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 Message Boards » » why can't we just leave afghanistan? Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6, Prev Next  
JCASHFAN
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Quote :
"Now, suddenly, we have to stay."
What? The Democrats are fairly quickly turning against Afghanistan. Try and keep up man.


hooksaw, you're late to the party as well, I posted that at the top of the last page. I've got no real problem with a war surtax. You think a war is worth fighting? It's worth paying for. Start selling some war bonds for all I care.

11/24/2009 9:22:17 PM

hooksaw
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^ Well, pardon me for stepping on your toes, sir.

But concerning the "war tax," how is it fair that "the rich" and "high-earners" (someone please define both) pay five percent while others pay less? Is the war in Afghanistan being waged mostly in the name of the rich and high-earners and not in behalf of the whole of the United States?

This. . .

Quote :
"'They have done incredibly well,' Levin said of the wealthy, 'and I think that it's important that we pay for it if we possibly can.'"


http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/23/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5748813.shtml

. . .is just more typical tax-and-spend, class warfare bullshit from the Democrats. BTW, the purchase of war bonds was voluntary.

11/24/2009 10:26:07 PM

hooksaw
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COMING SOON!

Obama's Speech on Afghanistan to Envision Exit
November 29, 2009


Quote :
"WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to lay out a time frame for winding down the American involvement in the war in Afghanistan when he announces his decision this week to send more forces, senior administration officials said Sunday."


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/world/asia/30policy.html

11/30/2009 5:14:07 AM

d357r0y3r
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Are any Obama-supporters out there going to bother defending his decision, or are we going to chalk this up to "just another Washington politician."

12/2/2009 3:12:20 PM

smc
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*crickets

12/2/2009 3:16:36 PM

Optimum
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^^ Why defend it? It's pretty clear that we're wasting our time in Afghanistan nowadays. Maybe if we still had the initiative, like during the months after 9/11, but we don't anymore. Any decision to draw back and move on is probably better at this point. Let's direct some more attention towards making ourselves safer, rather than continuing to look under every rock.

[Edited on December 2, 2009 at 3:17 PM. Reason : interrupted]

12/2/2009 3:17:34 PM

mambagrl
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another case of Obama trying to please everyone. There was literally a talking point from every possible side in that speech. Sending in 30,000 troops to begin coming home? what a concept.

At least we have a 100:1 ratio to al qaeda in Afghanistan now

12/2/2009 7:17:31 PM

JCASHFAN
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Quote :
"Are any Obama-supporters out there"
This part of the sentence alone encapsulates my problem with much of political debate today. The pervasive and corrosive concept that because you support Party A or Politician B, that you must also defend every decision they make. It is entirely possible to support Barack Obama generally and oppose him on Afghanistan. Conversely, it is entirely possible to oppose him generally and support him on Afghanistan.


The asinine demand for ideological purity, especially when said purity is often convoluted and contradictory, is the biggest single problem for the GOP right now and has the potential to become the same for the Democratic party over the next 5 years if they're not careful.

12/2/2009 7:49:01 PM

Optimum
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^ I will say that's one thing to somewhat admire about the Democratic caucus... they really do exhibit a lot of the "big tent" ideals that you're suggesting here. There are, admittedly, factions that are trying to pull the agenda in one direction or another, but at least those voices are getting heard, and not purged.

What happened in NY23, and now with the "Reaganesque" purity test is pretty disheartening for anyone that believes there's a place for honest intellectual debate. When you decide to "weed out" the pragmatists, you miss out on opportunities to change people's views through dialogue and merit-based critique. The more purges you see, the more shrill debates will become. Or, rather, they'll stop being debates, and start being "who can shout the loudest" contests.

12/2/2009 7:57:56 PM

moron
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I think having the timetable is a good idea. I don’t see any other way forward regarding afghanistan or iraq, or at least the way we’re taking is better than completely indefinite timetables.

12/2/2009 8:13:08 PM

sarijoul
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"I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq. I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place."

- Sarah Palin, March 1, 2007.

Quote :
"Talk of an exit date also risks sending the wrong message. We should be in Afghanistan to win, not to set a timetable for withdrawal that signals a lack of resolve to our friends, and lets our enemies believe they can wait us out," "

- Sarah Palin, today

[Edited on December 2, 2009 at 8:46 PM. Reason : .]

