The Taliban gathered at their governing council in North Waziristan on Saturday to pick a new leader. Their last leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike on Friday. As the men settle down on the carpets, there is general murmuring.
"Alright everyone settle down. Quiet please."
"OK…now, we all know why we are here. Dammit Amir, stop pointing your Kalashnikov at me. I thought I told you all to leave your guns outside. Now then, we need to elect a new leader. Do we have any volunteers?"
Suddenly there is a hush in the room. Everyone is paying particularly close attention to their toe nails.
"Anyone? How about you Abdul?"
"Ah…gee…you know….I'd love the honor…but…um...my wife says I can't take on any more extracurricular activities. Plus with the poppy crop in... I'm needed around the house."
"Uh huh. OK. How about you Rahman? The men look up to you."
"Well…that's very nice of you to offer, but I just can't fit leadership of the Taliban into my schedule right now. I'm already captain of the bowling team and I'm the manager of the kids soccer team. So…much as I want to say yes…"
"Alright. Hassan? How about you? I know you've wanted to be the leader for a while now but were always thought of as too young."
"Um…wow…that is really nice of you, but as you said, I am too young. The men need someone older to look up to."
"OK….what's going on here? Why does no one want to be leader?"
The men just sit quietly. Again, studying their fingernails.
"Is it the drones? Are you afraid of the infidel's drones"
One of the talibs finally speaks up.
"Well…you have to admit, they are pretty darn accurate. I mean…we buried what was left of Hakimullah in a ziploc baggie!"
The men murmur agreement.
"So…that's it? The great fearsome Taliban are a bunch of women!! Scared of the drones? I never thought I'd live to see this day. If Osama were still alive…."
One of the men pipes up….
"Why don't you do it Nooruddin??"
"Me?? Well…I'd like to…but someone has to run the office here…and there is a lot of paperwork…and sometimes the Xerox machine jams and I'm the only one who knows how to fix it. No….sorry guys. OK…if no one volunteers, I am going to appoint someone."
There is a brief silence…until one of the men looks at his watch….
"Oh boy….look at the time. I gotta get home or my wife will kill me!"
There is loud agreement and the men all get up and file out….
"Hey….where are you going?? We have business to discuss. Wait…we need to pick a new leader!!…Hey….come back here. That is an order."