This Is the Country We’re Saving

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The tribal raider is unable to imagine any higher idea than the honor of his family. But Islam adds the idea of the meta-tribal identity. The Islamic Ummah as the ultimate tribe. It is an idea that allowed Mohammed and his successors to loot and pillage their way across much of the world. And the world is bleeding from a million wounds, stabbed, cut and pierced by the followers of that idea.

The things that the tribesman loots for in this world are given to him twice over in paradise if he dies in battle. And if he suspects that the paradise overflowing with virgins, gold jewelry and pungent wines is a lie that the elders and clerics tell to get him to risk his life while they remain behind with their share of the virgins, gold and wine in this world– to say so openly would be blasphemy.

It is no wonder that the Taliban found its perfect breeding ground in Afghanistan. Just as variants like Al-Shabaab found theirs in equally backward places such as Somalia. The purity that the Wahhabis seek is really barbarism. And it is most easily found in the most backward places. The least civilized countries.

The Taliban may have repressed Afghanistan, but they did not add very much that was not already there. Afghanistan is not Persia, a place that Afghans looking for freedom and opportunity flee to today. Their edicts and brutality made Afghanistan worse, but the difference was most notable in Kabul, and far less so in more backward provinces. As the Taliban return, so does a surge of brutality. But it is a surge that adds to the existing brutality in the official and unofficial systems.

Will the Taliban rule in Afghanistan? In a sense they always have. Long before the Taliban existed, the gleeful cruelty, the dogmatic brutalization and the culture of fear reigned in Afghanistan. The Taliban contribution was the linkup through Pakistan and now Iran with a global Jihad. The local raid giving way to the global raid. The persecution of Christians in Afghanistan giving way to September 11. Exploding Buddhas transitioning to falling skyscrapers.

The terrible genius of Islam is that it took the violence of the tribe and the clan and sanctified it. Islam elevated the vendetta to the highest form of religious service. The one that is above all others.

20th century Islamists took the ugly tribal feud and globalized it. They took backward places like Afghanistan and turned them into platforms for a global war. We may be able to save ourselves from the puppet masters behind this shadow war, but we cannot save the Afghans from themselves.

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  • effemall

    At long last, a writer with open eyes. We had no business ever putting troops on the ground and wasting American lives. A few bombing runs, a few raids such as the one that took out bin Laden and a few drones would have sufficed.

    • davarino

      I hate to admit it but I think you might be right, but it sure felt good to give it to them though. It sure set them back a few centuries. We need to know the enemy better before we make a move. I think we need to beef up the intelligence community so they do the job intended rather than guys that just watch the news like you and me.

    • Jerry

      Unfortunately, Afghanistan contains significant amounts of rare earths that are necessary for modern electronics.

  • waterwillows

    You forgot to mention the weekly salve auctions. This is where muslim women in full burka garb are put on sale to the highest bidder. They have somehow displeased some man somewhere, and this is where they end up.
    Once the women is bought, she is simply raped to her death or re-sold again and again until she is raped to her death.

  • LInda

    atrocious!

  • tarleton

    Someone shuld make a movie on Afcrapistan in the theme of francis ford Coppela's ''apocalypse now''…instead of using the river as a metaphor for going back in time they could use the mountains and valleys of Afcrapistan …or maybe it's closer to something from monty pythons ''life of Brian''?

    I recently saw a photo of a group of white clad Pakistanies smashing up a Macdonalds in Lahore with cricket bats … hmmm….it must have been the new Macpork burgers ?

    • Indioviejo

      Hollywood would never insult Islam. They are as perverted as the Muslims are.

  • ReaderwithaView

    You are right about the problems of Afghanistan…but to make Islam the main point of your attack…with a subtext of fear for Israel…is not helpful at all.

    Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan have one thing in common that is more important to the situation than any of the other commonalities…it is the tribalisation of their territory thanks to the influence of the Eurpean Imperial powers…in their bid to divide up and weaken the Islamic world.

    The word Afghanistan mean land of the Afghans.. Afghan is a word that is taditionally only associated with one ethnic group of that land..namely the Pashtuns…and there is no more a tribalistic backward people on the face of the earth than the Pashtuns… in Arabia..the Saudi clan..amongst the lowest and most vicious tribally minded groups….both have had a territory named after them.

    Islam is the opposite of tribalism…

    • tarleton

      islam is the unifier of small tribes against the larger tribe of infidels…islam is so tribal and xenophibic that it pronounces a death sentance on anyone who leaves…APOSTASY !!

    • al Kidya

      "…but to make Islam the main point of your attack…with a subtext of fear for Israel…is not helpful at all"

      Were you reading the same article I was?
      I didn't see any reference to Israel in the article at all.
      I do believe you are Judeophobic, Reader.
      You cannot deny that Islam supports everything tribal in Afghanistan. Islam is based on violence. It is medievel and fits the scenario perfectly.
      Put your reading glasses on and take off the blinders, will you.

    • SpiritOf1683

      Brainless pig. Afghanistan has had very few years of occupation by anyone since the days of Ghenghis Khan. Saudi Arabia has never been occupied by a European power. Now get back to Pakistan, brainless savage, and give a lift to the average I.Q here in the West. Islam is the synonym of brutality, misogyny, racism, intolerance and barbarianism.

    • Eraina

      Islam is the essence of tribalism. Anwar Sadat once said that Egypt is not only the largest Arab country, it is the only Arab country. All the others are just tribes with flags.

      Re the article- FINALLY someone gets it. We need to stop wasting our time there. We need to stop caring about their outrageous cruelty and backwardness. It's what they want. This is true for all Islam. Women are as involved with the enslavement and honor killings of other females as the men. I save my pity and concern for those who deserve it.

  • TOWG

    Very good article. People need to wake up to the perils of islam and the threat it poses to the civilized world

  • Watchman

    Nuke all the muslim lands then, America WILL come up with an engine that doesn't require oil AND the world will be a much, much better place. This inbred defective human is a sore on mankinds ass and needs to be lanced out of our lives once and for all.

    • PhillipGaley

      . . . . at once, and for a long time to come, . . .

    • davidhorowitz

      Dear Watchman, please stop talking. Thanks.

  • Amused

    These peope will not bring themselves into the 21st century , they don't want to , they like it the way it is .The sooner we get that into our heads , the sooner we'll stop wasting blood and treasure on this primitive place .Let'em have at it ,and when and if they pose an existential threat , use drones and airpower ONLY . As for the plight of happless downtrodden Afghan women ? Instead of letting Saudis , Pakistanis ,Somalis, Iraqis , and Nigerians come to our shores ,let those women who wish to , come and live like human beings and in peace . Indeed of the former groups I've mentioned ,Afghan women would be the only ones truly appreciative of FREEDOM in the USA . Their male counterparts left to pounding salt or coupling with donkeys .

  • PhillipGaley

    Quite simply, in a world of rampant Islam, Mankind cannot progress—the offending thing should be dealt with, in resolve and with a firm hand, . . .

    • scum

      Black Boxes and more torture. Go Go Go!!

  • fisherKing

    I could write a similar article about the USA and make it sound like the worst place ever on earth if I just highlight the bad. We had to putt the US Army at the beginning to allow for a much more proactive approach on intelligence and counter terror missions. Special Ops raids without a significant military presence leads to Eagle Claw and Mogadishu if you get the intelligence.

    How the hell would we establish a base in Kabul with the Taliban still running the country? You would only get suicide missions.

    Also if you are going to write an article about this indirectly advocating an abandonment of Afghanistan you should address the morality of the genocide of our allies which would follow and the practicality of the $4 trillion of rare earths which would fall into the Taliban and al Qaeda's hands.

    • StephenD

      I would agree with you if…you could name one true Ally that would be subjected to "Genocide" should we withdraw. I venture there are none, less Israel, in the entire region. Others we may do business with but that is it. We've wasted too many lives and too much treasure on this failed attempt to export Democracy. These folks know of nothing more than being cave dwellers and apparently prefer that to a Western Style Democracy.
      I contend that we should announce to the world that we will from now on only support such democracies that share our values of personal freedom and responsibility based on a constitutional legal system. Everyone else is on their own.

      • fisherKing

        Policemen, soldiers, politicians, school children, priests and citizens have been murdered and tortured by the thousands for standing up for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Nothing has been wasted. Victory lies within reach. Doing what you suggest would abandon all free people to tyrannical super criminals.

        • christopherl

          Freedom? Like the Christians in these countries have? In the end it is a waste of money and lives. Because Islam is advancing across the West like there is no tomorrow. We owe the Islamic world nothing, let them fend for themselves.

