Last week in the northern province of Faryab, two more American soldiers were murdered by one of the police officers they are in Afghanistan to train. As my friend Diana West calculates, that brings to 17 the number of U.S. troops killed in just the last four months by the Afghan security forces they are mentoring. The total climbs to 22 when the killings of other Western troops are factored in.
None of this is new. It is just an uptick. This is how it is in a tribal, fundamentalist Muslim society that regards nothing with such hostility as another civilization’s attempt to assert and imprint itself — just ask the Soviets. If our Afghan expedition seems all the more pointless now, nearly a decade after the U.S. invasion, it is because we long ago stopped pursuing the American interests that brought us to that hellhole. We came to dismantle al-Qaeda and its Taliban hosts. We’ve stayed — and stayed, and stayed — to make life better for a population that despises us...No, no, we're winning tribal hearts and minds via our selflessness, niceness and willingness to apologize 'n' grovel (or so goes the Petraeus theory).
Update: OMG--the general has gone native!
Update: The general sings one from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song:
I'm dhimmi and by me that's only great.
I am proud that my silhouette is awesome.
That I walk with a genuflective gait
And I think if I do so they will blossom.
I adore being dressed in something flowing
When I meet with the tribal guys du jour.
Out I go while apparently not knowing
That they'd wish that I'd wrap up my current tour.
When I have a brand new grovel
That I've practised loads and loads
I can't wait to visit their hovel--
I enjoy wearing their robes.
I flip when an Afghan sends me kudos.
I drool over news we're making strides.
I look on the brightest side, but who knows
If we're ever getting off this worst of rides?
I'm strictly a dhimmi's dhimmi
And my future, alas, must be
In a land where believers gimme
Naught but grief, 'cuz their main beef
Is our beliefs dis-a-gree...