This is what happens when you allow a fanatical Islamic organization to fester and grow:
Taliban militants have burnt down more than 200 schools in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley in the last two years and made all out efforts to prevent girls from receiving education, a media report here said on Sunday. The militants told the residents in the valley that if they were good Muslims they would stop sending their daughters to schools, ‘The Sunday Times’ said in a report from Mingora, the capital of Swat.
“Every evening (Taliban commander) Maulana Fazullah, nicknamed ‘Radio Mullah’, broadcast the names on the radio of girls who had stopped going to school – it would be, ‘Congratulations to Miss Kulsoon or Miss Shahnaz, who has quit school.’ Then he warned others if they continued with their education they would go to hell,” the paper said. The Taliban have torched over 200 of Swat’s 1,500 schools in the last two years, it said.~~~
…The newspaper also gave a graphic account of the havoc created by Taliban in Swat. A 22-year-old medical student from the valley had secretly catalogued the horrors of life in Swat under the Taliban.
The burning-down of schools, bodies hanging upside down, public lashings and decapitated heads with dollars stuffed in their nostrils and notes reading, ‘This is what happens to spies,’ were all captured on the student’s mobile phone at great personal risk, the report said. The paper noted that Fazullah in December announced a deadline of January 15 for all girls to stop attending school. The medical student’s account was corroborated by Ziauddin Yusufzai, who ran two schools in Swat and was spokesman for the private school association until he fled the bombing three weeks ago.
Abe Greenwald writes about the coming fall of the Pakistan government:
When Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December of 2007, we were appalled but not exactly shocked. In fact, a sort of unspoken consensus about the likelihood of her being taken down had been in the air since she announced her campaign for opposition leadership months earlier. Pakistan tends to deliver in this way.
The buzz now, and it’s palpable, is that the civilian government of Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari will fall to Taliban/al Qaeda forces. Counterinsurgency guru David Kilcullen predicts the collapse in “one to six months.”…~~~
There is very little to be “learned reliably” about Pakistan’s security or its nuclear arsenal. An American official who spoke with Zardari on his recent trip to the U.S. accused Pakistan’s president of “outright lies about security now established in every district in the country.” Things are radicalizing in areas outside of the high-profile Swat valley. There is new, unprecedented popular support for jihad throughout the country, no matter what various groups call themselves. This comes from one supporter: “You can’t use the name al-Qaeda anymore . . . If you say even one good thing about al-Qaeda, you will be arrested. So groups now give themselves different names-Jaish-so-and-so, Lashkar-this-and-that. But it’s all the same. They are all working toward what al-Qaeda is working toward: to destroy America.”
Sure, Pakistan is doing its best right now to clear these militants.
Pakistani troops on Saturday stormed into the main town in the Swat valley and fought street battles in a bid to wrest the capital of the northwest from Taliban control, the military said.
Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said parts of Mingora had already been cleared and that 17 militants, including an important commander, had been killed.
The ground assault on Mingora, a city with an estimated population of around 300,000 — most of whom have fled — marks the most crucial phase of the military’s blistering offensive against the Taliban in the scenic valley.
Although the military has bases inside Mingora, the town has been under effective Taliban control. As the administrative and business hub of the district, its capture is essential for the army to declare victory in Swat.
Pakistan says 15,000 troops in Swat are now fighting 1,500-2,000 “hardcore militants”, nearly a month after ordering a battle to eradicate fighters who advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the national capital.
“Today the most important phase of operation Rah-e-Rast, the clearance of Mingora, has commenced,” said Abbas.~~~
The military says 1,095 militants and 63 soldiers have died in the onslaught launched in the districts of Lower Dir on April 26, Buner on April 28 and Swat on May 8, but those tolls cannot be confirmed independently.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown voiced support Saturday for Pakistan’s “vital” drive against the Taliban, pledging more aid to support those displaced by the fighting.
But is it too little too late?
And what will Obama do when push comes to shove? You know it and I know it….he will cave. His excuse will be that he doesn’t want to create more anti-Americanism so he will do nothing. Oh, he will speak eloquently about this and that while saying nothing but in the end….when a nuclear armed Pakistan is on the verge of being taken over by Islamic fanatics….he will do nothing.
The lesson to follow here is the one learned in Iraq. The U.S. must let the Pakistanis know which is the winning side (if, indeed, that’s to be our side). That means overwhelming military force in the areas we know extremists now control. A total rollback of the organized terror groups could then be followed with the kind of largess only America can provide. And that largess should be tied to benchmarks gauging progress on corruption and reform in Islamabad. Or we would just continue praising the efforts of our ally.
Abe finished with a simple request. If that paragraph above seems extreme and over the top….come back in six months and see if it does still.