September 2, 2009, - 12:41 pm

About that “Hearts & Minds” Crap: The Story of Daoud Sediqi

By Debbie Schlussel

Whenever you hear our government and military officials spouting off about “winning the hearts and minds” of the Muslim world, think of Daoud Sediqi.  He’s the cover guy for how it’s “working.”  More about him later.


Daoud Sediqi: Yet Another Example of How Winning “Hearts & Minds” is a Losing Strategy

Remember, we don’t win Islamic “hearts and minds” by being nice, giving them Levis and “American Idol,” and allowing them to elect their chosen barbarians in free elections.  You win hearts and minds by dropping bombs and, yes, killing people.  In that part of the world, it’s the only thing they understand.  And the only thing they respect.  Period.  They laugh at our “hearts and minds” crap.

Aside from that, it’s kind of hard to win “hearts and minds,” when there is no heart–only cold and calculating emptiness aimed at defeating the west;  and the mind is possessed by an intolerant death cult philosophy.  Just ask the deprogrammers who spend weeks deprogramming kids from cults.  And we don’t have deprogrammers running our “hearts and minds” programs in the Islamic world.

As longtime readers know, I’ve frequently written about how we have not only wasted our time in Iraq, we’ve essentially changed the balance of power so that Iran now has a giant Shi’ite crescent, without Sunni Saddam Hussein blocking the Iranians.  Iranian-backed Shi’ites have already announced they no longer support infinitesimally pro-U.S. Nouri Al-Maliki as Iraq chief, and they’ll pick a new guy more to their World Shi’ite Domination goals.

Our invasion of Iraq–ostensibly for the purpose of giving them this nebulous “democracy”–merely gave barbarians the chance to elect their own barbarians.  It’s not long before Iraq is part of greater Iran.  Right now, it’s already an Iranian satellite state.  If we weren’t prepared to install a ruthless, pro-American, Shah-like, Sunni dictator in Iraq–and we weren’t thanks to George W. “Democracy for Muslims” Bush, then we never should have invaded.

The same thing is going on in Afghanistan.  We invaded allegedly to destroy the Taliban, at which we’ve now failed miserably for several years.  Oh, and there’s that “free elections” thing.  You know, that awesome “democracy” for barbarians.

It’s more of the “hearts and minds” crap we’ve been hearing not just from Obama administration lowlights, but from President Bush and his entire administration for several years. The latest utterance of this baloney comes from General Stanley McChrystal, who continues to focus on winning Afghan “hearts.” Good luck with that.

Now, George Will is making big news by saying that we should just get out of Afghanistan.  And, yes, he’s right.  The only bad thing about it is that it will give Bin Laden and the Muslim world yet another reason to smile and laugh at us.  Yet another pull out after we lost.  Like in Vietnam (where we were winning but the lefties in the press and Congress made us “lose” and leave).  Like in Beirut, where we did nothing about more than 300 Marines and U.S. officials murdered, hamstrung the Israelis, and allowed Hezbollah to take over.  Like in Somalia (“Black Hawk Down”).  And now, like in Iraq, where Iran’s Shi’ites rule the roost.

The reason we continue to lose in Afghanistan is that we aren’t tough.  We don’t just drop bombs indiscriminately and kill lots of people, which is what you need to do if you have any hope of winning a war and defeating the enemy.

And that’s where the “hearts and minds” crap comes in, along with one of America’s newest asylees, Daoud Sediqi, the host of Afghanistan’s “American Idol,” “Afghan Star.”

Yes, during World War II, we had our own pro-Allies propaganda . . . which was nothing compared to what the Nazis put out (I have several great books on this stuff, which I’ll write about at a later date).  But we never focused on winning the Nazi “hearts and minds.”  Or the European “hearts and minds.”  We dropped bombs and killed people.   And, gee, it worked.

Remember, it wasn’t “Weinerschnitzel Idol” hosted by Wolfgang Von Seacrest that caused the Allies to beat the Nazis in World War II.

Now, instead, we focus on people like Daoud Sediqi, the one-time TV repair man whom America urged and encouraged to host “Afghan Star.”

Well, as the execrable Dr. Phil would ask:  And how’s that workin’ for ya?

And here’s how it’s “working,” as evidenced by Sediqi’s story (and those of many others).

