakistan army detonated prematurely in a tribal area bordering Afghanistan. The three were killed at Datta Khel in Waziristan late on Wednesday “while planting an improvised explosive device
So, I guess no virgins for them… maybe they will get 72 devils to play with the pieces of their bodies instead, what do you think?
The Editorial in the Daily times tonight is well worth reading, covering as it does the government of Pakistan’s failure to reign in the extremists in the Mosque. Is Musharraf running Pakistan, or is it Abdul Aziz and Ghazi?