Today, Matt Lauer did us proud. He asked the question that the Media has thus far not dared to ask; is there anything to these incidences involving Afghan National Soldiers and Police turning their weapons on their American and ISAF Trainer/Handlers? Until today, the standard answer has been that these were individual acts of murder perpetrated by deranged, angry men, acting, if you will out of personal discontent. Any suggestion that these were connected in any way was not only regarded as incorrect, but bordering on racial slur.
Baseless denunciation aside, characterizing the 21 plus similar acts that have occurred over the past 1.5 years which has yielded 42 American deaths, as individual is a sign of stupidity. The running total since December of this past year alone stands at 28. When you add to this the most recent 'jailbreak' in Khandahar by 500 Taliban fighters - and supporters, the real question should be how is it that General Petraeus and his fellow supporters of the current strategy can continue to support what is clearly a failed strategy?
The prevailing wisdom that produced the strategy is that 'all roads lead to God' and Islam is just another expression of the 'pious Muslim' seeking reconciliation with him. The problem is, of course, that the writers of the original Op Order failed to even consider the possibility that these pious adherents of Islam might be motivated and even commanded by their deity to kill any and all who refuse to take a knee to Allah - even their 'allied trainers'.
These latest two incidences make this a rather busy week for the Taliban and their supporters. How anyone can conclude that the jailbreak alone was not orchestrated with the help of the prison's guards defies logic. This is not the first such break. A little over 2 years ago over 1100 'inmates' escaped with little to no coverage or seemingly any kind of concern. In fact, the most troubling part of all of these stories is the seeming lack of concern for what this suggests about the efficacy of the strategy and it's ill effect on the very lives of our troops. If insanity is truly continuing to do that which continues to fail, then the entire political and upper echelon military structure are themselves acting like 'escaped inmates' - from a different kind of institution.
Within our Western culture, murder is accepted as a wholly unacceptable and despicable act. It is neither tolerated nor allowed to go unpunished. Our loathing of it has extended to the battlefield where the acts of sovereign US Warriors, fighting on our behalf, are so scrutinized by JAG lawyers that they have been rendered nearly ineffective. Why is it that this same western culture that seems so willing to imprison our own, is so unwilling to hold accountable a society that deems murder a righteous act? How is it that we can be so 'compassionate' toward a culture that practices ritual murder and so intolerant of men acting out of self defense and urgency to defeat an enemy bent on our destruction?
Every questionable act that has occurred since the original terrain assessment was completed can be tracked right back to that assessment and the utter failure of Pentagon officials to insure that every facet of Afghan culture, Afghan life and Afghan religion was scrutinized.
The act of wanton murder in Kabul today is not an aberration and it is not the act of a single deranged individual. The murder on the Tarmac in Kabul, today, was the act of a penitent and pious true believer. One of many from within a society that celebrates such acts as holy.
If the Muslims in Afghanistan can be said to be pious, they are also pragmatists. Using us as what some have defined as useful idiots, practicing patience and all for the honor of Allah, is as much a sign of true adherence to the Koran and it's precepts as facing East on bended knee.
It appears, however, that time for patience is waning as these 'aberrations' increase in number and effectiveness.
General Petraeus and DC had better take that lesson to heart and learn before we lose any more of our Warriors to these pious acts of the simple, peaceful Afghan citizenry.