WARNING - GRAPHIC, DISTURBING VIDEO
There's no better way to take down an ultra-pious enemy than to prove that its leaders and members are depraved sociopaths. Here is one of the greatest vulnerabilities of the Islamist extremists who preach rigid morality but often act quite differently. Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan are exploiting that vulnerability to help the Taliban tear itself apart.
The target: The notorious Haqqani Network, based in northern Waziristan, Pakistan, and active in eastern Afghanistan.
The US has yet to exploit its full capabilities in this area, with terrabytes of damning captured videos under lock and key.
Fortunately, conservative clergy in Afghanistan and Pakistan have not been so reticent. Key Taliban leaders - Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son, Siraj Haqqani - had their own personal pornography ring. The Haqqani Network offered free "medical care" to rural Afghan women and girls, and then Haqqani's people raped them on video. Other Taliban figures, including a physician, were involved.
Once discovered, the Haqqanis tried to cover up their crimes. They had all the women and girls murdered, as well as their physician. However, they couldn't destroy all the video evidence, which enemies recovered. A Pakistani mullah produced a DVD, currently being distributed in Afghan and Pakistani bazaars, to discredit the Haqqanis. Click here for a downloadable link to the video. Even though the worst scenes have been blacked out for modesty reasons, the videos are graphic and disturbing. All the women and girls pictured in the video are now dead. An English translation of the transcript is available here.
The video is of low production quality by Western standards, but is entirely appropriate for local standards. Making media products to discredit the enemy in rural South Asia is not an expensive undertaking.
Here's the payoff from a political warfare point of view: Under local interpretations of Islamic law, the Haqqanis and all others involved must be killed as punishment, with worse torments to follow in the afterlife.
The mullah called for a jihad against the "House of Haqqani" - the leadership of the Haqqani clan.
This is exactly the type of product the US and its allies should be producing as part of their information operations and psychological operations in the AfPak theater and around the world. The Taliban is mainly Pashtun, and many rural Pashtuns have peculiar depravities that, if more widely known, could turn many devout Muslims against the movement and compel conservative mullahs to issue edicts ordering the imposition of traditional Islamic punishments.
A properly run psychological warfare campaign along these lines would also stigmatize Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda due to their decade-old "adoption" by the Taliban - with the terrorists' new fascination with butt bombs as a case in point. The campaign should be designed to morally compel some of those sheltering the terrorists to betray them or hand them over to the mullahs for old-fashioned sharia justice.