- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Our war against Mullah Mohammed Omar and his Taliban lieutenants is morally overwhelming.

Their villainies are legion and nauseating, displaying a depravity customarily associated with Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Hideki Tojo, and Pol Pot twined with a craving to reverse Darwinian evolution in favor of Neanderthal man.

They sponsor training camps to cradle terrorism against Americans and civilization generally.

They aid, abet and shelter arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, the former under indictment for masterminding the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

They degrade Afghan women by the latter's exclusion from all occupations of life, virtual home imprisonment, and murderous retribution for unveiled attire. The justification for the female abasement exemplifies Taliban's sick thinking: women must be punished to atone for male lust.

Taliban criminalizes possession of a television or radio, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Its self-created circle of enemies are ecumenical. Its persecution of Shi'ites or Hazara of Iranian extraction is unforgiving; a dozen Taliban butcheries of Iranian officials two years ago provoked Iran to the brink of war.

Taliban climbed to power by killing fellow Sunni Muslims, and has threatened war against Muslim Pakistan if assistance is provided to the United States. At present, Christian humanitarian aid workers, including two Americans are undergoing a secret Stalinist-like trial for their Christianity. Hindus must wear earmark clothing, like the Star of David, purportedly to guarantee their safety from Muslim oppression. What a benevolent Taliban motivation, like Hitler's promises of peace and kindness at the Munich summit in 1938.

Millions of Afghans of Holocaustlike proportions have been driven into grim refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran by Taliban's barbarisms.

Its complicity in international drug trafficking is notorious.

It keenly relished the Sept. 11 mass murders and indiscriminate devastation, a horror condemned even by Fidel Castro, a terrorist himself in good standing.

Its sole regret over destroying the Bamiyan twin majestic sculptures of the Buddha was the tardiness of its vandalism.

Dante would be forced to invent a new level of hell far below the ninth circle in the Inferno to make punishment of Taliban fit its wickedness.

What has the United States done to earn Taliban's fanatical enmity and which might mitigate their crimes?

We have been the largest donor of humanitarian aid to Afghans. We assisted them in foiling Soviet aggression launched in December 1979.

Earlier, the United States built irrigation and companion infrastructure to boost the Afghan economy. Our Statue of Liberty opens its arms to Afghans fleeing religious or political persecution. If these be provocative acts, as Marc Antony orated in "Julius Caesar," then, "O judgement. Thou art fled to brutish beasts, And men have lost their reason."

Taliban insists the United States is warring against Islam. But we have risked the lives and limbs of our military men and women in Kuwait, Kosovo and Bosnia in defense of Muslims. Compare the number of Muslims immigrating to the United States with the number clamoring to embrace Taliban. We also voted in favor of a Palestinian state at the United Nations in 1948, which was instantly squandered by declarations of war against the tiny state of Israel by all its Muslim neighbors.

Taliban and other United States detractors assail our support for alleged Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

But Islam spread from Mecca and Medina into Palestine and elsewhere under Caliphate dynasties by conquest, not by free and fair plebiscites. What gives Islam a morally superior claim to the territory over that of the Jews?

It has been said President George Bush's war against Taliban and terrorism generally pits Christianity against Islam by insinuating that the conflict is a second edition of the Crusades. The latter, however, was much more a conflict of political than of religious ambitions. Christian-Muslim alliances among competing Crusader states and Muslim authorities were commonplace. And a strong candidate for the most repugnant episode was the Roman Catholic crusader looting, desecration, killings, and religious persecution in Eastern Orthodox Constantinople from 1204-1260.

The authentic Taliban grievance is that the United States champions a way of life that free men and women by huge margins believe is superior to what Taliban offers. The indictment, however, speaks far more about the frightening pathology of the accuser than the shortcomings of the accused.

The United States, to be sure, sports historical and modern sins and failings. But sainthood has never been a prerequisite to fighting a just war. We fought against Hitler and Tojo in World War II despite the flourishing of Jim Crow in the armed forces. Would mankind have profited if the United States declined to take up arms until the scourge of racism had been eliminated? Should President Abraham Lincoln have refused to fight the Civil War until racial discrimination in the North and slavery in the Border States had ended?

Prudence, of course, should inform tactics and strategy in warring against Taliban. The moral case, however, needs no more debate.

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