Resolved, the West will Win the GWoT

Gee, wmfellows, you seem to think Afghanis are incapable of modern, clean government. Why is that? Some sort of supposed genetic inability? Generally having a culture so much worse than ours? What other groups are incapable of self-government?

Whatever for?

Why would your confidence, or anyone’s be crushed, by the analysis, “this is a goddamned bloody waste of time.”


Iraq is a victory?

Takes quite a fun house mirror view of Iraq to see that as a victory. Well, I suppose in the same way Pyrrhus achieved “victories” over the Romans.

And your’s is not to reason why…

It ain’t quite limited to Arab countries.

My confidence is fine, thanks. This is nonsense. At some point you have to decide whether or not something is a good idea on its own terms, not based on how you think everybody else feels about it or illusory concepts of national self esteem. If the war’s aims are unrealistic and it’s not worth the cost - and I am not taking it as a given that those things are true - there’s no way on earth that those concepts justify continuing the war.

Who is “we?”

I thought the war was on behalf of the Afghanis. Now they’re a threat?


There isn’t? I mean, I hate the sound and political nature of the phrase, much like “The War On Drugs”, but…isn’t there indeed a loose coalition of nations that not only have committed troops to the effort in Afghanistan (where the terrorist 9/11 attacks originated from) but also cooperate on many levels in the security sphere for commerce, air travel, intelligence, etcetera? Across the globe, even?

No, I think that Afghanistan with its current situation is quite incapable of evolving workable government under the current situation, where Americans and NATO generally prop up, solely because he speaks English well it would appear, a flagrantly corrupt and not very competent regime that stole an election, while fighting for said regime in what is effectively a civil war.

Left to their own devices, I would say there is a chance that the various warlords might be able to work out something that could generate locally derived legitimacy and maybe from there, some long-term stability to start constructing a future. That is something like they were doing before the Sovs invaded and sent everything spiralling off into hell.

However, unfortunately, land locked countries surrounded by not terribly well performing neighbours (economically or politically speaking) have an uphill struggle.

See above, plus I don’t believe in Magical Democracy Faeries.

Nice try at implied racism, but sorry mate, nothing in what I wrote indicated that.

I don’t have any strong opinions about Afghan culture at all. I’m not the one, after all, who called half the population of real-live Afghans enslaving women mutilators.

They do, however, have an objectively worse economic situation to work through, compounded by an objectively worse geo-climactic / environmental situation, compounded by being occupied by foreigners who want to engage in all kinds of “Let’s make them just like us” social engineering experiments.

Pygmies, and Russians.

What about non-Muslim terrorists?

Are you unwilling to remove the danger the Americans pose to the Afghanis and the rest of the world?

I dunno man, it seems that the guys saying ‘we enlightened white western dudes need to occupy this country for 50 years and force them to be like us’ are the ones skeptical of Afghanis’ capability of self-government.

Afraid I don’t find a long laundry list wiki article to be in any way convincing or relevant.

I’d suppose because like “organised crime” terror is an amorphous abstraction - a tactic which can not in and of itself be defeated. Even “Islamic radicalism” is an amorphous abstraction. Al Qaeda, now that’s a proper thing you can have something like a war against.

One can say one has committed troops against drug trafficking - and the US seems to be a champion in that approach - but it rather is like pushing on a balloon.

I am not interested in national self-esteem. I am surprised you mentioned such a thing. I am interested in winning this war. The old Afghanis government allowed the US to be attacked from their soil. The new Afghani government is incapable or unwilling to do its duty. Until they are, we must protect ourselves. We best do that by destroying the culture and conditions that allowed the pestilence to take hold.

You might call it draining the swamp to get rid of the mosquitos.

In some countries we will fight this war with weapons. In others we will use more subtle means of changing the cultural landscape.

As for the cost, I would remind you our generation’s Pearl Harbor cost us 3,000 dead. That gives you some idea of the scale of this war.

There is a big difference between saying that secular democracies with modern economies and some semblance of civil rights will emerge in the long term, but it will take time (just look at the American South) and it is not clear that military action will hasten its emergence. In fact, it might just make it take longer.

