Friday, February 20, 2009

The Taliban

I have been critical of the US government's misguided views and policies regarding the Middle East and I have also been, maybe naively so, hopeful that President Obama will reach out diplomatically towards this region to bring about a new reconciliation that is so desperately needed in this post-9/11 world. Diplomacy, however, has its limits and if there is one group that is not misunderstood in the Middle East - it is the Taliban. Ideologically backwards and brutal in its methods, the Taliban is, without doubt, a dangerous threat to this world. I have been as critical as anyone else regarding former President Bush's inability to capture Osama Bin Laden during his term, but it would have been a mere symbolic victory of the 9/11 tragedy that still wouldn't absolve us of the frightening ambitions of the Taliban - our enemy in Afghanistan. The Taliban implements the strictest form of Sharia Law in the Muslim world which includes:

-complete ban of women's work outside the home
-ban on women appearing on the balconies of their apartments or houses
-ban on women's pictures appearing in newspapers and books, or hung on the walls of houses and shops
-music is banned for everyone, as well as movies, television, and videos
-anyone who converts from Islam to any other religion will be executed
-anyone carrying objectionable literature will be executed
-ban on women laughing loudly
-compulsory painting of all windows, so women cannot be seen from outside their homes
-complete ban of women's education

The Taliban has been slowly inching its way into Pakistan hoping to enforce this extreme brand of Islam into the country, going so far as to publicly behead those who do not adhere to their ways recently in the Swat District of Pakistan. Despite the fact that the Pakistani army has completely outnumbered the Taliban fighters in the battle over the Swat region, the Pakistani government this week declared that it was now willing to allow the Taliban to impose Islamic law there in exchange for a ceasefire. Does the Pakistani government honestly believe that the Taliban will stop there? This is the first step in a worse case scenario that becomes more and more plausible everyday - the Taliban overthrowing an already unstable Pakistani government that is armed with nuclear weapons.

I honestly believe that our war in Afghanistan is as complex a battle as Vietnam, where both enemy and civilian are hard to differentiate and victory seems unlikely. However, any notion of us leaving is now off the table with the recent events unfolding in Pakistan. Hopefully, foreign leaders will wake up and realize that the Taliban is a threat to the world and not just an isolated problem that the US should be left to deal with alone.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

That is horrible, I can't imagine how horrible it would be to live like that.

One of the things that kills me about the obama crazies is that many of them seemed to think that he would be elected and that the world would be all sunshine and rainbows, that all the troops would be immediately removed from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stupid people.

PopCultureJihad said...

I don't think its much of a secret that I am pretty ideologically opposed to the extreme fundamentalist religious element in this country...well, the Taliban makes them look like granola crunching hippies.
As far as Obama is concerned, he's going to have to get us out of Iraq. There's really no option. The troops in Afghanistan are spread too thin there. We really should have never gone to Iraq in the first place and I blame Democrats as much as I blame the Bush administration for that. If the Taliban get a hold of Pakistan, it will be a bad situation. I'm talking doom and gloom. And Obama never said that he was leaving Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, he said he was going to bolster the troop level there during the campaign. These clowns who are now upset with him over this are, as you said, stupid. Myself, I wasn't crazy about him sending more troops there because Afghanistan has never been conquered and they probably never will, but they can't be allowed to take over Pakistan.
I just woke up. I'm in a daze. I hate sleeping this late. Any plans this weekend?