I feel transformed after watching CNN’s “Behind the Veil” last night. I have spent words trying to point out that the U.S. is not blameless, and should re-evaluate its role. While that may still be true, it is also the case that nothing the U.S. has ever done can even remotely be compared to the incredible, seemingly bottomless evil of the Taliban. I’m surprised to hear myself say this, but the Taliban must be eliminated. That’s all there is to it. They simply cannot be allowed to continue their presence on the face of this earth. I can’t even put into words how profoundly disturbing that documentary was. Shot covertly by a female Afghani reporter working under cover, re-assembled into a documentary overseas from smuggled tapes. The world needs to see this documentary to understand. I complain about propaganda, but this documentary is not propaganda. It is the real thing, from the front lines of true and bottomless suffering.
Carpet bombing is not going to work. Ground forces are going to be lost in droves, if history is any lesson. But there is this rising meme floating around: “Bomb ’em with butter.” In other words, fight this war culturally. Give strength to Afghanis to resist against the Taliban, and to align themselves with the Northern Alliance. Send in food, medicine, shelter. Build beautiful mosques for them to pray in. Restore their right to listen to music (that’s right, the Taliban made music illegal), to watch movies (ditto), to read newspapers (ditto again). Protect their 12 year old girls from rape by Taliban soldiers. Give them information, a full belly, a good night’s sleep. Give them a taste of what life could be. Fight this war with culture and solidarity. Create an uprising so large that the Taliban will be squished into irrelevance. Then gather up what’s left of them and throw them into a pit with hungry lions.
It sounds almost strange, but I actually think we’re going to end up doing something like this. It may be the only way.
Please, please watch this documentary. It’s airing again tonight on CNN.