West: Win the "trust" of people who hate us? What?

Appalling Stupidity and Cluelessness  from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs:

American success is not measured  on the ability of U.S. forces to execute their missions, but on the emotional reaction of the average, illiterate, infidel-hostile, modernity-challenged Afghan to those missions.

The always perspicacious Diana West discusses the wrongheadedness of American policy toward the jihadists in Afghanistan: “Win the ‘Trust’ of People Who Hate Us? What?,” by Diana West, February 19. via JW

The buzzword on Afghanistan is “trust.”Having routed the Taliban, liberated millions, midwived a (Sharia-supreme) constitution, assisted in elections, propped up a government and routed the Taliban some more, all the United States needs now to win victory in Afghanistan is to win the “trust” of the Afghan people.

So, cockamamiely, wrote Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in a column appearing in the Washington Post just days before President Obama ordered 17,000 new troops to Afghanistan, nearly doubling the American presence there.

The president’s top military adviser explained the policy this way: “We have learned, after seven years of war, that trust is the coin of the realm — that building it takes time, losing it take mere seconds, and maintaining it may be our most important and most difficult objective.”

Sorry, admiral, but if that is what we have “learned” in a war that has claimed more than 600 American lives, wounded and maimed thousands more, and cost billions of pre-bailout dollars, we are practically done for.

Why? The short answer is that in making a primary objective out of winning the “trust” of the Afghan people, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs has, by definition, abandoned all rational war policy. Indeed, he has placed the marker for American success not on the ability of U.S. forces to execute their missions, but on the emotional reaction of the average, illiterate, infidel-hostile, modernity-challenged Afghan to those missions.

“Lose the (Afghan) people’s trust,” Mullen writes, “and we lose the war.” I wish I could say I’ve never heard such fatuous counsel, but the entire so-called war on terror, from start to non-finish, reverberates with this same sort of line. It tends to turn profound Islamic differences from the West into profound Western failings toward Islam. Rather than walk our nation up to the cultural chasm between Islam and the West and show us what it looks like, our leaders have, in effect, made that chasm into their own personal responsibility, something to fill in, paper over and, above all, never, ever mention….


February 20, 2009

Taliban: Afghanistan Will Be ‘Graveyard’ For U.S.

Winning trust is going to be tough!

“Taliban: Afghanistan Will Be ‘Graveyard’ For U.S.,” from CBS News, February 19 (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):

A former government minister from the Taliban regime that ruled Afghanistan says the United States can throw as many soldiers into the country as it wants, they will just meet the same fate as all previous “foreign invaders.”A day after President Obama announced a massive increase in the U.S. troop presence — an additional 17,000 pairs of boots on the ground, coming soon — the former minister told CBS News he couldn’t understand, “why the U.S. relies on figures and the number of troops in a country such as Afghanistan, where the number of foreign invaders has never made any difference, and the winners have always been the freedom fighters.” […]

“The more troops that the U.S. and NATO send, the more they will get deeper stuck in Afghanistan,” said the former minister, who spoke to CBS on condition that he not be identified.

He still has ties to the militant group, which was toppled from power by the 2001 U.S. invasion, and he claims the number of armed of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan is set to grow by at least a third this year, to 10,000. He said last year they had 5,000 fighters and another 3,000 Kuwa Zarbati (reserves). The largest concentration of militants, he said, was in the southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces.

He said the increase was not related to the influx of new U.S. troops, but had already been decided due to a change in tactic; moving the fight from the countryside to do battle in settled areas. “The numbers aren’t significant, what’s important is the new strategy and tactics,” he said.

The former government minister boasted of suicide bombers in waiting. “Bombers are our main assets, and still we have a number of suicide bombers.”

The compassion of Muslims worldwide toward the Taliban’s cause has increased significantly in the wake of “Israel’s Zionist attack in Gaza,” he said, claiming that donors from many nations have been sending cash to buy cars and explosives, which would be used in bombs aimed at the soon-to-arrive American forces….

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