Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Taliban: Not just about Afghanistan anymore

While the Bush administration was distracted in Iraq and neglecting the fight for Afghanistan, the Taliban are spreading out of the so called 'Tribal Zone' of Pakistan into rest of Pakistan.

This mornings NYTs reports on the Taliban's spread into Swat Valley in the heart of Pakistan.
Every night around 8 o’clock, the terrified residents of Swat,...crowd around their radios. They know that failure to listen and learn might lead to a lashing — or a beheading.

Using a portable radio transmitter, a local Taliban leader, Shah Doran, on most nights outlines newly proscribed "un-Islamic" activities in Swat, like selling DVDs, watching cable television, singing and dancing, criticizing the Taliban, shaving beards and allowing girls to attend school. He also reveals names of people the Taliban have recently killed for violating their decrees — and those they plan to kill.

"They control everything through the radio," said one Swat resident, who declined to give his name for fear the Taliban might kill him. "Everyone waits for the broadcast."
For those keeping score at home, this is terrible news.

We are seriously loosing this war in which religious fundamentalist use the despair of the impoverished to turn them against the West with a hatred that is hard for most of us to understand. We've lost 8 years in the struggle to combat these terrorist incubators while incompetents called the shots and threw gasoline on the fire. To halt the expansion of the Taliban and those like them will take nothing less than a major international effort and more than just guns and bombs.

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