The September 7th issue of People describes Sediqi’s new life . . . as an Afghan refugee in Virginia looking for a job–yet another mouth to feed, person to employ in a bad economy for American natives who didn’t host a game show in Afghanistan.

He is the very epitome of the negligible gains of the “hearts and minds” stuff. Just hosting the show led to death threats.

In three years, I never went out without a security guard.

Then, a documentary (which will runon HBO in 2010) about “Afghan Star” and how Sediqi used the show to try to liberalize Afghani strict Muslim attitudes, including introducing dancing by female contestants.

Sediqi told People:

American soldiers fight with guns. I did the same with music.

Yes, if only we did actually “fight” with guns. Because the musical approach doesn’t seem to have worked.

And neither has the rest of our “make nice-nice”, “democratic elections” strategy over there. “Hearts and minds” crap doesn’t work. Only bullets, bombs, and brutal force do.

Yet, we continue to insist on “free elections” and “Afghan Star”-style stuff.

And we’re losing.

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23 Responses

General Sherman had the right idea about Wars. Democracy in Muslim states is a waste of time even an Arabist like British General asshat Glubb knew that.
Churchill had Islam exactly right.

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.”

madman on September 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Wow Debbie, that was excellent. I don’t think I have heard these sentiments phrased any better. I don’t quite agree with you about Iraq and Afghanistan though. I don’t think “W” and his daddy went far enough. These wars should have been invasions and occupations, not liberations. We should be doing what we did somewhat at the end of WWII with the Krauts and the Japs. Absolutely destroy any type of means they have to wage war, kill everybody who does not conform with the intent of the occupation and bring them into the 21st century.

Jarhead on September 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Or we could just ban Islam in the contries we currently occupy. Force them to convert to Christianity, or die. That should get their attention. Better yet let’s bomb meccha.

Nakruh on September 2, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I would of only occupied where the oil was and shoot anything that came near. I never quite understood long term involvement in Afghanistan. we should of killed big Taliban people to send a message and then gotten the hell out of there. they are all in Pakistan or Iran at the point

Noah David Simon on September 2, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Pull every solider out of Iraq and Afghanistan and offer them a Sword of Damocles. If we are hit, tactical nuke key areas of the Middle East and offer up Mecca as target if America is ever hit.

dirtyleb on September 2, 2009 at 2:15 pm

[Debbie:Now, George Will is making big news by saying that we should just get out of Afghanistan. And, yes, he’s right. The only bad thing about it is that it will give Bin Laden and the Muslim world yet another reason to smile and laugh at us.]

Debbie, I am really shocked at you. I have also lost a lot of respect for George Will (When I was a liberal undergrad 25 years ago he was one of the few conservatives I respected). Nothing else would guarantee the need for us to go back in to either Iraq or Afghanistan then a withdrawal. At that point even the most pacifist of Americans and most anti American Americans will realize there will not be any choice. Only then it will be even tougher than it is now.

The solution is to simply win now, whatever it takes. And I mean a real victory, even if that means turning both countries into the world’s largest parking lots. I am not talking about declaring victory and then leaving.

I state this for 2 reasons:

1) The Jihadists need to know we are in it to win. If we leave now they will know they can simply wait us out. They already believe they can based on prior experience. We need to change that. Besides an American departure will only embolden them and serve as a great recruiting tool.

2) The area will become Jihad Central and will serve as the location from which terrorists will train and the numerous deadly terrorist attacks to follow will be hatched. This is why I say a withdrawal now will force us to return later under even more difficult circumstances.

I don’t like the current strategy of staying but refusing to win. However it is much better than withdrawing for the reasons I gave above.

Debbie, I don’t mind when we disagree. There is nothing wrong with that and very often I learn something. However in this case what you advocate is dangerous.

IAM: I am shocked that you are shocked. The “reasons” you give for staying there and expending more American lives while not fighting a real war there are moot. 1) We AREN’T in it to win, and the jihadists know that–that is the entire point of this column, which you clearly missed. 2) The area is ALREADY Jihad Central. You haven’t been paying attention. DS

I_AM_ME on September 2, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You boiled it down to what the story is really all about. War is hell, and hellish things happen in war.

There is no such thing as a civilized war. War is ALWAYS about kicking the ass of your enemy. The islamic fascists only back off when you have killed enough of them. Period.

