NPR logo SecState Clinton: Pakistan Bombers Are 'Cowards'


SecState Clinton: Pakistan Bombers Are 'Cowards'

In comments to journalists in Pakistan shortly after a market bombing in Peshawar killed more than 100 people, mostly women and children, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed outrage at the violence. And she wasn't being diplomatic.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Pakistan's violent militants "cowards" at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. B.K. Bangash/AP Photo hide caption

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B.K. Bangash/AP Photo

She called the terrorists out, essentially labeling them chickens. They knew they didn't have the popular will with them, she added, which is why they don't submit their radical Islamist vision for Pakistan to a popular vote; they knew they would lose.

She said:

These attacks on innocent people are cowardly. They are not courageous. They are cowardly. If the people behind these attacks were so sure of their beliefs, let them join the political process.

Let them come forth to the people of Pakistan in this democracy and make their case that they don't want girls to go to school, that they want women to be kept back, that they believe that they have all the answers and that the rest of us who are people of faith have none.

Let them make that case in the political arena and see how far they would get. They know they are on the losing side of history, but they are determined to take as many lives with them as their movement is finally exposed for the nihilistic, empty effort that it is.

So for us who believe that there can be differences among us, as there are differences of background, experience, culture, religion - all the differences that make life interesting and varied - we are willing to put our beliefs on the line in a democratic political
process and let the people decide.