...Mullah Muhammad Omar issued a lengthy directive late last spring outlining a new code of conduct for the Taliban. The dictates include bans on suicide bombings against civilians, burning down schools, or cutting off ears, lips and tongues.
Fingers are still on the table (well, until they're not).
Other key changes to Taliban image-management include an attempt to create distance from Al Qaeda (who are, admittedly, pretty passe), and to recast themselves as a local liberation movement, like the Black Panthers or the Cosby Kids. Also, like much of the print industry, for a long time the Taliban denounced the Internet as "un-Islamic." Now, however, they're all about the pageviews, and are thinking about hiring Jeff Jarvis.
Of course it doesn't hurt that America is sending robot planes into the countryside to bomb the shit out of everyone.