“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."
The pitiful self-inflicted tragedy of the West’s “strategy” in Afghanistan is summed up in this opening sentence:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A newly recruited Afghan village policeman opened fire on his American allies on Friday, killing two US service members minutes after they handed him his official weapon in an inauguration ceremony.
There’s nothing clever or sophisticated about this attack. You don’t have to plot, or disguise yourself, or break into a secure facility. They come to you, to your village. They even give you money. And then they give you the gun. And then you shoot them.
Do they cover that in Pentagon-approved must-read Three Cups Of Tea? Afghanistan is just another in the long roll-call of America’s un-won wars these past six decades — except that it’s taken longer to lose than the others, and in their barbarity the locals demonstrate an almost gleeful contempt for a lavishly endowed enemy with everything except the one thing it needs: strategic purpose. This ought to be a national scandal, but the coverage has dwindled down to nothing butsedating banalities:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A man in an Afghan police uniform shot and killed a U.S. service member on Sunday, a U.S. Defense Department official said, raising the death toll to 10 in such attacks in the space of just two weeks.
The surge in violence by Afghan allies against their international partners has raised doubts about the ability of the two forces to work together at a key transition time.
“International partners . . . work together . . . key transition . . .” As I wrote herefive months ago:
Six weeks after the last NATO soldier leaves Afghanistan, it will be as if we were never there. Before the election in 2010, the New York Post carried a picture of women registering to vote in Herat, all in identical top-to-toe bright blue burkas, just as they would have looked on September 10, 2001. We came, we saw, we left no trace. America’s longest war will leave nothing behind.