Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Deal with the Devil?

I first became aware of the Taliban in March 2001 with news of this reprehensible regime’s destruction of the two massive Buddhas carved into a mountain cliffside. The Buddhas were built over 1,500 years ago. The Taliban claimed the statues had to be destroyed in accordance with Islamic law. From then I learned about the Talibans’ ethnic massacres and persecution, and their brutal treatment of Afghan women. The West, for the most part, did nothing as this regime waged terror on their own people. On 9/11, of course, that all changed.

Earlier this month, President Obama proposed the notion of reaching out to “moderate” elements of the Afghan Taliban. There is a good article on MSNBC.com called “Should the U.S. Negotiate with the Taliban?” where six experts debate whether the strategy is a good idea.

This all begs the question: What is a “moderate” Talib? Is it someone who doesn’t wage jihad against the U.S. and NATO? I surely doubt it’s someone who is dedicated to the protection of the human rights of ethnic minorities and women. The Taliban’s ideology is the strictest interpretation of Sharia, i.e., Islamic law. In other words, a moderate Talib is an oxymoron. The Taliban still control certain regions of Afghanistan and the lives of the unfortunate women who live there remain a nightmare.

The U.S. and NATO’s goal is to end the insurgency in Afghanistan, but at what price? Peace in exchange for the battered faces of illiterate Afghan women hid underneath burqas? The day the U.S. and NATO make peace with the Taliban is a day people everywhere should mourn.

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