This is true of all uncivilized, barbaric cultures, and islam is at the top of barbarism.

rockymountainneocon on September 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Current working COunter-INsurgency (COIN as it’s referred to) refers to ‘winning hearts and minds’ but calls it by different names and explains it a lot better and you don’t do it with music and dancing.

It’s easy for the US to win the war part of a war. In fact, it’s too easy. We topple enemy third-world governments by disrupting their ability to control themselves and their troops so fast that we don’t kill enough bad guys and we don’t inflict any privation upon the civilian population. It’s like trying to train a puppy by taking away whatever he’s chewing on that you don’t want him chewing, but never saying ‘No!’ and swatting him on the nose.

The problem comes when it’s time to win the peace. The bad guys are still there. All they need is time and money to organize, time that we give them by not hunting them down and money that we allow them by letting them steal it or letting it flow in from other bad actors. The bad guys hide in the general population from where they can take bad actions and then disappear. If we engage in war on the civilian population, we get accused of genocide and support increases for the bad guys.

Current Counter-Insurgency teaches that locally we provide safety for the general populace so they can go about their daily activities, while we continually hunt down the bad guys. Bad guys being bad guys will hurt maim and steal from the general population because they are much easier targets then our soldiers. That makes their support go down, and the civilians begin to point out the bad guys to us on the sly, which helps us hunt them down. The bad guys start indiscriminately killing civilians accusing them of being ‘spies’ which turns more and more of the civilians against them, and so on.

Notice that there’s no music and dancing involved here. Although some cultural outreach and drinking of tea is required.

The next problem comes at the state level. You can get individual cities and towns against the insurgents, but how do you get a decent government in there? You need to institute the rule of law first, and that is a generational project with no antecedents in a tribal-based culture like Iraq and Afghanistan where it is “me against my brother, me and my brother against my cousins, and my family against everyone else.” Without a reasonably impartial law upon which people can rely in a day to day fashion, it is all the rule of force, and no one can trust anyone out of their sight.

That’s what our State department should be teaching and requiring right now, and it is miserably failing. (Allowing the Iraqis to write their own constitution that allowed a reliance on Sharia law was a big failure.)

luagha on September 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Another thing is:

We were supposed to invade the countries to attract as many terrorists and kill them in their territory–to deflect them away from targeting our shores. That was the main reason given to us–not to give them democracy, etc.

If we were serious about that aim, we would ban Muslim immigration. Yet we are encouraging Muslims to come here for their jihad and then only half-heartedly fighting them in their area of the world.

JM on September 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm

[Debbie (in response to me):IAM: I am shocked that you are shocked. The “reasons” you give for staying there and expending more American lives while not fighting a real war there are moot. 1) We AREN’T in it to win, and the jihadists know that–that is the entire point of this column, which you clearly missed. 2) The area is ALREADY Jihad Central. You haven’t been paying attention. DS]

I knew what the point of your column was. I happen not to agree with something you wrote in it and I believe that something to be very dangerous.

I also agree we are not in it to win, and that is disgusting. However, the amount of lives we lose by staying is going to be nowhere near what we will lose by leaving. Even with the current non strategy. That was my point and is why my argument is not moot. Perhaps I am really missing something (I can just see you smiling now …)

And if you think the area is Jihad Central now, just wait until we pull out. The current upsurge in attacks in both Iraq and Afghanistan is due to Obama’s agreement to pull out of Iraq (although I believe Bush was going to do the same thing). However I was referring to the ability to turn the area into a huge central command for organizing Jihad all over the world. This would include training facilities and laboratories.

Eventually we are going to have to totally defeat these barbarians. Totally. As bad as the situation is now, by leaving we only make our cost to defeat them much worse later on. Besides all of the deaths due to increased terrorism, a withdrawal only emboldens them to fight longer and harder when we do decide to win.

I_AM_ME on September 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

I say if we’re not going to bomb them to smithereens we should leave. Now. Using our military as social workers is not going to defeat the Muslim jihadis. Fighting a war in a half-assed manner does more harm than good.

We need to stop wasting American lives and clean out the Islamic poison from our own soil. The problem is that we’ve allowed them to run amok in our own backyard. It’s the fault of the Bushes and the Muslim Obama.

lexi on September 2, 2009 at 9:19 pm

The only reason we should immediately withdraw all our military troops from Afghanistan is because there has been no official declaration of war by Congress as mandated by our Constitution. For the same reason we should bring ALL of our 325,000 troops stationed in 165 different countries back home immediately to their loved ones.

ramjordan on September 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Correction: U.S. military personnel are stationed in 156 countries.

ramjordan on September 2, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Fitzgerald at Jihad Watch has been warning about this since early in the Bush regime.

