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What's A Little Flogging Among Radical Islamist Friends?

You've probably heard about that disgusting public whipping of a 17-year-old girl by the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat valley last week. In some ways the visceral impact of the video could have an upside by producing a domestic and international backlash against the Islamic radicals. Pakistan's president and prime minister, for instance, have ordered an investigation, and now the recently reinstated chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry has given the government 15 days to produce a public report.

But the Weekly Standard's Bill Roggio says the Pakistani opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, who is close to the Islamists, has been conspicuously silent.

President Zardari may not inspire much confidence, but it's pretty hard to root for Sharif. Good times.

Update: Commenter noga1 links to a story featuring a Taliban leader's claim that the flogging is all just a Jewish conspiracy. Of course! How did I miss that?

--Michael Crowley