12/2/2009 8:45:58 PM

Optimum
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Sarah Palin commenting on foreign policy is like a retarded puppy trying to chase its tail until it falls into a muddy ditch.

12/2/2009 8:48:47 PM

JCASHFAN
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"I will say that's one thing to somewhat admire about the Democratic caucus... they really do exhibit a lot of the "big tent" ideals that you're suggesting here."
This is quickly fracturing though. Watch the health care debate and pay attention to the reaction of the Democratic base to the abortion and public option issues. It won't be reported on largely by the larger media outlets but if you follow sites like Politico you'll see that the MoveOn.org-esque crowd is fully prepared to attack Democrats they perceive as too moderate in the primaries.

They're going to eat their own in a lot of districts this coming mid-term election.

12/3/2009 7:56:36 AM

d357r0y3r
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"The asinine demand for ideological purity, especially when said purity is often convoluted and contradictory, is the biggest single problem for the GOP right now and has the potential to become the same for the Democratic party over the next 5 years if they're not careful."


I don't think anyone should support any politician or party and accept all of their positions as doctrine. My only point is that there have clearly been, in the past, people that do exactly that. The same happened under Bush. People would have gone to bat for any half-baked agenda he came up with, and I was wondering if the same would be true for Obama.

12/3/2009 8:49:16 AM

mambagrl
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So do you guys think obama pleased everyone or pissed everyone off?

I think he backfired and pissed everyone off because I'm not pleased with more troops going at all, mccrystal aint pleased because he didn't get the 40,000 he said would be needed and people in favor of a pullout aren't pleased either. Lose lose? now obamas rating has fallen below 50% quicker than anyones. He'll be poweless in a year.

12/6/2009 1:07:20 AM

moron
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polls show more people supporting the move than opposing it… 51/40 IIRC

12/6/2009 1:07:53 AM

hooksaw
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^ Argument to numbers. About 52 percent of Americans believe that there is "significant disagreement within the scientific community over global warming," and an even higher percentage believes that "scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming"--you cool with this, too?

Americans Skeptical of Science Behind Global Warming
Thursday, December 03, 2009


Quote :
"Most Americans (52%) believe that there continues to be significant disagreement within the scientific community over global warming."


Quote :
"Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming."


http://tinyurl.com/ylpd8j5

12/6/2009 1:30:38 AM

moron
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^ haha, am I cool with people having opinions? yes.

Most people in The Soap Box think you’re an idiot, are you cool with that?

12/6/2009 2:22:25 AM

hooksaw
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^ Argument to numbers.

[Edited on December 6, 2009 at 7:11 AM. Reason : And if you can't see the analogy, YOU are the idiot. ]

12/6/2009 7:09:48 AM

moron
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Considering you couldnt see that i was answering mambagrl’s question on peoples’ opinions, you are the idiot (which we all knew anyway).

12/6/2009 11:09:36 AM

mambagrl
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i'm so glad we fought this war so we won't have any terrorists coming over to the us....whew!

12/25/2009 9:42:06 PM

smc
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It's time to fight them in Nigeria so we don't have to fight them in Detroit.

Who's going with me right now to enlist? Our country is under attack!



Pssst! They have oil! And practice Shraria Law(the savages!) Apparently their president is about to croak anyway, so that'll save a bullet.

[Edited on December 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM. Reason : .]

12/25/2009 9:57:14 PM

BEU
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Quote :
"why can't we just leave afghanistan?"


If your policy starts to look like what the Soviets did, you are doing it wrong.

[Edited on December 25, 2009 at 11:24 PM. Reason : fhg]

12/25/2009 11:24:40 PM

theDuke866
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I have my own ideas for an Afghanistan strategy, but nothing we've done there even remotely resembles the soviet approach.

Bump by request.

6/1/2011 7:27:26 PM

pryderi
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^Thanks theDuke866

I think now that bin Laden is dead, we should pull out ASAP.

6/1/2011 7:54:31 PM

theDuke866
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I think that you should just be upfront about your views and not try to pretend that the bin Laden hit had anything to do with your stance on the issue.

6/1/2011 7:59:41 PM

pryderi
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I think the original invasion of Afghanistan was warranted and legit. Time to leave.

6/1/2011 8:02:16 PM

The E Man
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It was unwarranted, heavy handed, and costly. Plus, Osama wasn't even there.

