The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
- John Stuart Mill
I know the quotation sounds like something George W. Bush might say in a carefully scripted speech - and I apologize for that - as I don't wish to sound like a rabid right wing conservative!
It is a 'preface' to my article about civilization's bid to reclaim the Swat Valley from Islamic militants, 'Of Privates, Militants and the Geneva Conventions.'
The battle is not about who physically controls the picturesque valley but about the future of Islam in Pakistan. Are the Pakistani people ready to stand by and watch illiterate mullahs hijack Islam and impose Saudi style rule in Pakistan?
Gratefully, it seems as if Pakistanis are ready to return to their roots. A heritage replete with the arts, including sufi poetry. Of Buddhist centers of learning (Taxila) and indigenous Indian customs which are now as much Pakistani as Indian.
It is unfortunate that sometimes even spiritual wars have to take place on an old fashioned battlefield where bloodshed is inevitable.