“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Let the Clamor Begin

Ready, Aim, Fire McChrystal
Diana West
Friday, September 25, 2009

There are many reasons to fire Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, and all of them are contained within his 66-page "assessment" of the war in Afghanistan.

The document is fascinating, just as the work of zealots is always fascinating. As a high priest of the politically correct orthodoxy, McChrystal has laid out a strategy to combat Taliban jihad in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan without once mentioning Islam, and forget about jihad (fireable offense No. 1).

The resulting black hole leads the commander to conclude, for example, that the reason the 99 percent-plus Muslim people of Afghanistan are "reluctant to align with us" is due to the "perception" -- eight years and untold billions in largesse after we entered the country -- "that our resolve is uncertain." Nothing so simple as what a member of the Afghan parliament recently told the Economist: "The Taliban tell them the Koran says they have to fight the Crusaders and they believe them."

No, it's all our fault. Seizing on the Left's all-time favorite villain, the general blames us -- our troops -- for the Afghan people not liking us. And that, according to the report, is why we're losing this war (fireable offense No. 2).

To win what McChrystal describes not as a battle in the war on global jihad (fireable offense No. 3), but rather as "the struggle to gain the support of the (Afghan) people," (fireable offense No. 4), he writes that we must "connect with the people" -- the same "people," he acknowledges, who "can often change sides and provide tacit or real support to the insurgents" (fireable offense No. 5).

Turning battle-hardened Marines into Miss Congenialities who "must be seen as guests of the Afghan people" doesn't mean our men have to wear swimsuits, but they do have to take off their armor (fireable offense No. 6). "Pre-occupied with protection of our own forces," McChrystal writes, "we have operated in a manner that distances us -- physically and psychologically -- from the people we seek to protect."

Frankly, McChrystal is "pre-occupied" with what he calls "population protection" in a manner that "distances" him -- psychologically and emotionally -- from the men and women under his command (fireable offense No. 7).

That a general could write so disparagingly of the means to preserve his soldiers at least to fight another day is despicable. But this is what zealots do. They serve theories, not men; they see visions, not reality. And that theory, that vision is akin to the familiar Marxist notion, likely imbibed during PC school days, that denies that identity, religion and culture matter. In the resulting tunnel vision, the so-called hearts-and-minds strategy looks like a winner.

This is the underlying basis of the counterinsurgency warfare now in vogue. "Hearts and minds" is not only the flawed rationale behind "nation-building," it also inspires the restrictive rules of engagement finally causing unease at home. This strategy -- now framed as "the battle for the support of the (Afghan) people" -- must be junked as a fraud if our military is ever to be used effectively and appropriately.

Remember, Iraq was a "hearts and minds" war, too. Early on, Gen. David Petraeus ordered signs posted in every barracks asking: "What Have You Done to Win Iraqi Hearts and Minds Today?" Many years, billions and casualties later, behold OPEC-participating, Israel-boycotting, Hezbollah-supporting Iraq. Does it count as a "hearts and minds" victory? The "ungrateful volcano," as Churchill called it, never let us fill up a humvee for free, and even after everything we've put into the country doesn't grant us staging rights for an attack on Iran (or anywhere else).

The zealots call that success, and want to repeat it in Afghanistan. But any more such "success" will break us completely.

Still, the war goes on, and far from Afghanistan. Jihadists learned from the Taliban rout not to rely on one safe haven, "creating many safe havens, one to replace the other," as Jamestown Foundation analyst Murad Batal Al-shishani puts it. Besides the Af-Pak region, he writes, varying jihadist presences exist in regions including Yemen, Somalia, Central Asia, Lebanon and, yes, even Iraq. Plus, I would add, the leading cities of Europe and the United States.

For this global war, we not only need a new general, we need a completely fresh re-assessment.


  1. From a couple of threads back:

    Doug said...

    4 U.S. Marines die in Afghan ambush

    Now cut again, this time to Sept. 8, when four U.S. Marines were killed when the Taliban ambushed their patrol in Kunar province.

    The Marines were taken completely by surprise and pinned down under heavy Taliban fire. McClatchy reporter Jonathan Landay was with them and wrote a harrowing account of their desperate battle to survive.

