It’s ironic that just days after a possible US/UK military ‘intervention’ in Syria we are reminded about another intervention – the one in Afghanistan. In this case, Taliban jihadists have just attacked a US base in eastern Afghanistan (Sunday, 1st September). Three of their fighters were killed in the process.
This means that the war in Afghanistan has not been won after 13 years. If we intervene in Syria (even if not so directly as in Afghanistan), how long will the deadly consequences of such an intervention in that country last?
One thing I did note about the British reports on this attack was the wording. The journalists uniformly called the Afghanistan fighters ‘militants’ and ‘insurgents’. When Islamists kill civilians in the West they are also sometimes called ‘militants’ or ‘radicals’. They are terrorists and/or jihadists. Even when they deliberately kill civilians in their own countries, they are still terrorists and/or jihadists. However, when they kill US or Afghan soldiers in Afghanistan, they are fighters. On that issue, I agree with the Western Left.
Of course many Afghan Muslims are going to fight against a foreign force within their midst. That’s why we should have no illusions about any military intervention in Syria. Even if we did help the Sunni victims of Assad (if they are victims of Assad), as well indirectly – or directly - help the Islamists or ‘militants’ (them again) in the process, then there will come a time when most Syrians will no longer need or want our help. Who knows, perhaps that would occur only a week or so after they had achieved their victory against Assad. And then would it be Iraq all over again?
As for the Afghan fighters. I’m not romanticising the Taliban, or carrying out a piece of (Marxist) theorising which miraculously turns them from being Islamic zealots into being ‘liberationists’ or ‘anti-imperialists’. I’m simply saying that when they fight US and Afghan troops - though not when they kill civilians in the random manner they do every day - they are fighters. This is not to say there were no good reasons for going into Afghanistan in October 2001. But once there, most Afghan Muslims were almost bound to fight against them – even those who weren’t Islamic fanatics. This is a vague case of patriotism/nationalism – even if it is indeed Afghanistan and therefore that loyalty is primarily to the tribe (Pashtuns or other tribes) rather than to the whole of Afghanistan (let alone to the Afghanistan state). In addition, it may well be the case that most – though not all – those men in the Afghan army - and even the police - are there for financial or career reasons; not for any deep hatred of the Taliban or, conversely, out of love for the American troops and what they’re doing in their country. In fact the many renegade actions of Afghan troops and police over the last 13 years have shown that to be the case.
The Taliban actions in this instance were clearly military in nature and part of their war effort. They attacked a US base in eastern Afghanistan. After a long gun battle, three Taliban were dead. Luckily no American soldiers were killed.
Before the gun battle, the fighters, not the ‘militants’ or ‘insurgents’, had torched NATO supply trucks on the road leading to the US Torkham base in the Nangarhar province.
British soldiers are said to be pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014; though some will remain there in an ‘advisory capacity’. This is something that many British Muslims appear to forget when they - as well as their Leftists enablers - accuse us of being ‘foreign occupiers’, ‘colonialists’ and all the rest. Indeed the same is true about Iraq. British troops pulled out of that country in 2011. Nonetheless, there are still 66,000 US troops in Afghanistan but no US troops in Iraq. The last US troops pulled out of Iraq in 2011. The US Government has also promised to pull out all troops from Afghanistan in 2014… and then do you honestly think that Islamic terrorism will suddenly stop either here in the West or in the Muslim world? Of course not! A jihad that’s been going on for 1,400 years is hardly likely to stop just like that. Other reasons and justifications will be found - both by Muslims and Leftists - for further terrorist attacks. What’s happening in Syria? Israel’s ‘treatment of Palestinians’? The banning of the burka in France? The lack of a clampdown on ‘Islamophobes’ in the UK and Europe? Western non-Muslim ‘personnel’/workers – not troops! – in Saudi Arabia? A church being built too near one of Birmingham’s Muslim ghettos (if churches are built at all nowadays)? Another ‘blasphemous’ film or book?
Even though in this case only I’ve called the Taliban ‘fighters’, as I said, they are not always so. In fact they are usually terrorists or just plain killers. And what can be more terroristic than killing your own people? This is a daily fact that many Western and American Muslims systematically ignore. Muslim-on-Muslim killing far exceeds Western-on-Muslim killings by many orders of magnitude. It always has done. But most Western Muslims have never really been that concerned with Muslim-on-Muslim killing. (The long-running Palestine Muslim-on-Muslim intrafada - which has claimed more lives than those claimed by the Israelis during the three intifada - is a very good example.) Muslims killing Muslims doesn’t play into Islamists’ ideological and religious game-plans. However, the singular exception to this (for Sunnis) is when Shia kill Sunnis, or (for Shia) when Sunnis kill Shia; which is precisely the case with Syria.
As for the Left, most Leftists have no interest in Muslim-on-Muslim killing either. In the Afghanistan case particularly, there have been dozens of Muslim civilians killed by the Taliban recently. Then again, Muslims are killing Muslims on a massive scale in Iraq too; as well as in Syria. What many Leftists and Muslims will now say is that the West, miraculously and predictably, is somehow responsible for all these deaths too. It always was responsible, according to Muslims; and has been ever since Muslims lost the last of their many imperialist empires after World War One. In the Left’s case, this is the position you are bound to adopt if you treat all Muslims as children without free will or conscience. Similarly, if you treat them as children who are literally incapable of changing their own political, social and economic environments. This is the Leftists’ condescending vision of all Muslims as the endless victims of us ‘white folk’ (though not Leftist ones!) in the West.
The Taliban’s terrorism against its own civilians is deliberate – as terrorism always is. The terror in their terrorism is vital. It’s not just about getting rid of foreign or even domestic enemies. Hence the many civilian (Muslim) causalities of the Taliban’s Islamic piety. More specifically, through such terror the Taliban is not only trying to scare the ‘Christian Crusaders’ out of Afghanistan. The terror is aimed primarily at Afghan civilians as well as at Afghan troops. It’s a warning shot to show the non-Islamist – until now - Afghan forces what they’re up against. It’s also telling Afghan civilians – Muslims - that they must support the Taliban otherwise death shall await them.