This Movie, Again


The US spent a trillion dollars fighting the Taliban and equipping a large Afghan government force with modern weapons and training.  The government troops are far more numerous than the Taliban and much better equipped, and they are melting before the Taliban like a July snow.  Why?

The great Arab Historian and polymath Ibn Khaldun figured this out eight centuries ago.  He called it asibiyah, the social glue that holds a nation or a fighting force together.  The asibiyah of the Taliban is a fanatic devotion to a religion that promises paradise to martyrs.  The government forces have no equivalent.

Bush and his idiot advisors often and proudly announced that they were not into nation building.  When they said that, I thought “then you will surely fail.”  After World War II, the US and allies spent vast sums and many decades in building Germany and Japan into modern democratic nations.  That effort has proved immensely successful.

Any similar efforts in the targets of Bush’s wars were abortive failures, haphazard responses to their failure to make realistic plans.


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