7
   

Sauce for Bush, Sauce for Obama - Dumb War is Dumb War

 
 
snood
 
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 07:08 am
Those familiar with me and my posts will count me as an unflinchingly stalwart defender of all things Obama. That's true enough for easy reference sake, even though I actually don't agree with him on every issue (a couple of those lately are Prop 8 and Hillary as SOS). But his stated plan to bolster Afghanistan with 10-30,000 more troops and an open ended commitment is something with which I have serious problems.

I have been tough on Bush through the years for many things that he has failed at, IMO. The Iraq War was and is the thing that most defines Bush in my mind as a bad president. I believe it is a war conceived in lies and a wrongheaded foreign policy of preemptive war. I believe that no matter what folderol we hear and have heard about reacting to "the intelligence", and "taking cues from the commanders on the ground", that this was Bush's war - and his war from the very beginning. It was Bush's intention to invade Iraq and topple Sadaam, and he used the death of 3000 Americans on 9/11 as an excuse to carry out his preconceived vision.

I believe the (later, after the WMD excuse was thoroughly debunked) high-sounding stated goals of "a democratic regime" in Iraq and of "helping" the oppressed people of Iraq were only a facade behind which the much more pressing concern was with establishing and expanding American empire. This has always been my opinion of the War in Iraq. I believe it is and always has been Bush's war, and that his legacy should rightfully carry whatever consequence we as a country ultimately glean from it.

But, and here's the thing - I believe Obama may be about to commit us to potentially as damaging a quagmire in Afghanistan as Bush did in Iraq. Seven years ago, when it was clear that Afghanistan was serving as haven to the very villains who launcehed the attack on the WTC, was the time for an all-out assault on Afghanistan. But time truly does change things, as far as what's clearly "right and wrong" about foreign policy as it relates to war in general, and to this one in particular, for several reasons.

The Afghan government that we would be supporting with more troops now is notoriously corrupt. The net effect of our soldiers' efforts in the forbidding terrain of Afghanistan has been to drive much of the Radical Islamist influence across the Pakistani border. The potential destabilization of nuclear-weaponed Pakistan has to be balanced against the potential preemption of a terrorist threat to us here at home from those we are fighting in Afghanistan. That leaves us with a much more nuanced and troublesome set of decisions to make than what is apparent from the grand-sounding pronouncements Obama has made about his plans for Afghanistan. Could we be extricating ourselves from an indefensible position in Iraq only to commit to an impossible task in Afghanistan? That's a queston I think Obama needs to clearly answer.

I think he needs to do something with the Afgahanistan conflict that Bush never did with Iraq, if he wants to continue to claim to be someone who is "against dumb wars". I think he needs to address the American people clearly and directly, and lay out both his goals and his exit strategy. I think that if he doesn't do that, it would not be unreasonable to assume that much of his motivation for pursuing large-scale escalation in Afgahanistan is just an attempt to make himself look tough because he is aware of the perception of him as vulnerable to our enemies. I think that if he simply gets us out of Iraq only to commit our troops to another murky-headed war in Afghanistan, that he is deserving of the same kind of scorn I and others heaped on Bush.

To say the least, I will be watching.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 7 • Views: 2,805 • Replies: 21
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Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 09:18 am
@snood,
I dunno, snood. I have mixed feelings about this. Both the Taliban and alQaeda in Afghanistan have to be contained and neutralized. It doesn't really matter how corrupt Hammid Kharzai's government may be. The point is that if some type of non-extremist government is not now propped up in Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back in power in short order. The invasion of Iraq was possibly the worst idea that George W. Bush ever had in his life. The invasion of Afghanistan, on the other hand, was justified by the events of 9/11/01 and the Taliban's refusal to extradite binLaden or anyone else. If we don't prevail in Afghanistan now, if we pull out now, I predict we'll just have to back in at some later date. That, I think, would be an even worse scenario.

But President Obama certainly has my sympathies in having to make a decision of this sort. I hope he gets good advice from the military and the diplomatic corps. (PS -- I agree with you that Hillary Clinton was a less than ideal choice for SoS. If he had to give her something, the ambassadorship of the UN, I believe, would have been the better choice.)

