International Red Cross Organizations’ representatives say that their workers have found about 600 corpses in the Aghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was recaptured from the Taliban 2 weeks ago. The Red Cross representatives are quoted by BBC as saying they cannot identify the bodies: whether those people were killed in action or subsequently executed. The Red Cross express concern over the fate of thousands of Taliban soldiers and civilians in the city of Kunduz. Odd things are happening now on the Afghan front. The media seems to have U-turned. Yesterday, the Northern Alliance’s soldiers were nearly heroes to the West’s eye. Now, those brave warrior are proving nearly butchers. Earlier, the media reported of the Northerners’ humanness to Taliban captives. The Russian television even showed a special footage from a prison where Taliban soldiers were held. Of course, a prison is not a spa, but what was shown was patently far from torture chamber. Many might have said it was propaganda. Well, it may have been. True, inter-ethnic frictions have been and will always be there. But the laws of war are superior, and nobody has abolished humanness to prisoners. In the ongoing Afghan campaign, the warring parties are Moslems and adhere to one and the same religion, Islam. One thing is when you kill your coreligionist in the battlefield, but killing a coreligionist POW is a different matter. It is futile to suspect the Northern Alliance of sympathizing with the Taliban, but it will hardly be pertinent to suspect them of perpetrating mass killings of Taliban militants. The more so that President Burhanuddin Rabani has declared pardon for all the Taliban soldier, except the mercenaries. But the times have changed, and “barbaric Northerners” have replaced the “barbaric Taliban.” Such a “political prostitution” on the part of the Western media may backfire some day. The public opinion will soon start to take pity for the “poor Taliban,” suppressed by bad guys from the Northern Alliance. Really, people’s memory is short.
Dmitri Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/23/34125.html