The news today that a rampaging mob of Afghans murdered at least 12 UN workers brings us to a point where we have to decide, once and for all, our course in Afghanistan.
The mob was deliberately stirred up after Terry Jones – that Florida pastor whom, you might remember, threatened to burn a Koran last 9/11 – burned a Koran on March 20th. That the mob rioted 12 days after the incident shows that people choose to use the Koran burning as an excuse for violence…this was not a spontaneous event. It was deliberate, calculated and cold-blooded murder…and likely done so that the mullahs who fired up the crowd could gain some aspect of wealth or power for themselves in Afghanistan. This cruel act of barbarism indicates a level of wickedness among some in Afghanistan which can only be described as demonic.
And, so, what are we to do?
First and foremost, we can’t fight for an Afghanistan which either allows such barbarism, or which proves itself incapable of stopping it. Either the Afghan government will have to at least attempt to arrest, try and execute the mullahs who started this, or we will have to disinterest ourselves in the fate of the Afghan government. If the Afghan government does show itself at least willing to try to suppress these mullahs, then much can still be done with it. Supposing the Afghan government does act, then we can work out plans to help…and to take the burden of killing these barbarians if the Afghan government proves incapable of doing it.
If, however, the Afghan government cannot or will not even try, then it is time for us to leave. Not immediately. First, the people in Afghanistan who did this will have to be taught a lesson – an exemplary application of swift, hard justice. As we will be leaving – and leaving the Afghan government to its fate – we can dispense with the absurd rules of engagement and simply go after and kill as many Taliban, al Qaeda and associated groups and people as possible. Hunt down and destroy as much of them as possible – and take care to let the Afghans know that if there is ever any terrorist attack against the United States or its allies and interests fostered from Afghan territory, we will be back…and we will come back bringing a very hard justice.
The one thing we can’t afford to do is wring our hands and not do anything – we cannot allow our troops to fight for a society which abets the brutal murder of people trying to help for the asinine reason that a Koran was burned thousands of miles away by a person no Afghan is every likely to meet. It is now time for the Afghan government to show that it is on the side of civilization – on the side of basic, human decency. If it is, then we can continue to aid it…if not, then we have no more business being there other than to ensure that Afghans know the wages, at least, of killing Americans.