Taliban Attack Kunduz: Why Should I Care?


So let me get this straight…

We’ve spent the last 14 years or so listening to the world tell us that America is evil, we are occupiers in a country we have no right or business being in, we’re wrong to inflict our social standards on a foreign country, our airstrikes are war crimes, our wartime prison camps are human rights violations, and thank God for dead soldiers because the US government and military is the world’s foremost terrorist organization.

So American leaders heard you loud and clear. America as a whole has very little interest in Afghanistan and President Obama has withdrawn all but a relative handful of troops, and is in the process of shrinking the US military as a whole.

Now the Taliban attack Kunduz, and we see articles wringing their hands about the woe and plight of Afghan women who are subject to renewed threats and violence.

Oh, poor them. Watch me cry. The Afghans are facing the obvious and predictable result of a world without US support, and I’m supposed to feel sorry for them? After the world made it clear that they don’t want us involved?

And, after all the bullshit the US has put up with for our adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are still people who think we should intervene in Syria? WTF is this shit?

Cool story, bro.

Well, it’s not quite that simple. Remember, a large part of the reason that Afghanistan is run by fundamentalist terrorist radical-Islamist warlords nowadays is that the US covertly funded and encouraged their terrorist radical-Islamist predecessors, the mujahideen, when they were resisting the Soviet occupation. As part of this project, we supported and cooperated with the hard-line Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq, who was the main driving force behind the radical-fundamentalist “Islamization” of the region.

Your post is a perfect example of why other nations often accuse the US of clumsily interfering in foreign events it doesn’t understand, wilfully forgetting or ignoring its own actions when they (predictably) don’t work out as we had hoped, and then getting all butthurt and indignant that we’re not automatically regarded as the Good Guys.

Bzzzzt. Wrong answer. The Taliban had little to do with the Mujahideen, some early leaders were veterans of the anti Sov struggle, but the Taliban have to be distinguished from from the Mujahideen. The first hint is in the name: means students. The Taliban arose in the aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal, when the Mujahideen factions started fighting against each other.

The Mujahideen were also based upon ethnic factions rather than religious ones. Most of the Mujahideen leaders became the anti Taliban N Allience, you know the people the US is best of buds with.

You don’t have to care for or feel anything. You don’t have to base your own empathy on political expediencies. You can even feel sorry for people who don’t really deserve it. Failing that, you can care in the sense you find human conflicts interesting in an entertainment sense. Sometime it’s like Game of Thrones, except everyone is Joffrey.

Criticising you fellas for starting a couple of wars that ended up killing more than half a million people isn’t “bullshit,” though. It’s valid criticism.

I did distinguish them. I called the mujahideen the radical-Islamist predecessors of the Taliban, which they were.

I did not claim that they were the direct ancestors of the Taliban, or an earlier incarnation of the Taliban, or anything else that you’re trying to suggest I said because you’re attempting to use a technicality to wiggle out of the embarrassment of the US government having funded radical-Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan.

And yes, our support for the radical-Islamist mujahideen and their radical-Islamist allies in the region did significantly contribute to the continued dominance of radical-Islamist groups.

Once again, Americans need to stop imagining that everything we do in the world must be a good thing because we mean well, and anything that doesn’t work out must just be due to the irrational malevolence of our implacable enemies.

There are people which are fortunate enough to have loud voices and access to mass media. And there are other people who have neither. The people which are loudest in their condemnation of the USA are often to be found in the first category. Other people (Afghan women for instance) are in the other category.

That doesn’t mean you have an obligation to fight their fight for them, just that the people you see demonstrating against the USA and condemning this and that are not representative of the larger population.

As Kunduz goes, so goes Kandahar.

And then Akron.

Does the OP realize Afghanistan and Iraq are two different countries? The invasion and occupation of Afghanistan had a legitimate cause and widespread support. It was the invasion and occupation of Iraq which was widely opposed - in part because it diverted resources from the ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Yeah, there’s not much anyone can say to make you care. You’ve clearly chosen a really uninformed position.

I can tell you that you should care for a couple of reasons. One, tribes have started to identify as part of ISIS, which until now has been an Arabic nationalist movement. It doesn’t appear that ISIS actively tried to expand to Afghanistan, a non-Arabic nation, but rather that Afghans have self identified with ISIS’ radicalism. There have been incidents of Taliban fighting ISIS in Afghanistan. This marks a new and dangerous transition that could have lasting impact on global security.

Two, the US never really fully committed to Afghanistan reconstruction and created many of the problems we now see. Almost as soon as we got there (I say we, because I was there shortly after 9/11) we started to divert our attention to Iraq. As a result, we tried to do development on the cheap in Afghanistan, pouring lots of money into communities, but not taking the time, effort and risk, to pursue a thoughtful development strategy. All that money dumped into communities that had previously been nearly a cashless barter economy was destabilizing. We insisted that we back Karzai regardless of the fact that he was clearly corrupt and incompetent. We created a kleptocracy that had no legitimacy to many Afghans, the Taliban and now apparently ISIS, are filling that legitimacy void we created.

Also, you should care because we’re not leaving. I think that it’s pretty clear the US will commit more resources and troops to make sure Afghanistan doesn’t go the way of Iraq and slide into complete lawlessness. I predict that after the presidential election, regardless of who wins, you will see a surge in resources and troops flowing back into Afghanistan.

Finally you should care because it doesn’t cost you anything to do so. Taking the time to understand complex issues will give you a deeper empathy for other people, provide you with a better understanding of factors that ultimately affect your life and prevent you from posting stupid shit like your idiotic OP.