There should be no surprise that Afghan President Hamid Karzai blames the US for the ongoing insecurity in his country. What is a surprise is how this is being reported in this country. Actually, I’m more sickened than surprised.
There are too many examples to cite all of them, so I’ll just use the one quote from NBC. This news organization saw fit to point out a statistic from the UN that “in the first six months of 2012 alone, more than 3,000 civilians were killed or injured”, without adding that the vast majority if not all of those deaths were gleefully claimed by either the Taliban or other insurgents as their doing. This isn’t just irresponsible reporting, it is intentionally and willfully trying to change the basic understanding of what is going on over there. This kind of bias and slant is something I’ve come to expect from MSNBC; I guess we can now just add those first two letters to the call sign any time we see a report from NBC.
Karzai blames the US for the instability in his country, but I have a few candidates in mind for him to consider as holding much, much more responsibility.
Karzai himself –
They say you can take the man out of the tribe, but not the tribe out of the man. Perhaps El Presidente needs to understand that employing every single one of his family, his tribe and their families is not the way to govern a nation. This is how a warlord behaves. Then again, this is a nation of warlords, so maybe this is the right way to go about things over there.
From the very beginning, the neighbor to the east has been both the source and the hiding place of the Taliban and various insurgents. Pakistan needs to seal it’s border. Either they can’t, meaning any military action taken in that region is not an attack on a sovereign nation or they won’t, meaning they are the enemy. I actually believe it is an ever-shifting combination of both these reasons. Pakistan can’t control the region and doesn’t want to; letting the Taliban and insurgents run back and forth across their western boarder keeps the focus of these groups off Islamabad.
The Taliban –
Remember these guys? The ones who started it all?
The US does have responsibility for the current situation in Afghanistan, but not in the way either Karzai or most of the talking heads in the media mean. From the beginning, the US chain of command was convinced that the only way the American people would get behind military action in Afghanistan was to sell the objective as first dismantling and destroying those who attacked us, then in winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. We were supposed to help the Afghan people prevent those who attacked us, those who declared war on the United States on September 11, 2001 from being able to train and hide within their borders.
This is a lofty ideal, bringing a stone-age culture into the 21st Century but both completely misguided and unworkable. This is a region that has adapted modern technology only insofar as using it to maintain complete control over its people. Sure, they have cell phones and cars but lack basic sanitation, wells, education or any semblance of human rights, all hallmarks of and prerequisites for a modern society.
Even in those early days when we responded to the attack on our soil, we left the job half done. We blew up their caves, but then let them flee across the border to Pakistan unhindered. I really wonder if those wits in Washington actually thought they would be able to convert a people that had been living as their forefathers have for millenia to the ideas of a modern society before our enemy would regroup. If nothing else, I would think someone in the chain of command would have sounded the warning that this was a bad idea; then again, that person would have been replaced rather quickly. You can't have a single link pulling forward when the rest of the chain is headed sideways.
So, yes, the US is responsible for the current situation. We needed to go to war, not try to make nice. Sadly, those fears of the American people not having the stomach for what needed doing are now fact. It has been ten years and over 6,000 US troops have paid the ultimate sacrifice and people are rightly wondering what we are doing over there. I do know what we are not doing, and that is engaging the enemy, killing the enemy and destroying those who attack us. We are too busy making nice.
While we can’t go back ten years and change what was done, we can modify how we move forward. It should be pretty clear to even the dimmest bulbs in Washington that we will not and can not win the hearts and minds of a people whose culture is inimical to Western ideals. In a way, this makes things much simpler, for both them and us. I suggest the following be released to the world media, with a hand delivered copy to Karzai himself:
“The United States of America has done all it can to afford the Afghan people the opportunity to choose to live amongst the world of nations as a peaceful partner. We will not dismantle the countless wells, roads, schools, medical clinics and other infrastructure we have built for you, however all such future projects, planned or begun will immediately cease.
Going forward, all our efforts and attention will be focused on finding and killing our enemies, both within Afghanistan and those who have fled like the cowards they are across your sieve-like borders. Those borders will also be closed, by any means necessary up to and including laying the mountains low.
Once we are satisfied our enemies, who are also the enemies of the Afghan people as well as of a peaceful world are either dead or rendered incapable of action for the next several generations, we will pack up our people, supplies and monies and go home.
We understand that killing all those who oppose peace and basic human rights may reduce your population by as much as 25%. We will consider this a parting gift to the remaining Afghan people; your limited resources should now prove sufficient for the remainder of the population.
You will then be left to your own devices. If you choose a future of peace, of respect for human rights, we will welcome you with open arms to the community of nations. If you choose instead to remain on your current course of oppression, that will be your choice and you will be left to continue on your way as long as you do not ever again attempt to attack or harm us.
May your God go with you.”