The recent Koran-burning incident at Bagram shows just how successful this doctrine has been. The name “Hussein” afforded our president no protection: he is being hanged and burned in effigy on the streets of Kabul and Kandahar. Afghan mobs are still rioting and shooting and burning things all over the country.
As reported in last night’s news feed, two American military advisers, a lieutenant-colonel and a major, were shot in the back of the head yesterday by an Afghan. This wasn’t some random attack on the street: the murders were committed in a heavily guarded area of a secure facility in the interior ministry building in Kabul, and the suspected gunman is a police intelligence officer:
AN AFGHAN police intelligence officer is reportedly being sought over the weekend killings of two senior US NATO officers at the Interior Ministry in Kabul amid fears violent protests over the burning of the Koran at a NATO military base would continue.
Abdul Saboor, 25, was the main suspect and had fled the ministry following Saturday’s attack, counter-terrorism officials told the BBC last night.
Saboor had served in several Afghan ministries and had worked at the Interior Ministry for some time, officials said.
He was reportedly responsible for security arrangements and had access to secure radio communication channels used by the ministries.
So how’s that COIN doctrine doing, fellows? Isn’t it about time to consider a different doctrine for Afghanistan?
A reader named HD sent us a tip about the latest analysis posted in The Stars and Stripes, the official news outlet of the U.S. military. As he says, “I can't let this one pass... the propaganda arm of the DOD has released the biggest piece of dhimmi garbage I have yet read on the S&S site.”
The article glosses over the murder of the two soldiers, saying only that “two U.S. officers who were shot Saturday by an Afghan worker”. Worker. Not “police intelligence officer”. Nothing to see here. Move along.
The rest of the report is just as bad. Notice that the author is an American journalist, but “Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report”. “Babakarkhail” is an exclusively Afghan surname, and Afghanistan is a 100% Muslim nation — except for those vile infidel soldiers and aid workers, of course.
In other words: The Stars and Stripes subbed out the research on the article to a representative of the enemy. Mind you, the U.S. military doesn’t consider Afghan Muslims the enemy, but rather our good friends and allies. However, a significant proportion of Afghanistan’s Muslims consider us their enemy, and we would be better off if our military leaders could acknowledge that and remember it.
Not a chance, though. Here’s what the article says:
Quran Crisis Reveals Lack of Awareness
by Martin Kuz
KABUL — Afghans seethed for a sixth day over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base, and as the violence persists and the death toll rises, an unanswered question pulses at the heart of the crisis.
How could this happen?
Now, anybody who reads this blog or other Counterjihad sites can tell them how this could happen: Afghanistan is a Muslim country ruled by sharia — we wrote it into their constitution, remember? — and sharia considers the presence of non-believers within Muslim-ruled territory to be an intolerable offense. The only way such infidels may be allowed to live under those circumstances is if they acknowledge the supremacy of Islam, act in the approved subservient fashion, and pay up.
Anytime they violate those rules — well, they might find themselves summarily shot in the back of the head.
But the S&S doesn’t examine the issue from that perspective. The article continues:
The question pertains less to the specific decisions that led soldiers at Bagram Air Field to burn copies of the Quran than to why they even considered doing so, given the book’s sacredness to Muslims.
Davood Moradian, a former adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, offered a pointed explanation.
“It’s the incompetence of ISAF,” he said, referring to the International Security Assistance Force, the U.S.-led coalition battling the Taliban insurgency.
That’s it! It should be obvious: if only the American soldiers weren’t so incompetent, they wouldn’t get shot in the back of the head.
That’s quite true, of course, but not in the way the authors intended.
“They have been here for more than 10 years and they still fail to understand the sensitivities of Afghanistan,” said Moradian, an assistant professor of political science at The American University in Kabul. “For Afghans, [burning the Quran] is an unacceptable, unforgivable incompetence.”
Actually, NATO troops are well aware of this fact. It has been drummed into them, day in and day out, for ten years. But they slipped up, so they must pay, and pay dearly.
