With the events in Pakistan, I thought that I should re-post an article that I wrote last summer.
This post was dated 7/15/08.
The Chicago Tribune dated 7/14/08, section 1, page 8 has an article titled "Jihadist groups bond on battle over Afghanistan." The article details how Pakistan is becoming a major base from which our enemy is attacking our units in Afghanistan. After the elections in Pakistan during February of this year, and the deals that the Pakistani government struck with the Tailban shortly afterward, this was not unexpected. I found two interesting concepts within this article that I wanted to discuss.
Paragraph 6 begins with the sentence "Despite growing pressure on Pakistan to quell Islamic militancy, jihadist groups within its borders are in fact increasing their cooperation to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan". I am not the best-informed source on this, but I am unaware of much, if any pressure being placed upon the Pakistani government. I suppose this pressure may be political. Maybe this is referring to the window dressing news coming out of Pakistan about cracking down upon the Tailban for the past month or so. In any case, it is obvious that the pressure is not working. The elected government of Pakistan is more for the Tailban than they are for us. Their actions with making treaties with the Tailban (Hence treating the Taliban like a government) speaks much more loudly than what it is saying about cracking down upon the enemy ideology. They are just being more covert about it.
The very last sentence in the article is "Today the Taliban not only settles disputes in its consolidated domain, but it also levies taxes, smuggles drugs and imposes its own brand of justice, complete with courts and prisons." This sentence makes the Islamic legal system sound like some type of outlaw setup. Certain aspects of what has been set up are not commonplace in the Muslim world. (Although they have some support throughout) However, most of what has been set up is a basic version of Islamic jurisprudence that has been accepted for something like 1400 years. This misunderstanding of the Islamic legal system is a major problem in our fighting the war against Islamic terrorism. Either the author of this article does not understand it, or the article was watered down deliberately. Not understanding something can be dealt with if the person wants to keep an open mind. If it was deliberate, then we have a much more serious problem at home than I thought.
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I find Pakistan a far more serious threat than Iran. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons and the delivery systems for them. A substantial percentage of the population is siding with the ideology of our enemy. Now that Pakistan has somewhat of a representative government, it makes sense that the new government would be moving in that direction and that the U.S. will accomplish very little with political pressure. In fact, that very pressure just may ‘tilt’ the Pakistani government further away from working with us.
Many in the West seem to think that the terrorist element within Pakistan is a very small minority, as is the belief that terrorist ideology is a very small minority throughout the Islamic world. The current U.S. administration believes this to be the case. This view is dangerously incorrect and I believe that we will begin to see the tide of the war turn against us within the next year or two. Pakistan is a good indicator that we need to keep an eye on.