The Right Opinion

PC Insanity Cripples Our Military

Green-on-blue deaths of coalition soldiers blamed on our "cultural insensitivity."

By Arnold Ahlert · Dec. 18, 2012

A proposed new handbook for soldiers serving in the Middle East reveals an alarming level of political correctness that infests the military chain of command. The 75-page document suggests that American ignorance of Taliban culture is chiefly responsible for the spate of so-called green-on-blue attacks by Afghan trainees on their American trainers, that have claimed the lives of 63 coalition troops this year alone. The manual is still in the drafting stages, but an article published by the Wall Street Journal reeks of the typically leftist “blame America first” mentality that should enrage every American.

The leaked manual, characterized by the WSJ as the “final coordinating draft,” offers a list of “taboo conversation topics” soldiers should avoid. These including “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” “advocating women's rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” “directing any criticism towards Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct” or “anything related to Islam.” In short, a combination of self-censorship and subservience to Islamist culture – self-imposed dhimmitude if you will – is seen as the key to countering the murderous behavior of Afghan trainees.

The handbook continues: “Bottom line: Troops may experience social-cultural shock and/or discomfort when interacting with [Afghan security forces,]” it states. “Better situational awareness/understanding of Afghan culture will help better prepare [troops] to more effectively partner and to avoid cultural conflict that can lead toward green-on-blue violence.”

You know what really facilitates green-on-blue violence? Armed Afghan trainees in the presence of their unarmed American counterparts. Unbelievably, until the policy was quietly rescinded last August, American soldiers were required to remove their magazines from their weapons, while quartered inside bases with their armed Afghan trainees. That insidious policy was promoted as a “gesture of trust” directed towards our Afghan “partners.” It took 21 deaths in 2011, followed by an additional 40 deaths in 2012, for military brass to reach the painfully obvious conclusion that it wasn't working.

In September, the training of Afghan troops was temporarily suspended. It was then Americans got their first hint regarding the mindset that has apparently reached fruition with this handbook. Islamic “sensitivity training” was stepped up. A list of orders troops were expected to obey – or face severe punishment – included the following: wear surgical gloves whenever handling a copy of the Koran; never walk in front of a praying Muslim; never show the bottom of boots while sitting or lying across from a Muslim, considered an insult in Islam; never share photos of wives or daughters; never smoke or eat in front of Muslims during the monthlong Ramadan fasting; avoid winking, cursing or nose-blowing in the presence of Muslims, all viewed as insults; avoid exiting the shower without a towel; avoid offering and accepting things with the left hand, which in Islam is reserved for bodily hygiene, and considered unclean.

A senior US Army intelligence official illuminated the insanity. “The Afghans that know we're doing all this PC cultural sensitivity crap are laughing their asses off at our stupidity,” he contended.

Unfortunately, as this new handbook indicates, such thinking is in the minority among military leaders. Yet one leader, U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top military commander in Afghanistan, is apparently dismayed by this latest effrontery to American men and women in harm's way. “Gen. Allen did not author, nor does he intend to provide, a foreword,” said Col. Tom Collins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan. “He does not approve of its contents.”

Those contents are a testament to the poisonous multiculturalism that has apparently moved seamlessly from mainstream American culture into what ought to be the last bastion of resistance against it. Thus, the draft handbook includes a summary stating that some U.S. soldiers consider Afghan forces to be “basically stupid” thieves, “gutless in combat,” “profoundly dishonest” and engaged in “treasonous collusion and alliances with enemy forces.” Apparently any negative reaction by American soldiers to 63 insider deaths or the rigors of a decade-plus of combat are completely unjustified.

Nothing about this handbook should surprise anyone. It is little more than another facet of the Obama administration's ongoing effort to diminish the reality of Islamist extremism, lest it interfere with their “outreach” initiatives. Those initiatives include a document purge at the FBI, removing 700 pages of documentation from approximately 300 presentations given to agents since 9/11, a Justice Department program to protect Islamic civil rights, Homeland Security meetings conducted between Janet Napolitano and extremist Muslim organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and establishing Muslim outreach as the primary goal of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The version reviewed by the Journal is still subject to revisions,  Lt. Gen. David Perkins, commander of the Army's Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., told the newspaper. Given the leanings of this administration, one is left to wonder whether such revisions might push the envelope on political correctness even further. Counter-jihad activist Pamela Gellar reveals the reality of ideological bankruptcy that has been elevated to the level of military policy. “Mass beheadings, gendercide, gassing of girls' schools, mass slaughter of non-believers and less than devout Muslims, attacks on US soldiers, acid attacks on women, brutal burka enforcement…must not be criticized,” she writes.

