Ralph Peters takes the Heinleinian view of our Taliban adversaries.
A fundamental reason why our intelligence agencies, military leaders and (above all) Washington pols can’t understand Afghanistan is that they don’t recognize that we’re dealing with alien life-forms.
Oh, the strange-minded aliens in question resemble us physically. We share a few common needs: We and the aliens are oxygen breathers who require food and water at frequent intervals. Our body casings feel heat or cold. We’re divided into two sexes (more or less). And we’re mortal.
But that’s about where the similarities end, analytically speaking. ...
Regarding Planet Afghanistan, we still hear the deadly cliché that “all human beings want the same basic things, such as better lives and greater opportunities for their children.” How does that apply to Afghan aliens who prefer their crude way of life and its merciless cults?
When girls and women are denied education or even health care and are executed by their own kin for minor infractions against the cult, how does that square with our insistence that all men want greater opportunities for the kids?
What about those Afghan parents who approve of or even encourage suicidal attacks by their sons? This not only confounds our value system, but defies biological reason.
So: These humanoid forms with which we must deal don’t all want or value the same things we do. They form different social aggregates and exchange goods and services within wildly different parameters (and exhibit hypocritical sexual tastes that diverge from procreative mandates – ask our troops about that).
These alien tribes seek to destroy physical objects and systems valued on Planet America. They perceive time differently. They treat other life forms more harshly than we do. Their own lives are shorter, with different arcs. They quite like our weapons, though .
This is a “war of the worlds” in the cultural sense, a head-on collision between civilizations from different galaxies.
And the aliens don’t come in peace.
Read the whole thing.