William Shawcross

Should We Intervene?


It’s not always predictable just what will bring monstrosities to widespread attention. In Afghanistan, unnoticed horror has been piled upon horror for years, most recently under the government of the Taleban, a gang of despotic and brutal men calling themselves Islamic.
Consider this: in the middle of 1998, the Taleban massacred about 8,000 people in the town of Mazar-iSharif. They were killed because they were Hazara men, ethnic enemies of the Taleban. Many were shot in the streets or in their homes or in hospital beds; others were roasted alive and asphyxiated by being crammed into metal containers in the relentless August sun. Bodies were left in the streets as a warning, to be eaten by dogs.

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