Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Questioning engagement with Taliban

As a humanitarian worker who has traveled several times to Afghanistan, I must take issue with Peter Bell's assertion that the United States is isolating that country's Taliban regime ("Isolating Afghanistan Will Not Help," July 30, opinion page).The contrary is actually the case, since US diplomats continue to meet regularly with Taliban officials. The US government has provided over $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan for the past several years, most of which has gone to areas under Taliban control.

Despite such engagement, however, the Taliban have consistently taken action to isolate themselves from the international community, whether it be by destroying ancient statues or placing restrictions on aid workers which are harsher than anywhere else in the world.And, of course, the Taliban continue to provide safe haven to Osama bin Laden, a man the US government holds responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, including Americans.

With all this, Mr. Bell should hardly expect a more conciliatory approach from the United States or other world governments.

Julie Sirrs Arlington, Va. Committee for a Free Afghanistan

Isn't it noteworthy that in the July 30 issue of the Monitor, Peter Bell writes that we should seek to replace arms sanctions on the Taliban and focus on humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan?

Eight days later, as reported in the Monitor, 24 international aid workers, including two Americans, trying to assist Afghanistan's people to rise from their misery, are arrested by the Taliban for "promoting Christianity," a crime punishable by death in the Taliban-ruled country (Aug 7., News In Brief).

One must wonder which group "focusing on humanitarian aid" will be next to face death by the Taliban.

Richard Godfrey Chester, N.H.

Why should employees be loyal?

This is a bit off topic from the editorial "No Defense for Deserters" (Aug. …

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