AFGHANISTAN: WE ARE LOSNG IT ...

Medicine Globally by Dr. Rene Menguy

“If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the ditch” (Matthew, 15:14)

A few nights ago I had my recurrent nightmare. I was walking down this dark and lonely street when I was stabbed by a shadow. There was this door, with a blinking blue light above it: Emergency Room. The room was full of doctors and nurses, and patients on gurneys, their bodies all frozen in different positions; nobody was moving. Feeling the blood running down my chest, I panicked and tried to scream. Is anybody in charge here?

Then I woke up in a cold sweat, and began to worry about Afghanistan again. Recently, I wrote something about our losing that war. My mind hasn’t changed, but now, I’m afraid we’re losing it faster.

The events in Washington suggest that nobody in power has the wisdom to guide us out of the widening quagmire in that misbegotten country. The administration is stuck in a dilemma between two different approaches. A minimalist one, articulated by the Vice President, would rely on smaller ground forces and anonymous air attacks by drones piloted from consoles. Every day we read reports of such air strikes killing a few “high ranking” Taliban or Al Qaida. Don’t those guys have any grunts?

Seriously though, that man, the second in command of our poor country doesn’t get it. However we do it, every dead Muslim becomes a recruitment poster for Muslims all over the world, which is to say about 1.5 billion, or one fourth of the world population. The most frightening aspect of these demographics is that Muslims have increased by about 235% over the last 50 years, while Christians have increased by only 47%.

He does not understand that although the intent of a terrorist act may be to harm the adversary, its real purpose is to provoke retaliation and the more violent the latter, the more effective its recruitment potential becomes. Remember that some Muslims still harbor a grudge for the Crusades. Just as we recruited mere children during the last Crusade, so do they now sacrifice children’s lives in their jihad against us. The purpose of Moslem terrorism against the West is to provoke us into brutal acts of retaliation that, when compared with some of the teachings of Islam, makes us look very bad in the eyes of the poor and untutored of the world who then gravitate toward Islam.

“Well, René shouldn’t we trying to atone for what we did during those Crusades, I mean, you know, all those Saracens we killed.”

“Sorry to disabuse you, Charley, but the Crusades were fought from the 11th century to the end of the 13th century. Actually, the Muslims had been Crusaders, long before that. By the end of the first half of the7th century, they had conquered all of present Syria that had been under Roman rule for many centuries. They went on, under the Rashid Caliphate to conquer Byzantium, and most of what we call the Middle East. By the 8th century, they had colonized all of Spain and Portugal. Had it not been for Charles Martel and his defeating a Muslim army invading France, at the battle of Poitiers in 732, we might all well be kneeling on prayer rugs on the Naples beach.”

At the point Charley’s eyes glazed over and I gave up.

General McChrystal, commanding our forces in Afghanistan, appears to favor a traditional counter-insurgency approach based on committing an appropriate number of “boots on the ground”, and gaining the support of the locals. I doubt that he will succeed. The longer we stay there, the more unpopular the war will become at home and the more fighters they’ll be able to recruit from all over the world.

More importantly, we are not just fighting the Taliban and the Al Qaida. We are also fighting the Iranians waging war against us by proxy. As I’ve said before, a war of occupation against an insurgency supported by a powerful outside power is not winnable. The longer we stay there and kill Muslims, the stronger their cause becomes; a cause they’ll harness in the war against us.

I have another thought. I’ve long been impressed by the disjuncture between the teachings in the Qur’an and the aggressiveness of Middle East peoples, a behavior that began over 2000 years ago when the Persians attempted to invade Greece.

Is Afghanistan merely a skirmish in a larger war? Could their goal be world domination? Could the Muslims in our midst-almost 1% of our population-be a “Fifth Column''[1]?

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[1] A group of people secretly undermining a nation from within, at the behest of an outside enemy.

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