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Dec-28-2006 23:26printcomments

Intervention From Pakistan Paramount in Reigning in Terrorism in Afghanistan

Mindless tactics of Taliban are reminiscent of the acts of other far flung religious fanatics that loom much closer to home.

Afghanistan photos by Tim King
ANA at Firebase California in the Pesh Valley near the Pakistan border
Photo by: Tim King

(GARDEZ, Afghanistan) - The news that Pakistan is stepping up to the plate in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan is a mark of progress in the effort to bring peace to this war ravaged country.

If Pakistan follows through with this recent pledge, it will also mean a great deal in terms of safety for Americans and other Coalition forces presently stationed here.

I was just on the Pakistan border last week and tension and frustration remain high among Americans troops and members of the Afghan National Army, not to mention the civilians who bear the brunt of the problems generated by the bloodthirsty religious fanatics called the Taliban.

These enemy combatants shoot rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at American and Afghan forces in the Pesh Valley and they rarely go a day without striking.

ANA soldier at Firebase California

This is the only one place in Afghanistan where border attacks are a common reality.

The Taliban does not show themselves according to American soldiers that I spoke to, instead they attack and then make hasty retreats back across the border into Pakistan.

It is important to remember that the Taliban do not originate from Afghanistan; they are a problem that has primarily come from Pakistan, so it is fitting that the Pakistani foreign minister, Riaz Mohammed Khan, announced this week that they will plant minefields and construct fences along the rugged border that divides the two countries.

In all seriousness, it is something that Pakistan will have to invest largely in to bring about a change, and minefields plague Afghanistan to the point that it can be nerve-racking for everyone here, including myself, because accurate records of their locations are not exactly up to date and the mines go on killing long after conflicts end.

But these are the choices Khan has made and the decision is being heralded by people in Afghanistan- people who want something called peace, a condition the Taliban seem to have little or no interest in.

There is something particularly disturbing about a group that is willing to ravage others that they share a distinct culture with, though many here say the Taliban are not Muslims at all.

The best comparison in the United States would be the lack of compassion in those who consider themselves Christian, but seem to have never read the part of Christ's teachings that instruct people not to judge others.

The first group that comes to mind would be the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas. They picket and protest the funerals of veterans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan because they believe that the United States condones homosexuality.

I know that sounds twisted, and it makes no sense, but families of fallen heroes are hassled and emotionally tortured by these fanatics as they lay their loved ones to rest and regardless of how ridiculous their point seems, they claim that they are working on behalf of God.

For more information on this bizarre group, see Peaceful Defenders Louder Than Unwelcome Hate Group (VIDEO) at: Peaceful Defenders Louder Than Unwelcome Hate Group (VIDEO)

American forces near the Pakistan border

I know I am going out on a limb with this comparison, but it is important to note that we have our own terrorists at work in the United States and their presence reminds members of the military of the Taliban as a group that is willing to savage its own people in the name of religion.

We can't legislate against freedom of speech but many say it is sickening how far people are willing to take their pointless actions when, in reality, they have nothing to gain.

Tim King near the Pakistan border

We may be stuck with the hatemongers of the Westboro Baptist Church, but in the case of the Taliban, we are dealing with an enemy that can indeed be silenced with the right amount of political cooperation, fortitude and determination.

They not only strike out at anything resembling a Western style government, but they are primarily an enemy of Afghan women and girls and all those willing to try to bring this country into the 21st Century by educating them.

The style of the Taliban harkens back to the days of the Third Reich when a totalitarian government tried to eradicate an entire group of people.

Most Afghans say they are tired of it and they seem to have grown past the stage of just being weary. They desire to take their country back. Their national heroes are the Mujadeen, the force that ousted the Soviets and stand against the Taliban. Their spirit is part of the new Afghan Army and one thing is certain; the Taliban fear them.

The people of Afghanistan will now stand by to see if Pakistan owns up to its pledge to end the access the Taliban take advantage of, and since they are a trusting nation, it seems fair to hope that the promise from Pakistan is a good of sign for a positive future for all.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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osotan December 30, 2006 3:24 am (Pacific time)

"insolence" has just been added King and I agree with sp4 adaptation,xlent!

Tim King December 30, 2006 1:10 am (Pacific time)

See OSOTAN, somebody thinks I qualify for the Army's version of corporal's stripes. At least I went from article 15's to news articles, has to be something good about that. My office hours at least now have a door with my name on it. The Army is cool by the way, you can call anybody E-5 and above "sergeant" and they don't lose their minds, there is something very human about that. Semper Fi!

Anonymous December 30, 2006 12:38 am (Pacific time)

Pvt King? come on now, he at least qualifies for the shield of shame (spc4). Regardless can tell Mr Tim has transformed. Appears to be in his 'Zone'. Maybe its a Marine thing? Be safe and drive on..

osotan December 29, 2006 4:58 pm (Pacific time)

7.62?., Handy plate? How about swabbin', the heads at Charelston Naval Brig?.,between push ups.,summer class "A" Khakies in January!!.,transferred to Portsmouth naval brig(red line!) in Aug.,class "A" winter greens.,augmented by squat thrusts?., Consider these options also., Pvt!

Osotan December 29, 2006 4:40 pm (Pacific time)

How long do you intend on remaning a Pvt.?

Pvt. King December 29, 2006 10:13 am (Pacific time)

Yes sir, Army issued at that. It does have a handy plate inside that is supposed to stop a 7.62 though, that's assuming they aim for the right part. At least you can't bust a guy below private!

Osotan December 29, 2006 1:11 am (Pacific time)

Pvt. King, is that a flak jacket your waring? one D-motion not enuff?

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.