My colleague Javier Ochoa at Cartas Blogatorias suggested that our two blogs should not be silent about the atrocious murder of more than a hundred students at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan yesterday. I share his sentiment. Yesterday’s attack recalled the sadness we felt after the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre, but in a way it was worse. Newtown was the work of a mentally ill young man abetted by our collective negligence when it comes to firearm regulation. The Pakistan shootings appear to have been the calculated work of combatants who thought of their attack as an act of war. The attack was particularly upsetting because some reports are suggesting it was triggered by the award of the Nobel peace prize to the brave Malala Yousafzai. It’s as if the Taliban can’t bear the thought that people could have hope for the future of Pakistan.
All of us who are parents, and I’m sure all of us who aren’t, must feel revulsion at the Taliban’s uncivilized cruelty. No civilized people treat children as legitimate targets in a war. That’s true in Pakistan as in the case of gang warfare in El Salvador or the case of the missing children in Iguala, Mexico, or the case of the missing girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Nor are schools part of the battlefield, a basic point that it’s clear many terror groups refuse to grant (I am thinking of Hamas, for example, which infamously and cynically stored rockets in a UN school in Gaza).
This isn’t really a legal post. Rather, it’s just a statement of solidarity with the victims of this atrocity. I hope you will join Cartas Blogatorias and Letters Blogatory in mourning the deaths of so many innocent Pakistani children.