HIGs are Pigs

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by Joshua Foust on 10/4/2009 · 18 comments

Eight soldiers and an unknown number of Afghan soldiers and police are dead after an hours-long complex attack on a pair of American outposts in Kamdesh. According to the AP:

Fighting began around dawn Saturday and lasted several hours, said Jamaludin Badar, governor of Nuristan province. Badar said the two outposts were on a hill — one near the top and one at the foot of the slope — flanked by the village on one side and the mosque on the other.

Nearly 300 militant fighters flooded the lower, Afghan outpost then swept around it to reach the American station on higher ground from both directions, said Mohammad Qasim Jangulbagh, the provincial police chief. The U.S. military statement said the Americans and Afghans repelled the attack by tribal fighters and “inflicted heavy enemy casualties.”

For some reason, it takes Lori Hinnant five paragraphs to mention the attack happened in Kamdesh. Since everyone is probably going to compare this attack to the Battle at the Waigal district center in Nuristan from last year, it might be helpful to examine the context surrounding the attack.

The Kamdesh area, along the Landai Sin Valley, was mostly ignored by U.S. forces until 2006, when the U.S. established a PRT in the area. The area was a HiG stronghold, and according to Richard Strand there were rampant rumors that al Qaeda had begun aggressively infiltrating the area. Strand doesn’t note this, but more recently there are widespread rumors that the various campaigns of the Pakistani Army in the NWFP have pushed militants into the area—more than would exist there otherwise. Strand, one of the very best open sources about Nuristan, has lots more data about the rumors surrounding—much of this post will be pulling from his website, though it’ll be supplemented with material from other sources.

Probably the defining conflict in Kamdesh is not between locals and the U.S, but rather between two Nuristani ethnic groups, the Kom and the Kshto. Like almost everywhere else in Afghanistan, this local conflict is over access to natural resources (in this case, water rights), and the conflict serves as a convenient angle for outsiders to leverage influence and power. The Kom tend to be more friendly to HiG, but both communities support to varying degrees extremist mullahs advocating jihad against the U.S. forces in the area.

Strand wonders why the U.S. hadn’t, in 2007, implemented a more robust counterinsurgency strategy in the area. A quick answer would be that it is simply too hard: the main road leading up to Camp Keating is nicknamed “Ambush Alley” because of the high number of IEDs and complex attacks in steep valleys. During its first six months, Camp Keating (then called FOB Kamdesh) faced attacks almost every single day, which dramatically slowed down the pace of operations and practically halted any meaningful construction work.

As I related in a post last week about the prospects for withdrawal from Nuristan, Kamdesh is so dangerous and difficult to work in that the furthest-flung outposts can only be resupplied by helicopter—and even those face small arms fire during supply runs.

The challenge with managing the violence in the area is that, while much of it is performed by outsiders like al Qaeda, most of the HiG fighters are actually locals—a dynamic very similar to southern Kapisa province, where many of the HiG militants in the area are locals either paid to attack U.S. forces or do so simply out of pride for HiG’s role in defeating the Soviet Union.

But persuading the locals to stop attacking is not simply a function of demanding the elders force their young men to stop—ignoring the financial side of things, elders in Nuristani groups tend not to work the same as community leaders elsewhere in Afghanistan. As Schuyler Jones documented, the leaders are simply “Men of Influence,” and not, say, police chiefs or traditional chieftains. When a reporter visited Kamdesh in 2007, he tried to explain it like this:

The elders have limited power. They cannot usually banish the insurgents from their villages, especially if they are locally-born. But they can demand they stop attacking the coalition. They can lead others in their village to decide to not support the insurgents. When foreigners come down off the mountains, which often reach 10,000 feet in this area, and seek shelter in the village, they can tell the security forces. And they can make it socially unacceptable in their village to take money from foreigners to fire on the Americans or the Afghan Army. The elders’ power comes not from the gun but from persuasion.

It’s tough to levy that persuasion when you have, at best, an irregular presence in the area. A friend told me that in Kamdesh proper. the U.S. soldiers do not enter the local village because they struck a deal with the elders that they’d leave it alone in return for no attacks. Obviously, that agreement seems to have broken down. As the Washington Post noted late last month the soldiers in Kamdesh and Kamu (another primary village in the district) do not interact with locals very often—they’re too besieged to do much.

All of this, again, builds the case for pulling out from the area. While Strand is right that Nuristan is a significant infiltration route for fighters coming from Chitral, its geography also creates nice little bottlenecks that can be monitored and managed. Since the elders in the area obviously do not possess sufficient influence to persuade their young men not to attack U.S. forces, it is unclear what could be accomplished without an enormous influx of soldiers—tens of thousands of soldiers to occupy every little nook and cranny that could be used to launch an attack. Greg Jaffe, in his moving account of the Battle of Want, quoted a young soldier just before he died:

“It is almost a lost cause up in Nurestan,” he said flatly. “There needs to be a lot more than just a platoon there if you want to make a big difference.” He thought some more about his frustrating tour, leading the 40-man 2nd Platoon of Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. “We killed a few Taliban,” he said, “so I guess that is a success.”

There are two alternatives to building influence and trust among the communities in Nuristan, neither of which involves a massive influx of troops. Influence can be leveraged the same way the Taliban do—through Muslim missionaries, living in the communities and slowly preaching to a new generation. Or, the U.S. and ANSF could take a page from Abdur Rahman, the last outsider to force a significant change in the area. Abdur Rahman besieged multiple communities, killed several thousand men, and took thousands of women and children to be hostages in Paghman, near Kabul. His years-long campaign resulted in the forced conversion of the area to Islam (hence “Nuristan,” or Land of the Enlightened).

As for the attack itself, it poses a strategic conundrum. It’s not clear, as many news stories seem to imply, that the attack was related to General McChrystal’s order to withdraw from the area. Rather, the fighting season is coming to a close, and this is something the HiG guys can take to the bank, and brag about all winter.

That being said, should word spread, it is likely that other bases slated to be shut down might face similar attacks, as militants, emboldened by an American withdrawal, try to press their advantage. They also know it is severely demoralizing to face death right before you can leave an area—the psychological effect of such attacks probably can’t be downplayed as well.

But that doesn’t mean it’s still not a good reason to pull back. Strengthening the bases at Naray, Asadabad, and all the smaller outposts along the Kunar Valley will allow the U.S. to at least contain the militant presence in Nuristan itself. It will suck for the people who live there—though zealous Muslims, most of them really are not crazy militants—but, in a world of limited resources we have to make difficult choices about what is and is not worth defending.

On a personal note, I am sad to see the area being abandoned. Nuristan is one of the most interesting, beautiful places in the world, with a mixture of peoples and cultures totally unique in Central Asia. These are the people who fought off Timur, Babur, and Alexander (literally, not just in the mythography of Afghanistan), and until a century ago had the most unique religion in the world. It is a shame to leave them at the hands of such people, but the costs of remaining there simply do not justify the slim benefits.

Photo: An American soldier photographs the approach to Camp Keating, Kamdesh.


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This post was written by...

– author of 1849 posts on Registan.net.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 18 comments }

Kanani October 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm

It did look like a beautiful place.
Thanks for the analysis.

dennis October 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm

first off my hart felt condolences to the families.
i was hoping someone would shed some light on this story.
and yes the news is in compare mode right now.maybe we will learn more soon.as for redeploying the troops back, it would make scents for now. besides they could have gone by them anyway.so this was a direct assault. makeing a statement if you will.

Ian October 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

Excellent post, almost sure to be the best thing written about the area in the wake of this attack.

