Friday, February 20, 2009
Pakistan in Peril
Most Americans probably have not paid much attention to recent news from the Middle East area. Most could probably care less, but should. The two worst terrorist groups are the Taliban (some consider them even more extreme in their Islam beliefs) and Al-Qaeda. It seems only America and Barack Obama is fighting the war. Our European "friends" are only providing verbal support instead of military support, yet, already, the Germans and French are sending their ministers to Iraq to secure lucrative contracts since the US has now "secured" the country, without any help from either!
Not mentioned is that while both terrorist groups are on different strategies and goals, they are "tolerating" one another in the secure areas of remote Pakistan, where they thrive and the Pakistani Army has been unable to stand up to them. Why is this a problem to a nation thousands of miles away such as us?
Pakistan has over 100 nuclear weapons and rockets that can deliever them.
After one year of fighting and 12,000 Pakistani troops with tanks etc., the Pakistani army managed to only clear a small part of the Swat Valley and was unable to break the Taliban's hold on it. This is not a good omen for the Pakistani Army that has modern weapons. The Swat Valley, in northwest Pakistan's province Malakand, prior to the Taliban was a honeymoon mecca 100 miles from Islamabad, a renowned local resort area. The idyllic valley has gone really bad, its image distorted beyond recognition. Pakistan’s most popular tourist destination is now haunted by death and fear; few officials now dare to go and serve there. Up to a third of the valley's 1.5 million people have fled and the scenic area is now believed to be mostly under militant control. Some 2,000 militants are believed to operate in the valley, and yet, the Pakistani army and airforce refuse to wield their power to save their country! Amazing!
It seems that in 59 villages, the militants set up a "parallel government" with Islamic courts using sharia law. The region was largely under effective militant control as of January 2009 despite the presence of 20,000 Pakistani troops. Taliban enforcement of a complete ban on female education in the Swat district. Some 400 private schools enrolling 40,000 girls have been shut down.
The Taliban's strategy is to operate on whatever front is the most successful. Both the Afghanistan and Pakistan fronts are successful. It is far easier for them to operate on the fringe of Afghanistan and now that they have secured their onw province inside Pakistan because of this Accord, it is opening the door for much more infiltration of harsh islam law into Pakistan's secular government. Al-Qaeda's strategy seems to more more "gobal", Pakistan provides a free base to operate from, but their goals may not be the same as Taliban's. There is a chance that they have indeed joined forces, which remain separate, yet with the same goals. This too, is not a good mix for the West. Pakistan is not strong. It is Islam and Secular. It is not like Turkey, where the secular has a strong control over the system. Pakistan is corrupt and divided. It talk's the talk to fight terrorism, yet does not do the walk. This is to continue to receive the millions of aid from the US. And yet, US troops are forbidden to enter and take the terrorists out.
History shows that appeasing the enemy fails. France and Britain appeased Hitler by looking the other way as Hitler invaded and seized Poland, Austria, Czechslovakia. They tried other ways to appear Hitler, who was pleasant and smile and accepted, yet continued on with his ultimate plan. This is what is now happening in Pakistan.
Pakistan, realizing that they do not have the will to crush them have now signed an Accord allowing the Taliban to control a huge province and impose strict Islam practices not done anywhere else in the country. This is appeasement in hopes it "satisfies" the Taliban's and Al-Qaeda's hunger. There may be a pause, but it will not stop with this. It will continue until yet another and another province falls. Finally, the secular government will fail and is taken over by the extremists.
And what do you think will happen to the 100 nukes they have? Fire at India? Fire at Aghanistan? Fire at Iraq? Provide material to the Hamas in the Gaza? or Iran? and then Iran can fire at Israel?
This is the danger for everyone. It is not pie-in-the sky stuff. If a nuke goes off anywhere, the world will be changed forever again. It might start a regional nuclear exchange, yes, India has nukes also.
Even though Pakistan's President Zardari admits that the Taliban is trying to take over the country and secular Pakistan is in danger for its survival, he tries to appease! Many in Pakistan consider a "surrender" because the country is under two laws and this will eventually tear it apart. Disintegrate.
The handwriting is on the wall. The West should care and pay attention becasue our world will be impacted.