The editorial comment on Afghanistan quotes a recent United Nations Commission report, then proceeds to characterize listed atrocities as "deliberate Soviet strategy." The Times would do well to question this report. This second annual report under the direction of the Austrian, Felix Ercora, does not mention that Ercora, himself a former Nazi official, was never in Afghanistan and accumulated his material from refugees in Pakistan.
If it were not for our own solid backing of contra atrocities in Nicaragua, the Afghan stories would be even more contemptible. An accurate assessment of recent Soviet history tells us that torture, crippling of children, toy bombs, and looting are not deliberate Soviet strategies. The Soviets have denied these charges and, in the interest of truth and world peace, they must be verified.
The Soviets and the Afghan government have no need to destroy that country and cripple its people. In China and the Soviet Union children are an exalted part of the human family. It does sound unbelievable that the Soviets would allow this in Afghanistan.