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WHO Says Afghan School "Poison Attacks" Probably Mass Hysteria

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the blue-red-or-sugar dept.

Education 146

New submitter smugfunt writes "A number of incidents at schools in Afghanistan, especially girls' schools, have been attributed to poisoning by the Taliban. The World Health Organization has investigated 32 of them but found no poison. "Mass Psychological Illness is the most probable cause," they conclude, the Telegraph reports. The Taliban has consistently denied poisoning schools and have even consented to allow the education of girls in a deal with the government which allows significant Taliban control over the curriculum."

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WHO (0, Troll)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573435)

Who? Oh, those guys. I don't know what happened but I'm not taking the WHO's word for anything at all. Maybe it didn't happen but if they said it didn't then I think it probably did. Mass pyschological illness. They imagined it.

Re:WHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573463)

Who? Oh, those guys. I don't know what happened but I'm not taking the WHO's word for anything at all. Maybe it didn't happen but if they said it didn't then I think it probably did. Mass pyschological illness. They imagined it.

Alright, grandpa, we'll stop the bad conspiracy people from poisoning Afghans and trying to take your Amiga away. Now get that thing off the information superhighway. And turn its blinkers off, too. ;)

(Whoa, my captcha is "hoodwink." Oh man, I think Slashdot is trying to warn me that it's been infiltrated by the Taliban! Dammit, I suppose I'd better get that A500 out of the closet. If I'm going to be crazy, I might as well do it right.)

Re:WHO (2, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574937)

Heh, whippersnapper at least you know what an Amiga is, I'll give you props for that. I'll stand by the WHO comment though no matter how they downmod me. They're a pack of liars. Like I said, I may have doubted the claims at first but now that WHO says it didn't happen I have to think it might be true. If they say it's sunny I'm taking a flashlight. By the way, if you need a hard drive for that A500 I've got a GVP A530 for sale too. ;)

Re:WHO (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573477)

Who? Oh, those guys. I don't know what happened but I'm not taking the WHO's word for anything at all.

Hey, they have some kick ass songs. Plus, Pete Townshend's powerslide [youtube.com] .

Re:WHO (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574949)

That Tommy sure plays a mean pinball.

it's american psyops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573447)

to discredit the resistance fighters.

Re:it's american psyops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575129)

Exactly, young Afghanistan girl have been brainwashed by a stupid egocentric country to lie about crime they weren't the victim and put it on talibans fault.

Stupid americans.

The Taliban denied.. (2)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573451)

and someone believed them? Shame shame shame.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573499)

Since the Taliban are the most politically convenient thing to the US Neocons to appear on the global marketplace of \textit{casus belli}, it's more accurate to say, "Something was said about the Taliban.. and people believed them?"

Anyone not allowing themselves to be as the slowly boiled frog over the past 15 years should recognise that nothing which comes out of the mouths of Washington and London is to be believed, nor is any of the reporting home and abroad which can be controlled by either. War reporting died after the DoD saw what happened when people saw the live action footage of Vietnam. It's not that everything's a lie - though everything does, of course, have a spin put on it. It's merely that it would be intellectually dishonest for the average guy sitting at home to claim that he has evidence of what's a lie and what's the truth - anyone who claims so is usually just allowing his prejudices to select the evidence which backs up his views.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573521)

Ahaha oh man it's late/early and I've been writing too much, well... the government told me Slashdot had a LaTeX preprocessor and I was lied to!

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573663)

I tend to believe the group that doesn't behead innocent civilians, which also happens to be the one that doesn't strap bombs to themselves or the mentally handicapped to blow up in crowds.

Of course it's easy to sit on the other side and suggest that it's the other side that is wrong. After all, it was the other side that prevented women from going to school until the US invasion of Afghanistan. It is the US that regularly slaughters large groups of people, such as those traveling via bus, because they have received aid from the coalition forces.

Uh, no. My evidence is my brother with shrapnel in his face from an RPG that barely missed him, plus multiple concussions alongside his three tours overseas. But, you should probably keep reading whatever liberally slanted, terrorist-forgiving drivel that you call news.

I'm not saying that the Taliban has poisoned these school girls, nor am I saying that there are terrorist under every rock. I am saying that the Taliban is an evil organization filled with men that have no level of humanity left, and yet here we are debating whether or not we're pinning too much on an organization that has proven it has no limits to its disgusting behavior. Then again, as the article points out, here we are helping a nation that is going to allow the Taliban back with open arms the moment we leave, and possibly even sooner.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573791)

I am saying that the Taliban is an evil organization filled with men that have no level of humanity left
Sounds like the US Congress to me...

