Fourteen year old Malala Yousufzai lies in a Pakistani military hospital, critically injured after being shot in the head and neck by the Taliban. The Taliban admits shooting her, and vows that if she survives this time, the next time she won’t.
What is this young girl guilty of? She wants to go to school and believes in education for the women of her country. Malala gained international notoriety at age eleven, after writing for a BBC-sponsored blog about the Taliban’s atrocities in the Swat Valley of northwest Pakistan where she and her family reside. In the face of threats to her life, she’s continued to give interviews, hidden books, and faced down the Taliban. Until now.
The shooting of this young girl has ignited outrage in Pakistan, and as her condition remains critical, Pakistani authorities have offered $100,000 for information leading to the capture of her shooters. The Pakistani military has been fighting the Taliban in the Peshawar province since 2007.
Backtrack to December 19, 2011, where Joe Biden in rare form, delivers the following statement in a Newsweek interview:
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests.
Really Joe? You don’t think the medieval, stone-age Taliban, an affront to all humanity, is our enemy? The push-back from this quote was the usual “taken out of context,” but the damage lies not in the quote itself, but in how the US has handled its entire Middle East policy. While Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton, and Obama bloviate over utopian premises, the Middle East burns, people die, and American strength grows stagnant.
Malala Yousafzai represents the strength and courage that people somehow find within themselves, to stand up and fight back against repression and terror. A strong America should be there to help, if not with weaponry, then certainly with words of encouragement and hope.
Paul Ryan, you and Mitt Romney will have your hands full come November 7, and more than America is counting on you.