Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Suffer The Little Children: The New Armies

Watched a frightening documentary on PBS last night, "Children of The Taliban", showing the recent resurgence of the Taliban in the rural tribal provinces of Pakistan. The Pakistani army boasts of its recent military successes against them, but the the residual cost of lives to civilians has only served to further drive the people away.
In one case, an entire city was leveled "to save it from the Taliban" (sound familiar?) In 1968, a small group of American soldiers entered the village of My Lai and massacred between 300-500 unarmed Vietnamese. When the Lt. William Calley Jr. was questioned about why the incident had ocurred, he said he ordered the killings, "to save the village from the communism".
The result of these military offensives against the Taliban has been the creation of massive refugee tent cities where thousands of displaced civilians are forced to live in squalor. The Taliban then moves in, offers free schooling, free meals and sometimes even stipends to families, since state run schools have collapsed in the country. Girls are banned from attending schools, so the classes are filled with young male recruits (children), ripe for the picking. Many boast they will join the Taliban when they grow up and offer their bodies to the glory of martydom. In one scene, childrens voice are heard singing "if you look for me, you won't find me. My body will be in pieces...." These kinds of schools are sprouting up throughout these tribal regions and fears are they will soon enter the large urban areas, with their sprawling neighborhoods of poverty and organized crime.
As the frustrated U.S. military chases Taliban fighters from Afghanistan into safe havens in nearby Pakistan, stray bullets, bombs and rockets have also caused residual damage to Pakistani citizens, further causing hatred against Americans in these regions and more and more loyalty to the Taliban. Thus, new generations of Jihad are being created. Half of Pakistan's population is children.
Brothers and sisters, it seems we are in for a long haul here. What we teach our children, they will probably grow up to believe. Do we teach them to love or do we teach them to hate? This is a new kind of war with a worthy opponent.

1 comment:

#167 Dad said...

Interesting. I can't help considering where the extremists get their funding: Saudi Arabia. And Where does Saudi Arabia get the money? Us. Everytime we fill up our tanks we support the people that want to take us out. Crazy...