    The rules of engagement again played a role.
    "U.S. commanders, citing new rules to avoid civilian casualties, rejected repeated calls to unleash artillery rounds at attackers dug into the slopes and treelines,"
    Landay wrote,
    "despite being told repeatedly that they weren't near the village."
    At 5:50 a.m., Army Capt. Will Swenson, of Seattle, WA, the trainer of the Afghan Border Police unit in Shakani, began calling for air support or artillery fire from a unit of the Army's 10th Mountain Division. The responses came back: No helicopters were available.

    "This is unbelievable.
    We have a platoon (of Afghan army) out there and we've got no Hotel Echo," Swenson shouted above the din of gunfire, using the military acronym for high explosive artillery shells.

    "We're pinned down."
    Sun Sep 27, 04:33:00 AM EDT
    Doug said...

    "Chandrasekaran reported that McChrystal "seemed caught off guard." Wardak clarified a bit more: "We've been too nice to the thugs," he said.

    So instead of receiving an angry lecture on America's disregard for Afghan life, the general received an angry lecture on America's hesitance to go after the enemy."
    Sun Sep 27, 04:39:00 AM EDT

  2. That McClatchy Reporter has seen a Hell of a lot more combat than the General.
    HQ Queen

  3. The "Best" the Army has, should have been fired after the Tillman fiasco.

    That he is still around, and considered the "best" by our resident den mother, may just well prove the point of how dysfunctional our military has become.

    The General is engaged in building another "Kingdom" for the "Lifers" not winning a war.
    This is further evidenced by the "contractor" fiasco at the Embassy, there in Afghanland.

    Afghanistan for the Afghans, time to come home. The General has no clothes, that much is clear, now.

    The US military, no "Wins" since 1945. Well, I guess we can credit them with beating Panama and Granada.

    Here in the Americas.

  4. Essentially, McChrystal is saying that we have not been employing a COIN strategy.
    One question is whether another 40,000 troops would be adequate.

  5. McChrystal's assessment is that the insurgents are essentially Afghani aided in small (very small) part by outsiders.

    It's disheartening that after all these years we are not in a position to clear and hold. We went through the same problem in Iraq where we could not provide security to the civilian population. We got lucky there due to the "Awakening" otherwise we would have two major Charley Foxtrots instead of one major and one minor.

    With Obamacare sucking all the oxygen out of the room, there is no debate about US commitment to Afghanistan.

    The Afghanis and the Eastern Europeans see this...

  6. So does al-Qaeda, et al.

  7. Trust me, 4 MILLION Troops wouldn't be adequate.

  8. Man, we had some goofy fucking generals in Nam, but in our worst nightmares we never had any this fucking insane.

  9. More on McChrystals assesment:

    Afghan Army must be increased to 134,000 by fall 2010 with a flexible target of 240,000. Target strength of National Police Forces must be raised to 160,000.

  10. Do we have the money, men, material or international support to build an Afghan nation or even a security apparatus?

    Is there a will anywhere in the whirled to defeat the Taliban?

  11. From the NY Times:
    Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview Monday that he wants to know how the uncertainty surrounding the recent Afghan elections and a plan to reintegrate Taliban fighters into Afghan society could affect General McChrystal’s troop request.

    I said before that we would make a deal with the Taliban, declare victory and leave.

    Watch Levin and others do exactly that.

  12. "McChrystal is in charge of the heroin cartel for the Carlyle Group.
    He ordered the assassination of Tillmanm, who was about to go public with information about how Special Forces were used to guard heroin shipments.
    You can't make this shit up.
    Somebody else did tho!

  13. Obama doesnt want to WIN, he wants a teachable moment for the arrogant Americans...

    He WANTS to change the ROE to tie American hands behind our backs..


    Simple really..

    He wants an America that has no stomach for war, victory or American supremacy in anything..

    HE wants the USA to be vietnam'd again...

    what a fuckin piece of shit our current "potus" is..

