I talked with an old college acquaintance from Pakistan via chat yesterday.
He's all, "Kill ALL Taliban!"
I was all, "Ummmmmmm...how about not?"
He was all, "They're all terrorists who understand nothing but violence--they should all be eliminated!"
I brought up that nationally sanctioned armies often kill more civilians than those they're allegedly fighting against and asked if any of his relatives in Swat had been shot at by nationally sanctioned armies.
He said no, so I said I understood and respected how his relatives & he could come to feel the way he felt.
But later that morning, when I was gardening, I thought of something I wish I'd thought of while in conversation.
I wish I'd thought to say:
Be careful what you wish for.
If the Pakistani government listens to your wishes, and sanctions all people who associate themselves w/ the Taliban being killed, who is going to do the shooting? Whoever does that shooting--my friend--why do you believe that they would not kill all of your relatives who live in the same area because they're too cowardly to get close to armed Taliban members and choose to kill everyone within 10 kilometers of a cluster of armed Taliban members instead?
Do you believe very strongly that if your government listened to you and decided to go "kill all the Taliban," they would refrain from killing almost every young adult male in Swat--including your relatives--as the easiest way to do it?
Why do you believe they would be so careful, when recent history of "anti-terrorist" military action has pretty much always gone the way I've just described?