web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Afghanistan Burns


Muslims protesting with a Quran

Muslims protesting with a Quran
Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The more than weeklong series of violent demonstrations and attacks in Afghanistan, which came in response to the burning by U.S. military personnel of some copies of the Koran, is eerily reminiscent of the 1968 Tet Offensive that foreshadowed the collapse of the U.S. military position in Vietnam. The violence in Afghanistan has included the shooting deaths of two U.S. officers inside the Interior Ministry in Kabul and the wounding of several others in a grenade attack on an American military base.

No one with the exception of the rioters seems to think the burnings were intended as an act of disrespect. Rather, they were an effort by American military authorities to destroy documents containing secret codes penciled in by incarcerated terrorists as a means of communicating among themselves. And while many have criticized President Obama for apologizing to the people of Afghanistan, it can hardly be argued that it would somehow be in U.S. interests for the American military to even appear to have disrespected the religious culture of the host country.

Yet all things considered, the reaction in Afghanistan has, by any measure, not only been over the top but also extremely revealing.

We are now more than ten years into America’s invasion of Afghanistan, which was designed to rout the Taliban who had harbored Al Qaeda. The fighting has resulted in thousands of American and NATO deaths and casualties as well as billions of dollars spent. It would appear, however, that little has been accomplished in terms of American goals, with the Taliban still a formidable military and popular force in the country.

Nevertheless, declaring impending victory, the Obama administration many months ago announced plans for a military withdrawal and for turning over responsibility for securing Afghanistan against Taliban insurgencies. But not only does it now appear the Taliban can attack American and NATO forces at will, the widespread popular ferment over the Koran burnings demonstrates we have not come very far in gaining the respect of the people of Afghanistan or in moving Afghanistan out of the 10th century and into democratic nation-building mode.

Nor is the problem reflected purely in terms of rank-and-file Afghans. In response to the widespread attacks, the U.S. and its allies removed hundreds of military and civilian advisers in Kabul and across Afghanistan, which can only be seen as a signal that the international community is fast losing faith in President Karzai. Not only were the attacks an eye-opener with respect to his capacity to control his country, he did not endear himself to his ostensible allies in his news conference last Sunday.

Remarkably, he did not mention the U.S. deaths and casualties in his opening statement, focusing almost exclusively on the burning of the Korans. It was only when he was asked about the deaths by a reporter that he expressed his condolences, but even then pointedly refrained from apologizing. Coming after President Obama’s apology for what was at worst a misunderstanding, this will not go down well with the United States as it contemplates its future relations with Afghanistan.

In the larger sense, the Afghan experience only reinforces the lesson of Vietnam that military power alone, even of the overwhelming sort possessed by the United States, can no longer determine the course of another country’s history in the face of nationalism, ingrained sectarianism, and a lack of democratic tradition.

The idea that a lone superpower like the United States can use its power internationally in the long term, beyond putting out brushfires, no longer has currency. As the concept of the “Arab Spring” spreads, the further loss of dictators whom the U.S. could at least work with will contribute to increased international instability.

While the U.S. will still be able to maintain a key military presence around the world to maintain its strategic interests, it will no longer be seen as able to insinuate itself into ongoing local conflicts, particularly when those conflicts feature locals pursuing their own agendas and acting as surrogates for others.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Afghanistan Burns”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Cinema City Iron Man Theater in Jerusalem. (illustrative)
US Govt IDs North Korea in Sony Cyber Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Men

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

Two dreidels from the author’s extensive collection.

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Sprecher-121914

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation

Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.

Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers

Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!

Israel and the strengthening of the Jewish people in faith and numbers has brought a growing light

More Articles from Editorial Board

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.

If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.

Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.

There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/explosion-in-afghanistan/2012/02/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: