Uncle Sam Plays Three-Card-Mohammed and Guess Who Wins?

The Secretary of State wears clothes, all right, but is she really ready to deal?

The Wall Street Journal reports:

JANI KHEL, Afghanistan–In the American war against the Taliban, on whose side are the Afghan police? For many U.S. soldiers serving in the insurgent heartland, the answer is: both.

“They smile to our face when we’re here, giving them money and building them buildings,” says U.S. Army Capt. Cory Brown, a provost marshal officer helping to oversee Afghan security forces here in volatile Paktika province. “But they’ve given insurgents money, food and even rides in Afghan police cars.”

Worse, he says, some policemen are also suspected of selling their U.S.-provided weapons to the Taliban.

The rest of the story lies behind a subscription wall, but it’s not necessary to read more. Anyone could write the rest. In fact, it writes itself, another iteration of the relationship between the US and the Islamic world in which a culture steeped in the expectations derived from Thou Shalt Not Lie meets a culture authorized to lie to advance, protect, and burnish Islam a matter of Islamic law. Guess who wins every time?

It’s important to realize that the experience of the army captain is repeated ever thus and on all levels, from his desolate corner of the umma to the shuttling conferences of the “peace process,” to the US-military-“village-elder” shuras of Afghanistan, to any conversation with Hamid Karzai, to the US-Pakistani conference tables in Islamabad. Whether a captain or a secretary of state, any official from the Occident is going to experience the exact same double-dealing from the Orient. And beg for more.


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