Thursday, November 30, 2006

Teach girls and die horribly

The Independent reports:

"The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.

Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni...."


Is it because this is a male teaching girls?
No, the article reports that Ms. Fatima Mushtaq has been threatened for not sending
girls home.


We need to be as fanatic about our values as the Islamists are about theirs.

It means making war on them in Afghanistan.

It means boycotting Pakistan, which supports the Taliban, and making war on it if necessary.

It means boycotting Eric Margolis, who is a Taliban apologist. He claims that the Taliban don't want girls in school to keep them from Communist influence, the Commies having infiltrated the ranks of the teachers.

It means ostracizing anyone who says "the Taliban are bad, but..."


Molnar said...

The Taliban are bad, but ...

How did they come to power in the first place? The short version is that they filled a void left by war.

What happens if you invade Pakistan? Well, let's see, Pakistan is ruled by a secular tyrant who has only limited control of the indigenous religious fundamentalists. Also, Pakistan has nukes. Not potential, theoretical nukes, but real ones, and they're pointed at India, and probably also Iran.

There are times when military force can be justified by human rights abuses, but there are other times when military force is very likely to make things even worse.

Arun said...

1. Pakistan is quite different from Afghanistan.

2. Religious fundamentalism is used by the so-called secular tyrant as a means of keeping the population under control.

3. The threat of unchecked religious fundamentalism is used by the so-called secular tyrant to keep the United States in line, even though Pakistan gives aid to the Taliban and though virtually every terrorist incident in the West traces back to Pakistan.

4. It is time to call the bluff.
a. Stop giving Pakistan aid, especially military aid.
b. Put economic sanctions on Pakistan, as on North Korea.

5. If it comes to war, the goal will be to divide Pakistan into independent Sindh, Baluchistan, NWFP and Pakjab. Sindh and Baluchistan pretty much want to be separate and out from under the thumb of Punjab anyway.

Molnar said...

1. Yes, Pakistan has five times the population. And nukes.

2. I very much doubt that the assassination attempts against Musharraf were faked. He's walking a fine line.

3. I don't wish to minimize the evil coming out of Pakistan, but I don't think they are in the same league as Saudi Arabia, if for no other reason than the quantity of money available.

4. Who's going to call the bluff? George W. Bush? You must be kidding.

5. If it comes to war, I very much doubt that there will be a lot left to divide.

If you really want to apply some pressure, why not make nice to Iran? They hate the Taliban as much as anyone. The old cold war strategy of playing off client states against one another may be morally repugnant, but sometimes it has some merit.

Arun said...

To your last point, ideology aside, the US and Iran have many interests in common. There is the sticking point of Israel/Palestine, though.

My opinion is that Israel really needs a settlement now, while US power relative to the rest of the world is virtually unchallenged, and needs the US to be seen as a honest broker in efforts at a settlement. Twenty years from now, a more powerful China, for instance, may be much less sympathetic to Israel.

If an end can be found to that conflict, and US and Iran can deal, that would be good for the world.

Incidentally, India has close ties with Iran and sees Iran as its route to Afghanistan and to Central Asia.

Regarding the other points:

-- The Pakistani army as an institution has a very healthy regard for its own neck, suicide is not part of its strategy and the time to tackle Pakistan is while it is in control.

-- One should see the assassination attempts against Musharraf as being infighting in the ISI/military rather than religious fundamentalists versus secular army chief.