By J.D. Pitts
As Westerners celebrate Christmas — a holiday that for many has become nothing more than a time of gross consumerism at the expense of child laborers and modern-day slaves working in Chinese, Bangladeshi, and Indian sweatshops 14-16 hours a day producing our iPhones, Nike shoes and apparel, and other stuff that we generally don’t need — Afghan females have been fully stripped of their basic human rights by the terrorist Taliban regime.
Afghan females are no longer allowed to attend school and receive an education.
Afghan females are banned from working in NGOs.
Afghan females are now nothing more than property to be owned and misused by terrorists.
We sit and watch and act surprised and say how terrible this is. But words without actions are nothing more than an appeasement to our own soul. Words without actions cannot and will not ever bring about change. Words without actions do not suffice.
There is an Arabic saying, “الحركة بركة”, which literally translates to “movement is a blessing.” The meaning, however, is “Action is better than inaction. In order to get things done, you need to act.”
For many Americans and nearly all of our appointed political leaders, “action” seems to be equated with nothing more than blaming the other side. Democratic politicians (and many Democrats themselves) point the finger at former President Trump and say this is all his fault for making a deal with the Taliban in the first place. Republican politicians (and many Republicans themselves) point the finger at President Biden and talk about last year’s horribly executed withdrawal from Afghanistan that he led as Commander in Chief. And while factually, both sides are mostly correct, the point is that words without actions do not suffice.
We as a nation must act, and we must do so now.
We must do anything and everything in our power to remove the Taliban regime from power. Absolutely nothing less will suffice. We should not “negotiate” with them, as they have proven themselves entirely untrustworthy. The Taliban have zero intention whatsoever of an Afghanistan in which all Afghans can live freely and safely with dignity and basic human rights, and for us to continue telling ourselves they do is an illusion at best.
Diplomatically we should entirely cut off ALL communications with the terrorist Taliban regime. We should unequivocally state that we do not recognize them as legitimate leaders of Afghanistan and make clear that we never will.
Tactically we should immediately send CIA Paramilitary teams and Special Operations Forces into the country to reconnect with Afghan special forces soldiers and do just as we did immediately following 9/11 — forcefully and quickly remove the Taliban from power. To be clear, this has nothing to do with sending 10,000+ traditional troops back into the country without a clearly stated objective for an undetermined amount of time; it means sending in a small number of highly elite personnel with the clearly stated objective of removing the Taliban from power as quickly as possible, just like we did in the first weeks and months immediately following 9/11.
The International NGO community should also make clear they will no longer support the Taliban regime in any way, shape, or form at all. I understand the immediate, short-term pain this will cause the general Afghan population, but there is no other way. As long as the Taliban continue to receive funding and assistance from the outside world, they will continue to impose their horror on Afghanistan. There must be true repercussions for their actions.
During this Christmas season, a season meant to celebrate the birth of the Jewish man named Christ, let us remember his command to love our neighbors as ourselves, not only in words but also in deeds. Indeed, “الحركة بركة”, “movement is a blessing.” Let us put movement, action, to our words, so they may be a blessing to others.
About the Author
J.D. Pitts is Founder and Principal Advisor for Ahlan International, a firm specializing in equipping clients to operate successfully in Arab and Islamic contexts worldwide. Prior to founding Ahlan International, J.D. lived for 15 years in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, and Mauritania. While there, his professional experience included both the education and business sectors, as well as over a decade of deep involvement in humanitarian work ranging from small, grassroots operations to large-scale, UN-managed operations.