Yet it was the grief-stricken father of a Marine slain during one of the insider attacks whose words should haunt everyone associated with this PC-inspired debacle. “At the end of the day, what happened is my son trained somebody to murder him,” Greg Buckley Sr. said at the funeral of his son, Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley – aged 21. And a new army handbook contends that at least part of such carnage is the fault of American soldiers' cultural insensitivity. Pathetic.

Arnold Ahlert is a columnist for FrontPage Magazine.

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20 Comments

Dioneikes in Colorado said:

Having served for 20 years, I have seen the erosion of the battle readiness of our young men and the erosion of Esprit de Corps in units due to several things, the intrusion of women into traditionally male units and jobs has contributed to it along with the government approved speech and thought. Now with Oboner's social experimentation with the Military (ie. allowing gays to serve openly) that drags it down into the muck even further. Can't everyone just picture two burly Marines, or Soldiers, or Sailors swapping spit and feel that these guys can instill a high respect for our ferocity in combat to our enemies? Any person worth their salt would want to just quit.

Or how about the little stress cards they give recruits nowdays? I felt plenty of times of stress when I went through and it taught me how to cope. Now they just raise their hands and give their DI, TI, CC or whomever is in charge the card to go and have a time out. What a crock!

Boot camp is supposed to be a time for weeding out the weaklings who wont cut it in Military life. Now they just push them through and send them into trianing and then to combat. Is it any wonder why we have problems?

There used to be a time when the military was about "Going and seeing the world, meeting strange exotic people, and then killing them."
The days of feeling pride because you were a warrior are gone. I thank GOD I served when I did, we were tougher back then - not just the SecOps people, but the general servicemember also.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 8:32 AM

sfj in Alabama replied:

Son of Liberty, you are so correct in your post. I served 22 years that included a combat tour in Vietnam in 68 and am still working for DOD at an active duty base and I can't believe what I witness daily. So much PC crap that little work gets done. Meetings on "stress", very little real physical training, "family days" for every 3 day weekend, classes on suicide, "active shooter" and other junk that has nothing to do with work. We are in trouble and it ain't going to get better anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 8:48 AM

wjm in Colorado replied:

I witness the same where I work, it is indeed pathetic what passes for leadership today. The clowns are running the circus.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

That type of idiocy will result in our having a politically correct military that knows how to talk psycho-babble but will not be able to do their jobs. What a bunch of hogwash to inflict on soldiers who are just trying to survive the war and come home in one peice. This crop of Generals and Admirals leading our armed forces today are nothing less than politicians playing at being Generals or Admirals. Despicable behavior from those who should be more concerned about the troops under their command than a bunch of raghead idiots still living in the 6th Century. Where's a Patton or a Bradley in today's Army? Where's a Chesty Puller in the Marine Corp? Where's an Admiral Nimitz in today's Navy? They went to war to win and not play pussy-foot with enemies or allies. They don't exist in today's military. I retired from the Army after 22 years in 1989 with one of those years in Vietnam and some of that stupidiness was going on even then.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Old sarge: I remember my father telling me about PC crap during his all expense paid tour of Europe during 1944 and 45. His tour director was a G. Patton. His outfit had to wait a week to let the Russians march into Berlin. Patton was fit to be tied, he wanted to keep going right into Moscow. Who would have stopped him? Then there was the ultimate PC crap when Truman fired MacArthur. Oops I forgot we were supposed to lose that war (oops UN police action). I don't know how I keep making these mistakes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 11:55 PM

KirkAdams in Elkton, MD said:

Remember Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley? He was removed from duty as an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University, due to complaints about his class, “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism”.

What do you want to bet that the author of this new handbook gets an award?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

HP in Kalispell, MT said:

Sarge,

Agree 100%. I left USAF after 23 years in 1990. I was assigned to an Army Spec Ops unit in Nam. The idiocy I saw then could fill a book! But, my last working years as a civilian we're spent at Patch Barracks and Fort Huachuca. I can tell you the services have pegged the idiocy meter since I left active duty. By the way, where's a Gen Curtis LeMay?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas said:

Although I heartily agree with many of the comments written thus far, the kerfuffle over the manual is much ado about little. I won't go into a lot of detail as I choose to remain anonymous on this forum, but I am one of a relatively small group of people who has extensive inside knowledge of these issues. I am no fan of being PC, and I agree that we have been FAR too accommodating to the sensibilities of Muslims (starting with GW Bush's idiotic remarks about Islam being a "Religion of Peace" after 9/11), and I personally know someone who was essentially designated as "persona non grata" at the highest levels of our government for speaking the truth about Islam to those in power - so I'm not defending stupidity. But a lot of what the author is objecting to is just common sense - don't offer gratuitous insults to your hosts out of ignorance. There are SOME Afghans who would like to live in the 21st Century, and if we ever expect to be able to leave Afghanistan those people will have to be able to control their territory - don't go out of your way to piss them off by not understanding their culture while you are there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

billy396 in ohio replied:

You may think that this "handbook" is much ado about nothing, but there are brave young American soldiers dying BECAUSE of this PC BS. The people of Afghanistan that you speak of (the ones who want to live in the 21st century), they don't have a chance in hell and you know it. The moment that Americans leave, the Taliban will take control of Afghanistan once again. The people who cooperated with the American forces will be killed, for the most part, and Afghanistan will return to the backward illiterate country where girls are raped with impunity and women are killed for looking wrong. Female widows will be forced back into begging for a living, and young Afghan boys will be forced into Madrassas to learn to be radical Muslim killers once again. Of course, females will NOT be allowed to attend school, as that's verboten to these animals. This entire exercise has become (under Obozo) merely another way to worship Muslims, and yet another way to demonize Americans and everything that America stands for. This treasonous radical dictator in training is going to do everything possible to destroy freedom and success in America and will most likely succeed, since he has what used to be the media in his pocket, willing to openly lie about his every move. His Cloward-Piven strategy is working, and he's about to press the point even further after January 1, 2013. To everyone who was stupid, lazy and greedy enough to vote for a traitor, the man who will destroy liberty in America, you can all go straight to the devil, along with your savior, Mr. Obozo. You don't even deserve to be called Americans.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

You misquoted me: I did not say it was much ado about nothing - I said it was much ado about little. To the extent that it soft-pedals the aggression that is inherent within Islam it is crap. But to the extent that is says, "This is their culture - these things are considered insulting in that culture - don't do these things out of ignorance," I don't see a problem.

You may be right: it may not be possible to "win." It would have been nice if we knew how to define that before we sent troops, but we have to play the hand we're dealt, and right now we have a war on our hands.

Granted, we have done some really stupid stuff. Attributing "Green-on-Blue" violence to cultural misunderstandings is utter nonsense - and patently offensive to boot. No argument there. Also, I can assure you that when I was in Afghanistan I ALWAYS had my weapons loaded when I was outside the U.S. portion of the compound. It was required at the time, and whoever decided against that has American blood on his hands. No argument there, either.

In the end it all comes down to this: "What are our victory conditions and our exit strategy?" Answering that question was something we should have done before we went in. As much as I despise Obama, THAT was G.W. Bush's fault. Obama has done NOTHING to answer that most basic of questions, but a Republican president sent in troops with no rational means to achieve a favorable strategic end-state.

You want unconditional surrender? Fine: who is going to sign that document? There is no Appomattox Courthouse in Kabul. Neither is this WWII: we are fighting an insurgency based on a satanic religion that has been around a lot longer than we have. This isn't even Iraq. So: what is YOUR plan to create the conditions required for U.S. troops to come home without it turning into the same sort of mess it was when they were harboring an organization that flew jet liners into our skyscrapers? Feel free to post your DETAILED plan here: I can get it to the people who can influence what we teach to our troops deploying to Afghanistan.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 3:47 PM

ata777 in FL replied:

since I am not an expert, and you might be (the internet being what it is) a few questions regarding a plan:

1. doesn't it make sense to take out their ostensible command and control center in north waziristan? I don't mean predator strikes, I'm mean the kind of complete obliteration that sends a message to pakistan as well?

2. doesn't it make sense to project utter ruthlessness? the manual is one thing, I've read the rules of engagement. they're an even bigger pile of legalistic bullshit. anyone who knows anything about islam knows that ANYTHING perceived as weakness makes them more determined than ever. if we're putting american soldiers in harm's way, shouldn't we have the reputation as the being baddest, most lethal, m-f's on the planet? shouldn't we be breaking their will to go on at every opportunity?

3. can't we stop "winning hearts and minds," aka nation-building? most americans who saw the towers fall were all for taking it to the enemy. 10 years on, not so much, especially when it comes down building a "democratic society" among people who are not only incapable of understanding the concept, but who PREFER sharia law.

4. can't we define victory? I'll give it my beat shot: when the national security of the united states is no longer threatened, we'll stop killing you and yours. and if it seems like you may re-emerge as a threat, bet your life we'll be back--badder than ever.

this might not amount to a plan, but i'm betting most americans would back it

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

"since I am not an expert, and you might be (the internet being what it is)"

Fair enough, since I have stated my desire to remain anonymous on this forum I can't expert blind acceptance of my claims to expertise. Even if I gave my real name I could be any random poster claiming to be someone else who IS an expert. The best I can do is these two things: write in a way that demonstrates a deep understanding of the issues and/or have somebody vouch for me. I think I do a good job at the former. As to the latter, the forum moderator knows my real name and can easily verify from multiple sources that I am an expert in this field if he cares to.