Giving democracy to Muslims yields a Hamas type of situation. It’s only bad for America.

America has no chance of accomplishing anything militarily in these countries especially with the insane rules of engagement that put our soldiers at extreme risk.

Since we have no intention of winning, we should pull out and spare the lives of the innocent soldiers who are in harms way.

FoL: I’ve been writing about this since before “the early Bush regime”–for over a decade. DS

Facts of Life on September 3, 2009 at 12:17 am

The people who advocate us to totally pull out from these countries seem to forget history or who we are fighting. When I write about history, I am talking about places like Mogadishu, where we pulled out, and look at what has happened. These Islamic thugs only saw this as weakness on the part of the U.S. We cannot let that happen again. It seems that the only way to win this war against Islam is to not only be as brutal as these Muslim savages, but to bring it onto them ten-fold. We should not hold these brave military personnel back and be accountable to the pussies in DC. I am not talking about torture where we cut their nuts off or other deviant types of action. I am talking about where we wipe them off of the face of the map. Total destruction of these terrorists and anybody who harbor them is the only way to go. If these villages house and protect our enemies, then they also deserve to be exterminated.

Jarhead on September 3, 2009 at 1:29 am

All I can see with this policy is Marines needlessly killed and wounded because of the worry that indirect fire from artillery and Tacair will kill civilians and hurt the hearts and minds campaign. As a retired SNCO I call BS on this policy, the only thing the Taliban and other fanatics understand is firepower. When we take the position we have right now the Taliban know that we are not serious about waging total war like they are. This administration is a joke and is will cause are casualties to continue to rise,

Semper FI

billmill on September 3, 2009 at 6:38 am

Excellent article Debbie! You are one of the few people in the media who understand the true nature of Islam. The “hearts and minds” of those involved in it are already lost. It is not just a belief system as Americans experience it on Sunday mornings. It is a perverted and distorted way of life based upon subjugation and destruction. Islam is a total dedication of mind and body in submission to an alleged god who demands autocratic rule over the world by any means necessary.

Islam is the most dangerous force the world has ever seen. Many of the founding fathers of our country were aware of this. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1786 about Islam: “…that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

America is FAR too feminized and does not have the intestinal fortitude to battle Islam, much less defeat it. We foolishly imagine that we can reason with it. Ironically, one of the few brave men in the world today with enough “balls” to state the truth is named “Debbie.” Thank you.

PDMac60 on September 3, 2009 at 8:14 am

I’m afraid we’ve reached the point (especially with Obummer in
charge) where we’re better off calling it quits in Afghanistan.
It reminds me of Vietnam where we won all the battles and let
the newsmedia, hippies, anti-war protesters, and leftist
congressmen lose it for us. We left in shame and then the real blood-letting began, but our newsmedia couldn’t film it, nor were they interested in that.

I agree with Jarhead that we shouldn’t quit, but I don’t see that we’ve got the guts and the tactics to really be successful. We’re going to have collateral damage, we had a
bunch in WW2, ask the French about that, and if we’re going to
adjust our tactics endlessly to limit collateral damage because these thugs like to position themselves with civilians then we shouldn’t even be there.

We need to quit apologising for our actions, put them on notice that the next atrocity will result in the destruction of Mecca and quit bluffing with these tramps. Oh yeah, lots of luck on that idea.

Daniel on September 3, 2009 at 10:42 am

@ Daniel.

I wish I did come up with that idea. The Sword of Damocles that I mentioned is purporedly what Bush told the Saudi Royals would be another attack on US soil. That’s according to a former CIA Agent who wrote a book about his experience. Will get you the title if you are interested in reading it. Make of it what you will, it’s probably a better deterent than dropping soliders and a PR to win “hearts and minds” in the Middle East.

The question is, how do you win a war a holding pattern or crushing your opponent to know that you mean business.

25,000 US soliders (we have more in Kosovo at the moment) and smaller NATO prescene (with most being non combat support) isn’t really doing anything but holding together Kabul and possibly a few other areas. God bless the troops, however what is the end game in Afghanistan? Talk to anyone who has fought there or a Soviet Veteran of Afghanistan. The Soviets pour in more 10 times more militarily as well as had a pipeline to get supplies there.

