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I too want us out of Afghanistan - and as soon as possible.  I hate to see my tax dollars and our country's precious resources wasted making the lives of others more miserable. However, let's be honest here - People are People and they tend to be victims of their circumstances.  

We (which means the American Government and its people) invaded a country famous for turning back invaders.  We tried to impose a democracy on a people that are mostly illiterate.  We tried to form a nation from people with tribal identities. How could we think this would turn out okay?  So let's stop making things worse and get out.

That being said, the people of Afghanistan are People.  They (the people of Afghanistan) didn't choose to live in one of the poorest, least educated, remote and difficult places on the planet.  They are saddled with one of the worst infant mortality rates for Earthlings.  They were born there and have little hope of getting out.  We have many options in comparison.

So... when we are frustrated with the debacle that we have imposed on the People of Afghanistan, let's not blame them for being:

"primitive" (they are not rich in technology , but neither are the Amish and I don't hear them being called primitive (which suggests someone less worthy)),

living in a "hell-hole" (yes, it probably sucks to live there, but I don't hold it against them any more than I hold it against someone for being from AZ (which they could probably have more control over))

I say let the Afghan People be.  We won't change their world for the better at gunpoint.  We just make the world hate us more by killing so many innocent civilians.  I want us out of Afghanistan because I do care about "them" and "us".  We are all Earthlings.  Let's not demonize those we terrorize.

Originally posted to too many people on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 01:33 PM PDT.

Poll

We should get out of Afghanistan because:

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84%37 votes
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| 44 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  On the plus side, none of "your tax dollars" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    are being spent in Afghanistan.  If those dollars aren't spent there, they won't be spent at all because they don't exist.  

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 01:39:27 PM PDT

  •  Why don't you just post this on the other diary. (0+ / 0-)

    it is in essence a comment on the other.

    •  oh go away. (6+ / 0-)

      i get so tired of these kinds of comments.

      this person posted a diary with sentiments that are critical if we are ever to change the course of the epic fail that, thus far, defines the 21st century.

      in fact, the sweet sentiments written here are the kinds of things that provide some small respite from the torrent of shit we deal with every day.

      like BP. and, as if that wasn't enough, and on cue, some asshole Army guy spouting accusations of Wikileaks of having blood on its hands.

      i mean, good god. it gets more and more absurd.

      thanks for your posting, too many people.

      Obamabots are another matter completely, though. They're the political version of teenage girls passing out at a Backstreet Boys concert... JayinPortland

      by pfiore8 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 01:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every one is a critic (0+ / 0-)

      That does not make your criticism right.

      Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

      by LWelsch on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 01:53:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is that the proper approach? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, Gemina13

      I guess there are a couple of reasons.  Mostly I agree in general with the sentiments of the other diary and I don't want to hijack it.  Perhaps a better title would be "Why we should get out of Afghanistan"
      Also, it wasn't a comment so much as a rant spurred by a "tone" that is not unique to just the other diary that I generally agree with.  It seemed a bit off topic and too long.

  •  Thank you, thank you. nt (4+ / 0-)

    "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

    by CKendall on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 01:55:52 PM PDT

  •  Good sentiments. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag, Gemina13

    Sadly, I think what likely gets lost in the other diary is that that was highly atypical for GrannyDoc, who I feel was really merely expressing her frustration and pain, in part a result of her recent illness.  She's never been a 'blame the victims' sort of person, and I think what her diary really boils down to was her feeling that we're wasting our time there, and that nationbuilding simply won't work at the end of a gun.  No matter how cranky and upset she might have been when she whipped out that diary in language guaranteed to set hackles on end.

    Am I cynical? Yes I am! - Bob the Builder's lesser known brother Pete the Politician

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 02:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for saying these things. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rosita

    I get so tired of people who -- while acknowledging the struggles in the area as well as our role in the creation or escalation of that struggle -- turn around and say rather bigoted things about the people in the area.

