...On one level, rural Pashtuns are hillbillies who just don't want the revenuers coming up their hollow, but the problem's greater than that. Our "heavy footprint" played into the hands of propagandists for jihad, who depicted us as infidel invaders (as we told ourselves that Islam was irrelevant). Faced with zealous believers who regard death as a promotion, we pretend we're fighting Canadians in pajamas.Like I said, Imagine there's no jihad. It's easy if you try...
We needn't insult religion to recognize its power. In neighboring Pakistan, Islamist radicalism has crippled the state. To the West, the Iranian regime justifies its existence through Islam. The Taliban, al Qaeda and other Muslim terror organizations announce repeatedly that they're waging jihad. Our response? We insist that our enemies don't know what they're talking about. This is the stuff of Monty Python routines, not serious wartime analysis.
When we elevate political correctness over intellectual integrity in wartime, we throw away the lives of those in uniform. When we refuse to ask ourselves why our enemies are willing to give their all, while our local allies give as little as possible, we repeat the grievous errors of Vietnam. When we tie ourselves to a corrupt regime because it's "ours," we repeat the follies of the last six decades. Once again, we're trying to buy success against an enemy who deals in a different currency.
Before we open fire, it's helpful to open our eyes. In Afghanistan, we're imagining the enemy we want, rather than seeking to understand the enemy we face.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Imagine There's No Jihad. It's Easy if You Try...
Ralph Peters slams Gen. McCrystal's "Lennonesque" approach in Afghanistan--i.e. factor Islam out of the equation and see what kind of surreal (albeit deadly) comedy ensues: