Petraeus' Iraq Style Bribes Won't Work in Afghanistan

The mainstream media continues to pay homage to the 'Iraqi Surge' and its oracle Gen. Petraeus especially these last couple days since he's been FedExed in to take charge of the Pentagon's plight in Afghanistan. They always fail to mention that running parallel to the 'Surge' PR blitz was Petraeus' more occult assault on the Sunni fighters state of poverty. Petraeus' plan called for the US to 'hire' as many Sunni fighters as possible as security guards in their own villages, towns and cities-exactly what they were doing anyway-but now on the payroll of the Yanquis. It worked. The majority of the Sunni fighters were eager to continue gaurding their neighborhoods from their Shia enemies and not shoot at Americans-especially if they stayed out of those neighborhoods-in exchange for the money they desperately needed to keep their families alive.

Afghanistan is a different place, different people, different history, different issues. The insubordinate Gen. McCrystal has been busy trying to buy the hearts and minds of Afghanis for many months now. About the only consistant success he'd seen was that the private contractors hired to re-supply the forces has managed to bribe the insurgents away from the convoys. Everyday 260 huge trucks leave the port of Karachi, they all have to pass through some of the most difficult terrain in the world, the tribal villagers who control those places have charged a 'toll' for safe passage since Alexander the Great went through. Now the Americans pay the toll plus they pay extra to assure the largesse passes on to any other militants in the area who need pacifing.

McCrystal had very little luck beyond the high mountain highwaymen, Petraeus will do no better though he'll undoubtedly try. Bribing the insurgents is afterall one of the central tenents of 'counter-insurgency' and though the Western Colonial powers have lost every battle against insurgents [23-0] in the last couple hundred years, they still figure it's bound to work this time. Well it isn't.

Back during the Vietnam war returning vets told stories about how they'd have setup clinics-fresh water wells-saved the village kid's lives with antibiotics-rebuilt temples-handed out food and money, but almost invaribly some the recently saved villagers would sneek out of town on the day of the American departure and try to ambush the same US troops that just 'saved' them. The Vietnamese had the same central organizing principle as the Afghanis, resistance to the occupiers always. The same long term stratadgy, in the long run the occupiers would get tired and go home. The Afghans have been resisting occupiers for a looooooooog time, they know that sooner or later we'll go home. The villagers whose hearts we try to win or buy know we'll be leaving too. They'll take Petraeus' Iraq style bribes but they'll be waiting in the palm trees with their AK-47s and planting roadside bombs along the road outta town.