    The teabaggers should be a lesson in how "primitive" people can be when they feel threatened and the teabaggers fears are a product of their imagination.  So -- imagine what teabaggers would be if they had been living under the kind of stress and genuine threats Afghans have been living with.

    I don't know who I'd be if I was living in those conditions.  I'm not one to just take stuff -- so -- I can't promise anybody I wouldn't be a "terrorist" if my life was like theirs.  I can't begin to imagine how I would stay reasonable and hopeful -- stay positive -- in those circumstances.  Their lives would be unbearable for a day.  I'd feel like I couldn't take it anymore after a week -- and they've had to live it for decades.

    That said...

    As I understand what Obama has said -- I don't think he believes he can change their world.  As I understand it -- he's just trying to leave them in a position in which they have a chance to change their own world.  That means not leaving the worst people among them with such a strong advantage over the rest.

    To walk out leaving the people with absolutely no means of protecting themselves -- no police -- no military that's made up of "ordinary" folks would leave them totally at the mercy of the well armed and already organized warlords.

    We may not succeed -- but I believe we have a moral obligation to try as best we can.

    As to the "blood and treasure" we spend doing it -- we spent plenty of "blood and treasure" over the decades doing wrong to people -- so -- it just doesn't feel right to me to call it a "waste" of "blood and treasure" to try to right some of that wrong.

    Now unlike you -- I don't really care if some people don't care -- that's their personal burden to deal with -- not mine.  I just hope the people who do care outnumber those who don't.  

    •  Very thoughtful comments (0+ / 0-)

      I think it is noble to try and help the Afghans help themselves.  I just don't think it can be done with guns, bombs, an alliance with a corrupt puppet, and the death of innocents.  I am afraid our efforts will continue to make things worse.  That is, the best way to right the wrong is to stop causing harm.

      It seems Afghanistan can only have a western style democracy if :the Afghan people have a national identity that competes with their tribal identity,
      they are literate, and they have a need for centralized government services in a mostly remote and localized world.  I am sure there are many other preconditions for this to work that are not being met.  Look at all the success we have had in Iraq which is comparatively modern and educated. I suspect that no matter what we do (short of turning subsistence farmers and the like into westernized planet destroying  consumers by building roads and malls) local tribal issues will trump and national issues for the average Joe/Jane in Afghanistan.

      If I thought we could right this wrong with more of the same I would agree (though I do worry about the cost because there are many more important things to fix in the world at a much lower cost).

      I also hope that those who care outnumber those who don't.  That is why I hope each of us will care.

      Hatecloudsyourthoughts (great moniker btw), you clearly do care.  Thanks for caring!

      •  A western style democracy isn't necessary. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lightshine

        I don't know that Obama has ever said that was the goal of "his" mission.  I don't mean to be offensive -- but I think it largely the product of an egocentric population that so many of us assume "western style democracy" is the definition of success.

        People can "elect" to have something other than a western style Democracy -- so -- that we tried to allow them to vote on who would represent them in creating a structure going forward doesn't have to mean that we're trying to establish any particular kind of government.

        In fact -- as I recall -- only it was about Iraq -- Obama said that we needed to accept that the results might not look like democracy as we think it should be.  Therefore -- I'm not so sure that Obama is even attempting many of the things people are assuming he's attempting.  I'm also seeing people getting Obama and Bush confused.  Bush may have started this war -- but that in no way means that "finishing" it means doing things Bush hoped to do.

        That was Bush talking about spreading "freedom and democracy" as defined by him.  I'm seeing Obama talking about stability and a chance for success -- I don't recall him ever giving speeches that amount to trying to spread "the American dream" to the world.

        It's kinda funny to me that whenever I talk about trying to give the ordinary people of Afghanistan a chance -- many people assume "chance" means "western style democracy."  I'm rather anti-west -- so -- I'm unlikely to try to impose western style anything on anybody.  I believe in Democratic principles -- but not in all the things that many Americans tend to think are inherent in democracy.  My personal ideology is strongly communist -- actually.  Now -- I mean philosophically -- not communism as defined by specific countries attempts at communism.

