Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do as we say ...

Now, I sorta understood why we supported the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan back in the early '80s when the Soviets were there. The Cold War dominating policy in those days. You remember the Cold War, when another superpower had nuclear ballistic missiles pointed at us? The big worry was the Soviets would increase their influence in 'satellite states' like Vietnam and Cuba. We had a chance, in Afghanistan, to break their hold in East/Central Asia and it worked pretty well. Our big mistake was pulling our resources out not long after the Soviets split. A little 'nation-building' then might have prevented the problems we have with them since 2001. The point is, at that time, we faced a serious existential threat, in hindsight not as dire as we thought then, but that nuclear threat was real.

That said, Iran poses no such threat, probably as much as Saddam Hussein did in 2003 and I can't see a reason to support unsavory elements* in their society in an effort to destabilize their government.

December 13, 2008 -- TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has documents to prove the United States and Britain, the Islamic Republic's two Western arch foes, back a group that killed 16 abducted Iranian police officers, state radio reported on Saturday.

Shi'ite-dominated Iran said this month the Sunni group Jundollah (God's Soldiers) had killed 16 police hostages who were abducted from a checkpoint in the southeastern Sistan- Baluchestan province in June.

Tehran, which often accuses Britain and the United States of trying to destabilize the Islamic Republic, has said Jundollah's head, Abdolmalek Rigi, is part of the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda network.

"There are documents that show that Britain and America are supporting Rigi's terrorist group with arms and information," the radio quoted Ebrahim Raisi, first deputy to Iran's judiciary chief, as saying.


Terrorism mostly hurts innocent people. The Iranian people have done nothing to us and to support those who would kill them in an effort to bring down the Imams is criminal. This says the 'West' has no intention of building an eventual ally in Iran (something that is not outside the realm of possibility - the Iranians are an educated people, not Afghani goat humpers), only destroying it. Maybe it is part of the 'Iraqi effort' - create anarchy to make the place easy pickings (read: taking their oil) as opposed to defeating an 'arch-enemy'.

Supporting terror groups within a nation (I doubt these Jundollah guys have a pro-Western agenda) will only create animosities among the Iranian public (the people who get blown the fuck up and massacred when these guys play their games) toward the U.S., as opposed to covertly supporting humanitarian groups there. That's what 'winning hearts and minds' is all about.

Hey, I was with Air Force SOCOM. I know what can be delivered where under cover of night.

Example: A poor village in Bumfuck, Iran has had all their farm animals wiped out by disease.

In the middle of the night, the villagers hear the thwap-thwap of rotor blades in the distance and then the drone of props from an AC-130 gunship flying shotgun overhead. As they gather to see what's up, two MH-53 Pave Lows touch down, the rear cargo doors opening hydraulically. The chopper crews start herding animals out of the choppers (cows, goats, crates of baby chickens) and a veterinarian approaches the group of locals along with an interpreter fluent in Farsi.

"Who is in charge here?" The vet asks hurriedly.

A man steps forward, "I am," he says.

The vet hands him a package. "These are vaccines for the animals. See they get a shot ..." The vet explains the procedure, ending with. "Good luck to you and your village, compliments of the United States of America." He turns back to the now-empty choppers and they leave, disappearing into the night.

We can do things like this. While I pulled the scenario out of my ass, we've inserted and extracted intelligence officers from all sorts of hostile places and dropped supplies in others. We don't have to use Special Forces merely to kill people.

How much goodwill do you think would be generated by such humanitarian actions? How would we change our perception as The Great Satan if we became known, through word of mouth, as the bringers of life instead of the agents of death? After 8 years of Bush we've proved we can be the latter. It's time to practice what we preach and not support indigenous terror groups who would kill their own people to make their twisted statement.

The U.S. has a long history of supporting those who did not share our values, who had no qualms about killing their own people, who gave no thought to human rights, only to support our interests. It's time to change that. It's time we stop railing at other nations' disregard for human rights while we look the other way as it suits us while our surrogates commit the crimes. Supporting terrorists, torture, detention camps - how can we take the high road when dealing with the world when we continue to walk down the low?

If we want the U.S. to once again take the reins as the leader of the free world, we have to lead by example. After Bush, our word is worth nothing and only our actions will prove our sincerity.

*Great thanks to Avedon for the link.

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