Last year, 35 NATO(including American, of course) troops were killed by Afghan soldiers or police supposedly allied with them. So far this year, the official total is 40, including 9 Americans killed in just the last week. The Guardian has a pretty good, pretty short piece talking about the problem and the official American reaction:
Clearly, this trend is accelerating. American and other NATO troops train Afghans to be a part of the security forces to protect the American-installed Karzai regime once the Americans withdraw. In return, some of the same Afghans who are thus trained turn their weapons on their foreign “benefactors” as soon as they get the chance to do so, even though that usually means they themselves will be killed in turn almost immediately.
Why in the world would they do this? Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I do not recall similar incidents taking place in either South Vietnam or South Korea, and if they did, certainly not on this scale. Similarly, American interventions in Latin America never ran into anything quite like this. Oh, a few American-trained locals might have turned, but only after they could shoot back and have some hope of survival. This seems to be a uniquely Afghan situation.
It comes as no surprise to me whatsoever. Anyone who is at all familiar with Afghan history know that the Afghans are a fiercely independent people who have resisted conquerors of multiple nationalities and ethnicities since at least the time of Alexander the Great. Genghis Khan had the sense to largely leave them alone. Other empire-builders, notably the British, the Russians, and now the Americans, not so much.
Afghans really, really, don’t like foreign rule. And, in the end, the would-be foreign occupiers always go home with their tails between their legs.
Clearly, the American Occupation of Afghanistan is failing.
So. Why is it that, in the middle of a presidential election campaign, Mitt Romney and the Republicans aren’t flailing Obama with his obvious failure to pacify this rebellious province of the American Empire? I submit it is because the Republicans, just like the Democrats, are serving the same masters here. Afghanistan sits right in the middle of the most economical path for natural gas pipelines from the gas-rich former Soviet “stans” to ports on the Arabian Sea. It is also home to very profitable mineral deposits, if only the unruly locals would cooperate and let the multinational corporations do their extraction in peace.
There’s also the fact that it was a Republican administration which initially chose to try to “nation build” Afghanistan in America’s own corporatist image instead of just engaging in a punitive expedition to show the Taliban(and every other government around the world) it’s a very bad idea to harbor another foreign group such as Al-Qaeda and allow them to launch an attack against the American homeland from their soil.
The Afghans, even the Taliban, understand the American desire for revenge after 9/11. They would have accepted the American invasion, even the installation of a temporary puppet government, as an understandable reaction to the attacks of 9/11/2001. The Afghans certainly understand revenge.
But they will never tolerate foreign occupation. Different animal.
The Republicans, including Romney, want the same thing Obama does: an Afghan government that will allow Corporate America to have its way with Afghanistan. Hence: crickets from them on this issue.
The M$M is no better. Oh, they report the “green on blue” attacks, but with an air of either the tragedy of a natural disaster or of puzzlement, maybe righteous indignation, at Afghan ingratitude. They’d much rather bloviate about the latest inane ramblings of some Teabagger dumbass from Missouri who they once thought was a shoo-in to be the next United States Senator from there.
No surprises there, either.
Now, if the Cleveland Browns win seven regular season games this fall, that would surprise me.