It’s Not the Taliban, it’s Our insults

by GADI ADELMAN December 19, 2012

I've been down this road before; down it so many times I can drive it with eyes closed. But just when I thought I had seen it all the Obama administration trumps itself.

When the Ft. Hood terrorist shooting became "workplace violence", after certain words such as "Radical Islam", "terrorism" and "Jihadist" were removed from all national security documents, or when the FBI allowed a known Hamas operative into a six week program that included tours of top-secret areas of our National Counterterrorism Center, I truly thought it couldn't get worse. I was wrong.

What has been termed "Green on Blue" attacks, green being the Afghan forces, blue being the U.N. or Coalition forces, has killed 125 troops. A breakdown of deaths per year and percentage of Coalition deaths caused by such attacks shows the increase since these attacks started,

2008 - 2 - less than 1%

2009 - 12 - 2%

2010 - 16 - 2%

2011 - 35 - 6%

2012 - 60 - 16%

A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article on December 11 reported on a new Army manual or handbook for U.S. Troops that goes beyond any stupidity I have seen thus far from this administration,

The 75-page manual, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, is part of a continuing effort by the U.S. military to combat a rise in attacks by Afghan security forces aimed at coalition troops.

The proposed Army handbook suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture, not Taliban infiltration, has helped drive the recent spike in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.

"Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member," according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.

Of course! How silly of me, I should have known that the reason the Taliban is killing troops has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there is a war, it is because we have insulted them!

What's worse that some bonehead actually got paid to study and write this, is what's inside the handbook itself. Some of the specific points in this manual of ‘Kumbaya crap' is beyond belief,

The draft handbook offers a list of "taboo conversation topics" that soldiers should avoid, including "making derogatory comments about the Taliban," "advocating women's rights," "any criticism of pedophilia," "directing any criticism towards Afghans," "mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct" or "anything related to Islam." 

What? Are you fricking kidding me? Let's examine some of these "taboo conversation topics".

"Making derogatory comments about the Taliban", of course, that makes total sense, why would any soldier ever say anything derogatory about THEIR ENEMY, that would never happen, after all I am sure they have the utmost respect for each other.

"Advocating women's rights", well that just goes without saying, just because many of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan are women, just because hundreds of women have received the Combat Action Badge, just because women are among the dead and wounded, women's rights need not be mentioned, the Taliban see these women in uniform every day, no need to mention it.

female combat

"Any criticism of pedophilia". Oh, where to start. Hold the presses, does this mean that the U.S. Army or the administration is actually admitting that "pedophilia" occurs so much or on a regular basis that it might actually be discussed by the troops? That's rather stereotypical of them to make that assertion.

"Directing any criticism towards Afghans". Basically this one is just telling our troops what we heard from our mothers as children. "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". So shut up! Assuming that any of the Afghans that may be in ear shot even speak English, hold your tongue and remember you are in Afghanistan, not America, so you have no more freedom of speech. Allah forbid you insult them.

"Mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct" confuses me a bit; the U.S. Military just did away with "Don't ask, don't tell". I guess this means that while on the battlefield you should no longer embrace or kiss your fellow soldiers. 

"Anything related to Islam", yeah that makes total sense. You are in an Islamic country; all the men are wearing keffiyehs (head scarfs) and women are in Burquas and you hear the call prayer 5 times a day, but don't under any circumstances mention "Islam".

I have written before on how the hands of our soldiers are being and have been tied, but this truly goes beyond belief, now the U.S. military will be instructed what to say and not say because it may bring about Taliban retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal article goes on to point out,

The proposed handbook embraces a hotly debated theory that American cultural ignorance has sparked many so-called insider attacks-more than three dozen of which have claimed the lives of some 63 members of the U.S.-led coalition this year.

Again, I have to say, WTF? Every single war the U.S. has been involved in; including the Civil War, there was "cultural ignorance". WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, every conflict, but now with some infinite wisdom the great minds in the upper echelon of the Military think that bending over to the enemy will somehow keep them from wanting to kill our troops.

The "study" for this new manual is what I find to be most interesting,

The study, based on interviews with 600 members of the Afghan security forces and 200 American soldiers, painted a grim portrait of opposing cultures with simmering disdain for their counterparts.

The draft handbook uses Maj. Bordin's conclusions to psychologically prepare troops for serving in Afghanistan. A summary includes views of some U.S. soldiers that Afghan forces engage in thievery, are "gutless in combat," are "basically stupid," "profoundly dishonest," and engage in "treasonous collusion and alliances with enemy forces."

So basically after interviewing 200 U.S. soldiers the overwhelming consensus is that Afghan forces are thieves who are gutless, basically stupid, profoundly dishonest and are treasonous. So rather than believing those that have served and fought there, just write a rule book telling them not to say or do anything.

The first time a soldier comes upon a woman being raped or worse, a child, he or she should look the other way and forget it. Military regulations and rules people.

I am happy to report that U.S. Marine General John Allen doesn't agree with the new handbook. According to the WSJ,

But it has drawn criticism from U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top military commander in Afghanistan, who aides said hasn't-and wouldn't-endorse the manual as written. Gen. Allen also rejected a proposed foreword that Army officials drafted in his name.

"Gen. Allen did not author, nor does he intend to provide, a foreword," said Col. Tom Collins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. "He does not approve of its contents."

Perhaps those in the administration who are responsible for this handbook of Kumbaya should consider the reason for General Allen not approving of its contents.

The U.S. is due to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014 just one year from now. As soon as the U.S. and coalition forces leave, the Taliban will step right back in and it will have been 13 years of wasted time, money and worst of all lives.

I have an idea, let's forget about not insulting them and just leave now. I mean why bother waiting for more "green on blue" attacks and more deaths and for the military to realize that maybe it was because of the war and not the insults.

 

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show "America Akbar" on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.

 


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