The sovereign can no longer say, "You shall think as I do on pain of death;" but he says, "You are free to think differently from me, and to retain your life, your property, and all that you possess; but if such be your determination, you are henceforth an alien among your people."

(Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Taliban video of attack on an ANA outpost in Nuristan

By watching Taliban videos, one can learn much about the enemy that ISAF is fighting in Afghanistan.

In this video, the Taliban show a coordinated attack on a Afghan National Army outpost. No US or other coalition forces are to be seen; however, an A-10 and at least one Attack-Helicopter show up on the scene.

The attack is coordinated and engages the outpost from two sides. One group provides fire support with mortars, recoilless guns and RPGs, whereas the infantry attack is launched on the other side of the outpost.

Throughout the video, no wounded or killed ANA soldiers are to be seen, although the attack seems to be successful. The Taliban occupy the outpost and capture ammunition, weapons and some pick-ups.

At 7:20 of part 3, the Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers surrender.

In part 5 the Taliban commander and his fighters arrive in a village and are being greeted by the villagers.

In Mudjahedin-ideology, martyrs die with a smile on their faces because they are happy to go to Paradise. That's why the faces of the killed Taliban are shown in detail in part 6. It is remarkable that in this Taliban propaganda video no dead enemies, but plenty of dead Taliban are featured. In Western propaganda quite the opposite is the case.

Why is that?

In the ideology of the Mudjahedin, the martyr (Shahid) wages Jihad for the glory of God. In return, God grants the Shahid access to the highest rank of Paradise. So when a Shahid dies, he fulfilled his part of the deal and can expect to go to the highest rank of Paradise, which explains the smile of some of the faces of the ones killed.

Whereas Mudjahedin fight for this selfish and apparently appealing ideology, ISAF troops fight to defeat terrorism at best but more commonly to stabilise a far away country (lets disregard for a moment that most of the ISAF troops are professionals and volunteers who fight for other reasons, such as for a living or because they signed a contract etc.).

Why is this important?

Sending soldiers to war requires to provide them with a strong motivation, such as nationalism, protection of their family, fight against a perceived threat etc. Is the cause of the mission unclear or not convincing, the moral erodes. In Vietnam, the consequence was alcohol and drug abuse. The consequence for the lack of a cause in Afghanistan has to be seen. But the widespread Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome could be one of them.

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