Skip to main content

View Diary: Get Afghanistan Right (108 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  getting it right for whom? (6+ / 0-)

    Withdrawal would get it right for us, but would not be positive for the Afghan people, especially keeping in mind that around half of them are female.  But staying there, at some cost to our country, and getting outcomes nearly as unattractive and reactionary as if we departed immediately doesn't seem attractive either.  So my question is whether we have any prospect for achieving even modestly progressive outcomes for Afghanistan's people.  If not, we should do as John Derbyshire suggests and get out without looking back: it's a country we can't influence in any positive way.  If we can, we need to determine (speculatively, as usual) what level of positive change we can achieve vs.  what it would cost us in all ways, and decide if we want to do it.

    -5.38/-3.74 We're currently in a sig interregnum. A siggie vacante, as it were.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:09:07 AM PST

    •  the afghan people and the women want us out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fatbyjhnsn, CornSyrupAwareness

      because we have made life much worse for them.

      "Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." -- Jacques Cousteau

      by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:16:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  First of all there's no basis for claiming... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranger995, Simian

        ...anything about what Afghans want, for all kinds of obvious reasons.  Second of all, as a philosophical matter (or an ideological one if you prefer), I always reject the the notion that we should honor someone's stated preference to live in slavery rather than some degree of freedom.  Third, the idea that a mismanaged and misconceived US occupation in the past means there is no successful occupation scenario possible is something that needs to be analyzed and debated rather than just stated as somehow self-evident.  Of course, if you think all occupations are bad that's another matter and perfectly reputable--but every position has its costs, and the costs of leaving Afghanistan rather than occupying it would be very substantial, just not to us.

        -5.38/-3.74 We're currently in a sig interregnum. A siggie vacante, as it were.

        by Rich in PA on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:24:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no basis? why not listen to their voices? (4+ / 0-)

          this 2006 poll of people in afghanistan said wanted US withdrawal in one year:

          other findings:

          – Support for attacks against US-led forces has increased sharply to 61 percent (27% strongly, 34% somewhat). This represents a 14-point increase from January 2006, when only 47 percent of Iraqis supported attacks.

             – More broadly, 79 percent of Iraqis say that the US is having a negative influence on the situation in Iraq, with just 14 percent saying that it is having a positive influence.

          thing is, many view parliament as war lords and drug lords, so think best option is ask the people, who suffer from our killings, maimings of civilians...

          and while bushie likes to talk about "liberating" the women, life for many is worse:

          Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages.

             Girls as young as six are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation – burning themselves to death – or severe self-harm.

             Six years after the US and Britain "freed" Afghan women from the oppressive Taliban regime, a new report proves that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases.

          "Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." -- Jacques Cousteau

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 11:47:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This poll is from Iraq... (0+ / 0-)

            how does this relate to Afghanistan?

            •  lol, good point. i posted wrong poll. but (0+ / 0-)

              there is one from afghanistan too. i will see if i can find again.

              "Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." -- Jacques Cousteau

              by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:28:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  afghan poll (0+ / 0-)

              not same one i saw this morning, but similar results.

              afghan criticize US efforts, support for taliban grows and opinion US should leave gets stronger. my mouse is messing up and won't copy selected text right now, but here is link.
              http://a.abcnews.com/...

              "Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." -- Jacques Cousteau

              by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 02:46:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  With all due respect, bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

                The ABC poll article says that 49% of Afghans support the US presence until security is restored or permanently--and the number just last year was 60%.  Meanwhile only 14% want the US out, now.

                Those numbers are very different from Iraq, and they reflect the fact that (1) most Afghans DID welcome the US-led invasion, and (2) the most frequently heard wish of Afghans in the wake of the invasion was "this time, please do not abandon us."

                I opposed the invasion of Iraq long before we invaded.  But I believe that we owe the Afghans a coherent strategy to bring them security, and we owe them a sustained investment to build their infrastructure.

                In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

                by Simian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 04:13:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm er that data you posted is about Iraq?? (0+ / 0-)
      •  Thanks for posting the ABC survey (0+ / 0-)

        I"m not sure it supports your headline that the people of Afghanistan don't want the US there.

