October 26, 2007

Pakistan Swats Fazlullah, Who Skedaddles

Two days ago, Pakistan positioned its army around the Swat stronghold of Taliban activist Maulana Fazlullah. Fazlullah gained the attention of Pervez Musharraf by calling for a jihad against the Pakistani government, and apparently gave Fazlullah the opportunity to fight one. Fazlullah has apparently declined, and instead ran away from Swat:

Troops have surrounded and attacked a stronghold of a leading militant in the district of Swat in northern Pakistan, local police say.

The pro-Taleban militant, Maulana Fazlullah, said earlier this week that he was leaving the area. ...

He said on Wednesday that he was moving to another district, Kohistan.

"The security forces attacked a building where Maulana Fazlullah had been appearing in recent days to urge his followers to target the Pakistan army, police and other security forces," a police official in the main town of Swat, Mingora, said, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Profiles in Courage, jihadi-style. Fazlullah called for a war, then ran out when Musharraf gave it to him. He left behind all of his followers who now have to deal with the Pakistani Army while Fazlullah tries running the same con in Kohistan.

Perhaps some Pakistanis might learn a lesson from this experience. Throughout history, no one has considered it particularly courageous to target women and children for violence to score political or religious points. The leading jihadists have not just routinely called for these cowardly attacks on unarmed noncombatants, but have shown a curious lack of interest in sticking around for battles they demand. The Islamist heroes all have feet of clay, although in fairness, they may move so fast -- backwards -- that it may be hard to tell.

The Sunnis in Iraq learned this lesson the hard way. After allying themselves with the foreign terrorists, they endured the terrorists' harsh brutality and cowardly attacks for over two years, until finally throwing in their lot with the Americans. Afghans learned a similar lesson with the Taliban, and have turned against them in most places. The Pakistanis are the next to learn the lesson, and with teachers like Maulana Fazlullah, it won't take long to get educated.


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