Via HotAir, we hear the most awful story of the day, the Times Online reports
"A seven-year-old boy was executed by the Taleban in a brutal act of retribution this week, after his grandfather dared to resist the insurgency’s iron rule."
But there is a strange line in the report.
The killing of children to punish their parents has chilling echoes of western mafia-style violence. Under Pashtunwali, the complex and ancient honour code of the Pashtuns, it is likely to spawn generations of vendettas and blood letting.
Why is that there? Some weird East/West moral equivalence? Another way to frame the Taliban as criminal gangs?
Is it even true? Is that a typical Mafia tactic? A dogpile search on "mafia killing children" and "mafia murder children" came up with two specific stories. One report of a failed 2009 plot in Sicily also mentioned the 1995 murder of an informants 13 year old child. A second hit gives us a Wiki page on the Black Mafia (Nation of Islam) murder of a family, including five children, the Hanafi murders. There were a few general references, but those were the only specifics.
For something to be a "chilling echo" it should remind you of something. The only thing the line reminded me of was that I had never heard of the Mafia killing the children of informers. Mafia killing the children of informers just doesn't seem like common practice.
So the Taliban horrors are "chilling echoes of western mafia?" I don't think so. Weird, just weird.