        I was in Kabul doing an assessment (of security mechanisms for civilian organizations) the year before, as the shit was beginning to hit the fan in 2005. I came away with a different set of conclusions. Most folks wanted the US to be more successful, and were incredibly frustrated at our inability to bring more security into their lives. They felt that there wasn't ENOUGH US influence, and that they were afraid that Afghanistan would continue to stay the Afghanistan of recent history and legend.

        Although I mostly worked with organizations representing governments, intl orgs and NGOs headquartered outside the country, my conversations with people who worked with indigenous groups, plus local shopkeepers and people who worked for the NGOs I was working with by an large were grateful for the work that was attempting to be done.

        That doesn't mean there weren't problems: anytime you mix organizations with huge resources plus indifference to local economic and cultural contexts, with extremely poor and proud people, you're going to get problems. And what I witnessed in Kabul definitly made me realize that they way the US, ISAF and the UN go about their business in Afghanistan is often counter-productive, it is far far preferable to than letting the various interest groups that operated in the past shoot it out.

        If you think casualties and violence are bad now, by all means, pull out. Then wait for the stories of massacres of the Hazarra to come out. First, there will be no witnesses to the violence (think Somalia after the US/UN pulled out), secondly it will be decades before the violence ends.

        I have my own opinions about what might be proper military conduct in the region, but that's a long series of conversations. I personally believe that with the right approach and leadership (and I think there are folks in the US who "get it"), it will take less time, with fewer civilians casualties, to make Afghanistan work through foreign intervention rather than to let things work their way out after a pull out.

        I guess, having been there and seeing a lot of both the good and the bad, I think it's a place worth fighting for, just like the Ninth Ward, or Chester, Montana. They are seemingly hopeless causes. But I have to believe there is a way to make things work. We are still a very rich and resourceful nation compared with the rest of the world. I don't believe it outside the realm of possibility to re-work our relationships in Afghanistan in order to make it a better place to live, and help the people of Afghanistan create better lives for themselves.

        •  i think the feelings have changed (0+ / 0-)

          the abc poll was taken in 2007, and the support for US staying until security was restored decreased from the year before. it's possible one factor affecting the declining support is the increased number of civilians we are killing from air bombs, which is one factor that may be quite different from when you were there in 2005.

          i'm just saying that we should listen to what they want.

          it sounds like you have a very interesting job.

          "Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans." -- Jacques Cousteau

          by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 05:58:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I just did not experience this at all... (2+ / 0-)

        To blanket state that they hate us just doesn't see plausible.

        However, they were becoming very frustrated with the lack of progress and level of corruption when I left, and I bet it has gotten worse.

    •  We invaded (0+ / 0-)

      Afghanistan because of Bin Laden, and not to better the lives of the Afghan people.
      So we can make one or more of the below as our end point
      1.stick to the original plan and get Bin laden

      1. Take down the Afgan-Pakistan grown "terrorism"

      3.Improve the life of the people
      4.Say Bin laden is no longer an issue
      5.look at deplomatic ways of bringing the world together, to stand as one, against terrorism by addressing the root causes.
      OR

      1. leave Afghanistan at the earliest and let things be.

      American dream is a myth!

      by brown american on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 01:38:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those choices are not mutually exclusive. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brown american

        Indeed, "Take down the Afghan-Pakistan grown 'terrorism'," "improve the life of the people," and "look at diplomatic ways of bringing the world together...against terrorism by addressing the root causes" are all complementary choices.  Just sayin'.

        In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. - H.L. Mencken

        by Simian on Mon Jan 12, 2009 at 03:50:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (129)
  • Community (65)
  • Bernie Sanders (44)
  • Elections (40)
  • 2016 (38)
  • Climate Change (33)
  • Environment (32)
  • Culture (31)
  • Hillary Clinton (29)
  • Science (27)
  • Republicans (26)
  • Media (25)
  • Civil Rights (24)
  • Barack Obama (24)
  • Education (22)
  • Law (21)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (21)
  • Economy (19)
  • Congress (17)
  • Labor (16)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site