Thursday, January 12, 2012

And, Speaking of Afghanistan

The War Without End drags on laboriously.   The past few months saw a curious optimism about a political settlement between Kabul and the Taliban.   That might have been premature.

A new American intelligence (I know, I know) assessment concludes the Taliban still pursue their goal of reclaiming power and restoring strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.  In other words, they're intent on going back to where things stood before the Americans intervened.

"The National Intelligence Estimate presented to President Barack Obama last month also concluded that security gains won since last year's 30,000-strong U.S. troop surge may be unsustainable, a finding that top U.S. commanders and the White House dispute, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with the report's findings."

And, as though that wasn't bad enough, a video has come out purporting to show four U.S. Marines urinating on the bodies of three dead Afghans.

"In the 38-second video, which appeared on and other websites Wednesday afternoon, four men who appear to be Marines are shown standing over what look like the bodies of three Afghans, one with a bloody shirt. One man says, "Have a good day, buddy" as he urinates on one of the motionless men.

"Another says, 'Golden like a shower.' Someone else starts to say, 'The whole thing,' before the video cuts off. An overturned wheelbarrow lies next to the prone men but there's no sign of weapons."

Maybe the wisest observation ever to pass the lips of US General David Petraeus was that counter-insurgency forces (our side) have a very brief shelf life after which they go from liberator/defender to occupier/oppressor in the hearts and minds of the local civilian population - at which point your forces' chances of winning anything plummet.

Read more here:

Read more here:


Sher Khan said...

Disgusting! One would expect US Marines to be more professional. Once people are dead they are nobody's enemy, they are on nobody's side. Why mistreat dead bodies? You only add more fuel to the hatred.

The Mound of Sound said...

You're absolutely correct. This is a war for the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people. It is being waged by foreign soldiers who, economically, politically, educationally, religiously and culturally, are alien to the Afghanis. Do they see these aliens pissing on monsters or do they see yet another example of them denigrating dead Afghans? I don't think there are a lot of Afghanis who accept that, just because a body lies at the feet of a foreign soldier, it is necessarily that of a monster.