          When it comes to Islam, Bush was very uniformed.

    • christopherl

      Are we supposed to stay there forever? Nation building has not made America safer from Islam, and is a waste of money. It is time to get out of there, and end all Muslim immigration. Let Muslims fend for themselves.

      Are you actually comparing the US to Afghanistan?

      • fisherKing

        We will probably keep military advisers, counter terror operatives, intelligence agents and air bases in Afghanistan as long as we can until Afghanistan tells us to leave. Other people including Americans will come in and develop the industries. They will have their own security firms and this will calm down.

        "Are you actually comparing the US to Afghanistan?"
        Highlight the bad of each society and compare. It's night and day yes, but Afghanistan's problem comes from weak institutional security and no development.

        We have a developed country and we still generate torture murderers and pedophiles and drug dealers. An article written about modern America would be very damning if all evils were attributed to every American.

        • christopherl

          Training Muslims will backfire in the end. Because when push comes to shove, they will stand with Islam over us. Islam itself is the problem, and our country lost the war the day they allowed Sharia into their constitution. Our Pentagon is lead by naive fools.

          http://loganswarning.com/2010/09/08/us-military-l

          Nation building was a huge mistake.

          Yes it is night and day. That is my point.

  • mcrobbins

    It is in these cultural backwaters that Islamic extremism thrives. Countries such as Sudan, Somalia, and Afghanistan became havens for every Islamist terrorist in the Muslim world. It was from these countries that the organized global jihad was unleashed.

    • Indioviejo

      How about Turkey, are they enlightened Muslims?

  • BS77

    It is a terrible tragedy….the loss of thousands of young AMericans in Iraq and Afghanistan….who sacrificed all . Now our country is pulling out of these barbaric wastelands and people are asking, why??? The campaign in Afghanistan lasted twice as long as WWII, and it looks like the country will quickly revert to medieval brutality once the US is gone. What a dismal outcome. I pity the women and children of Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iran……..I don't most AMericans realized how HORRIBLE life is for women in these terrible places.

  • tanstaafl

    Michael Totten was commenting on some pictures of an Afghanistan compound. Every afghani building he remarked, even an outhouse, has a wall built around it.

    Need we need to know more?

    • christopherl

      Did Totten figure out that nation building is not the answer yet?

  • Shah

    From reading your first sentence, I thought you were talking about America…. These same exist in every country, (drugs and sexual abuse), about the treatment of women and blasemy laws, they have not advanced as much as the US. Please remember it was only 200 years ago we were selling slaves on the open market— ( and would you call the people selling slaves long time ago Christian? Would you blame the religion of Christianity 200 years ago? ) Or was it a product of the times. Its sad, but corrupt Politics have kept that region backwards. But in time with education things will change.

    • Nukem Now

      Who sold the europeans slaves? Africa sold slaves and still does frankly. Christians know what it means to be slaves. We remember the oppressors. We can see them today. Shah, today the problem are the cult of Islam. Let's talk about today. There are more slaves today than at anytime when Africa was selling them in the past. Today the blame is on Islam and precisely where such barbaric behavior is enforced by its own reference in the Koran. You please remember punk!!

    • SpiritOf1683

      Idiotic savage. If the US is so bad, off to Pakistan you go. What are you waiting for? We don't need you and your parasitical and misogynistic sort in the West.

    • Susan

      Oh for God’s sake, yours is the most outrageous equivalency argument I’ve ever read! There is no comparison between the islamic hellhole of Afghanistan and the United States, not today or 200 years ago. The Afghans are a diverse group of tribal savages who will probably never abandon their anachronistic, retrograde perversities unless they are literally dragged into the 21st century. They are primitive, ignorant specimens from another time with a putrid culture and a violent, predatory, supremacist religion. They should be left alone to rot in their timewarp, and the animals known as the ‘ taliban’ should be systematically rounded up and executed. I personally don’t give a damn about the Afghans as long as they stay in their disgusting hovels and leave me alone, but they are not worth fighting and dying for. Any country that is governed by the obscene travesty known as ‘sharia’ is a lost cause and should be left to self-destruct. Islamic law is pure barbarism.

