In the past two weeks we have read more stories about ANA turning their weapons on their NATO and American 'counterparts'. These are not the first incidences in this 9 year conflict to be sure but it is the first time two incidences of this kind have occurred so closely together. They also happened on opposite sides of the country, one from the other.
I wrote about the first of these most recent incidences in Dealing with the Devil. In a follow-up story, the ANA soldier who has claimed responsibility said he had planned to do so before he decided to jump ship for the Taliban; an act of revenge for civilians he says were killed by British forces.
This is being and will continue to be portrayed as a singular act of violence rather than the manifestation of a universal hatred for American Forces, NATO and western culture. It is extremely important that the 'architects' of this current iteration of COIN continue to project absolute belief in this strategy if they have any hope of stemming the growing discontent with it's premise; that Islam is ultimately peaceful and that the average Afghan wants our 'help'.
The latest incident, reported today in Stratfor and other sources, , says an ANA soldier turned his weapon on two American Contractors hired to train ANA as well as others. In the end, 4 died which included the attacker.
The question everyone would be asking if anyone was in fact listening is whether or not this is an anomaly or an undercurrent of inbred, religiously fostered hatred toward US and NATO forces. No one is asking because the people whom we have entrusted with prosecuting this action in Afghanistan refuse to accept the possibility that their originating premise is wrong. The media refuses to ask the question for a variety of reasons not the least of which is ratings. Why waste time talking about a subject that isn't going to bring home the bacon. A ten minute segment on the self-destructive life style of yet another one of the Hollywood elite is far more engrossing - and it pays better.
While the undercurrent of anger of the largely disaffected red-blooded American boils, the dead in DC continue their campaign of disinterest for the plight of our Warriors and the greedy in the media continue to dig for far more lucrative stories. When did we get here?
The fact of the matter is; we have always been here. A good friend once told me something I never forgot; fewer than 3% of the population of the colonies supported talk of separation from England - let alone a war. The remaining 97% were split between direct loyalties to Britain and loyalties to their homeland. Some have said the Tories were the majority. Even then under an increasingly oppressive government and their ever increasing levy of burdensome taxes, people were not willing to stand up and declare right what they knew to be right and to stand against tyranny.
Today, the measure of the importance of support for something is proportional to the cost of that 'something' to our wallets, our time, our entertainment or our families. Far too many times I have spoken to people about this subject and observed the glazed look of the uninterested and uneducated staring back at me. On occasion, I have witnessed a transformation but only when one of their sons or daughters have declared their interest in joining the service. Maybe that's what it will take. Maybe it requires everyone being faced with the potential of forced service to make them realize that the wanton killing, at the hands of our politicians in DC, is really at their door.
As for the media; maybe we need to use TARP funds or create another bailout/incentive fund - taxpayer funded, available only to those news agencies ready to start paying attention to the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan... Maybe we need to take their pads and cameras away and replace them with rifles they can't shoot, in places they can't get fire support, led by men prepared to bury them for the sake of the enemy.