Re: conquerors, maybe not literally, in the case of Alexander. Very probably literally in the case of Babur. Timur hardly tried. Verging on “graveyard of empires” stuff here. Nothing special about Nuristan. It’s just that the native inhabitants of any mountain region have a massive advantage over outsiders.

DE Teodoru October 4, 2009 at 6:53 pm

Maybe the Army should refurbish thousands of old Hueys from Vietnam or something. Since there are few signs of heat-seeking missiles in Taliban hands, couldn’t air transport be a most useful means of reinforcing? McChrystal’s report implies that. And then the whole issue he makes of central Gov control makes one wonder if, given this as a Kshto vs. Kom water rights battle, it may again put forward the question of whether ISAF has the means and can afford them to impose central order on all these tribal groups played like piano keys by insurgents far more tuned in to these matters than the ISAF?

AJK October 4, 2009 at 7:58 pm

That article is very strangely framed…the mention of “Nuristan is near Pakistan” and “Arab fighters against the Soviets”. As in, Nuristan is only important because of what it’s near, not who lives there. Odd.

I’m concerned about your saying that the ISAF can just monitor the bottlenecks and while not “ok”, it’ll certainly be managable. Has the technology improved that much that ISAF will be able to keep doing a good job at this where the Soviets failed? And even more pressing, wouldn’t that just beg for more misbegotten drone attacks?

Kilo October 4, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Somehow making it into the top 10 most read stories on the BBC website….
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8287143.stm

Bob Jones October 5, 2009 at 8:59 am

While I agree with your assessment on the necessity of a pullout out from Nuristan (and I would add large parts of Konar province as well), I just have one question. The HiG? Seriously? The HiG are about as relevant in Afghanistan today as the Whigs were in the US after 1860. I know, I know, historical connections, blah blah blah, but let’s talk about today. A marriage of convenience in the past between Nuristanis and the HiG has deteriorated into a divorce due to constructive abandonment.

Why do we assume that insurgents in Nuristan need motivation beyond their local concerns? Societal development in the Mashreki region has been dictated throughout the centuries by geography and climate, resulting in a diffuse, decentralized society, motivated almost solely on hyper-local concerns, so why do we insist on associating local insurgent activity in Nuristan with some larger insurgent group or movement?

Joshua Foust October 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

Bob, there’s a lot of evidence Nuristan is one of the only places where al Qaeda maintains a presence. Similarly, it’s one of the few areas (in this case, a small arc from Nuristan to northern Parwan) where HiG has a significant presence as well.

DE Teodoru October 5, 2009 at 10:58 am

Anan, forgive me please but I am a bit skeptical about a “South Vietnamese view.” My point about urbanization is a well documented South AND North Vietamense view. We had the documents about the Tet Offensive and urbanization. I also had a chance over years to see their version of Phoenix work and how the MAT and CAP teams as subsidiaries rather than “get out of the way of MY war in YOUR country because I’ve got to get stars on my collar” worked. This business about mass murder by Phoenix is not the case as a rule.

I was hoping to hear what you all think of the idea I’ve been throwing at Giustozzi and others of errecting maufacturing towns in the NW where people are given jobs in a controlled environment where they are educated, cared for and well payed with access to goods to soak their income, as Saigon had become. That’s was expensive but that’s what urbanized South Vietnam. Later, from the cities, as the infrastructure spread back down the Delta, villages through a land reform developed RATIONAL farming. I still have the analysis documents and was about to retire from health care to write a book on Vietnam when I was at the Borders bookstore in the World Trade Center picking up an order and all hell broke loose. Since then I felt duty bound to get involved in all this as Afghnaistan was made a part in my life when a student in East Europe (I won’t say more but I am seeing repeat of old foolishness). I have come to hate Petraeus and McChrystal because I think them so dumb that they think they can fool all of the people all of the time using hot button words and little else. I have been pushing the view on the “surge” that Ricks has finally come to and the military has only been covering its butt, in my view. I don’t want to see a repeat in Afghanistan.. But then I realized that my rage is at their seeming incompetence when I really don’t know them or what they’re up against. Military friends say they are both good men.

