Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Progress against the Taliban?

A recent article in the BBC news by Alastair Leithead gives encouragement that progress is being made among the Taliban. It comes just as the news of the murder of the second Korean Christian volunteer, from among the original 23 who were captured. It is hard to believe that the Taliban, any of them, could think that they attract respect by anyone through the kidnapping of folks so obviously intent on service to the Afghanistan peoples whom the Taliban claim to represent. Nor can we believe that the murder of such prisoners by the Taliban can accomplish anything but the general opprobrium of the world.

We can only hope that Leithead’s analysis is right. We have become inured to the misrepresentations of the American administration; if a BBC analyst who has been looking closely can give us fair and unadorned positive news about the situation we may have reason to hope for things to turn around in Afghanistan.

In the mean time the news from Pakistan is far from encouraging. But we can hope that the clashes of recent days will have exposed to the Pakistani administration how risky it has been to play with fire – producing and countenancing madrassas that teach students to prepare for holy war in Kashmir (against Indians) and in Afghanistan (against Americans) while appearing to act responsibly on the international scene in George W. Bush’s “war on terror.”

Click on the title for Leithead's article

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