The hawks of war have seized on Malala not only as the symbol of a cause to be championed, but also as a means of legitimizing their own policies and tactics. Her story is being appropriated in a master narrative of a just war between “good” and “evil,” replete with articles arguing for the moral warrant of drones, and casting hers as a lone voice in the “wilderness” where the patriarchal and fundamentalist Taliban holds sway. With the empathy and concern that Malala’s story evokes, the rates of return on this investment are high.
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