New Taliban same as the old Taliban

The Taliban are back, and everyone desperately trying to get out knows it.  I understand that a woman threw her baby over the fence into the hands of a U.S. soldier.  Yes, that mother knows what's coming, and she wants her baby out of there.

The Taliban are back, and the national women's soccer team is getting the message, as we see in this report

The former captain of the Afghan women's soccer team has urged players to delete social media, erase public identities and burn their kits for safety's sake now that the country is again under Taliban rule. 

Copenhagen-based Khalida Popal told Reuters in a video interview on Wednesday that the militants had killed, raped and stoned women in the past and female footballers were scared of what the future might hold. 

The co-founder of the Afghan women's football league said she had always used her voice to encourage young women "to stand strong, to be bold, to be visible" but now she had a different message. 

"Today I'm calling them and telling them, take down their names, remove their identities, take down their photos for their safety. Even I'm telling them to burn down or get rid of your national team uniform," she said. 

"And that is painful for me, for someone as an activist who stood up and did everything possible to achieve and earn that identity as a women's national team player. 

"To earn that badge on the chest, to have the right to play and represent our country, how much we were proud." 

During their 1996-2001 rule, guided by Islamic law, the Taliban stopped women from working. Girls were not allowed to go to school and women had to wear burqas to go out, and then only when accompanied by a male relative. 

They're back, and it won't be pretty for women.  Calling Megan Rapinoe!  I hope Megan remembers that the next time she takes a knee.  Megan is rather lucky to live here.

Over the last 20 years, we've argued about Afghanistan.  Like most, I supported the initial attack and rationalized our later presence along the lines of fighting terrorism.  In the end, I came to the conclusion that leaving a small force would keep us in a country that borders Iran, Pakistan, India, and China.  Last, but not least, our presence there did not turn the country into a democracy, but some women got to go to school and play soccer.

Afghanistan will return to the past, and the women will feel it more than anyone.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk).

Image: National Archives.

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