Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Parvez Kayani announced last week that the Pakistani military would no longer allow foreign forces to operate on Pakistani soil. On Thursday, another high ranking Pakistani official, Major-General Athar Abbas confirmed the order, and said the army had been ordered to retaliate against foreign operations. If the Bush Administration was unclear on the sincerity of this position prior to today, it is no doubt clarified as Pakistani troops opened fire on the invading helicopters, forcing them to retreat into Afghanistan.
Both the Pakistani government and U.S. military spokespeople dispute the story, according to Reuters, but there’s a catch:
The U.S. and Pakistani military both denied that account, but Angor Adda villagers and officials supported it.
Following the U.S.’s declarations that “the gloves have come off,” these denials just are not credible.
The U.S. has been warned by experts that giving the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban an excuse to unite would be a drastically bad strategic move, but here we go anyway. This could be a turning point, and not in a good way, for the war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are all part of a volatile regional domino trail. Instability in one can surge into all three.
The U.S. strategy to “rid the world of evil” is fantastically counterproductive, especially in Afghanistan. Right now, we are selling massive amounts of military hardware to the Afghan government and training their soldiers in the art of war (how did that work out for us last time? I seem to remember us also training mujahadeen in the art of flying remote controlled planes wired with explosives into Russian barracks…sound familiar?). Both presidential candidates plan to flood the region with troops, which they’ve been warned against by people who know better. Soaking the region with violent capabilities will not reduce violence.
Christ warned that those who take up the sword will perish by it. The U.S. government is intent on ignoring Him in its crusade to save the world. In so doing, they play right into al-Qaida’s hands, not to mention seed the region with more animosities, more suffering and more faultlines for violent exchanges.
Jesus offered another way to counter evil in the world. Christians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, no matter how they got there, should lay down their weapons and take up their cross.