Taliban Attacks on Afghan schools-Why we should care
Acquaintances and friends of mine that have had several tours in Afghanistan have long told me why they believe in this mission. Many of them have done the heavy lifting in Kandahar Province and have been on Operational Mentor Liasion Teams (OMLT).
These are the guys that see the Taliban on a daily basis. They see what they are doing to stop education, particularly that of girls.
Dr. Ray Wiss, M.D. writes in his book "FOB DOC" that education will be the key to defeating the Taliban. An educated population will not let an extreme regime or culture to survive. He goes on to say that parents in Afghanistan want the same thing parents in North America want for theirs "A better life than they had". He poses the question "What is wrong with that?"
He continues to ask:
"What is so hard to understand about parents wanting their children to better themselves? What could be more human? These people are different from us? Yeah Right.
On the contrary these people are just like you and me. That makes them worth fighting for.
And though I hope more than anything that it won't apply to me, I think they are worth dying for also."
Those are strong words used by a professional physician, that made his living for 25 years as an emergency room specialist as a bedside ultrasound expert, and decided that he needed to do his share in Afghanistan. He could have done it as a civilian doctor and remained on Kandahar Airfield, which is relatively safe compared to to Forward Observation Bases. His salary would also have been more lucrative. This Captain, now in his 40s decided to do it in uniform and volunteered to operate out of FOBs, where the heavy lifting is done.
The highlight below is a story from the Canadian Television Corporation and outlines a report issued by CARE, the World Bank and the Afghan government. The number of attacks on schools has almost tripled in 2008.
This, coupled with the throwing of acid into childrens faces, can easily be seen as an attack on education by the Taliban. The Taliban see the danger education poses to their survival.
Despite any other reasons that may be given for our engagement in Afghanistan, we should care for the sake of the children, their parents and ongoing education.
Afghanistan teachers, students, educational personnel and schools were the targets of more than 1,100 violent attacks over a 2½ year period, forcing the closure of hundreds of schools across the country, a new report has found.
According to the study — Knowledge on Fire: Attacks on Education in Afghanistan, which was released by CARE, the World Bank and the Afghanistan government on Monday — the attacks nearly tripled in 2008, with 670 recorded, up from 241 in 2006 and 242 in 2007.
Arson is the most frequent type of attack against schools, but grenades and rockets have also been used, the report said.
Attacks against students and education personnel are also common. More than 100 students were killed in that 2½ year period, including children killed on their way home from school.