Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Malala Is Right, More Drone Strikes = More Terrorists

Today, I saw an interview on the show CBS This Morning with Malala Yousafzai, the girl who has been very outspoken in speaking out in favor of more education for Pakistani students, especially girls, since she survived a murder attempt by Taliban terrorists for simply wanting to go to school.

She is very brave, and in this interview she said that she actually told President Obama during an exclusive meeting with him that in the end drone strikes actually lead to more terrorism.

Drone strikes are somewhat effective in killing terrorist leaders, but they often end up killing civilians as well, creating more anger, and a thirst for vengeance that leads to more people joining the fight on the side of the Taliban and other groups who may not have joined before, and may not necessarily agree with their ideology.

What I found striking about this interview, when she was asked about the man who lead the attempt to kill her (he is now the head of operations for the Taliban in Pakistan), and if she was afraid of them she said "why shall I be afraid of someone who is afraid of me already". The Taliban are afraid of her. Why? Because religious fundamentalism, no matter the ideology needs ignorance to reign in order to keep people under control.

They don't want someone like her campaigning for more schools, more education, more opportunities for all (but especially girls and women, who are kept down more than everyone else in a culture like that). Fundamentalism needs ignorance to thrive, and it starts to really bleed out member when they are exposed to the outside world, and real education and information.

Look at abusive Christian fundamentalist groups here in the US, they're struggling. Technology and information has spread to the point that it's making it difficult to keep their members from seeing the outside world (especially the curious/frustrated young people.

Look at what is happening now, young people are leaving because they are frustrated by the hate, frustrated by the antipathy towards the outside, which they are exposed to more often now because of technology, and now with the popularity of the internet, they can see the facts about the propaganda they were taught, and about how fundamentalist groups are either condoning or covering up abuse within their ranks.

Trying to hold back this kind of information, short of extreme measures like cutting yourself off from modern life all together is becoming down right impossible, it's like trying to hold back the water in a dam after it has already broke.

OK, back to my original point, trying to fight the war against terrorists they was we have been doing it just isn't working, we may end up killing many of their leaders, but more rise to take their place (especially after civilians are killed in the process trying to go after them).

So why don't we strike it at it's foundation,(and improve the lives of millions of people in the process)? Fundamentalism needs ignorance to survive, so why not invest in bringing education to the people instead of dropping bombs? Transform cultures into cultures where people are more educated, have better access to basic necessities and to technology, spread information, spread knowledge, spread health instead of war.

It's time the US became a force for good in the world for a change.


  1. In the long run, education and infrastructure will bring greater stability than bombs, I agree.

    "Trying to hold back this kind of information, short of extreme measures like cutting yourself off from modern life all together is becoming down right impossible..."

    I worry that some Christian fundamentalists might try to do this with their children, with disastrous results.

    1. Desperation to keep outside influence out plus how common conspiracy theories, and "doomsday prepper" attitudes are among some circles in that world could lead some to become hermits, especially in the Appalachians, western states and Alaska, where there are many remote areas far from anyone else to hide.

  2. U.S. as "force for good"---Its a bit late for thinking about that now?---China has been more active than the U.S. in that---investing in other countries and using "soft-power"---meanwhile, the U.S. is more interested in positioning its carriers and spy drones in strategic areas here in the East.....and in provoking China.......
    But--there is India, a nuclear power with a well disciplined military.....and one that could be seen as a (potential) neutral power.......

    I hope we Easterners have learned the lesson that wars, even proxy wars, can plummet whole nations into poverty....therefore, economic success depends on peace not war.........

    Drones---"Drone strikes are somewhat effective in killing terrorist leaders"---Yes, for example, if a small group of bank robbers took a large group of hostages and the U.S. decided that the best way to "solve" the situation was to blow up the whole bank---yes in that kind of way---it does kill "criminals" effectively! Perhaps the U.S. will use this brilliant strategy in its own country soon. Too bad they did not think of "droning" Boston to smithereens when they were trying to catch the terrorists....after all, the "collateral damage" of hundreds of innocent civilians in exchange for 2 bad terrorists would have been "justified" !!!!

    fundamentalism---I agree, If fundamentalism is equated to darkness and Knowledge is equated to light, then knowledge dispels fundamentalism just as light dispels darkness.
    However, perhaps fundamentalism is not simply about ignorance alone---there may be many factors, one of which could also be human predisposition---fundamentalism offers certainty and structure in a "reality" that is actually uncertain and fluid....and perhaps for some people, this is the only way they can function....?....


    1. love the bank robber analogy :)

    2. "U.S. as "force for good"---Its a bit late for thinking about that now?"

      Lmao, I know what you mean.....

      I hope the US doesn't get the idea to use drones domestically on terrorists or criminals, wasn't it Sen. Rand Paul who said that would actually be justified?

      What I wonder is what happened to our sense of responsibility to the civilian population in nations we have invaded? What comes to mind for me is the Marshall Plan during World War 2, to rebuild central and eastern Europe after all the destruction caused by the war. Why aren't people wanting to do that today in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

      Where did our sense of ethics and responsibility go to?

    3. Rand Paul the small government guy? LOL. Scratch a right-libertarian and there is almost always a fascist underneath.

    4. I knew I had seen a video of the news interview where he had said it, and indeed, he had. It was in response to the Boston Marathon bombing, where he said that he wouldn't mind them being used on someone who had just committed a robbery:

      “I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”


      There are some legitimate, consistent libertarians out there, he isn't one of them, though he isn't one of them. On the other hand, has he ever used the term libertarian to describe himself?

  3. With all the information available today, I can't see fundamentalism in any form lasting much longer.

    1. It will endure on for as long as religion exists, to some extent, in some form, it may adapt slightly with the changing times. For instance, most of Christian fundamentalism will probably figure out that attacking the gay community is doing them far more harm than good, and they'll probably switch to another target (since having an external enemy, real or imagined helps group cohesion).

      They may switch from going after the LGBT community for instance, and go after perhaps Muslims or polygamists/polyamorists (especially as the gay community has more success, they will probably be more willing to come out of hiding).

      Call me cynical, but fundamentalism will never die completely, but it can be possible to shrink it down to a far more manageable size, get rid of their power in culture and government, and hold them accountable socially and legally for the abuse among their ranks, force them to clean up their act somewhat.

  4. I agree education is the key, but unfortunately these Taliban idiots need to get taken out at the root. If a school gets built they will go in and raze it. Basically, the Pakistan government needs to stand up and get rid of the Taliban root in their country even if they need to get help from outside. Its not the answer most people want to hear, but I don’t see these fools backing down. They didn’t in Afghanistan and they wont now.

    1. There is a time and place for war, I'm not a pacifist, and some troops would be needed to keep the Taliban at bay, but imagine that difference that it would make if even just half of the money being spent on warfare was being spent on improving civilian infrastructure and education.

      It would make a massive impact on the population, and maybe more citizens would be inclined to join the army of their nation to help fight back.

    2. That I can agree with. I would even go so far as to say if all countries took only 10 % of their defence budget and put into education. The world would change for the better very quickly.


No spam, proselytizing, or personal attacks, such comments will never see the light of day around here.

Disagreeing with me is fine (I encourage it), but have some decency when writing your comment