6/1/2011 8:13:50 PM

theDuke866
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The initial invasion was barely an invasion. It was mostly spec ops and the northern alliance, with a few air strikes. Not heavy handed at all.

OBL was definitely there. He likely slipped away at Tora Bora.

I don't know how in the hell you could call it unwarranted.




^^ what I mean is that I don't buy that you were ok with OEF until a couple of weeks ago, and did a 180 because of the OBL hit.

6/1/2011 8:19:10 PM

The E Man
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The point is we didn't catch him with this operation that we wasted our future on. We caught him in Pakistan without a mass invasion we could've done the same thing in Afghanistan from day one. Its what John Kerry wanted to do.

Casualties in Afghanistan:
Afghan troops killed [1] 8,587
Afghan troops seriously injured [2] 25,761
Afghan civilians killed [3] 8,813
Afghan civilians seriously injured [4] 15,863
U.S. troops killed [5] 1,140
U.S. troops seriously injured [6] 3,420
Other coalition troops killed [7] 772
Other coalition troops seriously injured [8] 2,316
Contractors killed [9] 298
Contractors seriously injured [10] 2,428
Journalists killed [11] 19
Journalists seriously injured [12] unknown
Total killed in Afghanistan 19,629
Total injured in Afghanistan 48,644

I don't know how in the hell you could call it warranted.

[Edited on June 2, 2011 at 1:33 AM. Reason : those are numbers from a year ago]

6/2/2011 1:32:41 AM

lazarus
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How many violent deaths would have occurred had the civil war between the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, and Pashtun dissidents continued without US intervention? It's hard to imagine a scenario in which the number deaths not only matches, but exceeds, the totals you've posted.

If there is going to be a war, in which it is the stated goal of one side to enslave one half of a country's population (among a myriad of other gruesome designs), and the other side is considerably more liberal (or less barbaric, as the case may be), then I think it is the moral responsibility of the US (and any other self-respecting democracy) to choose sides in the matter. The extent to which our involvement is feasible is an open question worthy of much debate and reflection, but the idea that joining in a fight against Fascist thugs is somehow immoral or imperial is absurd. No, it's sinister.

[Edited on June 2, 2011 at 9:26 AM. Reason : ]

6/2/2011 9:08:35 AM

The E Man
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So thats what this is about

6/2/2011 11:31:31 AM

d357r0y3r
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I wouldn't bother, he's pretty set in his ways. I've explained that, by that logic, we should invade every country that isn't free (according to whoever is in power at the time). We should start by toppling our own government, of course, as the United States is not free. lazarus also believes that we have a right to disagree with his foreign policy views, but we do not have a right to resist taxation to pay for it; we should all be forced to pay for these humanitarian missions. If you don't want to pay for them, you should be put in jail or killed. Also, we've established that while lazarus is personally unwilling to fight on behalf of these noble causes, he is willing to have others be sent off to their deaths. They'll be remembered as heroes.

6/2/2011 11:57:37 AM

y0willy0
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just vote for me in 2024 and the iron fist of capitalism will give the world a reacharound itll never forget.

6/2/2011 12:03:38 PM

lazarus
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Quote :
"So thats what this is about"


That partly depends on who you ask. But the vast amount of human and financial resources we've devoted to providing security and building Afghanistan's civil society would seem to indicate that it is not just the opinion of a few obscure liberal interventionist intellectuals.

d357r0y3r:

I'm not going to engage in an argument about logic or ethics with someone who creates absurd syllogisms out of thin air and who thinks marginal tax burdens are more important than the welfare of his fellow human beings. Present an argument about Afghanistan that isn't so blatantly hucksterish and maybe I'll reconsider.

[Edited on June 2, 2011 at 12:34 PM. Reason : ]

6/2/2011 12:33:35 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"Present an argument about Afghanistan that isn't so blatantly hucksterish and maybe "


I won't bother arguing about the morality of it. It's wrong to impose your will on others if they have not done so to you, period. I live my life based on that principle, and it's the same principle that should serve as a foundation for a free society.

Moral concerns aside, there are major utilitarian reasons that we should not continue in Afghanistan. The main thing, for us, is cost. We discuss it all over these forums, but we are facing a debt crisis, and we have to reduce expenditures. We are borrowing money to continue the wars.

Another concerns is that we are essentially aiming to change the culture, there. That's what would be necessary to achieve victory, as you would probably define it. The problem is that these people don't want our culture. They believe in a religion that says the state and religion have to be the same. There can be no separation of church and state. Homosexuality cannot be tolerated, and women cannot have equal rights. These are views that we are powerless to change, because these are the views held by the average person in that part of the world. We can't even change the culture of bigoted sects of the United States; how can we ever expect to do it on the other side of the world where we're hated?

6/2/2011 1:19:46 PM

lazarus
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Quote :
"It's wrong to impose your will on others if they have not done so to you, period."


Be sure to observe this miserable moral precept when you encounter someone, say, raping your wife. Don't you dare even think about imposing your will on that person, who, after all, has done nothing to you, specifically.

Quote :
"The problem is that these people don't want our culture. They believe in a religion that says the state and religion have to be the same."


You've certainly described the Taliban, who, in my opinion, can change their culture if they like. Otherwise I'm happy to see them defeated in a more traditional sense. As in killed. Annihilated.

But you are certainly not describing the moderate Afghans of all ethnicities who begged for our help fighting the Taliban for many years leading up to 9/11. And you're definitely not describing Afghan youths, who want and deserve better than the lives of slavery and brainwashing the Taliban has in mind for them. And there is no way you're describing the women and girls of Afghanistan, a devastating number of whom have been tortured, disfigured, and murdered by the Taliban for the crimes of going to school, or being unveiled, or leaving the home without a chaperone, or fleeing their abusive husbands, or having jobs, say, in the country's nascent civil service.

If you're going to argue that these things aren't worth you tax dollars, fine. But at least be honest about your moral calculations. Bentham and Mill would have demanded as much, since you're keen to invoke them.



[Edited on June 2, 2011 at 1:38 PM. Reason : ]

6/2/2011 1:35:08 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"Be sure to observe this miserable moral precept when you encounter someone, say, raping your wife. Don't you dare even think about imposing your will on that person, who, after all, has done nothing to you, specifically."


The rapist was wrong to have imposed his will on someone. At that point, I can rightfully intervene.

Quote :
"But you are certainly not describing the moderate Afghans of all ethnicities who begged for our help fighting the Taliban for many years leading up to 9/11. And you're definitely not describing Afghan youths, who want and deserve better than the lives of slavery and brainwashing the Taliban has in mind for them. And there is no way you're describing the women and girls of Afghanistan, a devastating number of whom have been tortured, disfigured, and murdered by the Taliban for the crimes of going to school, or being unveiled, or leaving the home without a chaperone, or fleeing their abusive husbands, or having jobs, say, in the country's nascent civil service. "


This sounds like something that would have come directly out of Bush's cabinet. Do you have any kind of evidence that "moderate Afghans" were begging for us to invade and occupy their country?

You seem to be blaming all of Afghanistan's problems of the Taliban. To be fair, the government always causes a lot of problems. There's a little bit more at work on a cultural level, though, and it's not something we have the ability to change. Afghanistan will not be adopting Western values anytime soon.

6/2/2011 1:42:19 PM

lazarus
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Quote :
"The rapist was wrong to have imposed his will on someone. At that point, I can rightfully intervene."


The Taliban have imposed their will on millions of people. Just fucking concede this point.

Quote :
"Do you have any kind of evidence that "moderate Afghans" were begging for us to invade and occupy their country?"


This is just ignorance on your part, which I'm mostly inclined to forgive, provided you admit it and keep an open mind about it. If you want to cure yourself of your ignorance on this particular subject, you can start by researching Ahmad Shah Massoud (but by no means should you end there). As for the women and children, pick up pretty much any copy of National Geographic to find copious examples of their ambitions, which, thanks to the Taliban, require a superhuman level of bravery to pursue.

Quote :
"You seem to be blaming all of Afghanistan's problems of the Taliban. To be fair, the government always causes a lot of problems."


The moral equivalence you're making here is vomit-inducing. I can't even bring myself to refute it, it's so shameful.

Quote :
"There's a little bit more at work on a cultural level, though, and it's not something we have the ability to change. Afghanistan will not be adopting Western values anytime soon."


Western values is a misnomer. Freedom, democracy, and dignity are universal values. And if you actually bothered to look into it, you would find that there are a great many Afghans who not only embrace these values, but are willing to die for them. For these people alone it is worth taking sides. Changing the culture is difficult, obviously. But as we well know, allowing groups like the Taliban to rule not only ruins any chance of cultural reform in Afghanistan, it also incubates and facilitates the spread of this nihilistic culture to other parts of the globe.