And it is not clear what you mean by “The West”. If that means McDonalds and Coca Cola then I might have to switch sides. It’s also odd to hold up the United States as an example of a secularism, as we are seeing a ground swell in the opposite direction. Why not say that the values of Sweden or Norway will “win”. That sort of semi-socialist democracy seems to be more the norm in the West than the United State’s style of corporate cleptocracy.

Good point, but at least I maintain it can be done.

This thread is like one long “support our troops” yellow banner bumper sticker.

The jingoistic implication being that our military efforts equal patriotism and therefore must be continued and supported.

I support the troops by wanting them to come home to avoid dying needlessly.

Yes, well, when you’re up to your ass in alligators . . .

The term is occupiers. We go far from home and plunk our military presence in another country . and delude ourselves into thinking it is for their own good. Civilians, kids ,women and buildings get blown up. They are somehow grateful for that. Some of these states we enter are governed by local warlords who get as rich as they can off American tax money while they wait patiently for us to leave.
Boondoggle. Never ending waste of lives and tax money, with no end in sight, while we create more enemies to fight in the future.

Actually, your argument rather suggests the opposite, whereas mine suggests - as in Vietnam, progress toward stability and a modicum of better governance is best achieved when the Foreigner is no longer there to prop up the sad excuse of an ally.

Once again, the Sunk Cost Fallacy. You fail to ask yourself the question where the very presence of NATO is generating the very instability and opposition that it is fighting. There is every reason to believe so. It props up a flagrantly corrupt government that is giving every possible justification to its opposition. And the argument for Afghans to support this government is… Well actually I can’t discern one that does not involve non-Magical Thinking.

Oh you mean destroying the corrupt government that is NATO’s “ally” and the Western bombing if innocent villagers?

[ETA: I should note that I in no way endorse or support the extreme left’s view this is done on purpose or with delibrate callousness. It’s part of war, however it is also part of the analysis of whether the military action is EFFECTIVE in achieving goals.]

Queerly enough this is exactly the kind of argumentation used by the Americans in South East Asia, turned out to be 100% wrong.

Right, by bombing village weddings.

That will most surely convince people of the greatness of Western cultural values.

Or by putting the West’s imprimatur on a flagrantly corrupt, ineffective, election stealing regime - again a staggeringly wonderful example that should have Afghans just falling over themselves to embrace McDo and other stuff.

Yes, it does. I believe you have more dead in a month’s traffic accidents, yes? Ten yrs ago 3k of Americans and others working in two buildings died. This is used to justify a complete waste of massive amounts of capital ten years on. Emotion over rational analysis.

Should a Taleban II Government take hold in Afghanistan and start allowing Al Qaeda to operate, one can simply replicate 2001. The idea of American warplanes as particularly transformative of culture is sheer bollocks.

I don’t think this constitutes a war, and I don’t think you can have a war against terror even if you turn it back into the full word, terrorism. :stuck_out_tongue: And as around 85 million people have already pointed out over the years, terrorism is a tactic, not an ideology or a cause.

Gosh, I hope I am not being a Jingo, or a patriot. I hope I am being a soldier.

Why are soldiers dying needlessly? This war seemed pretty needful when airplanes were flying into buildings. Would you want us to want to go back the next time it happens?

I sort of hate paying for real estate twice.

We didn’t spend ten years fighting in South Korea, much less fifty. If SK is now the paradigm, we’re looking at 40 more years of corrupt repressive dictatorship in Afghanistan before it becomes an effective democracy.

Which ones? The ones we threw out, or the ones we are supporting right now? Or the ones in American uniform, for that matter. Why are our rapists, torturers and murderers morally superior to some other gang of rapists, torturers and murderers?

This isn’t “World War III”, this is a certain faction of America hyperventilating because it can’t function without pretending the US is on the brink of annihilation. They lost the USSR, so now instead they are trying to pretend that Al Qaeda is SPECTRE or that China is trying to conquer us.