As to your questions:

1) Yes and No. it makes sense to ISOLATE their leadership, but we must do so in a way that doesn't make the situation in Pakistan worse than it already is. This is not a trivial risk: Pakistan is highly unstable and furthermore acts as a counterweight to India (an ally). India is itself an important counterweight to Chinese ambitions in the region. The current tripartite balance of power suits our needs, and mucking it up to make a point could be disastrous.

2) I mostly agree with you there with regard to MUSLIM audiences, but we have more than one audience. It's a bad situation, but doing the things required to make Jihadists pee their pants whenever they see an American would harm us in all sorts of other geopolitical ways. We have to draw a fine line between doing as much as we can get away with and doing so much that we hurt ourselves on balance. I think we erred too far to the "restraint" side of the spectrum, but it IS a spectrum, not an either/or proposition.

3) Can we stop? Not really. But we CAN recognize that Afghanistan will never be a Jeffersonian republic. It will need a strong government (that a truly civilized people would not tolerate), and that government must have the will, training, and resources to keep their loonies in check - THEN we can leave.

4) I'm not sure a bunch a cave-dwelling Qur'an-thumpers were EVER a threat to our national security. We found out that they ARE capable of killing a lot of people, though. If you define "the national security of the united states" as "our enemies no longer having the will and/or means of slaughtering Americans," we will never reach that state no matter how many times we re-arrange the rubble over there. If we do achieve that, the only way is to leave behind an Afghan government capable of dealing with it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Ed Watts in Near Palm Springs replied:

"...who is going to sign that document?"

In the case of insurgency, there is no sort of organized command and control by definition; therefore, no one can sue for peace, and no one will sign any documents. Our victory in Afghanistan will be secured when the attacks stop; as long as attacks continue, our military continues to kill people and break things. The killing and breaking escalate until the attacks stop. We have the capability of reducing the entire country to uninhabitable rubble within a few hours; we should be dropping leaflets today, as well as flying over with loudspeakers warning people of what is soon to come if they don't straighten up.

Escalation is the key, but it won't work without a steely, determined desire to vanquish the enemy. Even the total destruction of Hiroshima did not force the Japanese to surrender; Nagasaki's destruction, combined with that of Hiroshima, did the trick. The American military of today would not have used this "new" weapon on Japan, and the war would have continued for some time.

Life isn't "fair"; pretending that we are engaged in a "symmetrical" battle in Afghanistan is killing a lot of our future and ruining much of our present. America needs to "Take Care Of Business" when we send our troops overseas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:20 PM

Army Officer (Ret) in Kansas replied:

Believe me, nobody with the authority to make big decisions thinks we are in a symmetrical fight in Afghanistan. But making threats you cannot and will not carry through with will cost us all our credibility. There is no way on God's Green Earth that we are going to flatten Afghanistan.

That's not to say that strategic escalation has no merit - it does (if done well). As I wrote a few minutes ago: I think that we have erred too far to the "restraint" side of the spectrum. BUT... hollow threats of nuclear carpet-bombing (the only way to destroy the place in the way you described) are among the WORST things we could do.

As for Hiroshima / Nagasaki: that is open to debate, and none of the principals are alive to enlighten us, but there were a lot of reasons why Japan might have pulled the plug precisely when it did. The Soviet Union's declaration of war on June 8, 1945 might have been a larger factor than Nagasaki. We'll never know.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 4:25 PM

HP in Kalispell, MT replied:

I understand your message about respecting your host. BUT, we are not in Afghanistan to win friends. If we are, then send in the Peace Corps or the State Dept. This moronic idea that our military is meals on wheels is where this BS started. Don't send in the military unless you want to kill people and break things. And your "exit strategy" is unconditional surrender of the enemy. Anything less does not require our troops.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Ed Watts in Near Palm Springs replied:

They are not "hosts"; they are what we used to know as "the enemy"!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM

HP in Kalispell, MT replied:

Ed, you're right! Thanks for the correction.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Stephen in NH said:

PC is the very reason I retired from the Marine Corps earlier than I originally planned. Truth be known. I couldn't get out the door fast enough.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Ed Watts in Near Palm Springs replied:

I hope you know the joke; the punchline is, "I want to get out before they make that $h!+ mandatory!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

RamonaG in Pasadena, CA said:

Pathetic indeed.. I see the same stupidity happening in the LAPD...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 5:33 PM