By now, it should be obvious to most people why terrorists staged their attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Clearly, this was not a case of a sovereign nation attacking its neighbor, even though the perpetrators were identified as Pakistanis. The purpose of the attack was to escalate tension along the border between Pakistan and India, which would result in Pakistan continuing to concentrate an enormous percentage of its army in that area. The desired strategic effect of this attack is that the northwest provinces of Pakistan have remained relatively unprotected from an inevitable infiltration by extreme Taliban elements from Afghanistan. As of today, the Taliban is ruling most of northern Pakistan, including the Swat Valley, as a de facto government thanks to a policy of appeasement by Pakistan’s incompetent civilian leadership.
The Taliban is really nothing more than a localized version of Al Qaeda. It spreads from village to village, killing anybody who resists and imposing strict Islamic law that breaks down the society to the form it would have had centuries ago. Women aren’t allowed to leave their homes without their husbands or fathers. Young girls may not go to school and must cover their entire body so that these pathetic killers won’t feel tempted by their feminine wiles. Schools are burned down. Teachers are murdered. Homes are taken over. Honor killings are not only acceptable, they’re encouraged. Men must grow beards of a certain length or risk severe punishment. And these are the least of the evils we see in Taliban infested regions.
At this point, it doesn’t really matter who is at fault for this situation. We need to get past the finger-point stage, and fast. We’re looking at a nuclearized country that is being over-run by criminally insane extremists. If you think Ahmadinejad is a problem, the Taliban makes him look like Thomas Jefferson. There is only one way to deal with this threat. You can’t negotiate with these people and expect them to honor their agreements. They have no honor. Only their mission. The black turban is the ultimate gang symbol. The Taliban has to be outlawed and eliminated. Each member has to be treated the same as a cancerous cell whose sole purpose is to spread death wherever he is allowed to exist. Any response that falls short of that will fail and only make the situation more dangerous.
What is required immediately is that the United States help broker a non-aggression pact between India and Pakistan that will immediately free up Pakistan’s military power so that it can move into its northwest provinces in force, with continued assistance from U.S. surveillance drones and special forces across the border in Afghanistan. The Taliban must not be allowed to simply sneak back into Afghanistan and regroup. India needs to understand that the Mumbai attack was not an attack by its neighboring country, but a terrorist attack designed to increase the tension with Pakistan. In fact, if Pakistan was no longer able to use India as an excuse for not dealing with the Taliban and could deploy its army accordingly, India would be much safer than it is today.
Some say violence never solves anything. That may be true. But there is too much at stake now to experiment with the validity of that concept. Whatever action is taken against them, the Taliban has brought its doom upon itself by terrorizing and murdering the innocent and powerless and threatening the peace of the world with its stated aspiration to set the clock back to the Dark Ages. There should be no equivocation here.