    • christopherl

      Not to the extend as in Afghanistan. This is not 200 years ago, so try dealing in today. Islam helps keeps the region backwards. Islam allows slavery.
      http://loganswarning.com/2011/06/20/religion-of-s

  • mrbean

    Obama plans to lose the war. What else would you expect when you put a Marxist Clandestine Muslim Community Tribalist Organizer in as the Commander-In Chief? I am of the opinion this inept fool is living up to his expectations of himself. The Carthage Strategy must be employed or just get out. It is an either – or as containment will never work. Muslims are like Orks of Middle Earth and require an annihilation for them to stop jihadism.

    • guest

      He is a Muslim. The dollar has lost half his value since he became president. Islam has made huge inroads into our governments. We will be lucky if we can survive till the election.

  • David

    it is a typical writing of an anti-islamist, that mixes reality with fiction to make its point. There are many bad in Afghan society, but yes, Islam has to be brought in (as fiction) to provide support of the bad. What a joke! It is the islamic laws that wiped out the poppy production from Afghanistan, which now has broken all time records under the Nato rule…but will you even mention it? Islam is what brought these all together and brought justice to this nation but that justice was short lived, as the world cannot see it happening. Yes, if their is cruelty, it is because of the people who astray from the teachings, but how come now all this cruelty being propagated by the Nato rule and no one talks about it? And the killings of hundreds of thousands first by the Russians and now by the Nato is no crime at all, the feuds around the street corner are…such is the standard of morality of the writer

    • TexExpatriate

      Justice in any Islamic nation! You are a joke, sir. Islam is an evil, tribal, violent, viral, and irrational religion. I have to believe that so are all its adherents until they prove otherwise. But as dangerous to America as these nasty people are, Democrats are even more dangerous.

    • SpiritOf1683

      We can wipe out the poppy fields with herbicides sprayed from planes. And it is time we did. Those Afghan savages deserve to live in caves because they refuse to civilize. And that is because of Islam.

    • christopherl

      Islam allows rape, and slavery. Which is your favorite part?
      http://loganswarning.com/2011/06/20/religion-of-s

  • TexExpatriate

    I liked the picture that accompanied this story, and had this thought about it. If somehow Farrakhan's astrial ships could come down and lift all the Muslims up-up-and-away into the astral spheres, American cowboys could tame that land.

  • dan

    "The terrible genius of Islam is that it took the violence of the tribe and the clan and sanctified it. Islam elevated the vendetta to the highest form of religious service. The one that is above all others." As we used to say in the 'Nam, "There it is". Mohammed was run out of Mecca because because he threatened the veneration of the many deities and idols worshiped and sold there. He leaves with a couple of dozen followers and goes to Medina. His doctrine and actions become more violent and, ouila, the "religion" (actually a political-ethnocentric-social ideology) takes off. The idols they worship now are, well, themselves; with judgment and god-like retribution meted out in the temporal with abandon.

  • mommy1.618

    From Alexander to the Great Game, to the former Soviet Union to now. We never should have gone in there in the first place. Those who preceded us knew what a quagmire they had been sucked into. Just as Vietnam sucked in five U.S. presidents from Truman to Nixon, Afghanistan has now reeled in Bush and Obama. And now we are literally dying to get out.

    • SpiritOf1683

      In Alexander the Great's time, there was no islam. That is why he had no mtrouble in Afghanistan. From the 7th Century onwards, that savage backwater has been nothing but trouble. If the Victorians had nukes and the delivery systems during the days of the Raj, they might well have used them to wipe out Afghanistan.

  • http://www.frontpage.com Shane

    Afghanistan, and a few others, are just practice grounds for our troops. The elites want our military always ready, and experimenting with new toys and strats.
    The real places to take out are Iran, Pakistan, Syria.

  • Tim Underwood

    The problem with Afghanistan is that we never thought to support the young republican minded, secular believing minorities: exclusively. If most of the women were so inclined, than this segment of their society would represent a majority. The communists were much more experienced with this sort of modern day empire building. What did the Americans and the Canadians have as an alternative to support and to build with? Idiots like Franklin Graham, that's who.
    The war, or whatever this effort is, has no obtainable objective. It has become a lost cause only in the minds of someone who thought they had a possible cause to begin with. Jefferson just wasn't around to show us the way. It starts with the idea of secularism and only then ends with the idea of republic. Democracy is a good practical tool for legitimizing leadership, but it is no end in itself.