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576127)

That would have to read "filled with men and women" to sound like the US Congress.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (5, Interesting)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573799)

To play devil's advocate, what reason do they have to deny it if they did it? The Taliban is a fundamentalist party that supports acts of terrorism. The difference between a terrorist and psychopath is that a terrorist has a message. If a terrorist group were to lie about culpability it would probably be to take credit for acts they didn't commit. In fact, for pretty much any disaster or accident, there is almost always a group willing to take responsibility whether they did it or not.

The Taliban is a malevolent organization, but they are not comic book villains plotting nefarious acts for evil's sake.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574379)

what reason do they have to deny it if they did it?

My thoughts exactly. The fact that they could have done it and nobody would be very surprised is what gives this denial plausability.

The Taliban is a malevolent organization, but they are not comic book villains plotting nefarious acts for evil's sake.

Like all real-life villains, they consider themselves the good guys.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575141)

Are we talking about stupid americans here ?

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574387)

To play devil's advocate, what reason do they have to deny it if they did it?

They have reason to deny it because it makes them look like backwards savages to the rest of the world. So they deny it and hope that useful idiots around the world choose to believe them and start to criticize those trying to prevent the backwards savages from getting back in power.

The Taliban is a malevolent organization, but they are not comic book villains plotting nefarious acts for evil's sake.

Of course not, their nefarious acts are committed to intimidate others and gain influence and power over them.

"Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb." -- Dark Helmet

He's could be talking about the folks at WHO and other useful idiots who believe that the real good guys are the bad guys because the real bad guys said that the good guys were the bad guys.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576077)

To play devil's advocate, what reason do they have to deny it if they did it?

They have reason to deny it because it makes them look like backwards savages to the rest of the world

The Taliban has never cared to be seen as backward savages by, in their own view, immoral infidels. These are the people who blew the Bamiyan's Bhuddas to pieces, who whipped women to shreds, who planned to give yellow armbands to the local Hindus for ease of identification, and were quite ok with committing acts of genocide against the Hazaras. They are too fucking illiterate to even realize the type of bestial savagery they represent.

Any concessions they give now is because they have been under the gun for quite sometime. Otherwise, rest assure they'd back to their shit-on-the-ground, bestial shenanigans.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575215)

The Taliban is a malevolent organization, but they are not comic book villains plotting nefarious acts for evil's sake.

Spot on. The Taliban are basically the political right-wing of the Pushtun tribe (ie: a clan within the tribe). The Pushtun's have ruled the area around the ancient city of Kandahar for centuries, the area is also a natural choke point for intenational trade and is a strategically a very important control point, as such the locals have fought with and against just about every empire that has existed over the past 10,000yrs, there is a desert city in the area that is 7000yo (forget the name), it has been leveled by invading armies 800 times, the current city is built on a 30-40 foot high mound of rubble left over from the previous 799 versions.

Hamid Karzai (the president of Afghanistan and Nato's BFF) is himself a Pushtun but belongs to a different clan. They are all hard people living in a hard place, a large chunk of the population are literally still living in a medieval culture, the more radical clans such as the Taliban remind me very much of the Scottish highlanders who until fairly recently attacked anyone who came to close to their mountains (and did so with sound reasoning based on past experience).

AFAICT US policy seems to be to assasinate the Pushtun warlords it does not like. Having seen the video of Saddam Hussien doing something conceptually similar [youtube.com] (start @ 1:25, nsfw), I'm not sure I'm ok with that.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40576139)

The Taliban is much smarter than you give them credit for. Much of hteir plan for control of the world is based on implementing Sharia law. In spite of everything Bushbama is doing in Afghanistan, the largest threat to them is education of women. If half of your society objects to being slaves, your society will implode. They don't need to take credit for poisoning; they need to keep girls out of school. Two very different targets here, and mass attacks on kids are bad publicity. While I have no evidence either way, a thoughtful look at the Taliban's motives makes it completely plausible that they would poison wells at girls schools and deny it.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574157)

My evidence is my brother with shrapnel in his face from an RPG that barely missed him, plus multiple concussions alongside his three tours overseas.

Wow, funny how active military service might get someone injured.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574303)

No offence meant to your brother here, but your evidence that the Taliban is evil is that your brother, a foreign soldier and member of an occupying army, has been attacked?

Wow.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

Nexusone1984 (1813608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574923)

Evil is relative, especially if you believe your committing it in the name of God then it is ok.

You try to make the case that they are just defending their Country and in part they may feel that is what they are doing.

But ask the people who when the Taliban was in power had their hands and feet cut off, or mutilated.
The number of thousand year old cultural artefacts that they destroyed. From that perspective kind of a Evil group.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575705)

I don't think anyone in this thread is arguing the Taliban isn't evil. The argument is that, even if they are evil, their existence is being exploited to further others' dubious or evil intentions.

The US killed their natives, stole land from and murdered Mexicans, illegally overthrew the Hawaiians, .. on and on. The US certainly is not 'as evil' as others have been or are, but is also far from being a good guy. This is good to keep in perspective when talking about good vs evil.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576223)

You cannot STEAL land, it is taken and held by force alone. This is called military conquest, and is a completely legitimate form of ownership.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576263)

here we are helping a nation that is going to allow the Taliban back with open arms the moment we leave, and possibly even sooner.

This is the crux of the problem: we're spending an insane amount of money on this place, and short of exterminating all the males there, there's absolutely nothing we can do to prevent it from becoming exactly like it was before we invaded. The afghanistan campaign should have taken no longer than 6 months at the very most: bomb all of AQ's training camps and caves and wipe them out so they're no longer a global threat, and then leave the people there to their own devices. "Nation building" simply doesn't work in a place where there's no real civilization and tribalism reigns supreme.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573509)

Taliban are not relevant. At least not to the investigation part into whether or not the crime occurred. Who cares what a possible suspect says anyways when you still can't even establish that.

This isn't just somebody either. It's the WHO. Considering their reputation, I think it's reasonable to assume they were some actual investigation into hospital records, perhaps even direct tests on the girls.

I am admittedly still a little bit skeptical. 32 incidents, and not a single scrap of evidence for poison? No indications in their blood samples? No physical samples in the water? The schools themselves have no chemical traces?

That's amazing to have that many incidents of mass hysteria. Really amazing.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573593)

I agree, it seems like a lot. How many incidents of mass hysteria per year is there in US schools and/or workplaces? I remember hearing about several where people swore they smelt something that made them sick but nothing was ever found.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573895)

I remember hearing about several where people swore they smelt something that made them sick but nothing was ever found.

We had that happen at a company I worked for almost 10 years ago. Determined it was a complex chemical reaction between "Steve" and "Del Taco".

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575847)

20 some years ago I recall engaging in 'chemical warfare' in the cube farm.

Garlic, Hard boiled eggs and Old Mil are like a 50 megaton nuke. After that day we decided to stop. The paint was peeling and they were complaining in the accounting department (at the far end of the floor).

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573625)

It's especially amazing in a place where many women have in fact immolated themselves rather than face further abuse from their husbands. There are so many real, systemic abuses of women in that society that honestly if somebody is looking for abuse and doesn't find it, I smell cover-up. What was the methodology? Who was doing the sampling, the analysis? What was the chain of custody?

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574823)

Actually, on the same grounds - I do believe it. What reason would the WHO have to cover something up? They have no history of political cover-ups. I take it they investigated and actually found nothing. As you say, there is enough real abuse one should care about.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574975)

If we did nothing but trust names and reputations, we'd never uncover corruption or negligence. Such low standards enable the erosion of responsibility.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (3, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575071)

The "everyone is lying"-approach is not exactly productive, either, is it? I am somewhat fed up by the success of the conservatard "teh scientist are frauds and are only doing it for teh funds!!! lol !!!" meme. Skepticism is good, but it has to be based in facts, not in some herp-derp-it's all lies conspiratorial bullshit. You got any indication that the WHO is covering something up here? If so, I'll play along.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575287)

What reason would the WHO have to cover something up?

Well, they're on first?

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575865)

They do have a history of political distortions. Recall the world health study that ranks the USA very low. The methods were so undefensible they never repeated it. Basically the only stat that mattered was equality of outcome.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576047)

Oh, butthurt much. I get it. Whatever goes for objectivity in your orthogonal universe. No it is not parallel.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573823)

Sure the Taliban is absolutely relevant. They provide excellent targets to test new drone based weapon systems and intelligence gathering methods in a real world environment instead of just using simulations. If a civilian happens to get caught in the crossfire they might want to stop hanging around with the wrong crowd. Although it's most likely that the oh so brave Taliban fighters hide behind civilians who are forced to serve as human shields. Anyone who defends the Taliban should seriously start questioning how far they are really ready to go just to justify their criticisms of the US and NATO efforts. Too bad Afghanistan wasted their opportunity to create a more stable country when the US and NATO forced the Taliban from power. After the US leaves, which I personally wish had taken place about 9 years ago, the Afghan citizens will once again be dominated and terrorized by the most inhumane group of people on the planet. And there is no way the US will ever go back to that country. The same thing applies to Iraq. They also squandered the opportunity to improve their society and government without having to look over their shoulder waiting for Saddam and his henchman to slowly feed them into a wood chipper feet first. Instead they immediately got back to killing each other in earnest 2 days after the US forces left. The best strategy for the US is to totally leave the entire middle east and South Asia and let the inhabitants resume killing each other without any interruptions.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576251)

I wonder how you would feel if your local police started shooting at you because the person standing next to you at the bus stop is wanted for murder. I mean it would be your own fault for being so close to a known criminal right?

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574235)

THE RELEVANT thing is that the girls haven't died AND they've all gone home in few hours.

Re:The Taliban denied.. (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574671)

The point of terrorism is to cause terror. Denying its existence would not be in the Taliban's interests if they were behind the attacks. Still, it's possible that they have just backed out.

Lack of proof is not proof of lack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573495)

No reason to be suspicious, after all the Taliban were so enlightened with women's rights, right?

Re:Lack of proof is not proof of lack (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573515)

Lack of proof is not proof of lack

Did you get that from some TV shows? Like the one where they are always hunting the "Squatch"?

A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573551)

The Christian Taliban is every bit as violent, corrupt, evil, and influential in our government as that other Taliban is in Afganistan. You hear Christian politicians, daily, who want to impose Sharia Law on all citizens of the US (10 Commandments). The US is in a new dark ages, and falling ever deeper by the day.

Re:A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (1, Troll)

Quila (201335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573767)

So that explains the Christians here on the streets beating women who don't have their heads covered. That explains why all the women here have been forced out of employment and education. That explains why Christians who go to another religion or become atheist are commonly executed here.

Oh wait, none of that's even close to happening.

We have a tiny, tiny minority of Christians in this country who wish they could do a Christian-style Sharia, but the most encroachment on our lives is the annoying Westboro Baptist clan. But even then, the Bible says to give to Ceasar what is Caesar's, meaning Christians can separate religion and government in accordance with the Bible. Sharia demands there be no such separation.

Re:A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573871)

But even then, the Bible says to give to Ceasar what is Caesar's

I always thought that meant that you had a duty to pay your taxes, serve the army, serve your country...

But that you also had to be mindful of a duty to tithe, serve god, and serve the church..

I'd never read that as "separation of church and state", just an admonishment that you had a duty to both, and should neglect neither.

Re:A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573919)

A very strong case can be made that the phrase refers to paying tax as the payment of tax is the specific issue involved in the story. The rest is interpretation.

Re:A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (2)

sirambrose (919153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574545)

The passage suggests that a seperation of church and state is permissible, but not required. Jesus said that paying taxes was required even if the government did not enforce religious law. If Jesus felt that Government was required to enforce religious law, he would have stated that ceaser's government was illegitimate and that paying taxes to him was forbidden.

I don't believe that there is any passage in the new testament that encourages theocratic government. Groups like the Westbroro Baptist church claim that god wants government to enforce old testament law even though the new testament focuses on spreading religion to people instead of using government to force people to follow divine law.

Re:A small foreshadowing of the US's future. (2)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574241)

Factually erroneous on every point, but out of curiosity, what do you mean by "evil" per -your- definition and objective justification, rather than parasiting off of Christianity's as you attack it?

Are you saying that any of this behavior reduces the likelihood of the DNA of the theism advocates propagating maximally, as a Naturalism criticism that would validly remain open to you? Because at this point, you haven't suggested anything that gives any weight, validity, or significance to your characterizations.

It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . . . (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573571)

. . . and the Taliban are quite successful at spreading it. If you had a bunch of "Islam Gone Wild" retro medieval fanatics romping around your neighborhood killing innocent folks for fun and excitement . . . you might tend to be a bit on the edgy side yourself. A car engine backfire will incite you to grab your assault rifle and empty the clip in all directions, to defend yourself. In essence, anyone in Afghanistan will believe that the Taliban are capable of committing horrific atrocities. That makes people fear the Taliban, and it gives the Taliban strength.

Now, take a look in your own airports, and see if the population of your country is so scared, that they tolerate crotch groping and all other types of submissive humility . . . all because the fear of terror has devoured their souls.

Yep, terror can inflict colossal mass hysteria damage.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0, Flamebait)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573875)

19,171 terrorist attacks since 9/11 really does make it mass terror. It's a religion of peace, and if you repeat it often enough, maybe they won't cut your throat on the way out and through while they're trying to do something nasty to everyone else. That though, doesn't mean I live in fear of it. More so, I point out exactly what it is. For those not keeping track, that would be the greatest death cult since the fall of the USSR. And their "unofficial pogom service."

