Monday, June 22, 2009

More good news goes un-noticed: Lower Dir

I heard this story last week on NPR, about local tribesmen in Lower Dir, who decided they'd had enough and they were fighting, and killing the Taliban, more effectively than the Pakistani or US military were doing. Disturbingly, no other new sources are covering this. A week has past, and Google searches reveal NPR, and a tiny handful of other sources, who all point back to NPR, that refer to the original reporting.

This is a very inaccessible, rural, dangerous region, where western reporters are not welcome, certainly, but in my perspective, this is a "sea change", where local residents have turned on the Taliban and instead of supporting them and sheltering them, they're killing them, AND they're killing them before the government forces arrive, and shell or bomb their ancient villages back into the stone age.

This is the kind of local effort, the "Holy Grail", of winning hearts and minds, that Petraeus has been working towards, seeking in an endless quest. In Lower Dir, they did it spontaneously without government assistance or support or interference. I don't understand why more news outlets, and military planners are not studying Lower Dir closely, and trying to repeat it elsewhere.

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