The latest Western fantasist among the Pashtuns

Because Gen. Stanley McChrystal is urging a huge increase in the number of our troops in Afghanistan, he is generally seen as a hawk. The truth, says Diana West, who has read McChrystal’s 66 page assessment of the war, is the exact opposite. Far from being a tough minded military strategist, he is a deluded liberal, an ideological zealot living in world of theories:

The document is fascinating, just as the work of zealots is always fascinating. As a high priest of the politically correct orthodoxy, McChrystal has laid out a strategy to combat Taliban jihad in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan without once mentioning Islam, and forget about jihad …

The resulting black hole leads the commander to conclude … that the reason the 99 percent-plus Muslim people of Afghanistan are “reluctant to align with us” is due to the “perception”—eight years and untold billions in largesse after we entered the country—“that our resolve is uncertain.” Nothing so simple as what a member of the Afghan parliament recently told the Economist: “The Taliban tell them the Koran says they have to fight the Crusaders and they believe them.”…

To win what McChrystal describes … as “the struggle to gain the support of the (Afghan) people,” … he writes that we must “connect with the people”—the same “people,” he acknowledges, who “can often change sides and provide tacit or real support to the insurgents.”

In short, our man in Afghanistan has a non-Islam theory of Islamic extremism. It’s been a long time since I’ve added to my catalogue of such theories, and McChrystal’s is certainly a new one and deserves inclusion. His theory could be stated as follows:

The Afghan people’s support for, or reluctance to fight against, Islamic extremism is caused, not by their belief in Islam, but by (a) their belief that Americans lack resolve to fight Islamic extremism, and (b) Americans’ failure to “connect with” the Afghan people and to win their “hearts and minds.”

McChrystal’s theory gets an asterisk, however, since he lays out his non-Islam theory of Islamic extremism without ever mentioning “Islam” or even “Islamic extremism.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 25, 2009 11:29 AM | Send

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