I don’t like to just bitch while doing nothing, thus making commanders the butt of my frustration with the uselss losses as America sinks into debt. So I hope to get a number or retirees with various useful skills and we become a sort of “Granda Vlunteer Corps” for the civil effort in Afghanistan. There’s an advantage even there that old men coming in unarmed to help have in the eyes of locals. I learned this from old “Blowtorsh” in Vietnam. Many of us are living on borrowed time anyway, eating our children’s future as pension, so why not earn them by volunteering to help people who are so desperate ANYTHING would be help. That way I would stop hating and denegrading our generals who may be fine men; but I hold them to the standards of some of the Vietnam generals I knew well and the West Point Class of 76 doesn’t seem to measure up. Still, being there is a lot more bearable than being here heplessly raging over all the moms and dads (today’s soldiers are on average 5 yrs. older than Vietnam) neelessly killed– leaving behind widows and orphans America will forget as it did with Vietnam vets– because of needless Afghan/Iraq command errors.

This site is probably the most sensitive I have seen to the Afghna plight. I think Mr. Foust should be fully supported. Most people don’t know about the historic Afghan ties with the Central Asian neighborhood and with the Shanghai Accord long after we are gone. At any rate, either we ALL do something or pull our patriotic heroes out. Every night since 9/11 I have been feeling shame how they have been sending these patriots in intel blind, language deaf and culture dumb in both theaters with all lesons of the past set aside. As an American by choice not chance I am totally disgusted with aging America’s “ain’t my kid going to Iraq/Afghnaistan” disconnect syndrome. That drives me more crazy that anything in Afghnaistan and Iraq. So let me thank you for your kind willingness to help me understand what you think is going on. The more of us engage in MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE and teach-in debates, the more the nation comes to know its individual citizen’s responsibility rather than pawn it off on “specialists.” You’re all a fine bunch of Americans who don’t just leave your Afghna experiences behind but keep a dialogue of learning going on this site. Than God, no “disoconnect syndrome” here!

David M October 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/05/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

GovIntegrity October 6, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Great analysis once again. What do you make of the media playing up Dost Muhammed’s involvement and down Hekmatyar’s?

I’m not sure what to make of that but here are my general takes: GovIntegrity.com

Joshua Foust October 7, 2009 at 7:21 am

Well, Dost is the local Taliban affiliate. They work with HiG when they need to, so it’s not impossible he had a role to play (though I’m really only aware of Long War Journal pushing the whole Brigade 055/Shadow Taliban thing). The reason I’m sticking primarily with HiG is they are still the strongest group in the province, and they still enjoy the most local support. I’d be surprised if al Qaeda or the Taliban could launch any attacks in Nuristan without HiG’s (at minimum) tacit approval.

I think you’re right to point out that it was a mistake to funnel so much money to Hekmatyar in the 1980s. But we didn’t *really* care about what happened in Afghanistan then, all we really cared about was bleeding the Soviets. So we did things without an eye toward the future.

That what troubles me about the current round of debating in the U.S. It is not taking place in a world with unintended consequences and negative externalities, it is taking place in a comic book… on both sides. I’m worried we’ll make a politically expedient decision that leaves us far worse off down the road.

troll001 October 10, 2009 at 9:41 am

I would not call it analysis. An analysis would answer questions why, why here, why now, for what purpose and to achieve what, and by whom. What I hear is pittance and salesmanship.

Even if it is widely agreed that the locals did that, the name of Taliban nevertheless is invoked ? Wholy crap, there were no Peshtuns involved. It gotta be politically correct Taliban to ease get some pitty promotion. Like that SCO who put his self promoting wise acting in AP report, even when he got 8 KIAs for no particular reason. What an asshole.

