Posts tagged Taleban
Driving to Mass this morning I was listening to FOX on the issue of Afghanistan and the killing of U.S. and NATO soldiers by our supposed Afghan allies. FOX had its “terrorism expert” on and he was blathering about how President Obama’s apology for the recent Koran burning was causing more violence in Afghanistan and across the Muslim world. The apology, said the “expert”, was typical of Obama’s weakness, and this weakness is contributing to the rise of Islamist power in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and other places.
Somehow Obama’s apology for the Koran burning was explained by FOX’s “expert” as an apology for “U.S. policy,” which surprised me as I did not know our policy was to burn Korans.
Anyway, that this sort of truly brain-dead stuff passes for acceptable — or even plausible — analysis on any U.S. network falls into the appalling but not surprising category. The violence in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO forces, for example, has nothing to do with the repeated apologies of Obama, Bush, Secretary Clinton, etc. for various incidents.
The violence comes from the fact that we and NATO are viewed by the overwhelming number of Afghans as, to quote an old but true phrase, “foreign infidel occupiers.”
Now, there is no doubt that burning Korans alienates Afghans, but it is the icing on the cake of 2,000-plus years of unrelenting, violent Afghan opposition to all occupiers — Greeks, Persians, Mongols, British, or Soviets. FOX’s “expert” said that Washington and NATO should be “partnering with pro-democracy Afghan social groups” to discredit the Taleban and other Afghan mujahedin and thereby reduce violence and spur democracy.
This analysis is truly a howler as those Afghans who are killing Western soldiers are the only social forces that count in Afghanistan, and they are the only ones that have counted since we invaded in 2001. Had we smashed these folks to the edge of extinction and then left in the 18 months following 9/11, all would have been well. But we stayed to build a secular democracy and empower women, and today the world’s greatest power and its allies are acknowledging defeat at the hands of shaggy lads armed with weapons of Korean War vintage.
What will the post-Afghanistan world look like? Will America’s reputation abroad be one of weakness or wisdom? Scheuer doesn’t give an easy answers, but at least he asks tough questions.
While Mrs. Clinton, General Petraeus, and Senator Kerry leak information to the media about “accelerating” peace talks with the Taleban, Mullah Omar and his lieutenants are thanking Allah for Islam’s clearly approaching victory in Afghanistan. The Clinton-Petraeus-Kerry disinformation now flowing is simply meant to prepare Americans for a U.S.-led surrender in Afghanistan. We are defeated there, and while Democrats and Republicans may tart up the retreat of the U.S.-NATO coalition as “mission accomplished,” the truth will be that the second superpower was defeated in Afghanistan by mujahedin armed only with faith and weaponry of Korean War vintage.
U.S. officials have told the media that they are talking to Taleban leaders about what “conditions” they want in exchange for joining a Karzai-led Afghan government. They ought to save their time. The Taleban and its allies today want what they have demanded since 12 September 2001: POWER. This is the non-negotiable demand of Mullah Omar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and other Afghan insurgent leaders.
These men know that the Afghan war is a zero-sum game; they either win or they lose. They also know that there will be no post-NATO coalition arrangement that lasts any longer than the departure of the last Western bayonet. The Afghan leaders may give the U.S.-NATO coalition a decent interval to withdrawal — as they did the Red Army — but Karzai and any of his colleagues who stay behind will be tortured, carved up, and then hung from the same lampposts the Afghan communist leader Najibullah and his sidekicks were hung from in the 1990s after Moscow abandoned them.
Currently, the Taleban and its allies are on top of the world. The Obama administration, the British and French governments, and most of the other coalition countries are publicly discussing an accelerated withdrawal. Telling Mullah Omar and his colleagues that you are going to leave is — of course — music to the ears of men whose forte is patience, fatalism, and a killer instinct. And after all, what could be a more heady experience for Allah’s warriors than to hear the leaders of infidelity publicly admit they are licked and about to creep shamefully away, tails appropriately between legs.