Letter: The advance of political Islam

A Tuesday article (“Key city in Afghanistan taken by Taliban forces,” World & Nation, The Aspen Times, Sept. 29) ends, “expecting a big attack but couldn’t defend the city.”

Is that telling that the Taliban forces are more competent than anticipated? Or is it a question of inadequate intelligence?

Other concerns expressed as to events in the Middle East and Afghanistan relate to President Barack Obama’s decisions regarding troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capabilities of the Islamic State group, al-Qaida and the Taliban, redlines in Syria, military training of indigenous forces in active war theaters, proper responses to warnings from military commanders and acting in a fashion that is altering the view of America’s strength and role in the world.

The loss of Kunduz is a prize for the Islamists. Russia’s presence and support of Syrian President Bashar Assad may be a prize for Iran, in addition to the Iran deal. Is this a case of an apathetic commander in chief or a naive world leader more focused on his destiny than that of America’s future?

The Vietnam conflict engaged more than five presidents. It began as a concern for communist aggression and invading Asia. Is Obama trying not to repeat history?

But the history has changed as the concern is toward the aggressive forces of political Islamists and how their ideology, “true Islam” by their definition, engages in imperialistic actions to create a borderless amalgam of entities that support the ways of Islam, the example of Muhammad, Allah, sharia law and the authoritarian dictators that assume a godlike role as overseer and enforcer.

The goal is all the world for Allah. We are realizing that it is not just the Islamic State, the Taliban, al-Shabab, the Wahhabists and the Muslim Brotherhood that are engaged in meeting the objective. As dominoes falling were the concern during Vietnam, it is so today that new dominoes are on the table and beginning to cascade one after another, and America is inept at trying to stop, at least at the administration’s level, the fall.

Do you believe, despite overtures by the Taliban, that their claim to the people of the captured city that they “came in peace” is true? Is that a foretaste of the future claims as political Islam advances?

As the article noted, “The Taliban have a history of brutality toward those they regard as apostates, and have banned girls from school as well as music, movies and other trappings of modern life under their control.” Defining “true Islam” is as difficult as defining “peace” in Islam.

Tom Balderston

Snowmass Village