To answer why this happened one have to look into interests of the chieftans. One of which would be to get more cheaper ‘wives’.
Second remove undue influence and perceived competition. US in there case does not differ much from neighboring tribes, like Ksto, in Koms chieftains perceiptions as neighboring tribes, Ksto, given opportunity do not hesitate to destroy them.

Killing brothers en masse would facilitate the tasks for getting cheaper ‘wifes’, as to lead to impoverishment of families and more willingness to trade-in ‘wives’ cheaply and in general to more dependencies. Not much different to what US gov is doing through a larger scale wars with unnecessary KIAs and massive imprisonment of naive kids, while inviting friendly full body interns for a head job, that these kids would otherwise be enjoying themselves on the beach, instead of rotting in jail en masse for smoking a joint or two or worse loosing their lives needlessly.

As to when: during the summer time when brothers are out on pastures, some women left behind are inevitably taken advantage of, more likely by chieftans than not. So when brothers are returned back, it’s worth while to get them slaughtered right away, so that to prevent their revenge when they find it out abou it and not turned their weapons on perpetrators. And a friendly mosque preacher would gladly help for a reasonable fee. Nothing here that the history have not told us have been happening thru millenia. This is not something unique to Noristan. A reasonable historian or etymologist would be able to tell.

Now to McCrystal’s suggestion to treat locals with respect as we know it. One should not have to go as far as Kamdesh, to prove these theories as a bogus. He’d better listen to Obama, for example, familiar with places like Gary, Indiana, where such tactic would produce the reverse result compared to naively expected one. One should treat people not as one treat his friends, but how his potentially friends expect him to treat them.

In any case , one should read a book or two of history to be in the position to make decision. Shooting skills are irrelevant, as Kamdesh story tells us about. What I think could actually help is court marchalling those responsible for the design and logistics of the compound. Those MFs that could not even build a simple fortess known around the world for millennial has no right to breed. Besides they could have found a used one somewhere nearby and just restore it.

Even the better way though would be to drink tea regularly with Koms chiefnans, smoke a pipe, amuse them with stories from abroad, accept their daughters, and offer them a willing blond interrogator type in return. There is nothing that could lead to more friendship that stories told to a ruler in such a boring place, and establishing of the perceived family ties, as to work along his expectations and traditions.

Cowboys acting from wild dakota plains is naturally loathed at in such remote places, no more or less than Peshtums or Ksto tribesmen acting along their lines.

DE Teodoru October 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

troll001, bravo, bravo, bravo….We are seeing the forest as very dark and not noticing that the trees can be pruned and used to our advantage. There is an exhaustion of ingenuity that I never saw before in US military. I recall German Western Front Commanders telling me as a boy after WW II that Americans had garbage equipment but their ingenuity was celebrated by the highest levels when coming form the lowest levels and all units were encouraged to improvise so that it more than made up for bad equipment. That may not have been totally correct, but imagine what it means when that’s what the enemy thinks of you. I recall what mujahedeen commanders thought of the Russian Command structure and their many tall tales about how they exploited that. But keep in mind that there is a motley command line culture in the insurgency that confronts our ordnance punch with a pack of steel balls instead of a single mass that we can shatter. The force is dissipated between the loosely connected balls and everything does not shatter. IT IS THEY, NOT US, who are fighting on the cheap and we, not them, are the ones broke, as the $$$ coming from the Arabian Gulf, useless in any other capital venue, are reinforcing the Islamic resistance far more than heroine. Bush turned this into a neocon WW IV against Islam, intentionally or intentionally, and there is a will to prove us wrong in all the oil sheikdoms. In this sense there is comparison with Vietnam and the Red Bloc, but never in Vietnam had our military ever been so moving in the wrong direction in trying to reach some goal. And yet, today’s Pentagoners will refuse to discuss that “loser’s war, Vietnam.” Perhaps at this point, a REAL human map of Afghanistan should precede any strategic discussion.

