The Taliban may have repressed Afghanistan, but they did not add very much that was not already there. Afghanistan is not Persia, a place that Afghans looking for freedom and opportunity flee to today. Their edicts and brutality made Afghanistan worse, but the difference was most notable in Kabul, and far less so in more backward provinces. As the Taliban return, so does a surge of brutality. But it is a surge that adds to the existing brutality in the official and unofficial systems.