In “Pay attention to jihad,” Diana West skewers the breathtaking ignorance of Lt. Col. David Kilcullen and others in positions of authority:
“If I were a Muslim, I’d probably be a jihadist. The thing that drives these guys — a sense of adventure, wanting to be part of the moment, wanting to be in the big movement of history that’s happening now — that’s the same thing that drives me, you know?” No. I don’t know. And I sorely wish I could tell him so — “him” being David Kilcullen, senior counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, senior commander in Iraq.
With this bizarro depiction of jihadists-as-swashbucklers, Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, an Australian Army officer “on loan” to the U.S. government, should probably have been sent back with: “And I suppose if you had been a German during a certain world war, you would have been a Nazi, eh? Who more than those Third Reich ‘guys’ wanted to be in ‘the big movement of history’? Grr. Thanks, mate, but no thanks. Go play Abu Robin al-Hood down under.”
Of course, Col. Kilcullen made his outrageous comment almost six months ago to the New Yorker’s George Packer and is still on the job. But when a key counterinsurgency advisor in Iraq identifies with jihadists, it’s not just a matter of surrealism — hallucinations — at the top. As they say at NASA when things are about to fall out of the sky: Houston, we’ve got a problem.
Why? Such remarks convey either non-comprehension or indifference to the evil nature of jihad. Or both. Such neutrality, if that’s the word for it, also marks Col. Kilcullen’s discussion of his big, formative idea: lessons drawn from what he refers to as “an Islamic insurgency in West Java and a Christian-separatist insurgency in East Timor.” In the latter case, the language is jarring for what Serge Trifkovic has described this way: “In the motivation, patterns, and perceptions of the actors on the ground — killers and victims alike — East Timor was an Islamic jihad against Christian infidels” that left as many as 200,000 East Timorese dead.
In Col. Kilcullen’s Islam-blind view of the world, such events become plain-vanilla conflicts without moral distinction, differentiated only by the advent of global media coverage — a large obstacle, he maintains, to winning counterinsurgencies. Indeed, he compares Indonesia’s role in East Timor (where Indonesia ultimately failed, he says, due to global media) with the U.S. role in Iraq. This is a weirdly shocking way to see the American struggle against varyingly jihadist factions — particularly for someone advising the U.S. military.
It’s hard to say what’s worse: ignorance of jihad, for which there’s no excuse at this advanced stage of war, or indifference to it, for which there’s never an excuse. Both attitudes deeply imbue U.S. war policy. As Col. Kilcullen would (and has) put it, “the Islamic bit is secondary.” Far more important to this Australian anthropologist are what he calls “social networks.” Mr. Packer writes: “He noted that all fifteen Saudi [September 11] hijackers had trouble with their fathers.” Oh, brother — as if half the people in the world don’t have trouble with their fathers (but don’t hijack airplanes for Allah).
“I cannot think of another case of so many highly educated officers advising a general,” said Carter Malkasian, who has advised Marine Corps commanders in Iraq on counterinsurgency and himself holds an Oxford doctorate in the history of war.
*Right. ‘Highly educated’ wankers who don’t know s#*t about Muslims and jihad. That will fix it…
Afghanistan: Boot sinks, 60 Taliban drown
No doubt it was the will of Allah…Â
The MSM still calls them ‘militants’ and ‘insurgents’- but not to worry: They are dead. But isn’t that -somehow- the fault of BUSH???
KABUL, AfghanistanÂ Story from AP via FOXâ€”Â A boat crossing a river in Afghanistan’s most dangerous province sank on Saturday, and at least 60 people were killed, including Taliban militants, the Defense Ministry said.
The boat sank while crossing the Helmand River, which snakes through Helmand province, the world’s leading opium poppy region and site of fierce battles the last several months. Hundreds of Taliban insurgents are believed to be in Helmand.
The Afghan army was investigating to see how many Taliban insurgents and how many civilians were on board, the ministry said. The brief statement did not say what caused the boat to sink or why officials believed militants were on board.
Elsewhere, suspected Taliban militants attacked a local police commander’s home, killing five of his family members and sparking a gunbattle with police that left 10 insurgents dead, an official said.
The attack in the southeastern province of Ghazni killed the commander’s wife, two sons and two nephews, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary. The commander worked for Afghanistan’s auxiliary police, a system of backup officers who supplement the country’s regular police force.
Taliban militants often target police and government officials. More than 1,900 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan this year, according to an Associated Press count based on U.S., NATO and Afghan officials.
At a rally in Pakistan, a man described as the Taliban’s new top field commander vowed in an audiotaped message to liberate Afghanistan from “American slavery,” said Abdul Sattar Chishti, the cleric who organized the event.
Chishti said more than 12,000 people listened to the speech by the brother of Mullah Dadullah, the top Taliban commander who was killed in a U.S. operation last month in southern Afghanistan.
He said Dadullah Mansoor vowed to avenge his brother’s death and those of others killed while fighting U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.
“The blood of my brother will never go waste. We will never forget his sacrifices, and the role of other martyrs. We will complete Dadullah’s mission by expelling Americans and liberating Afghanistan,” Chishti quoted Mansoor as saying.
It was not immediately possible to verify Chishti’s claims about the rally at Killi Nalai, a village about 45 miles west of Quetta near the Afghan border. Although pro-Taliban elders have held similar rallies in northwestern tribal regions, protests the size of the one organized in Killi Nalai are rare.