By H.D.S. Greenway • The Boston Globe
It is a sad fact of modern life that homicidally inclined extremists feel they have to compete in frightfulness. It is no longer enough to just kill people in twos and threes. Terrorist outrages have to be evermore spectacular in the post-9/11 age. The attack this week on an army-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan, that killed 145, most of them children, takes atrocity to a new level for the Taliban, which is no doubt a reason why it did it.
The Taliban has said that the attack is an act of revenge for army operations in nearby Waziristan. But there are likely other reasons for the massacre.
The Taliban has been deeply impressed with the successes of the Islamic State, which now controls great swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria. Extremists are trying to match the Islamic State’s level of atrocities. Sadly, the very awfulness of its deeds is part of its recruiting appeal. [Read more...]