BLOG 535

September 27, 2021


Each week Robert L. Wise, Ph.D., explores the Middle Eastern situation, ranging from Egypt through Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the surrounding area. Wise first traveled to Israel and the neighboring countries in 1968. Two of his sons taught in Jordan and Lebanon universities. Wise presents an objective view of the behind the scenes situation in these countries.


The world is still wondering what happened in Afghanistan. The USA was there 20 years and lost the country in 20 days. Because the Middle East understands ISIS and the Taliban from a frightened perspective, they are not nearly so surprised. Here’s the latest from the Afghan countryside.

        ‘No one will tell us what our laws should be,’ said Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, insisting that Afghanistan’s revived legal code will again be guided by the Quran. “Cutting off hands is very necessary for security,” he said, insisting they had a deterrent effect. He stated the Cabinet was studying whether to do punishments in public and will “develop a policy.”

One of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, Turabi said the hard-line movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands. In an interview with The Associated Press, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi dismissed outrage over the Taliban’s executions in the past, which sometimes took place in front of crowds at a stadium, and he warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Wearing a white turban and bushy, unkempt white beard, the stocky Turabi limped slightly on his artificial leg. He lost a leg and one eye fighting with Soviet troops in the 1980s. He is in charge of prisons. He is among a number of Taliban leaders, including members of the all-male interim cabinet, on a United Nations sanctions list.

On at least two occasions in the last week, Kabul men have been packed into the back of a pickup truck, hands tied and paraded around to humiliate them. In one case, their faces were painted to identify them as thieves. In the other, stale bread was hung from their necks or stuffed in their mouth. It wasn’t immediately clear what their crimes were.

Executions of convicted murderers were usually by a single shot to the head, carried out by the victim’s family, who had the option of accepting “blood money” and allowing the culprit to live. For convicted thieves, the punishment was amputation of a hand. For those convicted of highway robbery, a hand and a foot were amputated.

Since the Taliban overran Kabul on August 15 and seized control of the country, The world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their harsh rule of the late 1990s. Turabi’s comments pointed to how the group’s leaders remain entrenched in a deeply conservative, hard-liner worldview, even if they are embracing technological changes, like video and mobile phones.  Turabi, now in his early 60s, was justice minister and the religious police during the Taliban’s previous rule.

Anybody care for a vacation in Afghanistan? 

I have a new book coming out.


The story of the first Church father

(Elk Lake Publishing)

You’ll be inspired. Get a copy!

My latest books:

I Marched with Patton: A Firsthand Account of World War II

Alongside One of the U.S. Army’s Greatest Generals!

by Frank Sisson (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

You can find I MARCHED WITH PATTON on Amazon.

82 Days on Okinawa: One American’s Unforgettable Firsthand Account of the Pacific War’s Greatest Battle!

You can find 82 DAYS ON OKINAWA on Amazon.

by Art Shaw (Author), Robert L. Wise (Author)

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Filed under Iran, Israel, The Middle East

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