Where children should be gathering to play and learn, only the blood of at least 132 pupils congeal together as one. The massacre happened at an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, and the dead include nine members of staff. The Pakistan Taliban (TTP) claim their six gunmen while going from classroom to classroom, only aimed at older looking children. As if that would make us think they were not complete and utter murderous bastards. They then for good measure claimed it was revenge for the death of their loved ones. Like more children dying was the answer.
An eye for an eye making the whole world blind, except blind rage is exactly why the Taliban have been the enemy of humanity. You cannot reason or bargain with a group that will try to assassinate a school girl for supporting secularism, wanting an end to theology imposed on citizens. That schoolgirl Malala a few days ago collected her Nobel Peace Prize for her message of education and freedom for all children. The TTP have provided their answer to her hopes of one day returning to the land of her birth. She and her message are not welcome while the fundamentalists can kill anyone they desire in Pakistan.
I wish all of humanity could agree that children were not to be targeted by violence, and not acceptable casualties of collateral damage. These have never been the times we live in. While others are bent on using violence to achieve their ends in the world, the option to allow them to get on with it is impossible. Our media capacity to see and hear the suffering of others has taken us even further from our military capacity to end the carnage one group inflicts on another. Yet blood calls for blood, and will be avenged. The cycle goes on, with the fundamentalists resolve undiminished.
There is no compromise that would be moral, nor is it possible to countenance peace, with the Pakistan Taliban. Their absolute belief in their cause must be met with an absolute determination by the world to end their capacity to harm others with their clerical fascism. We need more than bombs to break this cycle.
Yet in giving our support to Pakistan, we have weakened our claim to stand for the values we uphold. The Senate torture report, unaccountable military use of drones, failure to tackle Assad in Syria and prevent the rise of ISIS there and in Iraq. Let alone our support for dictatorship in the world. These weigh heavy on the heart of any liberal humanitarian interventionist. The moral high ground is not as tall as we would like, but to compare it the TTP would be absurd. Let alone an outrage.
Maybe we are all fallen children of God, but there are demons that roam the land with no doubt, no mercy and no limit to what they will inflict. Even fallen angels must be prepared to grasp the sword to defend the world against the darkness that would spread across the land. Pacifism is not the answer when gunmen arrive at a school.
Now is not the time to doubt our capacity to do good in the world, nor to understand and embrace those that would do evil. Now is the time to fight for the children of the world. This war will be without end, till the blood of those prepared to put kids in the crosshairs runs no more.
In short, we may never know peace. At the very least, neither should the TTP while they still exist.
Photo from this article here that gives a little bit more background to the TTP.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog