Explain to me again why this guy is preferable to the Taliban? “Protests Over Koran Burning Reach Kandahar,” by Taimoor Shah and Rod Nordland in the New York Times, April 2 (thanks to Weasel Zippers):
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan “” Violent protests over the burning of a Koran in Florida flared Saturday for a second straight day, with young men rampaging through the streets of this southern capital city, flying Taliban flags and wielding sticks.
Nine people were killed and 81 wounded in the disturbances, all from bullet wounds, said Abdul Qayoum Pakhla, head of the provincial health department. Kandahar has long been the heartland of the Taliban insurgency but has been relatively quiet in recent months since a surge of additional American troops arrived here.
The protests here came a day after a mob overran the headquarters of the United Nations in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing 12 people, 7 of them international staff members. The top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, blamed Taliban infiltrators for the killings, saying the victims were deliberately murdered rather than killed by an out-of-control mob. The mob gathered after three mullahs at Friday Prayer urged action in response to the Koran burning by a pastor, Terry Jones, in Florida on March 20.
In Kandahar, several thousand young men, shouting slogans calling for death to Americans and to the government of President Hamid Karzai, were still rioting after several hours on Saturday, setting tires on fire throughout the city, burning cars and attacking journalists trying to cover the disorder. Shops and businesses were closed, and most people stayed off the street. Many of the protesters were waving the white flag of the Taliban. […]
Both Afghan and international news media had initially played down or ignored the actions of Mr. Jones, the Florida pastor. On Thursday, however, President Karzai made a speech and issued statements condemning the Koran burning and calling for the arrest of Mr. Jones for his actions. On Friday, that theme was picked up in mosques throughout Afghanistan.
“Karzai brought this issue back to life, and he has to take some responsibility for starting this up,” said a prominent Afghan businessman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution if he was identified as a critic of the president.
“Karzai’s speech itself provoked people to take such actions,” said Qayum Baabak, a political analyst in Mazar-i-Sharif. “Karzai should have called on people to be patient rather than making people more angry.”…