Old Blights (Afghanistan) And New (Barack)

Ilana Mercer, October 30, 2009

A Kabul–based United Nations’ guesthouse is the latest target to be hit by Afghani insurgents. Eight people, including an American, were killed.

Three days prior, capital-city Kabul was the scene of a helicopter crash that claimed 14 American lives, in what the Associated Press characterized as “the deadliest day for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in more than four years.”

A day later, eight more American troops were taken out in two separate insurgent attacks, this time in southern Afghanistan.

So far, the Left’s Prince of Peace has beefed-up Bush-era troop levels to 68,000, and is giving a good deal of thought to further deepening American involvement in the Afghan theater. The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (now that provided some comedic relief) has managed to also sustain his predecessor’s efforts in Baghdad, where streets are slick with fresh blood.

As Dr. Johnson said, “There is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.” Neoconservative (Bush) or Progressive (Barack); louse or flea ─ a pest is still a pest.

It’s hard to tell whether B.O. believes his own blather. Nevertheless, the president has expressed a talismanic faith that if he solves Afghanistan, he’ll solve terrorism: “This is not a war of choice, this is a war of necessity,” he roared. “Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaida would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

Bush all over again.

Still earlier in October, 300 Taliban warriors stormed an isolated American-cum-NATO outpost in the same Podunk. They swarmed from out of a village and mosque. Curiously, the Afghani soldiers “fighting” alongside our men suffered few casualties. Americans paid the price. The Taliban were said to have captured 35 of the policemen Americans are fighting to the death to train. My guess is that the “imprisoned” Pashtun (or perhaps they are Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, or Turkmen) are breaking bread with their Taliban “captors.”

Naturally, Afghans (who’re mostly Muslim) have more of an affinity for the Taliban than for the Wilsonians who’re attempting to westernize them. Thus, it is not uncommon to hear of an Afghan policeman opening fire on his American “colleagues” during a joint operation. Just the other day, as Times Online tells it, one battalion lost two soldiers ─ three were wounded ─ “when an Afghan policeman opened fire on his American colleagues during a joint operation to clear the Taliban from villages around the Nerkh valley.”

The studied ignorance of their leaders can’t inspire much confidence in the army. Thus we learn that “US and Afghan investigators are trying to determine whether the policeman was a covert member of the Taliban or made a mistake. Either way” ─ Times again ─ “the attack fuelled the distrust that many NATO soldiers feel towards the Afghan security forces they are training as part of the coalition’s eventual exit strategy”:

‘You don’t trust anybody, especially after an incident like this,’ said Specialist Raquime Mercer, 20, whose close friend died in the attack.”

All told, 55 American soldiers died during the month of October.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the 100,000-strong US and NATO force in Afghanistan, knows as much about America’s decades-long, dismal history of nation-building in Afghanistan as he does about discipline, the military chain of command and code of conduct. In an attempt to fortify his fiefdom, this politician in fatigues sojourned to London to lobby for more soldiers. There, McChrystal demanded that his wishes become Obama’s commands ─ and quick, before public support wanes.

One brave and bright soldier served it straight up. Wrote Jim Sauer, a “retired Marine Corps Sergeant Major and combat veteran with over thirty years of service,” turned blognoscente:

“The real Afghan warriors still have the spirit of the Mongol Horde in their blood. By contrast, the bulk of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) are not fighters, nor are they ‘true believers.’ They are simply cowards – frauds – corrupt to the core by any standard and apostates to their own faith. They are slovenly, drug-addicted, dimwitted, and totally unreliable at any level… They thrive on their petty powers and refuse to shoulder any burden or responsibility. Does this sound too harsh? Not for the Marines and Soldiers who have been killed by the treachery of ANA and ANP who have purposely led them into ambush.”

It has been said that Afghanistan is where empires go to die. True enough. But it is men in the flesh who pay so very dearly.

& Taki’s Magazine
October 30, 2009

CATEGORIES: Anti-War, Barack Obama, Bush, History, Military, Neoconservatism, War, War On Terror