        Sadly -- once the violence -- and the consequences -- has begun and has taken hold so deeply -- I don't know that there is a peaceful way of ending it.  You either get in there and protect those who can't protect themselves or at least give them the means to protect themselves while you try to ease it -- or you leave people at the mercy of the most vicious.  If we hadn't played so big a role in creating these conditions -- if it was all of their own making -- I'd certainly be fine with leaving them to their battle.  But -- we went over there and helped create that mess and have continued to do things to fuel it -- so -- I think we have a strong moral obligation to the Afghans.  We've cost them "blood and treasure" -- so -- we owe them some.

        No -- we can't fix it.  That's the unfortunate thing about harming people -- you can't undo it -- you can't ever make it as if you'd never done the harm.  As with any harm done to somebody else -- healing is a personal thing only they can do.  So -- only Afghans can get beyond the tragedies of the past and move forward.  But they can't do that as long as the worst elements among them have total control.  The ordinary folk don't have the means to protect themselves and they can't get it without help from somewhere.

        If Bush hadn't already invaded -- I would certainly have not suggested war -- but it's done.  Whatever infrastructure they had that we might have worked with peacefully has been destroyed. So -- other than abandoning them and leaving them worse than before -- what moral option do we have other than trying to turn that invasion into some kind of positive?

        I get long winded.  I know.  I just wanted to clarify my position -- and hopefully help others understand that some things they believe about me and other people who support what we believe Obama is trying to do may not be true.  I wanted it known that I'm not talking about trying to work any miracles.  I'm talking about making a good faith effort to leave somebody other than the warlords empowered so that the less violent and repressive among them at least have a chance at building something better.  If they're "corrupt" so be it.  We haven't figured out how to keep corrupt people out of our government -- so I don't know how we're supposed to keep corrupt people out of anybody else's.  As long as the majority of the people wanting to try choose them -- that choice is fine with me.

        •  I agree with most of what you say here... (0+ / 0-)

          except that by staying we can "turn that invasion into something positive".  

          I didn't mean to suggest that a western style democracy was something positive, though I do believe in democracy.  I like the idea of communism, where most belongings are shared.  This would make for a much happier and sustainable world.  I meant to contrast our western style expectations with the reality that is Afghanistan.    That is, I was trying to point out the futility of trying to turn them into us ala Bush.

          Yes, all governments are corrupt to some degree.  Ours certainly is.  But I have confidence most of the money the government gets from me is spent on what they say it is.  The government in Afghanistan has no credibility. I could support the government IF it were democratically elected.  But it is clear the election was stolen.  I don't care who they elect, as long as it was an election.  But calling it an election and treating the government as legitimate seems inaccurate.

          To summarize, staying there (with an army) seems to only be killing more people and creating more animosity.  If we leave things will still suck.  But they sucked before we got there.  Will warlords and the Taliban rule when we leave?  I suspect so.  But this is how we found the country.  Nope, we can't fix the innocents we killed, but we can stop the killing.  I am all for continued aid in the form of building schools and such, but it seems such aid could be much more efficiently delivered by peaceful NGOs.  Guns and bombs kill and piss off the friends and relatives of their victims.
          Thanks again for the thoughtful comments!

  •  "We are all Earthlings." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris

    Speak for yourself...

    This is now posted by a bot.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Aug 02, 2010 at 02:55:25 PM PDT

  •  I am glad I read your diary (0+ / 0-)

    We are all on a journey,. It has peaks and valleys.  Sometimes we are stressed almost to the breaking point.  I look back on my life and I know that it was during periods of great duress that my character was strengthened.   I am greaful for the wisdom I gained because of difficult times.  It is in the valley where the soil is most fertile.  We are all connected.  We are our brothers/sisters keepers.  Our humanity is what gives texture and beauty to life.

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