Their outrage remained evident Sunday. Seven U.S. military trainers were reported wounded when a protester threw a grenade into a coalition base during a demonstration in the northern province of Kunduz.
One protester was killed when troops fired on the crowd, and Afghan police killed a second demonstrator.
More than 30 people have been killed and hundreds injured across the country since reports emerged Tuesday that soldiers at Bagram Air Field burned several copies of the Muslim holy book.
The death toll includes two U.S. officers who were shot Saturday by an Afghan worker inside the Ministry of Interior building in Kabul. On Thursday, an Afghan soldier shot and killed two U.S. soldiers at a base in Nangarhar province.
Pay attention to this next part, because it is quite true:
As recently as the Persian Gulf War in 1991, U.S. infantry soldiers required little, if any, awareness of another nation’s religious customs. They invaded, they fought, they went home.
The prolonged U.S. presence in Afghanistan and the military’s mission to win the “hearts and minds” of Afghans have created expectations unknown to previous generations of soldiers.
Upon reading these words, a hypothetical reasonable person might reasonably ask, “Does this mean that the whole ‘winning hearts and minds’ policy was actually a mistake? Wouldn’t it be better to return to the old ways?”
But no. That is one question that may no longer be asked. We don’t fight wars, we build nations.
And an enemy is just a friend we haven’t yet flattered, cosseted, placated, and bribed sufficiently.
“There is a lack of cultural understanding with the U.S. soldiers that should have been addressed by now,” said Waliullah Rahmani, executive director of the Kabul Center for Strategic Studies, a nonpartisan think tank. “With their constant rotations — the new units coming in every year — knowledge does not get passed on.”
As a result, Rahmani added, “Most of the soldiers here don’t know the Afghans or that they are a mostly religious people whose interpretation of the world is a religious one. They don’t understand that the reaction to the Quran burning is a natural Afghan reaction that comes from religious motivations.”
This is nonsense. How could the soldiers possibly not know that?
It has been drummed into them virtually every day during their training. Every time their president opens his mouth on television he talks about it. It’s written up in all the manuals. They witness their officers bowing and scraping to Islam at every opportunity, issuing groveling apologies at the slightest perceived offense.
How could they not know?
Muslims revere the Quran as the literal word of God spoken through the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad.
“For [Christians], the Bible is a book and treated as such,” said Martine van Bijlert, co-director of the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts Network. “For Muslims, destroying the Quran is worse than civilian casualties.”
Some Christians do revere the Bible. Maybe not in the same fashion as Muslims revere their own book. But it offends them deeply if someone burns it or defaces it or spits on it.
Yet taking to the streets and burning things and shooting people is not the customary Christian response to such incidents.
In contrast, that sort of behavior — and far worse reactions, such as stoning, beheading, impaling, and burning people alive — is de rigueur in all Muslim-majority countries at a mere rumor of an insult to Islam. It’s even prevalent in some countries that don’t have a Muslim majority, such as France and Britain.
So what will the NATO response be? You guessed it: more training.
Allen’s call for additional training suggests a realization that U.S. soldiers have yet to grasp the meaning of the Quran to Muslims.
“There has been a complete failure by ISAF to engage the clergy in Afghanistan,” said Moradian, of American University. “They have had years to work with the religious community here but there has been almost no progress.”
Fury over the burning of the holy texts has mushroomed despite Afghans acknowledging the soldiers might have acted out of ignorance rather than malice.
“Even if they did not mean it, what is the good of burning the Quran?” asked Ahmad Silam, 43, who runs a small shop in Kabul where he sells audio recordings of the Quran on CD and tape. He keeps his copy of the Quran, bound in black leather, on a corner shelf behind the front counter. “It is the word of God to us. It is wrong to destroy it.”
The last paragraph in the article is one with which I most heartily concur:
“We want to stop having such insults in our country because this is not the first or second time that [foreign troops] have disrespected us. It is time for them to leave.”
I can’t wait. From his mouth to Allah’s ears. Please.