Why Are US Troops Fit for Streets of Afghanistan, but Not for Streets of America?
If it's distasteful to see them patrolling America's streets, why should they be inflicted on lands they're not even from?
58% of Americans want regular military deployed to help police control riots and looting. That still leaves 30% who are opposed.
On the opposed side is also the entire Democrat establishment, the liberal media, the never-Trump Republicans, including George Bush, the retired torturer of Fallujah detainees, Jim Mattis, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy, and presumably Nike and JP Morgan and other corporate entities who have sided with the protest despite its violent and criminal elements. Moreover privately the military establishment itself does not want it.
Just as there are some good reasons why you would want the military to move in, there are also many very good reasons why you would not. The police have largely abandoned shops to the mercy of the looters. If you had the military standing on commercial streets to deter looting that is something many business owners and their patrons would welcome.
On the other hand, that is probably not how the military would be used. Most likely the military would also (or primarily) be used to enforce curfews, and control and limit those protests which are peaceful. They would crack down on looters, but they would also crack down on law-abiding people and usher in a soft occupation and martial law.
This is to say that both sides have valid arguments, and if anything my personal hunch is that those who are opposed are correct in erring on the side of caution. That said the “opposers” are also extraordinarily hypocritical.
Since 2001 the US military has been occupying Afghanistan and waging a war against that country’s resistance to US occupation. Since 2014 it has been occupying eastern Syria where in Arab-populated areas it is not welcome, as sporadic protests against it show. Since 1999 it has been occupying Serbia’s Kosovo where in the Serb-populated north it is not welcome, as many acts of unarmed resistance over the years attest to. 2003 to 2011 it occupied Iraq and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, fighters against the occupation and civilians alike.
Now, where is (or was) the Democrat establishment, the liberal media, George Bush, Jim Mattis, the National Endowment for Democracy, Nike, JP Morgan, and the fashionably liberal horde on these occupations? In twenty years they have not raised a peep. In many cases, they are even the people who organized these continued crackdowns.
So this is very strange. These are people who absolutely want the US military inflicted on foreigners. Who see no problem with ordinary people in far-away lands having power exerted against them by M-16-wielding American troops, but who absolutely do not want that for themselves. Why not? If the US military is such a force for good, advancing the rights of little girls to attend school in Afghanistan, then if anything you ‘d want it to be doing more of that fine social work at home.
But it turns out not. It turns out the fashionably liberal are fine with inflicting US military patrols on cities of Afghanistan, and will even participate in the collective worship of “the troops” as saintly creatures one must constantly thank and clap for, but empathically do not want to live under them themselves.
So then why should anyone else?
If Americans should not live under the shadow of US troops’ guns then why should Afghans, Serbs or Syrians?
If a US military formation in the streets of Minneapolis is a horrible sight then why should one be inflicted on the streets of Kandahar, where if anything they have even far less right to be? If America’s own liberals would experience their military in their streets as indignity and subjugation then what should be the reaction of Afghans to such presence?
What makes this all the more damning is that the Pentagon itself is clearly aware of the risk that Americans becoming more personally and directly acquainted with their military could be a fiasco.
Sure enough, there are valid legal and political-theory reasons why military regulars should not be deployed. But at the same time, those are not the actual reasons the career Pentagon is weary. If they thought there was moral capital to be made from intervening they would welcome the chance to move in and be celebrated as saviors and political theories be damned.
The problem for them is two-fold. Firstly they do not want to run afoul of Nike, the liberal media, and the Democratic establishment.
Secondly, they understand that even if 58% of Americans want them on their streets today that could quickly change once those same Americans experience the realities of living under their troops. One or two innocents killed and all that could quickly change.
And that’s the most damning part. For 20 years the US generals have been assuring the public they can change things around in alien Afghanistan and “win the hearts and minds” of the populace and isolate the Taliban. This while the Taliban have deep roots in the Pashtun ethnic group, while the Pentagon occupies the country with soldiers serving 6 or 9-month rotations, and largely relies on air strikes, drone strikes, and door-smashing night raids by special forces.
Yet now that the Pentagon has the opportunity to do counter-insurgency against clearly anti-social looters in a place where its troops are celebrated, thanked and worshipped, and where they understand the language and culture the brass is more nervous and more reluctant to intervene than ever or anywhere before.
Why? Because deep down the military knows it has been lying and is afraid if Americans experienced how it operates on their own skin even they could quickly turn against it.
Then there would be no more civilian soldier-worship, and perhaps even some reluctance to inflict foreign lands with supposedly progressive, positive and “peace-keeping” occupations.