By Bill Maher
Pakistan is having a moment right now. The "I am Malala" movement has made the country stop worrying about YouTube videos and start worrying about the medieval religious lunatics they haven't yet learned to stand up to. So this is a big chance for the United States to really step up... and do absolutely nothing.
Again and again, we forget the lesson that most evil-doers eventually wear out their welcome because they keep doing evil. Shooting a girl in head for saying that she liked school? That's pretty damn evil. Journalists are already comparing Malala to Rosa Parks, though it looks like her personal story might not have a happy ending. Parks didn't have the happiest life ever, but at least she got to take a few victory laps at the front of the bus.
But the key here is for the US to not be here. Image-wise, our military does great when there's an armed government that we can sweep in and liberate the people from, toss out some chewing gum to kids, throw around some cash, and then take a bow and leave. But let us linger and we'll start hammering you with flying robots and pissing on your corpses, and that will distract everyone's attention from the truly evil motherfuckers in their midst.
It's easy to forget what the world looked like before 9/11. Al Qaeda was operating in Afghanistan, but the weak and unpopular Taliban government wasn't even in charge of the whole country. Neither was Saddam Hussein in charge of his whole country. He'd also completely given up on the idea of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and now just wanted to look strong so that Iran wouldn't drop the hammer on him. Also, there were no Taliban in Pakistan.
That's not to say we didn't need to knock out Afghanistan's government in 2001. But most of what we've done there since has only served to postpone and distract the majority of people from really focusing on how deeply they hate the kind of people who shot Malala. But when you're convinced you're being attacked from the outside, you can ignore that your house is rotting from the inside. Just ask the Republican Party.