Monday, May 18, 2009

Balaam's Ass

My friend Ranger over at Rangeragainstwar has a couple of good posts up about the sort of idiocy that happens when you try and fight an American war in central Asia.

I read them just moments after reading this at Pat Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis and realized that I had to steal it outright and reprint it just to point up the real problem we're dealing with; Middle Easterners and central Asians are not Americans.

They have different ways of doing things. Middle Eastern and central Asian problems - to be really solved - need Middle Eastern and central Asian solutions. To figure out a solution to a problem over there by expecting to make them into little Americans with bullets and missiles is worse than a crime, it is a mistake.

It is no different that beating a Pashtun to death hissing "Confess! Confess! We know you are a rabbit!"

Plus, frankly, I needed a funny, and this is a funny story. It's worth checking the comments over at Lang's site for more funny and pointed stories about "intelligence" services and the stuff they do.

Anyway, so here is "The Intelligence Olympics"
The Olympic Committee decided to hold a special series of games to know which was the world's best intelligence service. The most heavily weighted event which was to be a kind of treasure hunt. They all assembled in front of a woodline. In front of the teams there were several UN referees in white coveralls with blue helmets and a stack of cages in each of which there was a white rabbit.

The head UN boffin held up a rabbit and said that it would be released into the woods behind him and that after 15 minutes the first team chosen at random would go in after it. The team that came back with a live rabbit in the shortest time would win the event.

The rabbit went in. 15 minutes passed and the KGB team went in after it. They could be heard thrashing about and eventually emerged with the rabbit in 35 minutes.

The next team was the French DGSE. They came back with the rabbit in 10 minutes. (The rabbit looked strangely content).

Next was the turn of the Mossad. They were back in in 13 minutes loudly proclaiming that they were "the best."

The CIA never found the rabbit.

Finally it was the turn of the Syrian Mukhabarat (the secret police). A half hour passed, 45 minutes, then an hour. The UN people went in to find them. They went down one steep slope into the valley bottom, then up another rugged incline to the top of the ridge. From the height, they could see the three Syrians who were at the bottom standing in a sandy road. They had captured a large animal. The UN men crept down, hiding the while in the bushes until they were close enough to see and hear.

The Syrians had found a Nazarene donkey. (The kind with a cross marked in the fur of its back). One of the sergeants had a grip on the head while the other sergeant beat the beast's hindquarters with a stick.

The captain was whispering to it, "Confess, confess, we KNOW you are a rabbit..." ("I'tarif, I'tarif, na'ref annak arnab.")
And we think we're so cunning that we can hustle the East?

I'tarif, Itarif...


Lisa said...

"Middle Easterners and central Asians are not Americans"

...I do love you for your understatement. And thank you for sharing the brilliant rabbit story.
Don't that say it all, as they say 'round these parts.

sheerahkahn said...

But...but...I thought...

"Inside each and everyone of our enemies is a American heart beating it's way out of their chest...we're just helping that heart out."

You mean.../'s not true?


The Wanderers' Daughter said...

It seems so obvious. And again, I can't help but feeling a tiny bit of shame at our national ethnocentricity. Read: blindness. OK, it's more than a tiny bit of shame...but I don't want to be written off as unpatriotic. I'm not. I am genuinely fond of my country. Heaven knows, I had plenty of opportunities to leave it, and I turned them all down.
Here's the thing: I love my country. I do! It's a beautiful country. There are many ways in which I love my country. But, how did we get so isolated and blindered? The horror.
How do we break out of this inward-gazing cycle?

FDChief said...

WD: "But, how did we get so isolated and blindered? The horror. How do we break out of this inward-gazing cycle?"That's a hell of a good question, and one I want to ruminate about in a series of further posts.

rangeragainstwar said...

Let's don't` limit my cmts to any specific region. US policy both COIN and CT is bankrupt worldwide.