On Tuesday, masked Taliban gunmen answered Ms. Yousafzai’s courage with bullets, singling out the 14-year-old on a bus filled with terrified schoolchildren, then shooting her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack. All three survived, but late on Tuesday doctors said that Ms. Yousafzai was in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, with a bullet possibly lodged close to her brain.
Great. Yes, it would be twelve kinds of awesome sauce if someone could round up Ehsan and his buddies, and just end them once and for all. But by now, we should be able to see that it doesn't work that way, it'll never work that way, not with constant drone raids and collateral damage.
Just as there is no liberal counterpart to a twisted freak like Bill Tapley, so too is there no real western counterpart to the Taliban, to this scarily regressive, heavily bastardized perversion of Islam, that hates women and science, murders writers, threatens artists, molests boys, incites riots over comic drawings and fake films, wants nothing more than to bully and subjugate their societies back to the seventh century. Whatever idiots like Tapley, or "Pastor" Terry Jones, or even Fred Phelps are, they're not that, not by a longshot. Phelps is a king-size gaping asshole, but I'm pretty sure he never tried to assassinate an eighth-grade girl on a schoolbus.
But it's impossible at this point to imagine what we can actually do to alleviate the situation. I'm sure tough guy chickenhawk Sir Mitts-A-Lot wants to send other peoples' kids in to kick ass and take names, not only in Af-Pak, but Syria, Libya, and Iran to boot. No problem, right?
Again, let's just send as many planes in as we can to airlift out anyone who wants to leave, especially the women and children, leave the devout perverts to their own devices, see how well that goes for them. Hell, can't be much worse than it is now.
[Update 10/12/12: Some glimmers of hope in this terrible story -- Malala Yousafzai has a fair chance of surviving the attack (to which, of course, the mighty warriors of the Taliban have vowed to go after her again, as well as her father), and there have been several days of public protests against these fiends. Again, it would be nice to believe that the Pakistani military could just go round these humps up, and plant them in a ditch forthwith. But of course it never works that way. The next best way is for the people themselves to rise up en masse against them, demonstrate that they've had enough of their violent medievalism.]