I've been following this story and the lack of progress on a resolution and reserving my thoughts ever with the hope that this will be settled justly. I tend to be a realist, yet I can't help but hold out hope for the Korean hostages being held by the Taliban. Eighteen of the hostages are women, and here's today's latest news on the story.
Now, I recognize that we're dealing with fascists who are using "religion" to advance their domination. I haven't done any extensive study of Islam, so I can't say for sure that Islam is even a valid religion. Perhaps, as many say, it is a peaceful faith merely hijacked by extremists; yet, conspicuous in its absence is the outcry from the (theoretical) "moderates" not to mention any attempt at wresting back control of their religion, as it were. In fairness, perhaps that is what Karzai and others are doing.
Did you take a look at the link provided? The thing that nobody is saying is that killing is antithetical to Islam. They should release the women, of course; for that matter, they should release all of the Korean hostages. Here's the comments of Taliban thug and degenerate Qari Yousef Ahmadi:
"It might be a man or a woman. ... We may kill one, we may kill two, we may kill one of each (gender), two of each, four of each," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by satellite phone from an unknown location. "Or we may kill all of them at once."
As sad and heartbreaking as it might end up, governments should take the firm stance that they will not negotiate with terrorists. And furthermore, while Western societies pride themselves on Western values (such as patience, diplomacy, and the rule of law), we would be wise to recognize that it is an increasingly dangerous world for our values. And in an asymmetric and dangerous world, you can improve your security by being more dangerous than the perpetrators of terror. I've suggested it before, but I think that Western nations should devote a substantial amount of resources - time, people and money - to developing unprecedented clandestine capabilities. We have enemies that are willing to die in an attempt to destroy us; we would be foolish to not acknowledge this and also to not act to counter this threat.
One of the interesting lessons from the Iraq war, to my way of thinking, is this: we had to dispose of an enemy, and we chose the best option available to us to do that. Had we possessed a robust intelligence infrastructure, one that rivalled the capabilities of the CIA and the KGB at the height of the Cold War, we might not have had to invade Iraq. There are multiple ways to protect American interests abroad. We can't invade every country that poses a threat to American values. Yet, with the right commitment, we can project American power in other ways. We'd be wise to make the investment.