“Take away the causes of war as we withdraw from Afghanistan”


By on Sun, November 1, 2009

There has been an awesome silence from the White House over the next move in Afghanistan policy. So I offered the following:

Hello ... this is Lee ..., I live in El Granada,
California, a very small coastal town south of San Francisco;

  I am following along with the agonizing news from Afghanistan.

  I support and encourage the President to move ahead on a withdrawal
from Afghanistan.

  I suggest we title the undertaking: "Taking away the causes of war
as we withdraw." (OK, I agree we need a much better title.)

  I suggest the President treat Afghanistan as an experimental project
in "taking away the causes of war". The place I suggest he start to get
better ideas than mine is the American Friends Service Committee. The
phrase "take away the causes of war" is a distinguished Quaker concept.

    * The present military-political approach to Afghanistan is not
      cost-effective in dealing with Al Quaeda.
    * It is more cost effective to change to a culture and economics
      approach. I mean we should see about:
              1. Physically move out of their reach and sight.
              2. Remove the pool of vulnerable recruits.
              3. Re-present their culture without the prejudice
                against us.
              4. Make explosives and guns unaffordable and
              5. Make tools for constructive living cheaper.
          Al Quaeda is essentially a set of ideas and a
          propagation process that is now being carried by 2nd and
          3rd generation believers.
                Taking away the causes of war will be an
                extremely difficult idea to find support for in
                the Koran. We definitely need some Koranic
                scholars helping us organize theological
                support from within the Koran.
          By their program of attacking United Nations targets,
          even their attack on the Twin Towers, the essential
          thing Al Quaeda does is to deprive the opposition of the
          capability of being non-violent or constructive.
          One of the most successful deceptions performed by Al
          Quaeda is the contention that "Force and violence is the
          only way."
    * The armed resistance in Afghanistan apparently gets arms,
      explosives and modest funding from other countries.
          The supporters of our opposition are getting tremendous
          results because arms and explosives are dirt cheap and
          readily imported from surrounding countries.
          There is no manufacturing of any significance in the
          Middle East. We should explore measures to make arms and
          explosives unavailable and expensive. We should seed the
          ammunition chain with specially engineered AK-47
          cartridges which release highly corrosive propellant
          gases when used. The corrosive ammunition would speed
          the deterioration of the existing arms stock.
          Make it a diplomatic program to stop arms sales to the
          region. Make it a military priority to bid up auction
          prices, intercept arms shipments, and to disassemble the
          well known Iraqi arms dumps.
    * United Nations humanitarian offices are intensely targeted,
      showing that a priority of the opposition is to isolate
      Afghanistan from the Western world.
          We need an approach to facilitate cultural education
          that will bypass buildings and people on the ground.
          I have been watching Free To Air satellite Television,
          and my observation is all of the stations essentially
          are transmitting "the culture" to their audience.
          Turkish, Kurd, Saudi, Italian, Iranian, Iraqi, Thai, and
          Filipino stations are all transmitting "the culture".
          So I think we should get in the business of satellite
          broadcasting, and seriously contribute to the cultural
          development of Afghanistan. We should do 4 channels and
          read the Afghani classics and the non-militant classics
          correctly accented and translated to appropriate Afghani
          And as we leave Afghanistan, leave behind lots and lots
          of solar powered FTA satellite receivers and TVs.