5 years ago
It is easy to lose count of the number of administration officials who have issued groveling, pitiful “apologies” over the burned Qu’rans at Bagram Air Base. But take note that our apologies aren’t sufficient. The protests are still active, they are spreading to Pakistan, and Iran wants more – a lot more. It’s ironic how we see things through Western, secular eyes concerning issues pertaining to religious pre-commitments. Our apologies are so serious, so heartfelt, so sincere, so sober – and so completely irrelevant to the Muslim world.
Iran wants the officers who made this decision to pay a hefty price.
In a move likely to irk tension between Iran and United States, a top Iranian military commander said on Saturday that nothing short of burning the White House and hanging American military commanders can compensate for the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan last week.
“The U.S. has committed such an ugly act and burnt Qurans because of the heavy slap it has been given by Islam,” commander of Iran’s Basij force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi told the semi-official Fars news agency.
So we punish the officers who made this decision according to Sharia law, we torch the White House, and we completely withdraw from Afghanistan, and then perhaps the Iranian generals will be appeased.
But also take careful note why the copies of the Qu’ran were burned in the first place.
As riots over the accidental improper disposal of the Koran led to seven deaths by Wednesday, two senior NATO military officials stressed that it was because of clandestine communications written into the Korans in the first place that a decision was made to have them destroyed by U.S. troops.
Afghan detainees at Bagram Air Base wrote inside Korans as a method for passing messages to fellow detainees, defacing the holy books in a manner considered blasphemous within Islam, the officials said, speaking to Fox News exclusively.
[ … ]
A second official said that local religious leaders who came to look at the damaged material as part of an investigation into the incident were “shocked by what they saw.”
Pages of the Korans contained many handwritten messages and in some cases printed notes were found inside the books. This official described the messages as “extremist” in nature.
This entire incident has as its root cause the fact that rather than killing the insurgents on the field of battle, we imprisoned them in hopes of rehabilitating them and releasing them to return to productive lives in the service of greater Afghanistan.
Ah. Those Western ideals at work again. How sweet. But in reality, prisons in counterinsurgency are opportunities for rest and relaxation, a chance to be fed and to receive good medical care, and a safe haven to recruit and radicalize other insurgents.
These copies of the Qu’ran should have been burned, but Afghans should never have been involved. In fact, the prisons, which are currently full to overflowing with radicalized Islamists and criminals soon to be released when the U.S. exits Afghanistan (or sooner if the prisons are turned over to Afghan authorities), should completely go out of business. We should have been killing these fighters rather than giving them the opportunity to concoct further plans for harm to U.S. troops.
All of this – and more – is why I have recommended that we withdraw from Afghanistan. We simply don’t have a clue what it takes to win the campaign in this region of the world. For future campaigns, we should take note yet again that prisons really, really don’t work in counterinsurgency.
As if all of this isn’t enough, we may yet sacrifice the careers of some of the officers in the service of Islam.
NATO officials promised to meet Afghan nation’s demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident and it was agreed that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice as soon as possible.
Sad beyond belief.
UPDATE #1: Many thanks to Glenn Reynolds for his attention to this.