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View Diary: Why We Should Stay In Afghanistan (167 comments)

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  •  So, you don't think we owe (5+ / 0-)

    anything to the Afghans in terms of a stable self chosen government? It does not matter if we leave them to the not so gentle mercies of the Taliban?

    Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:28:07 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  the question isn't whether we owe them (12+ / 0-)

      or not.

      The question is whether we can afford to dump more money down a rathole with no realistic prospect either of building a stable government given that America needs the money if we are to survive.

      Another question is whether or not any solutions externally imposed on the Afghanis can work regardless of how good you think they are.

      We need to solve our internal problems before we deserve to be taken seriously with respect to the notion that we can solve the problems of the rest of the world.

      The argument as to whether we should stay in Afghanistan or not is the same with respect to staying in Iraq. We appear to be doing more harm than good in both places with our military activities.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:34:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, I completely disagree. (5+ / 0-)

        You are welcome to your opinion on this, of course, but I do not see how abandoning our responsibility as the concurring power in order to only focus internally is in any way better.

        I flatly reject the idea that it is patently hopeless, we have never made a serious effort there so how can you know with such certainty?

        I also do not think it is the right thing to abandon the people there, they are humans, just as we are and should have a chance at something better than what they will surely get if we do not at the very least try.

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:43:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I certainly don't think we should abandon the (8+ / 0-)

          Afghan people.  I disagree that military force can bring about a stable solution.  Just as with Iraq, only tougher because of the terrain, it would take 3-400,000 on the ground to do that.  We're just wasting time and money and more people are getting killed.  Security and diplomacy is what should be happening because the Taliban will never give up under the circumstances we've created.

          "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

          by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:54:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is not the only way (4+ / 0-)

            but it is part of it. President Obama is not the criminal President Bush, he is not all about military power, he is about getting to a real solution.

            But you must be able to provide basic security to make gains against an insurgency. For that you do not need to blanket the country, but you do need to start with enclaves that you can provide security in. This is where we will use our troops. But there is going to be a lot more than just that.

            Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

            by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:00:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  echoes of Vietnam (3+ / 0-)

              "you do need to start with enclaves that you can provide security in." . . . are you old enough to remember the Vietnam "strategic hamlet" program? Next came "Vietnamization", followed by "last helicopter out".

              "People who refuse to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:26:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, we are always going to do (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pstoller78

                the same thing? We have no capacity to learn and take different actions? That there are similarities is to be expected, we are dealing with a war after all. But just because a situation shares some factors does not make it exactly the same.

                Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

                by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:33:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Silverbird

                  underlying mistake in all three cases was going in. The fix is the same, getting out.

                  The occupation force backing a weak central government with little popular support model does not work for the USA and I don't see any variations on that model that can result in a strong central government with popular support that America will approve of. I regard thinking that we can do this as the result of irrational neocon imperial hubris and belief in American exceptionalism.

                  The only solutions to governing Afghanistan that are likely to work are going to be generated from within Afghanistan and sold to the Afgbani people by Afghanis.

                  Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                  by alizard on Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 04:21:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Well, we've been meddling over there (7+ / 0-)

      for 30 years now, starting from the Carter era:

      Carter advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski stated: "According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, December 24, 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise." Brzezinski himself played a fundamental role in crafting US policy, which, unbeknownst even to the mujahideen, was part of a larger strategy "to induce a Soviet military intervention." In a 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Brzezinski recalled: "We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would...That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Soviets into the Afghan trap...The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War."[20]

      Additionally, on July 3, 1979, Carter signed a presidential finding authorizing funding for anticommunist guerrillas in Afghanistan.[21] As a part of the Central Intelligence Agency program Operation Cyclone, the massive arming of Afghanistan's mujahideen was started.[22]

      from wikipedia

      Have things been getting better lately?   If not, when will they?

      I'm old enough that I'll be dead soon, long before this turns around so I suppose I really shouldn't care, but I suppose that this is something for you youngsters to hash out . . .

    •  We owe Afghans, but we owe Americans 1st (3+ / 0-)

      lets do it with achievable goals and a timeline.

      And then let's get the hell out of dodge!

      F#@k this Congress and the limos they rode in on!

      by MinistryOfTruth on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:54:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But we have an interest there (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Cliss, UtopianPablo

        too. We really don't want to go back to the situation that existed prior to 9/11. That is what is in it for us, that we have a responsibility to the Afghans too is just a reinforcing reason for us to do it.

        Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

        by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:56:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with our argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HKPhooey

          is it supposes that the Afghanis want our help. It sounds too much like we are there to "spread democracy" when we see little sign that anyone there is interested.

          At times like this I alway look back at our own revolution and how they band together, had their own leaders that wanted to win self-rule. I just don't see that happening in a country so far behind in the basics of life and survival.

          A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded" -Abraham Lincoln

          by SmileySam on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:24:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really different though. (0+ / 0-)

            We had not had 30+ years of warfare in the colonies. We were at a time and place where many of the educated elite that formed the core of our revolution were deists, not radical theists.

            That is why we should help them, since we are there for our own interest, why not try to support them in a way that makes them self sufficient?

            Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

            by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:32:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Our debt cannot be paid by/with soldiers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird, BigAlinWashSt

      The best we can do is give a bunch of money to whichever group of warlords are the "good guys" this week (Don't forget that the Mujaheddin/Taliban were "Our Boys" once upon a time) and let them spend it as they see fit.

      "What if everybody thought like you?" "Then I'd be a damn fool to think otherwise."-- Catch 22

      by Johnny Q on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 02:57:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like giving 10 bucks to a homeless drunk (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, Johnny Q

        He might use it for booze, but hey, what can you do.

        "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

        by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:01:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the big difference (4+ / 0-)

          between me and you guys is I do not engage in fatalism, ever. Call it a failure of rationalism, but I never believe anything is impossible or intractable. I am beat a lot, but that does not prevent me from trying.

          (please note this is not a value judgment about how you see things, I was just trying to explain where I come from).

          Getting Dems together and keeping them that way is like trying to herd cats, hopped up on crank, through LA, during an earthquake, in the rain. -6.25, -6.10

          by Something the Dog Said on Tue Feb 24, 2009 at 03:03:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Really, what could be stupider? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silverbird, BigAlinWashSt, HKPhooey

          Like giving 10 bucks to a homeless drunk

          I've long since stopped doing that and now simply buy the booze for them myself, that way I can at least buy products made by corporations relating to my 401K investments (something that's even more urgent these days . . .)

          With the larger implication here, if we simply give the money to the warlords, how can we be certain that it will be appropriately funneled back to eX (is that what they're called now) and Halliburton?

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