Hitch chastises human rights groups for belatedly focusing on the Taliban's human rights violations:

I can only too well remember attending some press conferences in Pakistan in the winter of 2001 and seeing the unbearably smug expressions on the faces of various human rights and "relief" spokesmen who were concerned lest the military operation against the Taliban should disrupt their relatively modest efforts. They failed or refused to see that the removal of the Taliban was a necessary precondition of any serious relief and reconstruction. It's heartening to learn that, almost a decade later, they are at least open to the awareness that the Taliban is the worst offender. The next stagemay it come soonwill be the realization that the Taliban does not "violate" human rights, but entirely lacks the concept of their existence.

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