anan October 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

troll001 10/10/2009 at 9:41 am, perceptive comments. I would love to share stories with the locals . . . and this type of interaction would yield benefits? Are GIs not doing this?

troll001 October 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm

DE Teodoru wrote> and there is a will to prove us wrong in all the oil sheikdoms

I frankly disagree with you on this one. It seems to me, they are on their traditional conquest, that they have been doing for centuries and not to prove anything to us. They just want us be conquered, enslaved or killed, as they did in Syria, Egipt, Lybia, Magrib a while back when they conquered those lands, guess what language is now spoken there. They are about to conquer Europe next. Proving anything to anyone is a result of child psychological trauma as self doubt. They are cock sure of what they are doing and as they loath us I doubt they care what we think, leave alone to prove anything to us. What I think could help though to deal with them, is to be more restrained in preventing dynasties change there once in a while to keep our leveraged higher. Given of cause that there is still some patriots left in decision making process and not all are your typical paper throwing career opportunists, ready to eat shit for any kind of self interest..

DE Teodoru October 11, 2009 at 9:00 pm

troll001, Please permit me to disagree as I had knew some leading figures from Central Asia and Mideast while in Europe and in their regions, indeed I went to school with their sons in East Europe. They are cock-sure of only one thing, much like Frenchmen, that they hate how supposedly spiritually low and pragmatic cultures, like US and Israel, surpassed theirs in evolving as sci/tech civilizations. They deem Americans as utter inferiors because of their lack of a sense of history– just like Europeans– and fear the American “pragmatism,” which since William James they have come to respect as a legit sophisticated philosophy but, nevertheless, a heathen one. They want to be like you Americans, indeed, sent their best kids here, but then they refuse to even consider you legitimately spiritual as they, at least, deem European Christians—“People of the Book.” They especially hate Brits and Americans, but Americans more because, while they feel a deep sense of historic betrayal by the Brits, the Americans their forefathers admired have betrayed them in that we have been as rapacious oil imperialists (note DNI McConnell’s declarations that unfettered access to CHEAP oil is a matter of our national security) worse than the “filthy” Brits– yet never speak of Americans as “filthy” and never forget the American University system and what it so humbly did for their countries in their youth while Europeans were considering by them as despicable heathen and shysters. What most was destabilizing and frightening to them about the US and Europe is the sexual libertine aspect. They fear it because they fear their easily out of control masculine sexual self-debasing in the face of it. Pakistanis and Indians especially suffer a male sexual inadequacy in the face of it when abroad. But they deem American maleness as a brute anthropoid trait– sort of penis envy, as some feminists call it. I think Islam is more a crutch and an identity straw to a drowning man as if literate, they cannot escape the weaknesses in their ritualistic faith in the face of temptation. Over and over again they look for someone to blame for their sins. They are rather obsessive about that. Shame is a terribly big factor coming out as maleness and spiritual transcendence of material self. Muslims, I found, were men with incredible self-frustration and self-shame. They feel both indebted and imprisoned by their families. Ever tense in their negotiation of their cognitive dissonance, often, they deem glorious suicide as escape from their internal torment, assuring them the glorious remembrance as shahids. And yet, as Kabul proves to anyone in five minutes, there is a low quality lack of dignity that they leave behind like a trail of foul smelling diarrhea. Suicide in Jihad is, therefore, the only Jihad available to the most sensitive souls. Intimacy is the only way to get to know their totally enfeebling inner battles. Here too the Persians with self discipline after Khomeini were deemed as Jihad victors. Let me give you an example. In the Med School dorms they set up loud-speakers on the roof of every one of the buildings, playing Khomeini giving speeches 24/7 so no one could study in his room and had to go to the library. The Arabs—many of whom were not studying medicine but on a sexual rampage with high school girls—couldn’t speak Farsi. But so impressed were they with the Shia Persians domination of the housing (though most of the Arab students were Sunnis who bought exams with Petrodollars paid to corrupt Red profs) that at least three I knew have since died as suicide shahids physicians in order to cover their failure as physicians back home with the glory of dying as a shahid. War is very much to their liking because they get to convert it into Jihad and can seem honorable dying by the principles by which they never could live, forever tempted into disgusting “Western” flesh mania. I recall Russians sure that they will never win because too many Afghans were out to prove their purity of soul by suicide and fearless fighting, dying in battle. It is not a world of reason and you never know whether you are negotiating with their reasoning left hemisphere or their emotional right hemisphere. There is no way for us to overcome all this but to leave and not return until they solve their internal contradictions– “internal” as inside each in his own head.