By the by, hear the lastest news from the UK? A dozen or so muslims arrested in the last 3 odd days for planning terrorist attacks against the Olympics? Religion of Peace, strikes again. Well you guys had that guy down in Fort Hood, despite what the media tells you, he was a full blown Jihadi. Then there was the case in Dearborn last weekend of "sudden Jihad syndrome" where a muslim tried to rundown 9 Christians protesting a muslim fair thing. He's been charged with attempted murder. It's not a case of "the population is scared" that they'll tolerate it. That's the government and security theater, rather if terrorists tried it on a plane again. There wouldn't be anything left of them by the time the plane landed, except orange goo. I'll lay $100 on it.

But people in Afghanistan have a good reason to be scared. The Taliban are well known for being brutal, executing people in soccer stadiums, beating women for being without minders, cutting off the hands of women for talking to a man. Executing children for talking to the opposite sex, executing men for not having a beard of the proper length. On, and on, and on.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1, Insightful)

margeman2k3 (1933034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574245)

"19,171 terrorist attacks since 9/11"
[[Citation Needed]]

Also, Christianity, which seems to have a history of torturing or forcefully converting people (ie: the inquisitions) is frequently referred to as the religion of love. If you're going to mock the fact that Islam is called the religion of peace, at least be unbiased enough to mock Christianity on the same basis.
Remember, Christianity is the religion that says it's better to contract AIDS and die an excruciating death than to use a condom. The religion of love strikes again.

I don't defend people claiming that this is Islam telling them to kill "heretics", but you have no right to tell me that Islam is inherently evil.
Although, I do wonder how many Muslims are convicted of murder each year, compared to the number of Christians who are....

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574345)

Also, Christianity, which seems to have a history of torturing or forcefully converting people (ie: the inquisitions) is frequently referred to as the religion of love. If you're going to mock the fact that Islam is called the religion of peace, at least be unbiased enough to mock Christianity on the same basis.

The inquisitions were a period when Christianity was being used as an excuse by greedy bastards to kill people and take their property. The inquitions were antithetical to Christian doctrine. I do believe that Islam requires putting infidels to the sword, though. Don't look at the actions of people who *say* they're followers, look at the doctrines of the religion itself.

Remember, Christianity is the religion that says it's better to contract AIDS and die an excruciating death than to use a condom.

And it's best to sleep only with your spouse (and not get a convenience divorce) which would end the spread of AIDS completely if everyone did it. Leaving rules out and claiming "flaw!" is a children's game.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574447)

I do believe that Islam requires putting infidels to the sword, though. Don't look at the actions of people who *say* they're followers, look at the doctrines of the religion itself.

Ok, let's see what the Good Book says...

15:13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Oh, yeah, much better than Islam. Islam has more crazies now, but given the chance any religion will stab you in the back with no second thoughts, you dirty unbeliever.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575467)

15:13 That whosoever

Which book are you quoting exactly?

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (2)

RoccamOccam (953524) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575721)

Christianity is (obviously) based on the teachings in the Old Testament, but it doesn't end there. Otherwise, Christians would just be Jews.

1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11“No one, sir,” she said.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574457)

And also, the crusades were a defensive action against several hundred years of aggressive attacks by the muslim armies on [what were understood in the thinking of the time to be] christian lands. Christians who wanted to visit the holy land were being attacked, and the muslim armies kept invading the Christian countries on the borders of the muslim countries. There were raids by muslims on Christian communities living near the borders of muslim lands - where they would capture people and take them off to be slaves. In that context, the various feudal kings within Christendom decided to mount a series of retaliatory counter-attacks. Of course, this has nothing much to do with the Christianity of the Bible, but it wasn't Christianity being especially bloodthirsty - it was generally groups of feudal kings and their knights[who thought of themselves as Christians but had almost no understanding of what Jesus said and commanded] mounting counter-attacks in response to muslim aggression on the lands of which they were a part.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574797)

Until just 3 centuries ago, the British (not some primitive tribe) used to occasionally disembowel people alive only because they happened to profess the wrong variant of Christianity, let alone a different religion.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575869)

Ah, the old "Christians were just defending themselves in the Crusades!". Explain the Albigensian Crusade [time.com] then, 1 million killed because the Pope ordered the complete extermination of a competing Christian sect. "These heretics are worse than the Saracens!" exclaimed Pope Innocent III, and on March 10, 1208, he proclaimed a crusade against a sect in southern France that became one of the bloodiest blots in European history.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (2)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574415)

Then there was the case in Dearborn last weekend of "sudden Jihad syndrome" where a muslim tried to rundown 9 Christians protesting a muslim fair thing. He's been charged with attempted murder.

That incident had nothing to do with jihadism and everything to do with Christian fundies playing party poopers. I'm not saying his course of action was legitimate, but provocating and insulting rarely results in constructive outcomes.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575925)

When someone is your enemy, but lying, getting him to tip his hand is a 'constructive outcome'.

There is now one less violent jehadi pretending to be civilized in the USA.

I suspect the real purpose of Iraq was to provide stupid Jehadis a convenient place to go and get killed. Keep them out of Afghanistan (which in turn is there to keep them out of Europe and N. America.)

One thing I'm sure of, we aren't creating 'new enemies', we're getting old enemies to reveal their true intentions. Provoking and insulting Muslims is exactly the right thing to do today. They aren't known for thoughtful self restraint.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576111)

Post like this makes me glad I live in a country in which the Christian fundies involved in this incident would have been arrested for breach of peace before their provocations triggered nasty reactions.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576309)

So its the PROTESTORS fault? Way to blame the victim for a crazy person not being able to contain themselves. WE live and die for freedom of speech, you might want to watch your fucking socialist mouth.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576367)

I'm glad you live there too.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40576027)

Ok you have used a precise number attempting to add weight to your claim but a quick Google search for 19171 terrorist attacks comes up with your post as the top search return, so I am gonna claim utter bullshit on your entire comment as you started with a flat out fabrication.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574151)

I dunno about living in Afghanistan, but here the population is not scared and didn't decide to be groped at airports. Population is forced to submit to screening at gates.

If a rational debate about security from terrorist attacks on flights had ever been made, it would have concluded that a determined attacker with a bit of equipment can take down whatever civilian flight and escape, without needing to pass through gates. Ergo, both Al Qaeda and the TSA's objectives are likely different from what they proclaim to us retarded masses.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574329)

you might tend to be a bit on the edgy side yourself. A car engine backfire will incite you to grab your assault rifle and empty the clip in all directions, to defend yourself.

Hmm, that's doubtful. Wouldn't that just lead to waves of scared people taking up arms against the stray bullets of their neighbours?

. . . all because the fear of terror has devoured their souls.

FDR said it best, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
So, we're afraid of the fear, as we should be?

I'd say it's impossible for fear to have "devoured their souls", those spirits have been gone a long time. That's why they couldn't tell the difference between People and Corporations.

It's almost like they didn't really mean it when they repeated the quote with zeal, "Give me Liberty or give me death!" -- I mean, they've hardly any damn liberty left, WTF do they expect?

"Land of the Brave" my ass!

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (2)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574929)

That's why they couldn't tell the difference between People and Corporations.

A moderately insightful comment turns to shit with this sentence. Nobody, including the court systems of the world, actually makes that mistake. I see this ranting against corporate personhood as another form of theater. Doesn't make us any more free than groping crotches does in airports.

It's almost like they didn't really mean it when they repeated the quote with zeal, "Give me Liberty or give me death!" -- I mean, they've hardly any damn liberty left, WTF do they expect?

What do you think is the appropriate response to tyranny? Roll over and let them scratch your belly? Bark at shadows? At some point, you have to actually resist the actual tyranny.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574609)

Wow, I have found myself groping crotches recently! Now I know that it's because of terrorism, and my subconscious is just checking for explosives. Hopefully the media will publicize this phenomenon so that young ladies are no longer surprised by my behavior.

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575419)

I imagine the propaganda from our side does fuck-all to alleviate that fear....

Re:It's not "Mass Hysteria"; it's "Mass Terror" . (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575701)

yeah, the Taliban and their fellow cronies have given up on airplanes long ago. We have no reason not to give them first class tickets just as show we don't fear them taking down a plane for the sheer pleasure of it.

Meanwhile in Miami..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573617)

Believe the Taliban or the locals. Sounds like a case of picking your poison.
*puts on sunglasses*

YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
*the WHO starts playing*

Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (5, Interesting)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573623)

I'm a neurologist and I deal everyday with people that are obviously suffering a conversive disease. This does not mean that they are feigning or malingering, It's just that somehow their brains malfunction and generate bizarre symptoms. In most cases the disease has no anatomical and physiological integrity (i.e. it crosses boundaries that it should not, or a certain part that should also be affected works fine).
It's frustrating because the patient and everyone around her (mostly happens to females) is pretty convinced of an impending illnes and they request test after test, sometimes even threatening to sue. Of course nothing is found ... or worse: a harmless congenital defect can be found, which will produce more anxiety.

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (2, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573787)

Are the "electric shocks" that occur after (or even without) cessation of SSRIs a "conversive disease"? I ask only because no neurologist, or psychiatrist, or general prac that I've personally spoken to even admit it's they are a true phenomenon. They say it cannot be true because CAT,. MRI, and other etc neuroimaging methods show nothing. So I guess those millions of people who do suffer from them are making it up, or have somehow been "infected" through a "conversive disease" (??)

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574201)

Good question .. I've had symptoms similar to the electric shocks (feels more like physical shocks) for years and have never taken an SSRI.

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574449)

I ask only because no neurologist, or psychiatrist, or general prac that I've personally spoken to even admit it's they are a true phenomenon.

Define "true". Are you experiencing side-effects which to you feels like electric shocks? Yes. Are you actually being shocked? No. It's "all in your head", but you're not imagining it. It's real, but it's really not what it feels like. In the same way that heart-attack sufferers often report numbness or pain in their left arm, not their chest. It's real, but it has nothing to do with their arm. (Or in the case of the Afghan girls, their symptoms are "real", in that they are classic symptoms of anxiety and panic (Nausea, dizziness, breathing problems, even fainting.) But they aren't "true" in being caused by poison.)

As for health professionals "admitting it's real". It was my GP who suggested the term, "electric shocks", when I tried to describe that part of the withdrawal symptoms. (To me it's not a "shock", it feels more related to the inner ear. Or at least, to head movement.) He told me it's a common symptom, gave me a pretty good idea how long it would last, used it to gauge the level of withdrawal.

I wonder if the difference is the intellectual respect your GP/etc has for you? Your GP/etc sees their job as reassuring a panicky/hysterical patient that he/she is not actually being electrically shocked (it stuns me that they actually sent you to get CAT scans, MRIs, etc), while my GP sees his job as working with me to ensure I'm getting the benefits I want, without unusual/dangerous symptoms. (For example, my GP picked up on my description as being related to head-movement, and asked about balance/dizziness. If the symptoms were severe enough to actually affect my balance, then I'd probably have to slow the speed of withdrawal, give my brain longer to adjust.)

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (2)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40576339)

It's a side effect I've heard from many people. I don't know why it happens, but I believe them. I don't even know if the sensation is produced in the peripheral nerves or in the brain. Like when you hit your elbow and feel an electric shock in your outermost fingers: the hit stimulates the ulnar nerve and that signal is interpreted in your brain as a weird feeling in the area the aforementioned nerve controls. No imaging method nor an EMG/ENG/EEG will show anything because it's a tiny chemical malfunction that happens somewhere, like a miscalibration. Most withdrawal symptoms (even from alcohol) come from such miscalibrations because the brain adapts to the new chemical balance induced by the drug.

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574623)

Serious question from the audience: How frequently do you encounter patients with some form of conversion disorder, and where you later discover your initial diagnosis was in fact wrong?

I have just been through 18 (eighteen) years of severe migraine headaches, because I was incorrectly labelled as having conversion disorder, probably due to stress encountered in and after a car accident. (Note that migraine runs in my family.)

Turns out my initial, self diagnosis for the cause of the migraines, some form of sleep related breathing disorder, was a) correct and b) the self diagnosis was part of the reason I got the label of CD.

Basically I have some form of neurological damage in the brain stem, which disturbs my body's ability to regulate breathing during all phases of sleep. Note that this is distinct from the usual (and common) types of central- and obstructive sleep apnea, and that I cannot be diagnosed via the simple sleep monitoring methods. It took 5 overnight stays at a specialist hospital department to find the cause, yet was trivially easy to treat once diagnosed. Said hospital department was shocked to learn it took me 18 years to get an appointment to see them... (I didn't like trying to sue people in order to force my way though the healthcare system in my country. Silly me.)

So here I sit half a life later with a disability pension, hopeless personal finances, a ruined career and ditto personal life behind me. The amount of verbal abuse I have had to suffer over the years from various doctors, especially the neurologists, is embarrassing for the profession IMO.

What should I have done differently?

Posted AC for obvious reasons.

Re:Conversion diseases are so frustrating... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574761)

Posted AC for obvious reasons.

Not as obvious as you think.

Suspicious... (3, Funny)

matunos (1587263) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573647)

This sounds like the work of Scarecrow. A Dark Knight Rises ad campaign?

Plausible (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573729)

As best I can tell there have been no reported deaths. [bbc.co.uk] That doesn't completely rule out poisoning, but along with there being no actual threats or anyone claiming responsibility, it does lend credence to the idea of it just being hysteria.