6/2/2011 1:58:05 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"The Taliban have imposed their will on millions of people. Just fucking concede this point."


So has the United States government. I do what I can to resist this use of force, but I don't have the means to do much against the police or the military. If I'm seeing a rape happen, I have the power to intervene. The Taliban is not good, but I cannot justify forcing the entire U.S. population to pay the cost for overthrowing it when we still imprison drug offenders here.

Quote :
"This is just ignorance on your part, which I'm mostly inclined to forgive, provided you admit it and keep an open mind about it. If you want to cure yourself of your ignorance on this particular subject, you can start by researching Ahmad Shah Massoud (but by no means should you end there). As for the women and children, pick up pretty much any copy of National Geographic to find copious examples of their ambitions, which, thanks to the Taliban, require a superhuman level of bravery to pursue."


I think the ignorance is on your part. China could easily look at a country like the United States and find people like me, who are very critical of their own government. Would that be a good justification for them to invade and occupy the United States? The problem is that the new boss is rarely better than the old boss, and in many cases, it's worse. I don't deny that there are people in Afghanistan critical of the Taliban; that much is obvious. In every country, people are resisting the state's use of force, myself included. I don't want another state to invade and take over, though, because it doesn't solve any of the problems.

Quote :
"The moral equivalence you're making here is vomit-inducing. I can't even bring myself to refute it, it's so shameful."


LOL

Quote :
"Western values is a misnomer. Freedom, democracy, and dignity are universal values."


If they were universal values, then they would be universally implemented, which of course they are not. My definition of freedom and your definition of freedom differ significantly.

[Edited on June 2, 2011 at 2:15 PM. Reason : ]

6/2/2011 2:11:38 PM

lazarus
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Quote :
"China could easily look at a country like the United States and find people like me, who are very critical of their own government. Would that be a good justification for them to invade and occupy the United States? "


This statement, as well as the rest of your stupid ranting, is perfectly true, provided it is also true that values are, strangely enough, valueless. Or interchangeable. Or equivalent, as you seem determined to argue.

6/2/2011 2:18:58 PM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"We caught him in Pakistan without a mass invasion we could've done the same thing in Afghanistan from day one. "


Dude, we tried to do the same thing in Afghanistan. Like I said, the beginnings of OEF were primarily small teams of special forces. The reason that we got him in Pakistan is that we drove him out of Afghanistan.

We've chased him from fucking Saudi Arabia, to Sudan, to Afghanistan, to Pakistan, and that's where we finally got him.

OEF is not and was never simply about OBL. We never would have invaded a country over OBL...we would have continued to follow him with the CIA like we've been doing since, what, the mid 90s, eventually catching up with him and making the hit. OEF was about taking out the Taliban, with whom we'd had strained relations due to their harboring Al Qaeda.

Quote :
"I don't deny that there are people in Afghanistan critical of the Taliban; that much is obvious. In every country, people are resisting the state's use of force, myself included. I don't want another state to invade and take over, though, because it doesn't solve any of the problems.

"


Comparing Afghanistan to the U.S. is an absurd analogy. Afghanistan was embroiled in civil war and had been for years; the Taliban was hardly recognized by international consensus as the legitimate government.

Quote :
"I cannot justify forcing the entire U.S. population to pay the cost for overthrowing it when we still imprison drug offenders here"


Really? Come on, dude. I get it; I think you should be able to get high, too, but that's your argument against U.S. foreign policy?

Quote :
"Western values is a misnomer. Freedom, democracy, and dignity are universal values."


Maybe in a sense, but I assure you that in many parts of the world, those things are not valued to the extent that they are in the United States or any other major Western country, and certainly not in the context of the original statement regarding Afghanistan becoming a Western-style democracy anytime soon (although they were pretty functional and not nearly as stone-age up until the Soviet invasion in 1979...the post you were responding to about how it's not all the Taliban's fault is kind of a stretch. It is overwhelmingly the Taliban's fault...that, and the USSR, but that part is water under the bridge at this point).

Quote :
"it also incubates and facilitates the spread of this nihilistic culture to other parts of the globe."


