Think they’ll declare a ‘hearts and minds’ campaign next?
The echoes of Vietnam reverberate everywhere. This is sheer bloody madness. It breaks my heart that young men and women are dying, mainly due to a CIA/DEA fixation on opium, as if the West will ever be capable of stopping drug production in that region. (Paradoxically the only ones who are capable of that are the Taliban themselves, who successfully did it in the past until the exigencies of war impelled them to encourage the industry again.)
And not just American and Allied kids are dying.
So where are all the student protests? Where are the voices of the Left (or Right) speaking out against this idiotic war? How many more soldiers and civilians have to die before the Allies realize that it is impossible to pacify Afghanistan?
Hey hey Obama say
How many kids have you killed today?
First off, the war has almost nothing to do with Afganistan as such. The butchers are just Pashtun scum coming from over in Pakistan. Second, no, there’s not really any good way to make them stop. You can’t “finish” it without invading Pakistan. And that’s not going to happen. They have nuclear weapons and population of 175 million.
One of Bush’s primary reasons for leaving well enough alione was that Pakistan got real unstable in the last four years. While the Afgan War was in some way a cause, everyone in the region knew the confrontation was going to come sooner or later. Musharraf, for better or worse, was losing his grip and couldn’t live forever. We chose to put pressure on him to deal with the problem now rather than make compromises and wait it out. Such compromises had been the cause of the slowly building radical Islamist faction’s powerbase for years and years.
However, one serious blow was the death of the standard-bearer for democracy, Benazir Bhutto. People voted in a less savory, although competent replacement. not much we could do.
The good news? Most likely, with time and continued killing off the thugs, Afganistan will go back to its usual anarchic (but not sociopathic as under the Taliban) self, Pakistan will calm down, and the Pashtuns will be bled out of psychos. But there’s little we can do except hold on and weather out the storm on the way. Bush knew this, and Obama presumably does, too.
But Bush put Afghanistan on the back burner 6 years ago, not 4.
I’m not sure there is that much difference between Afghanis and Pakistanis there - it’s more tribal. The thing that we needed to do was get some backbone into the Pakastani army, and I agree that this wasn’t an easy job, especially because the intelligence services were behind the Taliban in large part. I don’t know what Obama did to get them to fight; maybe show them his Islamic birth certificate?
At least we’re fighting the people who hurt us now. If we could reduce popular support for the Taliban by some decent amounts of aid (exactly what we didn’t do after the Russians withdrew) there might be some hope for a long term solution.
But that’s just the point. The Taliban are the people of the Southern provinces. Their makeup has changed totally from that of the 90s. They’re not religious students from the Islamic colleges of Pakistan, as the majority once were. They are now Pashtun farmers, peasants, etc. You’re not going to defeat them unless you quell the whole Pashtun population. This is a civil war as much as anything else, with the Northern tribes, dominant in the national government, opposed to the Southern tribes.
And thus it has always been in Afghanistan, and thus it will always be. The West, obsessed with the opium trade, just cannot see the writing on the wall. Perhaps they will only see it when it spells out the names of the fallen on a huge national monument to those killed fighting in Afghanistan.
I disagree with you pretty much in your entire post, but the higlighted bits. BB the standard bearer of democracy? Pardon me. You do know who was the head of government in Pakistan when the decision was made to support the Taliban?
There is no way to “finish” Afghanistan. It’s much, much worse than Iraq except that (I think) they don’t hate us there as much. The terrain is horrible. There is no sense of central government, no significant infrastructure, and no way to change that in the short term (meaning Obama’s 8 years, if he gets them).
We’ve escalated the war recently, so an uptick in deaths was to be expected, as sad and horrible as that is. I have no idea what the solution is to this problem, but I suspect we’ll be there quite awhile to come.
I didn’t say she was smart, and her family was definitely corrupt. But she certainly played that role later on, in the period we care about now. In any case, her death may have been more useful than her life.
The only role she ever played was being a pretty face. She had her fathers name and that was about it. The only major decision she ever made was on the Taliban, and we all know how that turned out. The period you mention (post 9-11) she was not even inpower and thus was not a factor.
As for Afghanistan heres an idea, get out. Superpowers since the first Persian Empire have come to the same conclusion, the place is not worth it. What makes you think the US will not come to the same?
The British couldn’t the Russians couldn’t, and the Americans can’t-control Afghanistan. It is not a country in the western sense-just a collection of tribes.And, with an endless supply of weapons and death-seeking fanatics from Pakistan, there is no way that we can win.
Get out before another US or British soldier dies for nothing.
I’ve had enough of these posters who demand “Peace, Peace with dishonour!”. You keep drawing up parallels with Vietnam and you know what we lost in Vietnam! The reason why the US lost in Vietnam was the loss of nerve, if we had carpet bombed North Vietnam, perhaps launched an all-out invasion we could have crushed the North Vietnamese themselves and killed off the people who actually were supporting the Vietcong not just the Vietcong. As for Afghanistan you refuse to see any possibility of victory, despite what happened with the Surge in Iraq. You have said that Pashtuns are supporters of the Taliban, I quite doubt that, as most Pashtuns are not as extreme as the batshit insane Taliban, they’re are comparable to Japanese civilians during and after World War 2. When motivated they were fanatical but reeducation of the children made them quite peaceful in later years.