Yes, I know I'm taking liberties with Holy Scripture but the discussion of fruits is meaningful here because of the cause and effect relationship as it pertains to COIN and ROE. This scripture tells Christians we can identify one another by the fruits of the Spirit; 'But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,' (Gal 5:22). If you read the balance of Matthew 7 you also find those things which are the antithesis of the 'good fruit'. Even though there are those who do not ascribe to the truth of the Bible, it is a good academic read anyway. It is also instructive in its purpose to drive people to recognize good versus evil, right versus wrong, etc. The concept of seeing the 'fruit of your labor' is not lost on the vast majority of our western society. We are raised to work hard and that hard work reaps reward and that reward can help us live a more fulfilling life.
This war in Afghanistan is a case study in such arguments. It provides us with two protagonists in a religious war that will redefine the world as we know it and as it has been defined by recorded history. Make no mistake; this is a religious war. The first great mistake made in prosecuting this war has been the lack of political courage in identifying the enemy. The second was the lack of wisdom in correctly identifying the conflict as religious. Our delicate American sensibilities don't allow us, as a nation, to even conceive of the possibility of two nations fighting over religious ideological differences much less being party to it. We are not given a choice however. For if this war was thrust on us by the intrusions of Islamic forces from abroad over the past 30 years, we must also recognize the reasons for their attack. They have given us the reasons for their attacks over, and over again. We are the enemy to Islam and therefore to them. The fact that there are apostates in their midst and around the world that choose not to agree with that statement does not remove the fact that there are larger numbers of them who do.
In the weeks that followed September 11, 2001, our intelligence agencies and those from around the world identified the forces that exported the agents that carried out that final insult that awakened the 'sleeping giant'. Once identified, our government decided to find them and destroy them as well as those who offered them shelter and comfort. If this was not a justifiable response to an unprovoked attack then there never will be a legitimate reason to go to war - ever! The reason that some, lacking intestinal fortitude, were and are repulsed by this war is because of the religious overtones. They should be afraid; very afraid. In traditional wars, peoples send out their government trained, armed and uniformed forces to attack or repulse a like trained enemy. Hostilities continue until the coffers run dry or one side or the other can no longer bear the pain. This war is different. Only one side has a legitimate cause. One side fights as a nation, for their survival, the other based on warped ideological obedience. For that side, there will never be a cessation to hostility because that is a core tenet of their ideology. They live to fight and die for Allah. There is no earth-bound reason and therefore no earthly power restraining them or guiding them in their conduct. As a Christian nation (sorry Barrack) we are constrained by our faith and the governing forces placed there by the electorate and God.
General McChrystal has bought into the argument that there are those in the Islamic culture of Afghanistan that want what we have and need and want our help. He is wrong, and, to quote yet another scripture, 'he has left his first love.'(stolen from Rev 2:45 describing the cold heartedness of the Ephesians to the Church) has been telling us that his real concern is for the safety and well-being of another people at great cost to his own. The General's first responsibility is to his oath as it is for all sworn and elected officials. He has determined that the protection of a foreign entity, be they friendly or not (I dare say the events of the past several weeks say, not) is far more important than the lives of the Americans fighting in that foreign land. The latest example can be found in this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8289200.stm. This is a quote taken from the article that should make every American angry: "In a statement, Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) said that tribal militia launched attacks on foreign and Afghan military outposts from a mosque and a nearby village."
The General is flirting with treason as defined as an act of disloyalty toward the sovereignty of this nation. Willful destruction of the uniformed forces of this nation certainly seems to qualify. This is a question for Constitutional lawyers and history however. Looking at the successes and failures to judge this new strategy is a far more valuable use of time. Remembering that closer one on one involvement with the Afghan people and the ANA and ANP is the center piece of his new strategy, it only makes sense to use recent events as a gauge of success. There has been an uptick in the number of treacherous acts by Afghans working closely with Americans since the General hit the ground in June 2009. These don't appear to be a problem for him though. He is still selling his tripe. It doesn't appear to be bothering the fair one in the White House either, who seems to have time for everything except discussing the war effort or the interminable hell he has abandoned our Warriors in. Our elected Representatives and Senators are oblivious to the insanity being perpetrated against our Warriors by their superiors. They see everything through the prism of the next election cycle. This is the answer for their silence. No one who was concerned on any level, knowing that time will make the difference between a Warrior coming home to the waiting arms of his loved ones, or in a box, would refuse to act to change the current course of this war. I am wondering what would be the appropriate number of US Marines and Soldiers, killed through treachery, allowed by the ISAF Commander before Congress thought it appropriate to act? Shame on all of you for your cowardice!
Expecting Congress to change their focus from themselves to any of us is a waste of hope. Hoping to change their minds through a groundswell of public indignation is proving to be challenging. Waiting for this ISAF Commander to decide to cede his position or for the President to become involved enough in the affairs of State to recognize his responsibilities as an American President is equally challenging. The tide is shifting in this country though. My prayer to God is that he mercifully protect our Warriors as they continue to display the honor and courage on the battlefield that is the hallmark of Real America while we continue to struggle with the forces of evil spawned inside the DC beltway.