Sharia nihilism? Nihilist wahabbism? You're going to have to explain that one.

Quote :
"Do you have any kind of evidence that "moderate Afghans" were begging for us to invade and occupy their country?"


As lazarus mentioned, start by reading up on Massoud. Those cats lobbied like hell for our help.

Go read Ghost Wars. by Steve Coll. There are other good books, but I think that's probably the best on modern Afghan history...like, on the few decades leading up until our invasion in 2001. It's not a light read, but I think you'll enjoy it and find it to be extraordinarily well-researched and pretty much "just the facts".

Quote :
"The problem is that these people don't want our culture. They believe in a religion that says the state and religion have to be the same. There can be no separation of church and state. Homosexuality cannot be tolerated, and women cannot have equal rights. These are views that we are powerless to change, because these are the views held by the average person in that part of the world. We can't even change the culture of bigoted sects of the United States; how can we ever expect to do it on the other side of the world where we're hated?"


You are correct in the sense that the average Afghan doesn't want the Vegas strip in downtown Kabul, but you are incorrect in your description of the average Afghan being pretty much the average Taliban member.

Quote :
"How many violent deaths would have occurred had the civil war between the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, and Pashtun dissidents continued without US intervention? "


A shitload.

6/2/2011 11:33:47 PM

theDuke866
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One more thing...

As we've seen before, my views on foreign policy are significantly different from lazarus, and this case is no exception.

That said, his assertion that we are obligated to choose sides in a conflict like this one is not the same thing as saying that we should then go fight in every instance like this. Now, I think that his personal inclination would generally be to do exactly that, but he's very specifically and rightfully presenting those as two separate issues.
need

My own opinion is that we should give strong consideration to moving back to the model of the CIA and special forces hunting terrorist leaders and important enemies of the U.S. in Afghanistan and wherever else need be, but moving away from lots of conventional forces as heavy of a nation building effort that we currently are engaged in.

I think that Afghanistan may be "winnable" in the conventional sense of totally neutralizing the Taliban and fostering the formation of a Western-friendly, benevolent government...but even if we do that, I don't see how it's that great of a victory in the grander scheme of national security in terms of counterterrorism. If we "fix" Afghanistan, those types will just pop up in some other failed Muslim or Muslim-sympathetic state, and there are plenty of them. The "whack-a-mole" approach is the only way I know of to deal with it, but doing it with large-scale warfare followed by a long-term nation building effort isn't really sustainable. Even if imperialism isn't the intention, that's the direction it effectively moves in. I think that making a few strikes to destroy facilities like training camps, and making hits on important leaders, etc more or less keeps them on the run and fairly ineffective, which is really all we need. If a government is complicit in harboring them, as was the Taliban, then target them in the strikes, too...once you go in and wreck shop in a couple of fucked-up countries, then just give them the middle finger and walk off, I suspect that you at least then limit the problem to completely lawless, failed states, because any marginally functionally government will rightfully view militant Islamists as an intolerable liability.

Now...the above is referencing Afghanistan's face value of counter-terrorism, and why I don't really think the juice is worth the squeeze in that regard. From a standpoint of state-actor geopolitics, a full-up nation building approach in Afghanistan makes complete sense. We're well on our way to having a client state in Iraq, and there is certainly no love lost between them and our mutual enemy, Iran. If we could turn Afghanistan into a pro-Western country, Iran would be jammed right in the middle. Afghanistan also has a history of functional relations with Iran, which might prove useful. Moving on to the subject of two-faced, nuclear, unstable Pakistan, they would then be jammed right between Afghanistan and an increasingly pro-Western/America, nuclear, meteorically-rising, Pakistan-hating India (who, in turn, is a hedge against a rising China on their other border, but I digress).

6/3/2011 12:02:26 AM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"Really? Come on, dude. I get it; I think you should be able to get high, too, but that's your argument against U.S. foreign policy?"


It has nothing to do with me being able to get high, it's the fact that lives are being ruined by the laws. People die because of drug laws, usually due to the crime related to the black market. We could be saving lives here and it wouldn't cost anything, but we're borrowing money to save lives in other countries? The United States needs to focus on the United States before we start trying to be the hero abroad.

Quote :
"You are correct in the sense that the average Afghan doesn't want the Vegas strip in downtown Kabul, but you are incorrect in your description of the average Afghan being pretty much the average Taliban member."


