What should you do?
The answer is already within you. You don’t want revenge, you want peace. Unfortunately, the road to peace for democracies lies only in the defeat of those people who don’t want peace and don’t want democracy.
Your closest ally is now the United States of America, Great Britain, and all the other countries who have fought and died to maintain their peace and security. Now you should move to cooperating as they fight their own enemies abroad.
But don’t let them lead. You are an equal partner. You will come to the table with your own unique goals and strategies. You don’t need to compromise, only cooperate and coordinate.
Your neighbor, Pakistan, has been a thorn in your side since as long as memory can remember. However, know this: there are people in Pakistan who want peace as much as you do. Remember that the US fought Japan and Germany, and the end result was a peaceful Japan and Germany, and close allies. You can have the same with Pakistan, perhaps without a war.
Pakistan has been a thorn in your side only because militant muslims use it to launch attacks on you. The heart of the problem is a religion that not only teaches that it is ok to kill those of other faiths, but demands it. In this goal, in de-radicalizing or taming Islam, we are united as ever-faithful allies.
It can be done, and it has been done, in Iraq. Iraq was President Bush’s gamble. At a time in our history where we would have not regretted completely destroying Islam the faith by bombing all of its sacred sites and murdering all of its adherents, he chose a different direction, to once again offer the olive branch of peace, but this time with no misunderstanding that the status quo was acceptable, and with a clear picture that the US would send military assets and fight as brutal a war as Islam could serve to obtain our goals. That war has been fought, our people’s mettle has been tried both on the battlefield and in our politics. The end result is that Iraq is now a beacon of hope for all Islamic nations, a symbol that militant Islam only runs the show when people cower in fear under it, and that a strong nation can break the bands of slavery that militant Islam imposes on its people, despite their best efforts to the contrary.
Now we need to break the bands of militant Islam in Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need you to help fight that war, we need your people to be strong and demand war, and we need it to be seen through to the end, when we sign a lasting peace treaty over the dead bodies of those who want no such peace with those who refuse to ever fight again.
And we are fighting today. Pakistan’s battle is fought in its government. Will it choose to continue the fight that President Mussharaf had started? Will it choose to ally itself with the US and distance itself from Al Qaeda? Or will it choose to embrace war and militant Islam and reject demcocracy? That is a choice that the people of Pakistan must make, and are making, today. Should the choose poorly, we will be justified in removing their government and those elements that convinced them to choose poorly and allow them to choose again.
Afghanistan’s battle is in the mountains. We are fighting, actively, those people who think they can once again take over Afghanistan by force or render its elected government powerless. Having Indian troops fight side-by-side with American troops on the other side of Pakistan would send a powerful message to the Pakistani people that India is quite serious about militant Islam, and is preparing for whatever war they desire to give you.
Ghandhi was a powerful leader for your people. He was right—the British government could be overthrown with words and not war. For that, he should be celebrated as much a we celebrate our George Washington, who had to overthrow the British with force and prayer. But Ghandhi’s methods will not work against militant Islam, so don’t be fooled into believing otherwise.