|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Taliban to U.S.: End drone strikes in Pakistan, or no more polio vaccines
I'm an American woman in my forties. Thinking of the Taliban conjures mental movies of the brutal repression of women and endless tribal conflict and since there's nothing I can do about any of this, I change the subject. If I can't change the subject, I leave the room. Mere mention of the Taliban turns some normally rational Americans into frothing idiots, so I wasn't going to read this article. CNN is like that friend you can't talk to anymore because you can see the corporate crazy in his eyes, but we did have that one weekend in Rochester, so -
Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur made the decision on the vaccination ban after consulting with other Taliban leaders, according to the statement.
Bahadur commands the faction of the Taliban based in North Waziristan, the district Washington believes is the main safe haven for the Haqqani network and other militant groups fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan.
It's not clear how Bahadur's decree will impact the polio eradication campaign in North Waziristan or in nearby districts, where he doesn't wield as much power.
It is widely believed that Bahadur is allied with the Haqqani network and provides shelter for the group in North Waziristan. The United States has pushed Pakistan to launch an offensive against the militant groups in North Waziristan, but Pakistani military officials have resisted, saying their troops are stretched too thin.
It's not like we're talking about real people or anything, right? What? We are talking about real people? That's terrible!
In April, U.S. President Barack Obama's chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan acknowledged the use of U.S. drones.
"Yes, in full accordance with the law - and in order to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States and to save American lives - the United States government conducts targeted strikes against specific al Qaeda terrorists, sometimes using remotely piloted aircraft, often referred to publicly as drones," Brennan said.
Everyone knows heavily armed toys are dropping bombs on bad guys. And some other guys. And their wedding guests. And neighbors who happened to be out for a walk at the time. And lots and lots of children. Everyone knows this. But but but: Taliban! Our good intentions! Grrrrrr!
"On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while on the other hand it kills hundreds with the help of its slave, Pakistan."
Pakistan remains one of only three countries that have yet to eradicate polio.
The country's polio campaign made headlines last year when a Pakistani doctor was linked to a CIA operation to verify Osama bin Laden's whereabouts with a door-to-door vaccination campaign in the town of Abbottabad, where the al Qaeda leader was hiding before he was killed.
U.S. officials have said the plan did not work, but aid groups and Pakistani health officials have said the CIA's alleged meddling with a vaccination campaign undermined Pakistan's efforts to eradicate polio.
Bin Laden's dead. I don't know why we're still talking about him. He's so 2011. And it's hard to be scared of the CIA after Bob Novak made us feel so sorry for CIA agents we all took them a casserole. Did you get your correct Pyrex back? Mine has Liz Cheney etched in the bottom with battery acid, which I guess was just lying around at her house. Anyway, this whole Pakistan escapade doesn't make any sense and no one knows why heavily armed toys are flying around anyway because when you go all I give up, what's with the bombs? many normally rational people get wild-eyed and extra frothy and can't believe you're not shitting your pants over imaginary terrorism. There is no talking to these people. Also: they smell.
A Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan has announced a ban on polio vaccines for children as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, according to a statement by the Taliban.
"Polio drops will be banned in North Waziristan until the drones strikes are stopped," said the statement, released Saturday.
"Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio."
Let's tally up the score, shall we? The American populace needs new pants, the Taliban sounds rational, bombs are falling on people you can call on your mobile if you have the right phone plan, the survivors are losing their minds, American soldiers are killing themselves at an unbelievable rate, the military is chewing up our federal budget and polio - of all things - wins.
Did I mention the Taliban sounds rational?
Crossposted at Poor Impulse Control.