War, Women, and the Taliban

22 07 2010


The time has come to justify anew the war in Afghanistan, and excuses for keeping American and other NATO troops in combat there are coming hot and heavy in Washington and London. Last month’s trillion dollar mineral bonanza was not enough. Nor was the changeover of military command from an apparently insolent general to one who minds his Ps and Qs. Uncertain successes on the battlefield are not doing much to help. So, how can the Obama administration sell this despicable war to an increasingly wary public? The latest rabbit in the magician’s top hat is the creation of “local police units,” home guards to keep the Taliban away from the villages. Announced with great fanfare in Kabul and Washington, a new plan calls for village militias to turn the tide. (If you believe that, please send me a check for $10,000 for the name of the next Kentucky Derby winner.) These militiamen are unlikely to do anything more than denounce their traditional enemies to death squads, making them as unpopular as the Green Berets they are going to serve under.

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