Our Allies, to whom this nation has sacrificed more than enough for have fatigued and sour on the combat war. This war needs to be fought covertly and or a whole new trajectory, the Obama/Bush tact isn’t really working effectively in Afghanistan.

dirtyleb on September 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

Also, Look at what Reagan did in Beirut with Hezbollah. The US just got up and left, the real question is should we be in those countries to begin with? Anything short of outright destroying your enemy is a defeat and any opponent that the US has in battle is aware of that. So, if our government is not truly serious about crushing/killing the enemy than they shouldn’t go to begin with.

Americans have to demand that their military become fire fighters, not policeman.

dirtyleb on September 4, 2009 at 11:03 am

I listen to the “kick their a$$es hard” comments with total agreement.
Why didn’t we think of this, say about the Achille Loro time frame??? Or Entebbe?
Well after getting sand kicked in our faces for 40 to 50 years by a pipsqueak bunch who, cowardly won’t wear uniforms, hide behind children and brutalize women asa their way of life maybe we could muster enough indignation to protect the free world one more time.
Or, given the usual liberal mindset should we have imported a few million Nazis prior to the war…
Are our left wing (ex)patriots truly suicidal???????

rightmind-left coast on September 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I don’t know if you can really compare… During the great wars, we blew up huge cities.
Any of you been to Afghanistan? It was already blown up!
There’s nothing but thousands of squares miles of people living in shit.
It’s a different enemy. “Jihad” is just a lame excuse to vent the fact that they live in shit and people they don’t know or understand keep bombing them. Most Afghans don’t even understand Islam, much less the Arabic it’s written in.
The hardcore violent jihadists would blow up Mecca themselves. It would be easier to pull off than the “Loose Change” nonsense conspiracy.
I can’t think of a solution. Even straight-up genocide would not work.
The military is trying this dangerous combination of PeaceCorps-like tea drinking with actual military operations. From experience, the tea drinking does work on individual levels, assuming we don’t then proceed to blow up their children in a failed attempt to drone-rocket some Mullah Dadullah because his old cell phone was used in a school and scanned by the CIA.
I’d personally castrate that agency. Too much money and no fucking clue.
I don’t either. Good thing I’m broke.
My dumb suggestion: We need to arm the Peace Corps, and send a few million tea drinkers over there.
“Peace be with you! Be my BFF or your brains are on the prayer mat.”

René on September 24, 2009 at 1:55 am

Dear Debbie

It Really hurt me when I read your blog linked below, especially the paragraph I quoted below.

if you think the way Osama, and other extremist and terrorist thinks, than what is the different between you and them?

when I saw your beautiful photo on your blog, if it is you? with such a kind pretty look, I could not believe my eyes when I read your blog page about Daoud Sediqi, and the paragraph highlighted below.

Debbie we Muslims are the real victims of terrorism, and extremism from both sides, more than any one ells in this world, give you an example, since 2001 if we would not have these extremist and terrorists in Afghanistan, the country would developed and became at least like Dubai, by international community’s help and support, and also don’t forget that millions of Muslims world wide scarified their selves for policies, and friendships to the US, especially Afghans during cold war, it was Afghans destroyed US is most powerful enemy USSR, not US army men and women or US technology.

millions of Afghans sacrificed their lives, so you could have peaceful sleep at night from fear of brutal red army, and remember at that time the same so call Mujahideen were getting billions of Dollar aid from the US government through Pakistan to fight against Russians,and they were best friends of the US, as a result of which Afghanistan fall in to civil wars, and later in hands of terrorist and extremists, if in the beginning, after communist regime eliminated from Afghanistan, policy makers in DC would value the sacrifices, and blood of Afghans drained for the US, and other allies friendship at time of cold war, we would never have to face stupid Mula Omar, and his friends today.

President Obama, and his administration’s, plan to win minds, and hearts of good Muslims will be fruitful, and you will see the good out comes, and results sooner than later, remember, if United States would stay on same policy as previous administration, it would gradually change all Muslims to extremists, and would increase anti Americanism among billions of Muslims around the world.

I found you and your followers the biggest enemy of the United States of America, as United States stands for Justice For All, and I did not see any American value in your blog, and writings, you look best friend of Mula Omar, and his stupid follower.


Naz Saeed on September 25, 2009 at 1:55 am

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