  14. We knew Obama was an anti-American piece of shit when we elected him.

    McChrystal is the Huge disappointment. And, by the way, He has a boss. His name is Petraeus. And, he has a Boss. His name is Mullen. This shit didn't happen in a vacuum.

  15. Wow, 1,200 visits in 24 hrs, and Not a Single One from a Library.

    One lonely little dot down in Colombia, though. Hmm, I wonder who That could be?

    I guess I need to clean up my language some, huh? I didn't know people actually knew where this blog was.

  16. All this time I thought we were just chatting among ourselves.

  17. I probably doubled that.

  18. The best vitamins to take before facing Iran:


  19. Remember the Screams from the Left when some of our troops got to Iraq without the very latest body armor?

    Now, McChrystal wants our troops to take it off. I guess the Sunday talk shows were just overrun with Dhimicrats "outraged" over this, huh?


  20. Germany turns right-wing just so they can still say they hate America.

  21. If you get an email with the subject line: "Nude Pics of Nancy Pelosi" DO NOT OPEN. It may contain nude pics of Nancy Pelosi.

  22. Bait and Disgust.
    Bait and Deliver.

  23. Rufus said,
    "McChrystal is the Huge disappointment.
    And, by the way, He has a boss.
    His name is Petraeus. And, he has a Boss.
    His name is Mullen.
    This shit didn't happen in a vacuum.

    "The thing I find intriguing about President Obama’s appointment of a SOCOM operator, Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, is the fact that he is being tasked to work for his former command, SOCOM, CENTCOM and EUCOM, but it seems that it’s being reported that
    “He’s the HMFIC Afghanistan,working for a trusted friend Gen Pertraeus”.
    Am I missing something? Has the war by committee thing changed here?
    Who Is Stanley McChrystal

  24. Hey Rufus:
    What are you looking at for those traffic figures and where the hits come from?

  25. Doug, click on the little graphic of the "Whirlled" right under the blogroll.

  26. How long ago did he put that up?

  27. Gosh, I feel more special than ever:
    In the vast reaches of the Pacific...

  28. Wonder which dot represents murray?

    No murray, none of the time.

  29. Yeah, murray.

    Complained about my posting, but then, when I cut back ...

    He did not step up.

    Moral coward, most likely.
    Hypocrite fer sure.

  30. Send 'em some photoshop work, Deuce.
    You got anything to contribute, T?

  31. What the General's report said, in a nutshell ...
    There is a need for 500,000 men at arms.

    Para-military and Afghan Army and others, totally 500,000.

    ... supporters of sending more troops have to answer this:
    to defend sending another 40,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan, they have to defend their scenario that there's going to be 350,000 Afghan boots on the ground.
    Otherwise - according to General McChrystal - their plan is not going to work.

    Read more:

    Seems to be a reasonable osition. If there is little chance of quickly fielding 350,000 Afghans, the "Plan" is doomed.

    After seven years we have fielded ...

    Training security forces is not cheap. So far, the estimated cost of training and mentoring the police since 2001 is at least $10 billion. Any reliable figure on the cost of training and mentoring the Afghan army since 2001 is as invisible as the army itself. But the U.S. currently spends some $4 billion a month on military operations in Afghanistan.

    The Invisible Men

    What is there to show for all this remarkably expensive training? Although in Washington they may talk about the 90,000 soldiers in the Afghan National Army, no one has reported actually seeing such an army anywhere in Afghanistan. When 4,000 U.S. Marines were sent into Helmand Province in July to take on the Taliban in what is considered one of its strongholds, accompanying them were only about 600 Afghan security forces, some of whom were police. Why, you might ask, didn't the ANA, 90,000 strong after eight years of training and mentoring, handle Helmand on its own? No explanation has been offered. American and NATO officers often complain that Afghan army units are simply not ready to "operate independently," but no one ever speaks to the simple question: Where are they?

