Diana West

Afghanistan has been dubbed "Obama's War" but maybe it should be called "the war on civilian casualties."

You may have thought the United States was at war in Afghanistan to "defeat" the Taliban and win one for our loyal ally in counter-jihad, the Afghan people. But even that pipedream is beside the point. The latest concern-turned-obsession of the United States is eliminating as many as possible, if not all, "civilian casualties." If we can only do that, according to brain-trust, top-brass, fairy-tale thinking, we will surely win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. If we can't, Afghan hearts and minds will go to those globally recognized humanitarians, the Taliban.

Indeed, there is something wrong with this picture. That is, if the Afghan people were really with us, they would be, well, really with us -- not constantly on or past the brink of "alienation." But who wants to admit this? It would necessarily mark the end of the Bush and now Obama Islamic nation-building fantasy that began seven years ago with the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in Operation Infinite Justice. Come to think of it, we hurriedly changed that operation name also for -- guess what? -- fear of alienating Muslims. Tacitly accepting the Islamic position that only Allah dispenses "infinite justice," the U.S. government launched Operation Enduring Freedom and "won" its first battle against Muslim alienation. Chalk one up for dhimmitude.

Now, a new battle against such alienation rages in Afghanistan. "Mullen: Civilian Deaths Hurt US in Afghanistan" reports the Associated Press; "U.S. Envoy Vows to Help Cut Afghan Civilian Deaths," reports the New York Times. The premise of these stories is that it is our own shortcomings, our own failures -- not inculcated Islamic attitudes in the population at large -- that are responsible for Afghan resentment over our nation's continued efforts to defeat the Taliban.

"We cannot succeed in Afghanistan or anywhere else, but let's talk specifically about Afghanistan, by killing Afghan civilians," Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said recently, practically as if killing Afghan civilians were U.S. policy. He added: "We can't keep going through incidents like this and expect the strategy to work."

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).