Torture Strategy

March 19th, 2006

Seeing the latest images from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq reminded me, once again, why every American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is considered a legitimate military target by those countries’ resistance movements. Keep in mind that the situation in Bagram/Afghanistan is even worse as nobody – except for the Red Cross – was allowed to see the prison from the inside. How many innocent people were killed in there with the help of the Karzai government?

The message the American government tries to convey doesn’t make sense when it claims that those torturing orgies were the deeds of a few individuals that ran out of control. Apparently there’s a scheme behind this as every U.S. military prison, be it Abu Ghraib, Bagram or Guantanamo, has “a few individuals” that permanently run “out of control”. In addition to that it fits into the strategy that the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) has carefully worded in one of its investigations in 1995 called “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence” (PDF-Document), which actually refers to the U.S. nuclear strategy in a post-cold war world – but still relates to this very same idea of acting unpredictable and being irrational:

“Because of the value that comes from the ambiguity of what the U.S. may do to an adversary if the acts we seek to deter are carried out, it hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational and cool-headed…”
[…]
“The fact that some elements may appear to be potentially “out of control” can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the minds of an adversary’s decision makers. This essential sense of fear is the working force of deterrence. That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be a part of the national persona we project to all adversaries.”

To put it another way: just because the “Axis of Good” is bombing the middle-east and Afghanistan into a nicely levelled, peaceful, McDonalds parking-lot it doesn’t mean that they’re acting democratically – according to their self-conception.

… reminds me of what pacifists say: “Fighting for peace is like f4v”.

U.S. Military Asking For Help

March 4th, 2006

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a lady that works for the “Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center” (abbreviated as DLIFLC). She asked me to help her find the Afghan author of a Dari book who lives in the same city as me. She wanted to ask him for permission to reproduce some of the stories in his book for her Dari courses. She surfed the web for my last name (why my last name?) and came across this website (thank you, Google).
Misleadingly their top-level domain is “.edu” so I thought I’d be helping an educational institution, such as a university or a college.

Curious as I am I took a look at their website and, besides all the logos of the Department of Defense scattered all over their pages, I ran across this piece of text:

“The mission of the DLIFLC is to educate, sustain, evaluate, and support foreign language specialists under the guidelines of the Defense Foreign Language Program, which provides the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies with linguists fully capable of supporting United States national interests worldwide.”

So basically I would have helped the American military in their efforts to develop the Dari language skills of their spies, agents and soldiers that are responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of Afghans during their attack on Afghanistan, burning killed Muslims, killing crowds of children with grenades, keeping “ghost prisons” and torture and rape men, women and children.

Needless to say that I sent her a negative reply:

“Dear <Name removed>,

I took a look at your employers website and I’m afraid I can’t help you.
I do not agree with the U.S. policy in regard to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, an information you can also read about on my website sherzad.com, and I have serious reservations against helping the DoD in any way – directly or indirectly. If the DLIFLC was a “regular” company – not related to the American military – I would have been more than glad to help you. Unfortunately the American military is directly responsible for arresting, torturing and killing some of my relatives and family friends and this is keeping me from helping them.

Thank you for your understanding,
Rias A. Sherzad”

Of course me rejecting their request won’t change anything in regard to how the world goes. But the American military must be very used to Afghans helping them achieve their aims. They sure do. Who else does the translating on Guantanamo Bay and on the Bagram Airbase if not such be-namos (be = without) Afghan traitors that the Afghan history is full with?

Where am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for March, 2006 at Rias A. Sherzad.