"The Grinning Generals" by Rob Crllly is a recent London Telegraph story all about the above photo of two generals, one Afghan, one American. Noting the identity of the pair -- Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the new ISAF commander, and Maj. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the police chief of Kandahar "accused of corruption, drug running and, most extraordinarily of all, mass murder," Crilly is incredulous that this unseemly embrace was not secretly snapped and smuggled to news media. On the contrary, it is an official US government handout.
Pictures are snapped not by an outraged junior officer with an anonymous Facebook account, nor are they leaked surreptitiously to the media. The photographs are in fact distributed by the US military's own media outfit.
If ever there were an illustration of the way the US and its allies have turned a blind eye to alleged human rights abuses in their rush for the exit, then this photograph of two beaming generals is it.
But ... that's only part of it.
The US mission to "nation-build" the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan while simultaneously fighting a "counterinsurgency" against Islamic extremists was doomed from the start -- doomed by a strategy conceived in ignorance and denial of the fundamental differences between Islam and the West, as codified in sharia, which both the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic extremists are influenced and even governed by.
Let's review. From the Afghanistan Constitution
Article One: Afghanistan shall be an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary and indivisible state.
Article Two: The sacred religion of Islam is the religion of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Followers of other faiths shall be free within the bounds of law in the exercise and performance of their religious rituals.
Free within the bounds of what "law"? Islamic law. See Article Three:
Article Three: No law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam in Afghanistan.
For a decade, US and other Western troops have safeguarded that constitution. I call that making the world safe for sharia.
Not that anyone is supposed to notice. Studying or even noticing the differences, conflicts and chasms between the West and Islam -- between the US constitutional model and the Afghan constitution drawn up under US aegis, for example -- became "forbidden" talk early on in the "war on terror" (not "Islamic jihad"). Indeed, such talk (reality) was officially eliminated from all strategy-making back in the days of the Bush administration. Instead, the officially denied but still real contradictions between Western law and principle, and Islamic law and principle would be catered to, accepted, hushed up and apologized for -- always at the expense of Western law and principle. At odds with Islam by way of law and principle, the US government ran its war in Afghanistan as an exercise in submission to Islamic law and principle.
Child rape and pederasty by Afghan officials and officers? Turn that blind eye. Repression, abuse, bondage of women? No biggie. Corruption as a way of doing business? Whatever. Imposition of Islamic law on US troops regarding freedom of religion, freedom of speech? Learn it. Adopt it. Impose it. And always, "inshallah," atone profusely for infidels. Put those US troops on show trial for "murder." Throw the book at the Marines in that urination video -- or, as Marine Commandant Gen. Amos said, see them "crushed." Win the "trust," "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people (Mullen, Kwast). Protect the Afghan people from everything that can hurt them (McChrystal), and restrict, restrict, restrict thoese ROEs (the whole lot). Drink lots of tea, eat lots of goat and really get to know the people (Nicholson). Take off the ballistic glasses and walk, don't ride, whenever possible (Petraeus).
What could go wrong?
That's what I see in the picture. There is nothing left for the US commmander to do but hang for dear life on the neck of an Afghan warlord.
This morning, I received an email from my friend Caroline. She was thinking about the picture, too.
I know you know all this, but I can't resist. I miss Larry Auster, who always "read" peoples' faces on his blog. The Afg police guy's face says: "What saps these Kuffars are: free money, free uniforms, free guns. Allahu Akbar and all that, but what suckers these Americans are." Just look at his eyes. They say it all.
The American general's expression seems to be saying: "If I hug ol' Abdul tighter, maybe he'll like me more and notice what a good person I am." Abdul's friends are probably thinking: You go, Abdul, take Uncle Sucker for all he's worth."
Could a culture that wasn't emasculated, dumbed down, and distracted even consider such a pusillanimous idea as COIN? It's Kipling's "Danegeld" on overdrive. Is there no decency left in the Pentagon?
And don't even get me started on sacrificing our young men for a depraved hopeless country like Afgh. Actually, not even for Afgh. They are being sacrificed for the vanity of those who hatch ideas like COIN, and who, even when those ideas fail spectacularly, will not face reality.
The vain ones don't have to. Like guests at a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, they get to *move on* from their messes, to be promoted, to paint pictures in plush retirement, take seats on corporate board$, teach "leadership" classes, gather up honors at black-tie galas. It's a luxe life, and no one calls them on it, not even to acknowledge what they have wrought.
Others are not so fortunate.
Will there ever be a reckoning?