Sunday, January 18, 2009

Commentary - - Again - - Impedimenta.

This is coolbert:

Baba is right?

The American counter-insurgency paradigm for Afghan is bound to fail?

"par·a·digm - - n. - - One that serves as a pattern or model. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline."

A paradigm that calls for winning the "hearts and minds" of the people [the Afghans]. This was the same paradigm that did not work so successfully in Vietnam?

A paradigm that recognizes that counter-insurgency is a battle best described as being 80 % political and only 20 % military.

A paradigm that calls for action on the part of a central government to "win the hearts and minds" of a dubious or neutral populace.

"Winning the hearts and minds" usually accomplished by what are euphemistically called civic action programs.

Programs to include [but not necessarily limited to]:

* Guaranteeing universal suffrage. [also holding free and fair elections]
* Building roads and bridges.
* Building schools. [providing education to BOTH boys and girls!]
* Building medical clinics and hospitals.
* In the case of Afghan, plowing under the poppy crop and providing an alternative cash crop. [no one is ever able to suggest what alternative crop can provide the same income for a destitute Afghan farmer, living from hand-to-mouth.]


A strong central government "providing" for the populace. Win the support of the locals and turn them against the insurgents. This is the paradigm. A MODEL OF GOOD GOVERNMENT BASED UPON THE WESTERN MODEL! A paradigm doomed to failure in Afghan?

According to the late Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, this is not the way to rule the Afghan people. Zahir, referred to reverentially and affectionately as Baba [Father] by his people, in an interview, decades ago, with the National Geographic magazine, was most clear and concise on this issue!

Zahir Shah was quoted [I am paraphrasing here] that: "The Afghan people are a pleasure to rule. To rule successfully in Afghanistan, you basically have to do NOTHING!!"

For any ruler in Afghan, the key to success is to allow your sixteenth [16th] century people to lead their sixteenth [16th] century lives unmolested. Do not bother them with program, ideas, policies, etc., that are part of the "western" concept of good government.


This is correct? I fear it is so! Rather than helping the situation, the "western" model of good government will not work in the Afghan counter-insurgency situation. The "surge" as envisioned by Obama will do no good!?

I hope for the best, but fear the worst. This I have said before.

[taking action, "doing something" is a marked aspect of the American character. Doing NOTHING is alien to the American mentality. If I were to tell you, the devoted reader, that more damage was done to the enviroment by the clean up of the Alaskan Exxon Valdez oil spill than was done by the oil spill itself, would you believe me? More damage was done by cleaning up the mess than was done by the mess itself! True! But to suggest to do NOTHING is definitely un-American and alien to the American thought process!!]


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