Give the Taliban a hug

Yesterday, September 13, reports appeared in the press that the U.S. has approved the establishment of a Taliban representative office in Doha, Qatar.  On Sunday, September 11, the Taliban celebrated the ten year anniversary with an attack on a base in Southern Afghanistan that  left 77 NATO troop wounded. August  was a particularly bad month, with 80 coalition troops dead, 71 of them Americans.

Within hours the wisdom of this outreach to “bring the Taliban  in from the cold” as MSNBC put it this morning, was validated with a coordinated attack on NATO in downtown Kabul.  Wait, Ambassador Crocker now blames the Haqqani, a Pakistan based group affiliate with both the Taliban and Al Quaeda.  Same bunch that attacked a Kabul luxury hotel back in June.  Forgot about that one, did you?  Me too.

And as things were settling down, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a school bus near Peshawar.  The Taliban often go after schools,and school kids.  Their name means “students,” but they don’t much care for studying, unless the Koran is the subject.  As I write, the BBC is reporting a large car bombing in Iraq.  Huge one yesterday, too, 51dead as I recall.

Taliban, Haqqani, Al Qaeda, whatever, they all blow stuff up, and they don’t like us at all.  As to why this should be, the President, forign policy wonks, and academics  caught up in the embrace of Religion of Peace explainers and apologists, remain clueless.

Sometimes, I just can’t take it.  So, I wrote the President a letter.  Here it is:

“It was with both rage and despair that I read the press reports that your administration has approved Taliban representation, in Qatar.  This is the Taliban that tortured Afghanistan under the most brutal theocracy of any age, marked by wholesale slaughter, gender apartheid , and the obliteration of ancient cultural artifacts.  These are people who perform public executions, and impose hudud punishments: stoning, beheading, and amputation.  And the Taliban that just hours ago took responsibility for attacking a school bus in Pakistan.,

Taliban means students, students of the Koran and hadith.  They know these texts well.  It is clear that you do not, nor did  your predecessors for the decades that elements in the Islamic world have warred on us.

If you had studied Islam,  you would understand that it is inherently violent and has always been so.  Do you know why the name for the mountain range Hindu Kush means  “Killers of Hindus“?  Do you acknowledge the Arab slave trade that for centuries enslaved black Africans, and to some extent still does so?  Have you ever read the history of the North African Muslim abduction and enslavement of  a million or more innocents  over three centuries from Northern Europe?  And one can leave history and simply look at the daily news.

Instead, it is more important to you to, as you said in your Cairo speech, root out “Islamophobia” wherever you find it, without ever giving any thought to why so many are concerned, and even terrified of this ideology,

Madam Clinton, at your behest, works with the OIC  to end criticism of Islam.  Why should any religion be free from criticism?.  It is disappointing in the extreme that you show little, if any concern for the Muslim assaults on Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities that occur daily in many countries, yet are always ready to address the concerns of Muslims,  Your intelligence  advisor ludicrously called the Muslim Brotherhood largely secular when their goal has always been a sharia governed Caliphate.  I learned this more than thirty years ago.  The information was available in  the pubic library.

Mr. President, I too grew up in Indonesia some years before you, when Islam was just one strain in a gorgeous tapestry of cultures.  The Islam you and I knew then was not the Islam of the Koran, the hadith and the Sira.  Have you read these texts, or do you rely on advisors and “community leaders” to tell you what Islam is?

Your persistence in the same useless outreach efforts as  your predecessors is baffling.  This opening to the Taliban is the most egregious of a long series of such failed, useless, and ultimately dangerous efforts. Yesterday’s attack in Kabul should show anyone not yet convinced of the inevitable end of these diplomatic openings which only emphasize the weakness of our resolve.   Worse, it is an insult to our forces who already labor under ridiculous rules of engagement which place them in even more danger in the course  of pursuing a perilous mission.

Some believe your ultimate allegiance is to the ummah, not the nation.  I do not, but your view of Islam is remarkably uninformed, and can only be due to willful arrogance, or nostalgic sentimentality.  If it is the latter, I can be sympathetic to some extent.  My childhood in Indonesia led me to be favorably disposed to Islam, and later residence in Saudi Arabia, and even 9/11,did not dispel this impression.  When, however, I finally read the texts, and watched how their adherents acted, I came to know the truth.

You too, need to read and understand them, Mr. President.  They are not that complex, and you need not be a scholar or Arabic linguist, despite the obscurantist claims of many defenders of Islam. The  foremost translations are wholly consistent. They say what they mean, and Islamists mean what they say, and do what their texts tell them to.

If you do not make this effort, you will be judged wanting, if not by the electorate in 2012, then by history.”

I figured I could count on the President to understand the Arabic terms I used.  If I get pulled aside the next time I go to the States, I’ll know “rage” was a little strong.