I'm speaking more about the influence of Islam on the culture there.

6/3/2011 12:18:48 AM

theDuke866
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Quote :
"It has nothing to do with me being able to get high, it's the fact that lives are being ruined by the laws. People die because of drug laws, usually due to the crime related to the black market. We could be saving lives here and it wouldn't cost anything, but we're borrowing money to save lives in other countries? The United States needs to focus on the United States before we start trying to be the hero abroad."


Goddammit, dude, I get it. What I'm saying is...THAT'S an argument you're bothering to present as your case against OEF?

6/3/2011 12:22:58 AM

NeuseRvrRat
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i think all he's saying is don't use saving lives and delivering freedom to foreigners as justification for spending billions when there are opportunities to save lives and extend our own freedom back home for free

6/3/2011 6:52:15 AM

lazarus
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"Maybe in a sense, but I assure you that in many parts of the world, those things are not valued to the extent that they are in the United States or any other major Western country"


It's true, there do exist girls in backward societies who will tell you that they actually prefer the life of a sex slave. But I think you know just as well as I do why that is. I think the 18th century philosophers had it about right when they said that most people, given a real choice in the matter, are innately desirous of freedom and dignity over servility and abjection, at least for themselves. And even if they aren't, it's certainly what all children and morally decent adults deserve. I see no reason why these rules would apply only to Caucasians living in Western Europe and North America.

Quote :
"Sharia nihilism? Nihilist wahabbism? You're going to have to explain that one."


While philosophy students at the university are sure to disagree, the open declaration that one "loves death" - backed up often enough by a joyous trip to explode the local girls' school - is close enough to nihilism for me.

Quote :
"Now, I think that his personal inclination would generally be to do exactly that"


Not at all. I think the use of conventional forces is easily the least desirable way to conduct interventionist foreign policy. It's just that in many cases, like Iraq, it is probably the only way, unless you want to deal with many decades of uncertainty, not to mention misery for that country's inhabitants, only to possibly get sucked into a full-scale military conflict anyway.

The reason I oppose a major scaling back of troops from Afghanistan is that I am not convinced Afghan security forces can hold off a major assault by the Taliban and its affiliates, though I think a lot of progress has been made on that front recently. The day the country's security can be reasonably assured is the day we should reduce our overt presence in the region.

[Edited on June 3, 2011 at 9:38 AM. Reason : ]

6/3/2011 9:38:12 AM

d357r0y3r
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"i think all he's saying is don't use saving lives and delivering freedom to foreigners as justification for spending billions when there are opportunities to save lives and extend our own freedom back home for free"


Exactly. There are other areas (other than prohibition) that we should focus on here, but that one is the most obvious and the easiest to deal with.

I have many friends that I would consider hawks, but are more libertarian on most other issues, which sounds a bit like you, theDuke866. We disagree on what counts as a justification to go to war, but what we agree on more and more is that the United States is in very dire financial straights. Not only that, but it seems as though personal freedoms are falling to the wayside as the government attempts to "protect us." The government has to shrink, or we stand to make ourselves very vulnerable in the next 40 years.

It doesn't take long to get behind when it comes to military technology, especially as China ramps up their military investment. If we don't seriously address the debt, overseas operations won't be the only thing to take a hit - defending the homeland will as well. I think we could make major strides at improving living conditions on our side of the world; Latin America is also another victim of drug prohibition here. We could form a strong coalition in the Americas that promotes liberty, and it'd be a whole lot cheaper than doing it in the Middle East.

6/3/2011 11:53:43 AM

theDuke866
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I lean a little toward the hawkish side, for sure, but definitely nothing like the neocon wing of the GOP, for example. I'm much more restrained than that.

I think what made your statement totally not make sense at all to me is that I don't view OIF or OEF as about defending or securing freedom for oppressed people. I mean, that's great to think about, and I'm glad we've done it to the extent that we've accomplished that, but I view wars for what they are: advancement of American interests. We just use the feel-good, tertiary (or lower) priority stuff like that to sell it to the average American who is too poorly informed and frankly too dumb to understand the geopolitics.

6/3/2011 11:28:55 PM

lazarus
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How absurd. You think the average American gives a shit about the welfare of Afghans? You have it exactly backwards. When politicians want to sell unpopular wars, geopolitics and national security is almost always the route they choose.

6/4/2011 7:32:03 AM

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