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The Taliban in Afghanistan has released video of a captive canine they claim is a U.S. military dog.
Sadly, I think this dog will suffer the same fate as those unlucky humans who’ve also wound up in Taliban dungeons, clutched by the gnarled hands of these religious fanatics. And the entire thing, as you all know, will probably end up on the Internet. Such is the pornographic nature of fascism (or, if you prefer, Islamofascism – a word I’m reluctant to use because it has nothing to do with the kind of Islam practiced by most Muslims I know). It’s not enough to murder someone (or something) in the most gruesome manner conceivable. The entire despicable act must be broadcast all over the world. Everyone must be made to see it.
Now this modern-day version of the Spanish Inquisition is determined to restore over Afghanistan and the good people of that country the same “stultifying reign of terror” (this term belongs to Christopher Hitchens) American and NATO forces toppled more than a decade ago (with considerable help, of course, from the brave souls of the Northern Alliance). This regime and these thugs might have disappeared into history but for the duplicitous behavior of our Pakistani allies, who shielded and sheltered Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters (including, as we now know, Osama bin Laden himself) fleeing into the northern hinterland of that country, all while accepting generous payments from the U.S. government to hunt down and bring justice to these terrorists.
But even if the Taliban stage a comeback after U.S. and NATO forces withdraw from Afghanistan, they won’t last long in power. The people of Afghanistan have already tasted freedom, and they won’t suffer long another brutal and sadistic regime like the Taliban. The “caravan of freedom,” as Fouad Ajami calls it, is on its way – the same caravan of freedom that set off from Tunisia. The one that started with Mohammad Bouazizi, the humble street vendor who would not be bullied by that petty tyrant of a policewoman who, day after day, week after week, would fine him and cart away his produce, despite his pleas for mercy. He was just trying to earn enough money to provide for his mother and sisters. The same one that travelled across North Africa, through Libya, to the land of the pharaohs where a defiant people made their last stand in Tahrir Square, against another petty tyrant, declaring: "ash-sha'ab yourid isqat an-nizam! (the people demand an end to the regime!)"
Everywhere, the spell was broken. The people were no longer afraid. Whether the “twin wars of Iraq and Afghanistan,” or the nascent democracies in those countries “midwifed by American forces” (these terms belong to Fouad Ajami) had anything to do with this, the final verdict belongs to history. But whatever the cause, on that fateful day when Mohammad Bouazizi set himself alight, he also lit the spark that set off a revolution. And this revolution has already claimed three tin-pot dictators, and, soon, inch'allah, it will also claim that “slobbering dauphin of Syria,” (this term belongs to Christopher Hitchens) the awkward-looking Bashar al-Asad (who sometimes listens to Beyonce on his iPod). The march of freedom is relentless.
It is true that religious fundamentalists are also amongst those fighting against al-Asad, but I believe that the Syrian people will not trade one dictatorship for another, and these fundamentalists will join the man they're fighting to depose on the trash heap of history. This totalitarian ideology of the terrorists, wherever it exists, as well as the totalitarian ideology it's attempting to replace – the more familiar kind practiced by men like al-Asad and Saddam Hussein – will go the way of Nazism, Fascism, Stalinism, and the other poisonous ideologies of the last century. In the end, when the dust has cleared, when all has been said and done, men like these Taliban fighters who captured that dog, that innocent creature, will themselves be running like scared dogs, and the only shouts of "Allahu Akbar" will be coming from the angry mob chasing them, weapons drawn, ready to dispatch them into the hereafter, where they might finally come face-to-face with Allah and be made to answer for all of the despicable things they've done in His name.
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