In Afghanistan, America wages anti-war—war designed to kill and cripple our own men for the sake of our enemies

As head of U.S. troops in Afghanistan a year ago, Gen. David Petraeus issued an order in pursuance of his concept of counterinsurgency (“winning hearts and minds”) warfare: “Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population.” The result, reports Diana West, has been a large increase in the number of “dismounted complex blast injuries” suffered by our soldiers. This type of injury is defined as “an injury caused by an explosion occurring to a Service Member while dismounted in a combat theater that results in amputation of at least one lower extremity at the knee or above, with either amputation or severe injury to the opposite lower limb, combined with pelvic, abdominal or urogenital injury.”

Translation: American soldiers are losing their feet, their testicles, their penises, their bladders, their legs, their lives, in ever-increasing numbers, because the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to “earn the trust of the Afghan people,” a fantasy goal which is supposedly accomplished by exposing our unprotected men to improvised explosive devices as they walk along the hills and roads of that God forsaken country. Liberalism—the belief that all people are basically like us or can be readily made to be like us—brings our enemies en masse to our country, where they kill us and attempt to kill us, and sends us (i.e., our soldiers) like lambs into the midst of our enemies’ countries, where they kill, maim, and cripple us.

Yet there is still no real debate about our Afghanistan policy. Not a single major Republican politician or presidential candidate questions the premise underlying the policy, that it is within our power to stabilize, democratize, and make viable that primitive Muslim hellhole. Turning reality on its head, the Republicans see our hopeless self-sacrificial quest there as patriotic—even as the epitome of conservatism. Hah. At least the passive, sheep-like Eloi in H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine had no illusions about the fact that they were Eloi. We are worse. We are Eloi who imagine ourselves to be tough minded patriots, even as we send our men to die and be mutilated in order to “earn the trust” of people who are commanded by their god to hate and kill us until the end of time.

September 27

Thomas Bertonneau writes:

Regarding the misguided wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Islamic Middle East and Central Asia—

The vocabulary on the American side has a depressingly familiar ring to it. The discourse treats us to such tongue-twisting, mind-bending items as: “dismounted complex blast injuries,” “pelvic, abdominal or urogenital injury,” caused, as we have been hearing since 2005, by “improvised explosive devices” or “IEDs.”

It’s the acronym, “IED,” that tells us where we are: We are deep in the belly of that obnoxious beast the bureaucratized and largely lawless state. Ordinary people speaking normal English refer to bombs, not to “improvised explosive devices.” What is the psychology of that nine-syllable obscenity that muscles the righteously meaningful monosyllable—bomb—aside? Is a brass-bedizened general officer too exalted to utter so plain a Normanism as bomb? Peut-être. Is the image of a bomb, known to everyone over forty from the archive of Looney Toons, too undignified to be allowed into proximity, in an official sentence, with that other image: the camo-khakied modern-day American GI? Perhaps that’s it. Certainment. If the enemy (to whom of course Le General Boum-Boum never actually refers as the enemy) were maiming and slaughtering American soldiers with perfected beam-weapons or bestriding the battlefield in Martian tripods à la H. G. Wells, then our casualties would at least be tactically understandable. Alas, the boys (and, God help us, girls) are victims, not of a technologically equal enemy, but of stone-age savages with providential access to C4. It’s a bomb, not an “improvised explosive device,” the nine syllables of which are apparently supposed to make us (Bloody Hell!) feel better.

When we reach “dismounted complex blast injuries,” we have come to the domain of what ought to be legally actionable offense. The pornography of this pseudo-clinical forgery of an honest word is hard to describe. How might forthright English redeem this morsel of depraved expression? We force our soldiers out of their expensive armored vehicles to play kissy-face with savages, who then find it much easier to kill and main them with their bombs—and we really feel good about ourselves for doing it; sorry about the dismounted complex blast injuries.

Permit me to quote E. E. Cummings –

“next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims’ and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn” early my
country ‘tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?”

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water

Michael writes:

Speaking from the perspective of a member of the units that disarm IEDs, the phrase has a distinct meaning. Within the military community the term IEDs has been used for at least 30 years to describe a certain type of device. I would agree the term is not for public consumption. It is akin to the use of medical terms by the general population. The vernacular used to describe IEDs is roadside bombs. While that phrase may have meaning to the general public it is not precise enough to describe the device to someone who is busy disarming them.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 24, 2011 05:44 PM | Send

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