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Twitter, Trump and the Taliban

Susan Estrich on

If there is one iconic photograph that defines World War II, it is the picture of six marines planting the United States flag atop Mount Suribachi in the last stages of the fighting.

The Battle of Iwo Jima, a Japanese island, lasted 36 days. Some 70,000 U.S. Marines participated in that battle; 7,000 of them were killed, in the Marines' bloodiest battle in history, and 20,000 more were wounded. The Japanese lost all but 216 of the 18,000 men who took part in the fighting.

The picture was taken by an Associated Press photographer on Feb. 23, 1945, and appeared in newspapers around the world. The sculpture is near the gate to Arlington National Cemetery, where millions have seen it.

Of the six Marines in the picture, three were killed in the action.

Check out Twitter, and you will find a similar picture posed and posted by the Taliban, complete with Taliban soldiers dressed in Marine uniforms raising the Taliban flags. The uniforms were among the millions of dollars' worth of supplies that we are leaving behind in the nightmare evacuation.

They are making fun of our heroes, showing contempt for what we hold dear. It is horribly offensive.

 

Which is no reason it should be banned from Twitter.

But how do you give the Taliban a mouthpiece and deny one to a former president of the United States -- lest he make a political comeback and win a (small "d") democratic election?

I can understand the decision to bar former President Donald Trump in the period between Jan. 6, when he encouraged his supporters to go to the Capitol and overturn the election, and Jan. 20, when the winner of the election became president.

But since then?

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