  • xlent

    This article is so right on, concise and true. I can't understand how we can get so mucked up in a situation that will only revert to the seventh century barbarianism that the stupid religion of islam binds it in.

  • Geddy

    Hey, Dead American soldiers is what pleases BHO, Biden, Pelosi and Frank. Cannot be sucking a big one if you have morals and islam has no morals. Afganistan bleeds us of military resources so when BHO allows islam to attack us we are too weak to defend. Look how we ran away from Israel.

    • Amused

      You're a MORON .

  • Glennd1

    How can you not mention the Afghani "dancing boys"? This practice of enslaving teenaged boys who dance for the entertainment of Afghani men and have sex with them is widespread. It is depraved beyond belief. We should start loading up the C130s, C5s and C17s tonight and get the hell out of there! What a waste of the lives our soldiers and our money.

    I'm sick to death over this. Finally glad to see some sense showing up on the right about this. We libertarians have been saying this for years but so many on the right just keep saying that Afghanistan is about the war on terror when it isn't and hasn't been since 2002.

    • Eraina

      Most of the "danceing boys" are a lot younger than teenagers. Closer to 7, 8 or 9 year olds! by the time they're teenagers, they're "old hags".

    • vaslovik

      Let us not forget the Afghan custom among male family members of making the youngest son the object of rape by his father and older brothers, and subjecting him to the same degrading treatment their women are subjected to.

  • Wesley69

    What are we hoping to accomplish here? Do we think they will change after living this way for over 2000 years. Time to withdraw and if we have problems in the future, just drop a bomb.

    • SpiritOf1683

      2000 years ago, in the pre-Islamic era, they were more civilized. They built the Buddha statues, which were destroyed by the Talibnan barbarians. Barbarianism reached them through Islam. Islam has destroyed and turned into barbarians everything it has touched.

  • Indioviejo

    Daniel, please send this blog to Dennis Prager. He needs to acknowledge the truth about Islam.

    • SamB

      HEAR! HEAR! Prager, with all of his "chochmah" (Wisdom) just fell down oin this. Problem with Dennis is, that like OB, he's begun to believe in his own infallible "clarrity" (sic). He needs to take a detour through Afghanistan next time he visits Israel–just for the blinding contrast. I had too much respoect for Prager's good sense. But even the best can lose it, eventually.

  • Amused

    We ain't saving NO ONE in Afghanistan .Let's get the hell out ASAP .If Afghanis really want a democracy , then let them fight for it themselves .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It all goes back to Jimmy Carter, let us blame him. Good now that we have done that
    we must wonder where did all of our men go, why are we not dealing with the evil of
    the world as we should, why are we playing with it and not tearing it out of the Earth
    root and branch ?……………………………………………………..William

  • Amused

    Sorry Ward …it dont work like that . I dont like Carter , but I blame Carter for what Carter did …Afghanistan is Bush's fiasco and soon to be Obama's unless he gets the troops out .A better question is , "where did all our common sense go " ?

    • WilliamJamesWard

      The Islamist problems we have is irrefragably Jimmy Carter based but yes
      George made major mistakes with his religion of peace. Afghanistan was a
      walk through for our military as the Taliban was hated and in the open to be
      shot at, they took off in three weeks to fight another day. I see the remake as
      we are not just fighting the Taliban we have every miserable faction in the
      Nation of dope growing Islamist murderers who would cut your throat for
      a nickle, no for free. Some places in the world are no go unless you happen
      to be Alexander the Great…………and fight to win. Common sense, I kind of
      remember something about that, wasn't it around here some time back?
      William

  • LindaRivera

    The Koran is the exact opposite of the Bible. Islam's god is the exact opposite of the One Great Glorious G-D of the Universe, the Awesome Creator.

    It is a mighty battle between good and evil.

    G-D will win. And the entire world will live in peace and SAFETY forever.

  • Vlad

    Yet, with all this anachronistic tribal society, they probably will, as they did for ages, thrive long after western civilization has destroyed itself! So please, leave them alone! People don’t want to become extinct!

  • pam

    Well all you saying just drop a bomb our troops are being there and also the Afghan police are selling our troops heroin( Tom Fitton Judicial watch exposed this ) and more .Some of us have relatives there in the military and civilian jobs .Of course we know Obama wants war in every nation ,but bombing them will not help .The useless UN would be all over that and besides those of us who have loved ones sent there just might come home in caskets before all this