Please stop by The Fourth Rail, Bill Roggio has a write up on the Taliban attempts to muzzle the press, and ban periodicals in North Waziristan. There’s also a wonderful tribute to America in the comments section well worth the reading.
This reminds me of Amadinejad stealing the Iranian’s satellite dishes. You can’t stop information, you can’t stop freedom. This is a signal that the Taliban’s grip is slipping if they have to resort to this. This is the Taliban in fear.
Gateway Pundit has the Skinny and details Here and Here.
Of course they are denying everything, when in reality they ought to be pulling credentials and firing the reporters who put in these false, inflammatory, and totally bogus reports.Â Iraqi’sÂ have probablyÂ DIED as outcome of the post-story violence,. The question to ask is: is it ok for the AP to toy with a nation’s future because it sells more papers here?
Even the laziest sod of a reporter knows to check credentials, knows to second source and fact check stories, what happened in all of these cases? Are they mostly under the same by-line?
In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation.
And pale beam’d the crescent, its splendor obscur’d
By the light of the star-spangl’d flag of our nation.
— Francis Scott Key
The tribes of Araby and the tribes of Persia have fought since times ancient. When Alexander conquered Egypt the Arabs flung open town gates and flogged the Persians out as he passed for the Persians were more hated than the new conquerers.
Today we see no change — Sunni and Shia are again at odds for ascendency in the Middle East, egged on by prideful despots. As one power rises the other will fall; both held fast in hatred and enthralled to tyranny.
Occasionally there are interlopers in their internecine wars, the Greeks, the Jews, The Romans, The Americans; but when it comes to precedence of place their pride feels its greatest sting when their ancient tribal enemy rises above them.
We are at such at time again — and in four countries the strife between these ancient enemies threatens to overthrow stability and four existing governments. The pattern of these struggles remains constant throughout history — the land always ruled by tyrants, opposed by rebellious mystics wrapping themselves in twisted religion who are abetted by the neighboring tribes driven by timeless emnity.
Centuries ago the west freed themselves from rulers tied to deity with the Magna Carta and many bloody that birthed modern liberty, the Reformation, and the Renaissance. In Islamic lands there’s been no reformation, no declaration of individual rights, no rendering unto Ceasar. Instead it’s the dictator, the monarch, the tyrant, the despot tied to Allah who still rules.
When rule is based on Allah’s will, and all are slaves to the state and Allah both, then government is weak, for it takes little to convince ignorant slaves that you know Allah’s will better perhaps than the current ruler. All the despotic kingdoms and dictatorships of the Middle East are like feathers upon the sand, awaiting the deathwind of the next religious fanatic.
In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see two parliamentary governments under attack by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their political arm, the MMA. The MMA, upset with passage of the Women’s protection bill, threatens to resign and disable the weak parliamentary government in Pakistan ruled by the party of Musharraf. Musharraf in turn recently escaped three attempts to assassinate him. Neighboring states aid the terrorists, Iran, India, and of course both Pakistan and Afghanistan agitate against each other.
In Lebanon we see fledgeling democracy being throttled by the political thugs of Hizb’Allah, who are also threatening to resign from parliamentary government and hold the citizens of Lebanon hostage. A head of state was assassinated, and Hamas is aided by neighboring states.
In Iraq we see the Sadrists threatening resignation, and holding the fledgling Iraqi democracy hostage, egged on by Al Qaeda. Many heads of state have been assassinated, and the Mahdi Armies are aided by neighboring states.
In Palestine we see Fatah and Hamas near civil war, with no real ruling authority. Thanks to the Israelis, the Hamas and FATAH factions don’t have to assassinate each other – a tip to the IDF gains them what they need. Hamas and FATAH are aided by neighboring states.
In each case above you glimpse the ancient emnity and you see tactics exactly the same. You see a political arm backed by a terrorist militia, aided and abetted by neighboring tyrants and madmen. Do you wonder that the tactics are the same, the timing the same, and the aim the same? You really shouldn’t.
By pointing to external enemies these tyrants survive, they externalize all problems and make others the reason for the dirt, dust, death, and despair in their lands. They point to America and Israel as the great satans; for there really are two enemies more ancient even than these and they side with one, while America and Israel side with the other.
Liberty must always oppose tyranny, freedom must always oppose slavery. And so you have it that America has fought at least three wars against these tyrants. The first was at the birth of our nation, and below you see the first famous song written by Francis Scott Key:
Please stop by Flopping Aces for an very thorough overview of how AP and other news agencies have been flummoxed by Al Qaeda or BaathistÂ agitprop agents posing as Iraqi Police.Â Those reports of chaosÂ and bedlam in Iraq are being greatlyÂ exagerated bothÂ by the agitprop agents, and our own lazy, stupid, drink-slutÂ hanging-in-the-green-zoneÂ press.
For a good rundown of the Peace Jirga among the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan and Afghanistan please stop by Crumbling Spires. This is a lead in to the Grand Jirga, or Jirga Loya that will include government and tribal leaders from both countries, and it looks to be a good start.
We should respect the willingness of tribal leaders to recognize this problem, and help them take it as their own, even though the Taliban is fighting back by killing and maiming those leaders when they can. The Pashtuns have pride and independence that is ancient, it precedes the coming of Islam to their land, and in many ways Pakistan is like the brawling frontier of the American West in the late 19th and early 20th century.
It’s dawning on many Islamic leaders that extremism and terrorism are their enemy as well as ours, and it’s heartening to see signs such as this.
Serving the faith
Abduction the oath
It lies in wait for the offering
Religion is old
For drawing the young
Purity withers and dies
Never return to the ones that provided
Children draining parents of will
I hold out my hand to a bloodless child
I’m taken by the one I was saving from death
By demons be driven
Beckon the call
InÂ Iraq the news has been disheartening of late, weÂ see civil strifeÂ but in reality it goes beyond that, in Iraq they are by demonsÂ driven. Over time the people will recognize this evil, as Osama Bin Laden has gone from being the scion of Allah to being theÂ scourge ofÂ Allah.
215 killed in coordinated car bombingsÂ has the classic earmark ofÂ Al Qaeda, the Sunni insurgent attack on the ministry was a pure grab at power; the institution attacked used to be run by Sunnis – again this attack was probably inspired and encouraged by Al Qaeda.
AQ is pretty deft at harnessing the sectarian, class, and race divisions within the Islamic world to create their havoc, they learned well from the Soviets, and I have no doubt that Zawahiri and Bin Laden have both read “The Prince”, “On War”, “The Art of War” and all of the other classic military and revolutionary texts and handbooks.
The reception to the WPB passing in Pakistan so far appears positive. No doubt the MMA will do their best to demonstrate and agitate over this, but so far their threatened resignations are not materializing. For an overview of Pakistani opinions on this, here is a good forum discussion.
Update II: I find it interesting that many of the arrests are happening in Tump, near the triangle between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It could be that the TalibanÂ are takingÂ a route through Tump because the mountain passes to the north and east are closed by snow and ice, or it could mean getting across the Pak/Afghan border is actually harder now.Â The other speculation: maybe they are headed to somewhere other than Afghanistan.
The decades old Maoist insurgency in Nepal has now come to an end, at least on paper. For almost aÂ yearÂ Royalists, Freedom Advocates, and the Maoists have been at loggerheads, but the agreement is now final, and calls for the Maoists and the royalists to cease hostilities and obey the arms accords previously agreed to.