The Scandal of 2013

1By Diana West

Early in 2012, I opened a column with this question: “Is there a  single public official who is examining – who cares about – the murder  spree by Afghan security forces against Western troops and security  contractors in Afghanistan?”

Nearly one year has passed, during which 62 Americans and other  Westerners have been killed by Afghan forces “inside the wire.” The  president has yet to call for “meaningful change”; in fact, he has said  nothing about it. The Congress has said nothing about it. During the  presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said nothing about it. Such silence  is a national disgrace, but it’s an answer to my question. No. They  don’t care. Not about the men. Not about their families. What they care  about is the story line – the fraud that has kept the national arteries  to Afghanistan open, fueling the American-led “counterinsurgency”  fantasy that an ally, heart-and-mind, exists in the umma (Islamic  world), if only Uncle Sam can mold it and bribe it and train it into  viability.

But this trail of blood shed by our men – fathers, husbands,  brothers, friends – leads in another direction. If We the People were to  follow it, drop by drop, we would begin to understand there is no ally,  no “partner” in Afghanistan, no matter how hard our leadership lies to  us. We would see for ourselves that the difference between the  “extremists” and the “moderates” in a Shariah-supreme culture is  ultimately inconsequential, and that the gulf between Islam and the West  is too deep to plumb without losing ourselves in the process. If we  were to keep following this trail of blood, we would even conclude that  our leaders, from President Bush to President Obama, have been wrong,  criminally, recklessly wrong, ever since 9/11/01, when they began doing  everything possible to deny the centrality of jihad in Islam even while  sending America and her allies to combat jihad in the Islamic world.

Silence, thus, becomes the way our leaders can keep both their  delusional ideology intact and their places in power secure. Deflection,  too. In March 2012, a month in which three Afghan attacks took the live  of two British soldiers and three Americans, Chairman of the Joint  Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey deemed such shootings as  “additional risk” necessary for “national security.” In April, he would  order all branches of the military and the service academies to scrub  any training materials deemed “disrespectful of Islam” – another blow to  the study of jihad. In August 2012, midway through a month in which 12  American and three Australian forces would be killed in seven “insider  attacks,” Afghanistan commander Gen. John Allen actually offered excuses  for the murders – the strain of Ramadan fasting, summer heat and fast  operational tempo. The following month, after four Americans and two  British troops were killed in two separate shootings, Obama campaign  adviser and former senior Pentagon official Michele Flournoy minimized  the attacks as a “very occasional” problem and a sign of “Taliban  desperation.”

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