The Associated Press headline pushes the occupation line that the “coalition” is trying to “build” a cadre of leaders, but a perusal of the text makes clear that Kabul and its Western masters are actively demolishing age-old local governance traditions in a probably futile attempt to establish a European-style central state.
The piece begins describing a failed, underattended shura in far-southern Helmand province, organized by Kabul carpetbaggers. Why did only seven men show up? Gee, could it be this:
“The army commander had invited locals to the small fortified camp, but sometimes those invitations were extended during gunfights when soldiers and U.S. Marines were using private Afghan homes and farmers’ poppy fields for cover.”
“We’re using your house as a shield against gunfire from your neighbors. Obey us or die. Also, wanna go to a cool party next week? It’ll be about how great it will be to have a Ministry of Sport.”
The article describes the various problems suffered by the few local elders who have decided to jump on the government bandwagon. One of them is that constant fighting and threats of assassination make it, hm, difficult? to extend authority. Also, reports AP matter of factly, “Some are corrupt.” Nowhere is it noted that if one side of the fight withdrew, the other side would have nothing — or at least a lot less — to fight. After all, local insurgents didn’t pick this war. It came to them.
To illustrate the utter stupidity of trying to surreptitiously form a state in a tribal area, one of the elders who did show up to the shura said he obtained permission — from the Taliban. That’s pretty cocksure for an insurgency we’re often told is on the wane.
Don’t we already have many guides as to the success rate of slamming Eurostates onto tribal societies with ancient and viable alternative modes of governance? Somalia is an ongoing nightmare of violence, due in large part to the neverending attempts to smash its traditional law-based society and bring back the sort of state that brutalized Somalis for decades. Even Pakistan has never been able to truly tame its tribal areas. It’s the same in many other cases.
But how are America’s partners, the Brits, helping demonstrate the fabulousness of Western-style secular government?
Oh they’re building a million-dollar mosque.
Which NATO blew up.