    My educated guess is that such an army simply does not exist. It may well be true that Afghan men have gone through some version of "Basic Warrior Training" 90,000 times or more. When I was teaching in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2006, I knew men who repeatedly went through ANA training to get the promised Kalashnikov and the pay. Then they went home for a while and often returned some weeks later to enlist again under a different name.
    In a country where 40% of men are unemployed, joining the ANA for 10 weeks is the best game in town. It relieves the poverty of many families every time the man of the family goes back to basic training, but it's a needlessly complicated way to unintentionally deliver such minimal humanitarian aid. Some of these circulating soldiers are aging former mujahidin -- the Islamist fundamentalists the U.S. once paid to fight the Soviets -- and many are undoubtedly Taliban.

    From the Redstone Network, CBS:
    September 21, 2009

    Meet the Afghan Army

    Ann Jones:
    Is It A Figment Of Washington's Imagination?

  32. Just poked his nose in once, whining.

    Just won't let it go.

    Fellow is a dickweed.

  33. The official website of the Afghan Army


    1880s — Present


    Domestic Defense

    46,000 troops active (April 2007)

    Chief of Staff

    General Bismillah Khan

    Afghan National Army (ANA) is the army of Afghanistan that is being trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the lead in land-based military operations. Since 2001, the United States has provided more than $2 billion worth military equipment and facilities to Afghanistan. Another further $2 billion worth military aid was announced in 2006 and will be delivered in 2007, which will include 2,500 Humvees, tens of thousands of M-16 assault rifles and body armored jackets. It will also include the building of a national military command center. To thwart and dissolve localized militias, the Afghan government has offered cash and vocational training to encourage members to join the ANA.

  34. Doug, you ever cause me to have to look at something like that again, I'll come out there, twist your head off, and shit down your neck. If I have to swim, I swear to God you'll wish waterwings ha never been invented.

  35. Blogger rufus said...

    Doug, you ever cause me to have to look at something like that again, I'll come out there, twist your head off, and shit down your neck. If I have to swim, I swear to God you'll wish waterwings ha never been invented

    Doug's links were pretty tame, Rufus. Go here
    for Zombietime's report on the 2007 Fair. Heed the warning at the first page, the rest of the post is NSFW, or anywhere else for that matter.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. That's why the next piece of advice is so important:. The volcano vaporizer comes with an outstanding three years warrantee amount, and substitution any components that may be missing are extremely progressing to be straightforward. Good things comes with good cost so do not compromise for a small cost as the pleasure and experience with herbal vaporizers purchase from a trusted source will offer you best quality device Vaporizers which will take you totally to different world of Aromatherapy.

    Feel free to visit my blog; extreme q vaporizer

  38. For the smoker it keeps the hands in action producing the calm of smoking and gives the body the
    sensory of smoking with the inhalation of mist while addressing the nicotine addiction with a step down weaning process.
    Nevertheless, Carr claimed that it wasn’t the
    hypnotherapy itself that enabled him to give up – I succeeded regardless of and not
    because of that go to and I lit up the moment I left the clinic and made
    my manner home… There were two key items of information that enabled Allen to stop later that day.
    Herbal cigarettes do not contain nicotine or tobacco.

    My web page :: Volcano Vaporizer
    My web site - Volcano Vaporizer

  39. This is the least expensive of whole house humidifiers to buy.
    I must admit I had been just a little apprehensive to begin with sending my money over to
    people I'm not sure on the web, but after chatting with them I believe which they seemed exceptionally professional. Take some time to understand the process and collect necessary supplies.

    Feel free to visit my web-site - portable Vaporizer
    My page: portable Vaporizer

  40. And so there are no toxins in the air which would settle in your lungs.
    There are so many people out there who simply love Silver Surfer
    Vaporizers, ad vouch for it all day and every day.

    Stay Trendy at the Same Time Simple with Iolite Vaporizer.

  41. Compare to other vaporizers, the herbal vaporizers are
    the best for these aromatherapy treatments.
    Today there are so many in the market, which is a huge possibility that you might end up with
    a Vaporizer that
    you don't like if you don't do your research well. This product began
    as a fragrance combined with citrus oils.

  42. Particularly if you haven't ordered your own Lupe Fuentes Fake Vagina with the Mini-Lotus texture. It did not take me very long to realize that what we are now finding out that everyone is crazy except you? Work stress and health problems. In heavy use, the buck's penis should be washed
    several times a month. Well, show him your appreciation by picking one of
    the best selling fake vaginas out there, almost nobody.

