Saturday, November 20, 2010

Extreme Home Makeover: the NATO Edition

(For source of photo, click here.)

Sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or cry. This morning Scott Simon was checking in with NPR's Afghanistan bureau chief, Quil Lawrence. After hearing from Lawrence how "Afghan military commanders and government ministers...seem to be on the same page as the generals and the NATO officials..." Simon asked a good question, "And can you give us any insight into how regular Afghan citizens might be viewing this debate now?" That led to this from Lawrence,
"Well, I find that Afghans outside the government or that aren't working with the Americans are living in an absolutely completely different reality from the one that I hear described by U.S. generals, by NATO officials, by congressmen and U.S. senators who come here.
For example, down in Kandahar, where they certainly have seen fierce fighting and killed many, many Taliban fighters down there, but at the same time villagers down there have been evicted from their homes by the violence. They see that their homes are now - and their fields are still so littered with Taliban landmines and booby traps that the U.S. military has actually had to bulldoze or sometimes rocket their houses just to clear them."
Well, dang what do you know, seems like there's a new Nobel Prize winning strategy emerging in Afghanistan - kind of a 21st century update of "destroying the village in order to save it." And Simon's horrified reaction is...
"Might they reflect that the picture the U.S. is presenting at NATO meetings and elsewhere is just a little hopeful?"
A little hopeful? Sheesh...oh well, I guess he was saving his profound humanity for the Afghanistan dog hero that was accidentally euthanized. Notice, too how the web scribes for NPR describe thwarted attackers against NATO combat forces as "terrorists."


12 comments:

goopDoggy said...

Right: anyone with the gumption to oppose an invading army is a terrorist. Why didn't the US Army think of this before? If we'd just called the Grenadians "terrorists" maybe we would have won the war of Grenada? Wait...

Never mind September: Estimates: More drone attacks in September than any other month, which saw the US heroically saving Europe from Afghanistan - October, as we learned on DN yesterday, was quite a month:

The Washington Post reports the U.S. military is deploying battle tanks in Afghanistan for the first time. U.S. military commanders had long resisted introducing tanks in part due to fears they’d remind Afghans of the tank-heavy Soviet occupation. But top U.S. commander General David Petraeus ordered at least 16 M1 Abrams tanks into Helmand province last month, with more likely to follow. The deployments follow the most intense month of NATO bombardments so far, with more than 1,000 bombs and missiles fired in October. A senior U.S. military official told the Washington Post: "We’ve taken the gloves off, and it has had a huge impact." Another official said he thinks the increased damage to Afghan property from the bombings has had a beneficial effect: by forcing Afghans to travel to their local governors’ offices to submit damage claims, the official said: "in effect, you’re connecting the [Afghan] government to the people."

So it's kind of a melding of shock and awe with hearts and minds. Mock and haw? Farts from hinds? It seems Obama may be hoist with his own petard.

goopDoggy said...

Perhaps that last bit of punning demands some explanation. It seems a "petard" in Shakespeare's time was a bomb formed by gunpowder in a sturdy casing having an opening that would produce a squib with enough violence to break through a wall. So being hoist by one's own petard means you blew yourself up in the process of trying to blow through a wall. But "petard" comes from the French word for "fart"...was that too excruciating an explanation?

goopDoggy said...

...wait, right, in Grenada we still called them communists.

Anonymous said...

"Afghan military commanders and government ministers...seem to be on the same page as the generals and the NATO officials..."

In the "Book of Love", presumably.

U.S. military has actually had to bulldoze or sometimes rocket their houses just to clear them."

You can just hear the General talking to a civilian family after bulldozing their house:

"All clear, it's now safe to return to doing what you were before..."

Anonymous said...

The military "experts" that NPR interviews must have some really good laughs after their interviews:

"I can't believe that [insert gullible NPR reporter] actually swallowed the manure I was feeding him..."

Anonymous said...

Maybe the animal shelter worker who killed the dog hero should be locked up in Gitmo and tort ...I mean "enhancedly interrogated"... with one of those electric dog-training collars ... until they talk, about the vast conspiracy to kill hero dogs.

Anonymous said...

Words matter. Resistance brings to mind heroic images of French, Greek, Soviet fighters that fought the Germans or the people of the Philipines that refused to quit. Terrorists on the other hand . . . not so much heroism. But then America is SOOOO unlike German/Japanese occupiers.

edk

informedveteran said...

The Empire is getting desperate in its attempt to prop up support for this war. Check out AOL's homepage. “Cold War Bomber Helps Afghan Fight” “Why the mighty jet is so effective today” “The supersonic B-1, designed almost a half-century ago to attack deep into the Soviet Union, reclaims its glory” then links to this story. As if on cue in response to the Catfood Commission’s recommendation to shave off a sliver from the bloated “defense” budget.

gDog said...

Informed,

Yeah, there's a lot of war porn out there these days. This, from the site you cite, for example:

If the insurgents happen to look up, they'll get a nano-second glimpse of a 95-ton dart silently slicing down at them at 600 mph. The thunder and shock, as the B-1 levels off and rockets over them, are immense.

Oh lawdy, that aught to give Seabrook a wet spot.

informedveteran said...

I thought planes - by their very nature - were ineffective in counter insurgency operations. There I go again, applying logic to this madness.

Here’s more coming attractions.

Anonymous said...

I heard Scott Simons dog piece and i could barely contain my urge to crush my radio with my foot. I have to admit that I have probably developed an irrational HATRED for that snide smug drone. But, I am happier because of it.

Anonymous said...

Loved the reporting of the sham Taliban "commander" that fleeced somebody for quite a bit of booty (Philkins assures NPR that no American money went to this fraudster) before disappearing. What we (America in general) don't "get" is this part of the world has been engaged in wars, occupations, changing loyalties, and tribal/family allegiences since, oh about 2500 years ago. Our arrogance and hubris are on clear display.

edk