Hearts and minds

Surely if Americans just keep killing Arab civilians, the people will eventually come to love democracy:

Soldiers Jeremy Morlock and Andrew Holmes had spotted a young farmer working by himself. Gul Mudin, 15 – only four years younger than Holmes – was the only Afghan in sight, had no weapons on him and had a ‘welcoming’ face. Nobody else was around.

Gul walked towards them when called and stopped when asked. Morlock tossed a grenade at him, using the wall as cover, then both soldiers opened fire. Gul fell face down into the ground and there was soon a pool of blood coming out from his head. Morlock screamed over the radio that he had come under attack, but Adam Winfield told his fellow soldier Ashton Moore that it was more likely a staged killing.

Morlock and Holmes told a sergeant that Gul had been about to attack them with a grenade and they therefore had to shoot him, reported the magazine. The story of a lone Taliban fighter, with one grenade attempting to ambush a platoon in broad daylight, seemed unlikely to top officer Captain Patrick Mitchell.

But he told Staff Sergeant Kris Sprague to ‘make sure’ Gul was dead. Sprague fired his rifle twice at the boy.

A local elder working nearby in the poppy fields came over and accused Morlock and Holmes of murder, but he was ignored by the soldiers. This elder was asked to identify the boy, but it tragically turned out that he was his dad. ‘The father was very upset,’ an official Army report noted.

The soldiers followed Army protocol of cutting off the dead boy’s clothes and stripping him naked to check for tattoos, before scanning his iris and fingerprints. But then they began taking photographs of them celebrating the kill, with Holmes posing for the camera by grabbing Gul’s head by the hair as if he was a deer.

One should not be surprised when soldiers, who are trained to kill people, kill people. That’s what soldiers tend to do, regardless of how well they are trained. They are not very effective at tasks that do not involve breaking things and killing people, which is why using them to establish democracy or make foreign populations love America is unlikely to be a successful strategy.

The great gay soul

A new biography of Gandhi tends to confirm Winston Churchill’s view of the man:

Mahatma Gandhi was bisexual and left his wife to live with a German-Jewish bodybuilder, a controversial biography has claimed. The leader of the Indian independence movement is said to have been deeply in love with Hermann Kallenbach…. Kallenbach was born in Germany but emigrated to South Africa where he became a wealthy architect.

Gandhi was working there and Kallenbach became one of his closest disciples. The pair lived together for two years in a house Kallenbach built in South Africa and pledged to give one another ‘more love, and yet more love . . . such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.’

A love story involving Gandhi, Jews, and gays… no doubt we can expect to see at least three major Hollywood movies made out of this. As NRO’s Andrew Stuttaford points out, Gandhi was actually an irrelevant failure, for the most part. Of his four primary goals, the only one in which he succeeded was the Indian independence movement. Of course, the British were clearly going to withdraw from India anyhow with or without pressure from Gandhi’s movement.

And it shouldn’t be too surprising that like many who profess to love humanity in general, Gandhi tended to despise individuals with whom he came into contact. In other words, he was somewhat of a proto-Hillary Clinton.

WND column

Failing to Expect the Unexpected

As John Maynard Keynes chronicles as a firsthand observer in “The Economic Consequences of the Peace,” the surrendering Germans had absolutely no idea what was in store for their defeated nation in 1918 when they wrote a letter to President Wilson accepting his Fourteen Points and the armistice proposed by the allies prior to a final peace treaty. But instead of reaching a reasonable agreement with the American president on the basis of the accepted proposal, the Germans found themselves being dictated impossible terms by the French prime minister, Georges Clemenceau, who was determined to prevent Germany from ever again being capable of challenging the economic and military might of France.

We all know how that turned out. Almost exactly 21 years later, Paris fell to the vengeful Germans.