If, on the other hand, we could arrange for women to exclusively takeover the Muslim World, we would be supporting Muslim states that would quickly approach the Western level of technology as the women suffer none of these neurotic (if not psychotic) complexes. We are fighting a fire of paleocortical burst that is not tempered in a dependable way by neocortical inhibition. There are genetic neurobiology theories to explain all this as consanguity effects (as in the case of Haredi). But with the madness comes a lot of genius– alas, wasted on martial Jihad against imaginary Takfiri. Christianity has not been in such a crisis since the Renaissance when it became more rationalist and empiricist. I hope my point can be related to your personal experiences. It comes from much study trying to understand my own with them. AND I FULLY REALIZE THAT ONE CAN’T JUST DAMN A WHOLE BILLION+ PEOPLE BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCES BUT I AM THROWING MY IMPRESSIONS OUT AT YOU FOR DISCUSSION AND MEANING NO INSULT TO THE MANY HONORABLE MUSLIMS AND SHAHIDS for whom Jihad was a real test of faith to cap lives of true piousness. I would certainly not say that we are better, but the clash of civilizations, I fear, will go on until some sort of industrialization ties them more tightly to the material universe. binLaden, if you look carefully at his life, knew well the difference between right and wrong but his Jihad with the Muslim Establishment seems to have been a self-purification struggle. We have been in effect– through our media– giving him the image of ascetic purity he sought through war upon us….continuing long after he died of peritonitis. He lives on in doctored videos. Azzam also proved to be a fraud, if not an Israeli agent. This is what torments them: how easily they are fooled by the Infidel Devils into betrayal and sin. Please let me know what you think of this for you seem to have sought to also struggle to understand their torment. Thanks for your responses, troll001.

