> A colleague suggested that as an alternative approach we might tell
> the Taliban that they either give us bin Laden or we gather up all their
> women and send them to college.
> That should do it.
I love this idea. In fact I think it doesn't go far enough. I think we should offer a free plane ticket and two years of tuition to anyone willing to leave the fascist parts of the middle east. Any of them willing to go back home and fight for a better life afterward can have the full free ride.
The whole endeavor would probably cost less than military action and it would help so many more of them. And I promise that if all the women have left for a college education, you'll see some zealots get a whole lot less loud about their beliefs when they aren't getting any nookie except from other zealots usually of their same gender.
Because really, all of the men being told they will submit to the draft or be shot on sight are just as much victims as the women whose lives are destroyed through brutal death and other longer term means.
Either that, or we're left with taking over the playground and spanking everyone over there who can't play nice and leave others to do as they see right without hurting each other. And while America has classically been willing to step in as big daddy "badder than you" to swat down disputes, that's a lot longer and more expensive prospect of rebuilding than offering those people the tools to rebuild in a more meaningful way themselves.