Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Dickless Insanity of Counter-Insurgency/“Hearts-and-Minds” Policy in Afghanistan: The Pentagon is Now Sacrificing Our Finest Young Men’s Penises


Prosthetics at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C., July 2011.

By Nicholas Stix

Imagine a primitive island people whose crazy religion entails periodically dragging a chaste young girl up to the lip of the local volcano, and throwing her in, to her death, in order to appease the volcano god.

Now, imagine a modern people with a massive land, whose crazy religion entails periodically dragging a virtuous young man halfway across the world, and permitting its enemies to blow his penis off, in order to appease the diversity god, and you will have the Pentagon’s Counter-Insurgency/Hearts-and-Minds policy, in a nutshell.

Is COIN Fantasy Worth the Real-World Cost?
September 23, 2011
By Diana West

Only the U.S. military could build a defensive wall of words -- “dismounted complex blast injury” (DCBI) -- around the bare fact that single, double, triple, even quadruple amputations are up sharply among U.S. forces on foot patrol in Afghanistan. So are associated pelvic, abdominal and genital injuries, according to a newly released report.

But even the antiseptic language of the report is excruciating, as when it calls for “further refinement” of “aggressive pain management at the POI (point of injury),” or highlights the need to train more military urologists in “phallic reconstruction surgery.”

It isn’t management but prevention that is called for.

These grievous injuries have increased because more U.S. forces are on foot patrol in Afghanistan. More Americans are on foot patrol in Afghanistan because counterinsurgency strategy puts them there. Every story I’ve seen on the new amputation report makes this connection. The Associated Press account is typical: “The counterinsurgency tactic that is sending U.S. soldiers out on foot patrols among the Afghan people, rather than riding in armored vehicles, has contributed to a dramatic increase in arm and leg amputations, genital injuries and the loss of multiple limbs following blast injuries.”

But what exactly this counterinsurgency (COIN) tactic is designed to accomplish remains off the radar. The fact is, Uncle Sam is asking young Americans to risk limbs, urinary function and testicles to win something not only intangible but also fantastical. They walk the bomb-packed byways of Afghanistan to win -- to “earn” -- “the trust of the Afghan people.” This is the mythological, see-no-Islam quest that drives U.S. COIN strategy.

Once we finally admit that the unicorn hunters are wrong, once we stop trying to remake Afghanistan in something akin to our own image, once we start preventing Islam from remaking the West into a Shariah-compliant zone (with counterterrorism strikes, not foot patrols, as needed), these shattering body blasts to young Americans on the other side of the world will cease.

Meanwhile, “the trust of the Afghan people” is the holy grail of the Washington establishment, and, even after retiring from the military, Gen. David Petraeus, now director of the CIA, remains chief myth-maker. “Earn the people’s trust,” Petraeus wrote in a signal “Counterinsurgency Guidance” issued Aug. 1, 2010. From his list of how-tos -- which range from dispense payola (“COIN-contracting”), to “help them develop checks and balances to prevent abuses” (good luck with that), to “drink lots of tea” -- one order stands out, particularly in light of this week’s report on amputations resulting from foot patrols.

Petraeus wrote: “Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population.”…

I try, as best I can, to avoid using obscene language, but that policy has its limits, whereas there are no limits to the insanity of the Pentagon’s Counter-Insurgency/Hearts-and-Minds (“COIN”) policy.

And we don’t even want to start contemplating the degree to which the past 57 years of domestic race relations have been the consequence of white leaders employing the identical policy, regarding a group of fellow citizens which is as implacably opposed to everything America stands for, as the Afghanis are.


Incorrigible Truthseeker said...

I swear upon all that I hold holy that after the powers that be get thru with us the whole of America is gonna need post traumatic stress therapy.

Jay Santos said...

A very well written piece. But an infuriating situation. You've made an important connection between COIN and the history of U.S. elite imposed race sensitivity.

Nicholas said...


I wish I could accuse you of hyperbole.

Nicholas said...


Thank you for your kind words.

In New York, you can imagine that there's not a huge audience willing to consider such thoughts, outside of cabbies and non-white (non-black) immigrants.