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

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  •  Thanks for the response. (0+ / 0-)

    I am, of course, going to disagree. The main problem I see is that you are only concerned with suffering that we are responsible for. Your plan does not have a particularly high chance of lowering the overall level of suffering over the long term than us staying there. You are assuming that telling the Taliban that we don't want them to do what they did before is going to in anyway affect their actions. It might, but it seems very doubtful to me that a group that will rightly feel they won would care one bit what we want.

    You are also missing that we have the chance to do something different than the last eight years. You are assuming that we will do exactly what the previous administration did, with very little evidence that this is true. Do you really think that the new President is exactly the same as the old? I doubt you do, but you might.

    The final point is that with either of our plans there will be suffering. It is a horrible burden for the Afghan people, but if it is going to happen shouldn't we take the chance to do something that might, just might, make things better in the long term? If we fail at it, we can still enact a policy like you advocate, but if we succeed we have actually made a positive impact. That is where I am coming from.

    I don't have anything approaching complete confidence that we will succeed. As you and many others point out the deck is pretty stacked against us, but since we are already there, and what has gone before can not be changed, we should take what steps we can to give the Afghans a shot as something better than they have today.

    This is where I stand on this issue. I see it as a responsibility both nationally and as a human. I get where you are coming from, I am just not willing to say, now that we have changed the control of our government that there is nothing that can be done.

    Thanks for thinking this through with me! Hopefully we can find some other issue we agree on, it is always more fun!


    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 Wed Feb 25, 2009 at 08:56:29 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  indeed :) (0+ / 0-)

      I am, of course, going to disagree.

      But this is the point, discussion. When we do these kinds of things in the open, in public, we produce better policy. The process is as important as the outcome, I would argue.

      The main problem I see is that you are only concerned with suffering that we are responsible for.

      To a certain extent, absolutely. This is one of the things that separates me from the liberal end of the continuum. I think our primary responsibility is to take care of ourselves; we cause a lot of trouble when we act on behalf of other peoples. I mean that in the empirical sense, looking at presidents like Reagan and Nixon, but also in the theoretical sense, of valuing concepts like sovereignty.

      But mostly, I would just add this caveat to that sentiment. We should primarily focus on suffering we are responsible for, or at least suffering that we have a reasonable expectation of being able to address. If the people of Afghanistan wanted us there and for a couple billion dollars we could rebuild the country, this would be a much different discussion.

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