DE Tedooru October 11, 2009 at 9:02 pm

troll001, Please permit me to disagree as I had knew some leading figures from Central Asia and Mideast while in Europe and in their regions, indeed I went to school with their sons in East Europe. They are cock-sure of only one thing, much like Frenchmen, that they hate how supposedly spiritually low and pragmatic cultures, like US and Israel, surpassed theirs in evolving as sci/tech civilizations. They deem Americans as utter inferiors because of their lack of a sense of history– just like Europeans– and fear the American “pragmatism,” which since William James they have come to respect as a legit sophisticated philosophy but, nevertheless, a heathen one. They want to be like you Americans, indeed, sent their best kids here, but then they refuse to even consider you legitimately spiritual as they, at least, deem European Christians—“People of the Book.” They especially hate Brits and Americans, but Americans more because, while they feel a deep sense of historic betrayal by the Brits, the Americans their forefathers admired have betrayed them in that we have been as rapacious oil imperialists (note DNI McConnell’s declarations that unfettered access to CHEAP oil is a matter of our national security) worse than the “filthy” Brits– yet never speak of Americans as “filthy” and never forget the American University system and what it so humbly did for their countries in their youth while Europeans were considering by them as despicable heathen and shysters. What most was destabilizing and frightening to them about the US and Europe is the sexual libertine aspect. They fear it because they fear their easily out of control masculine sexual self-debasing in the face of it. Pakistanis and Indians especially suffer a male sexual inadequacy in the face of it when abroad. But they deem American maleness as a brute anthropoid trait– sort of penis envy, as some feminists call it. I think Islam is more a crutch and an identity straw to a drowning man as if literate, they cannot escape the weaknesses in their ritualistic faith in the face of temptation. Over and over again they look for someone to blame for their sins. They are rather obsessive about that. Shame is a terribly big factor coming out as maleness and spiritual transcendence of material self. Muslims, I found, were men with incredible self-frustration and self-shame. They feel both indebted and imprisoned by their families. Ever tense in their negotiation of their cognitive dissonance, often, they deem glorious suicide as escape from their internal torment, assuring them the glorious remembrance as shahids. And yet, as Kabul proves to anyone in five minutes, there is a low quality lack of dignity that they leave behind like a trail of foul smelling diarrhea. Suicide in Jihad is, therefore, the only Jihad available to the most sensitive souls. Intimacy is the only way to get to know their totally enfeebling inner battles. Here too the Persians with self discipline after Khomeini were deemed as Jihad victors. Let me give you an example. In the Med School dorms they set up loud-speakers on the roof of every one of the buildings, playing Khomeini giving speeches 24/7 so no one could study in his room and had to go to the library. The Arabs—many of whom were not studying medicine but on a sexual rampage with high school girls—couldn’t speak Farsi. But so impressed were they with the Shia Persians domination of the housing (though most of the Arab students were Sunnis who bought exams with Petrodollars paid to corrupt Red profs) that at least three I knew have since died as suicide shahids physicians in order to cover their failure as physicians back home with the glory of dying as a shahid. War is very much to their liking because they get to convert it into Jihad and can seem honorable dying by the principles by which they never could live, forever tempted into disgusting “Western” flesh mania. I recall Russians sure that they will never win because too many Afghans were out to prove their purity of soul by suicide and fearless fighting, dying in battle. It is not a world of reason and you never know whether you are negotiating with their reasoning left hemisphere or their emotional right hemisphere. There is no way for us to overcome all this but to leave and not return until they solve their internal contradictions– “internal” as inside each in his own head.

If, on the other hand, we could arrange for women to exclusively takeover the Muslim World, we would be supporting Muslim states that would quickly approach the Western level of technology as the women suffer none of these neurotic (if not psychotic) complexes. We are fighting a fire of paleocortical burst that is not tempered in a dependable way by neocortical inhibition. There are genetic neurobiology theories to explain all this as consanguity effects (as in the case of Haredi). But with the madness comes a lot of genius– alas, wasted on martial Jihad against imaginary Takfiri. Christianity has not been in such a crisis since the Renaissance when it became more rationalist and empiricist. I hope my point can be related to your personal experiences. It comes from much study trying to understand my own with them. AND I FULLY REALIZE THAT ONE CAN’T JUST DAMN A WHOLE BILLION+ PEOPLE BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCES BUT I AM THROWING MY IMPRESSIONS OUT AT YOU FOR DISCUSSION AND MEANING NO INSULT TO THE MANY HONORABLE MUSLIMS AND SHAHIDS for whom Jihad was a real test of faith to cap lives of true piousness. I would certainly not say that we are better, but the clash of civilizations, I fear, will go on until some sort of industrialization ties them more tightly to the material universe. binLaden, if you look carefully at his life, knew well the difference between right and wrong but his Jihad with the Muslim Establishment seems to have been a self-purification struggle. We have been in effect– through our media– giving him the image of ascetic purity he sought through war upon us….continuing long after he died of peritonitis. He lives on in doctored videos. Azzam also proved to be a fraud, if not an Israeli agent. This is what torments them: how easily they are fooled by the Infidel Devils into betrayal and sin. Please let me know what you think of this for you seem to have sought to also struggle to understand their torment. Thanks for your responses, troll001.

Please note story in Suskind’s WAY OF THE WORLD. It is only one case but very perceptive for what I mean.

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