Panetta addressing disarmed troops at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan last week
Writing at Big Peace, Paul Hair adds a crucial point about the incident last week in Afghanistan where DefSec Panetta addressed an audience of disarmed Afghan and US troops. I initially seized on the command's desire not to offend our "Afghan allies," as conveyed in this excerpt from the New York Times:
Marine Major General Charles “Mark” Gurganus, the new NATO International Security and Assistance Force commander for the area that covers Helmand Province, said he ordered the American and other coalition soldiers to turn in their weapons to avoid signaling that their Afghan allies can’t be trusted.
“Somebody had said we were going to have the Afghans leave their weapons outside,” said Gurganus. “I wanted the Marines to look just like our Afghan partners.”
Paul Hair, however, followed the logic of the act of disarming Afghans in the presence of an "important" American further to point out:
"It now appears that while our top leaders continue publicly stating that the Afghanis are our trusted allies, privately they do not believe the same.
In other words, we continue partnering our troops with fully armed Afghanis and are willing to risk their lives as part of achieving our mission. At the same time, we apparently do not allow armed Afghanis to be in the presence of important U.S. personnel.
I have no comment on this and am merely noting what message this story apparently sends if it is true.
The story stands. I can understand protecting the lives of "important U.S. personnel" -- commanders, presidents, etc. -- from the risks of a battlefield. I can even understand such important personnel sending troops to risk their lives on the same battlefield of national interest -- but very, very judiciously, and not as a matter of inertia and incompetence and betrayal. Afghanistan is not a battlefield of national interest. After more ten years of this disastrous social engineering experiment, the Great Society Abroad with Guns, we should accept the fact that as a part of the sharia-guided "umma" (Islamic world), Afghanistan can never be part of an alliance with the US that benefits or strengthens our national interest as guided by our constitutionally guaranteed (and abused) liberties. Not only do our Important Ones have no business sending troops to continue dying on such a battlefield, they have no business continuing to send them to die inside the wire, where, as Paul Hair points out, they themselves personally take the precaution of disarming all Afghans due to their own guilty knowledge that the risk of trusting Afghans is too great. Somebody important might get hurt.
I don't know how they sleep at night.
Meanwhile, did you know that Hamid Karzai's chief of staff is reportedly connected to Hezb-e Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar?
From Gen. McChrystal's infamous Afghanistan assessment:
The major insurgent groups in order of their threat to the mission are: the Quetta Shura Taliban (05T), the Haqqani Network (HQN), and the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HiG).
Bring the troops home, throw the bums out and crank up Congressional hearings on how we got into this mess and who must answer for it.