Not unusual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573765)

As far as mass hysteria is concerned this isn't particularly unusual. Here's a bigger one [wikipedia.org] that has even received official sanction by a mainstream religion.

Re:Not unusual (1)

Empiric (675968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574207)

Yawn. It is "the same" as would be any religious claim about anything whatsoever, right?

If you're going to link it, you should at least address your own link's statements, otherwise it is a citation refuting, not supporting, your claim/snark.

De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified "miracle", the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely.[25] That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometres (11 mi) away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria.

In any case, these are not analogous. The presence or absence of a poison can be tested by quite-direct means, and in its absence, hysteria becomes a likely explanation.

Re:Plausible (3, Insightful)

Squeeself (729802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573831)

Considering a number of other examples [wikipedia.org] are quite similar to these particular events, I find mass hysteria to be not only plausible, but a likely explanation, in my not-so-expert opinion. All it takes is a number of closely-interacting people (especially young girls) under stress (the region certainly provides plenty of fearful catalysts) and a trigger (simple normal sickness will do) and you've got an "outbreak."

Acid Attacks (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574619)

Just because the WHO says the girls haven't been poisoned doesn't mean they are not being attacked. Girls have had acid thrown in their faces repeatedly. And when you're face is scared for life, there's no dispute that it happened:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/world/asia/14kandahar.html?pagewanted=all [nytimes.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/14/world/asia/14iht-kandahar.1.17822365.html [nytimes.com]
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-224_162-4631708.html [cbsnews.com]

I don't know. (2)

dohzer (867770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573903)

I give up! Who?

Re:I don't know. (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574453)

Sam and Janet Evening!

I don't know. (0)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40573937)

Who Says Afghan School "Poison Attacks" Probably Mass Hysteria?

Mass hysteria (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40573939)

The American reaction to 9/11, that's mass hysteria. Just wait until WHO finds out that Bin Laden didn't do it.

Attacks as Propaganda (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574017)

from those with a vested interested in keeping war profits flowing.

I smell a rat here (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574045)

Isn't it interesting how the narrative changes with the global policy? Not long ago, the Talibans were the epitome of evil, but now that western countries support the islamists to overthrow Assad, the Talibans are suddenly innocent and the good guys? This change of narrative is rather puzzling, if we take news making with more than just a grain of salt.

Re:I smell a rat here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574713)

so because they didn't find any link between the girls and the Taliban, somehow that makes the Taliban the good guys? can you share whatever you are smoking

Re:I smell a rat here (2)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574729)

Just because you have a criminal as your next door neighbour doesn't mean everything bad that happens to you is something your neighbour did. It might be very convenient to blame everything on him, but it's more constructive to look into the actual cause first.

Probably Radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574053)

If there is no biological cause, then it is most likely radio. The NSA is developing a system and is using the tests to build a driver/interface between an A.I. and a human. Conflict zones are mainly used due to the breakdown of social systems that can mask the program.

Nasty stuff if your on the receiving end.

Re:Probably Radio (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575005)

Cool! Where can I find your blog. I would like to add it to my RSS feed.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574211)

I thought we (USA and UK) just fought a war in Afghanistan and lost many Troops in the process, to make it a democracy where the Taliban had no political control in the country. And now i read the Taliban has consented to allow the education of girls in a deal with the government which allows significant Taliban control over the curriculum.

Nice!

Its all ok they are on our side (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40574223)

"Afghanistan has been designated as America's latest "major non-Nato ally", Hillary Clinton announces in Kabul, allowing it to buy advanced US weaponry." source Today's BBC World news.

Also Nice!

Poor choice of words (0)

dalias (1978986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40574747)

Allegedly it's the Taliban who are misogynist, but then /. goes using the incredibly misogynist word "hysteria" to describe the alleged psychological illness...

Taliban control over curriculum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40575289)

....which allows significant Taliban control over the curriculum

Allowing the Taliban control over education/curriculum is definitely not a good idea. There was a documentary on PBS that claims that, years ago Saudi Arabia basically gave the fundamentalists control of the ministry of education because they didn't want to have them involved in other parts of the government. I'll let others comment on what happened years later.

As I expected (2)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#40575535)

"Mass hysteria" (an unfortunate term for a real phenomenon, IMO) was my guess from the outset, based on
1. The symptoms reported are typical of mass hysteria.
2. Nobody claimed responsibility (somewhat unusual for a terrorist attack).
3. Symptoms resolved fairly rapidly, with no deaths (so pretty incompetent poisoning, if that was what it was, but typical of mass hysteria)

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