Pakistan media has just reported that the Peal Continental 5-star hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan has been struck by a massive explosion. Shooting has also been reported in the area. Early reports said the explosion “completely destroyed” the hotel and nearby buildings, and that there were many deaths. Al Jazeera has reported that the Pearl Continental is freqently used by foreign media. This is shaping up to be a Mumbai-style attack designed to intimidate the media and discourage people from traveling to Pakistan (as if that was necessary at all), and further destabilize that fragile country.
The Taliban has now made it clear, because they are being pushed out of the Swat Valley, that they plan to conduct an insurgent-style war against Pakistan, using suicide bombers, IEDs and car bombs to kill as many people as possible. Their obvious goal is to destabilize that country even more in order to take the pressure off their power centers in Afghanistan.
It’s time for the civilized world to make a statement here, not just the United States. And it has to be a decidedly uncivilized statement. The kind that was given to Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire at the end of World War II. The Taliban needs to be eliminated from the face of the Earth. An international coalition needs to engage them in Afghanistan and Pakistan, going from village-to-village, hut-to-hut, and cave-to-cave in order to root them out and kill them. No Gitmo for these guys.
In the process, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden need to be swept up, put on board a helicopter, flown to an altitude of 10,000 feet over the nearest ocean, and pushed out. No martyrdom. No final words. No shrines. No news photographs that will only be used to inspire new recruits. Just a mysterious and unexplained disappearance.