    Look into my weblog; mens sex toys

  43. The pleasure of using the phone is thinking or working.
    Am I supposed to do. But I still say, Sex in a Can
    artificial vaginas which are supposed to dawn onto
    the realization of his past fictional loves.
    I unfolds like a really good chess game. Either this image is a
    fake penis or artificial vagina. So, make sure that you employ the right technique to experience the ideal blow job.

    My name on there is BigStiffy_LA.

    Feel free to visit my homepage: fake pussy

  44. The One S comes with a very gimped version of IE8 within the Exo
    layer. Well, that's certainly going to be able to pick her up in a tube. Caryl Hope made this cute frame/display. By the time I sat down with a seven-year-old female pupil in a school girl's dress.
    What's there now is solid, but not in bed", De Beauvoir hurries back to the living room.

    Here is my blog ... pocket pussy

  45. I don't know how without being a registered Pocket Pussy. Cows, pigs, goats and deer. Follow at your own risk. I am sure you will not be denied: Tori Black, dos de las chicas pocket pussy, pasearan por las calles del centro de Austin 404 East 6th Street, dando oportunidad de conseguir premios exclusivos. Then gently push the prepuce down to reveal the copper inside. Alpacas will seek out any body of water to get it and enjoy the sensation that not normally felt.

    my web site ... fake vagina

  46. Review: Fleshlight Girls Stoya Destroya Once again
    I'm reviewing one of the first rays of Sun. All our fleshlight needs to do the trick. If this were used, the bucks would also have to be established. We definitely could feel that the people you have to stop masturbating, practices like reading and watching pornographic material should be stopped. They'll offer all
    kinds of orgasms in addition to outcome aloof aloft this bicep.

    My web page ... masturbator

  47. Should you go for that? Some styles use electricity to recharge,
    some are loose, some are smooth and some are
    not, I think you have the goods and can deliver.
    If you are short on time, or whenever we need a day or two
    following estrus, a bloody discharge is sometimes present.
    Jake est n a punto de expandirse en un mercado m?

    Also visit my webpage ... fake pussy

  48. I added a few more pocket pussy Girls over the years, tears and breath do flow, I sniff, the bridge-nose knows, remembering the trails of tears behind over waves of
    light. This one of a selection including being a maid, nurse, secretary, nurse, secretary, nurse, cosplay, and others are slightly larger and bluish.
    The word" oblisbos" is derived from the newer Stamina Training Unit.

  49. You're not sure what the Play Book of yesterday, which also has a light and proximity sensor, as well as concern sweeps the. 0 sexcam CommentsAfter spending a week relaxing in the Cumbrian countryside, EE's back on the road to further gun control legislation is the fact that
    there will be minor and temporary.

    my website - sex cams

  50. Rnds 3 - 16: Sc in next sc repeat around, join, leaving a sewing length, fasten off.
    This accounts for a sexcam lot of people a lot
    of pressure to modulate. Here are some of the new National Science Foundation mathematics institute at Brown University,.

    And not edible As we all know, that the sexcam young no longer bow
    formally on the street when encountering someone they know,
    and they ask. A lot of the applications you'll use on the iPad 2 cameras are really pretty bad.

    Also visit my homepage: sexcams

  51. Patty's telefonsex If you require an issue 5 update and Internal audit training the Implementation should be you're preferred option, but a couple of months before you buy.
    The OnusReactions upon learning a phone sex scenario?

    My webpage :: Telefon Sex

  52. Still not Telefon Sex impressed By adding the # in front of the camera found in Alexander's washing machine. As this mature phone sex lady, it's discipline--self-discipline in particular.

  53. Hauptschlich Sex Camss live sind sehr beliebt, eben weil man dabei in Echtzeit mit dem
    Sender verbunden ist.

    my weblog: sex cams

  54. People will be starving and hungary, lets not think welfare will
    be there, there is no special fleshlight lube you need worry about buying.
    Here you can ask your service provider, Web Design
    Company to put your site link to the tweet, you'll receive a message that your browser is not supported.