Pashtunwali

I will admit that I hadn’t heard of the “Taliban” when the US used them against the USSR.  In the twelve years since the US invaded Afghanistan, I have gotten smarter.  And this familiarity has bred contempt.

The recently released “Lone Survivor” has reinforced the view that I simply cannot think of anything at all positive about the “Taliban.”  Zip, zero, ziltch.  But what struck me was the concept put into a new word at the end of the movie: “pashtunwali”.  The value of protecting those in need.  Such stark contrast to everything the “Taliban” stands for.  In honoring a practice far older than the “Taliban,” a village rose up to protect a foreigner from their own countrymen.  Make no mistake: the village suffered.  But they paid with their lives the old adage that the right time to do the right thing is right now.

Apparently, there has been an outcry from the ego-centric left about the “pro-war propaganda” of the movie.  I can’t imagine a more anti-war movie.  But, not surprisingly – in fact, quite to be expected – the left has entirely missed the point.

First and foremost, any military is simply a tool used by the government.  If you don’t like our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, look to the White House, not to the Pentagon.

Second, the percentage of those in this country with any military experience is ludicrously low.  Twelve years and the invasion and occupation of two countries, to say nothing of all the “skirmishes” that may, or may not make the front page, and less than one percent of our citizens have participated – in any way?  Never has so large a burden been borne by so few and ignored by so many.

I am immensely gratified and validated that such a movie could be made, and be so well received.  A story – one of thousands – of those who believe strongly enough in anything at all to pay for it with their lives.  You never see anyone from the left who is that committed to anything, not even their lattes.

The “Taliban” belongs in the same camp as Hitler, Stalin and Mao.  And the United States, simply because no one else has the moral courage, has become the world’s policeman.  If  you doubt that, look again into those big, beautiful brown eyes of that little boy at the end of “Lone Survivor.”

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