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jan, 2009 09:25 am
@Merry Andrew,
I can't agree with Snood here either, but i take issue with MA's call for propping up even a corrupt and inefficient government. Baby Bush and company were planning the Iraq invasion at least a year after the invasion of Afghanistan, and may very well have been planning it sooner than that. In order to push Afghanistan to the side, so as not to hinder their plans for Iraq, they simply put the same old corrupt war lords back into regional power. For however sincere Kharzai may be (and i make no claims about it), he is saddled with these clowns, whose only interest is self-aggrandizement and self-enrichment. I think we should stay in Afghanistan, and i think we need to make a genuine and effective effort to reform the government--getting rid of the war lords being the best first step.

Quote:
I agree with you that Hillary Clinton was a less than ideal choice for SoS. If he had to give her something, the ambassadorship of the UN, I believe, would have been the better choice.


I also agree that she's a poor choice. I am impressed with your alternative, MA--it was necessary to have done something with her, and keeping her in New York and in the limelight would have been a better idea.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 04:40 am
Let me ask you this MA and Set...
Can we at least agree that it would be a good and welcome move if Obama went before the American people to clarify the intent and extent of his escalation in Afghanistan, and very troublesome if he does not?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 05:01 am
@snood,
That, I would agree with.

So far as Clinton as SoS, maybe not so bad. I don't give her any more credit for experience now than when she was campaining, but maybe the job can benefit from political ability. That, she has.

I'm staying very open minded on Obama. I should say, I'm going to be much harder to disappoint than you or MA.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 06:03 am
@snood,
Yes, i would agree with that.

The Iraq war had no rhyme nor reason, and this is one of the reasons why it is so easy for opponents of Baby Bush to claim that it was all about oil. The war in Afghanistan had a much more obvious and justifiable basis, in that we knew that nation to be harboring those who planned the attack on the WTC and the Pentagon, and the ruling party, the Taliban, would not give them up. Since that time, i'd say we're in there on the "you broke it, you fix it" principle. Given the principles which this country says we uphold--and which i would think Obama endorses--we ought to be sure that we leave Afghanistan in better shape than it was when we showed up. There is a longer historical view, as well, which is that in the 1950s and early 1960s, we helped to set up and prop up the Afghan monarchy which was completely corrupt, completely dedicated to western interests without the least thought of the welfare of its people, and the existence of which lead to the civil war which broke out in 1963, and which has raged ever since. Apart from that, we supported bin Laden and Al Qaeda (which means "the base," which base our boys in Central Intelligence supported materially, and with expertise and training). In many respects, although we are not alone responsible, we helped to create the monster we're now battling. By that token, Russia ought to be paying a huge foreign aid bill, but i'm not gonna hold my breath on that one.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jan, 2009 06:59 am
@snood,
Quote:
Can we at least agree that it would be a good and welcome move if Obama went before the American people to clarify the intent and extent of his escalation in Afghanistan, and very troublesome if he does not?


Obma is quite articulate and his pronouncements come off as quite sincere. (Viz the Rev. Wright flap.) I think his coming before the American public and making a clarifying statement re: his foreign policy would be extremely welcome.
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Jan, 2009 04:16 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:

...Can we at least agree that it would be a good and welcome move if Obama went before the American people to clarify the intent and extent of his escalation in Afghanistan, and very troublesome if he does not?


he's done that repeatedly already though. it was a major part of his campaign that the war in afghanistan had been ignored in favor of the iraq war. he stated clearly, to me anyway, that he wanted to shut down iraq and redeploy a large number to afghanistan.

i took him at his word.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 08:48 pm
@DontTreadOnMe,
Yeah, that he's planning to take troops out of Iraq and put troops in Afghanistan - that much is clear.

But I don't know what would be considered a victory in Afghanistan - the capture or killing of bin laden? The installation of a democracy? Subduing the Taliban? Do you know? Do you know if he intends to leave, after he has attained his goal/goals? If you gleaned these things, when you were taking him "at his word", would you mind sharing them?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Jan, 2009 08:54 pm
@snood,
I'm agreeing with Snood here. This has been one of my problems with Obama.
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 04:03 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:

Yeah, that he's planning to take troops out of Iraq and put troops in Afghanistan - that much is clear.

But I don't know what would be considered a victory in Afghanistan - the capture or killing of bin laden? The installation of a democracy? Subduing the Taliban? Do you know? Do you know if he intends to leave, after he has attained his goal/goals? If you gleaned these things, when you were taking him "at his word", would you mind sharing them?


how should i know what his full intentions are? all my comment says is that obama said what he planned to do. not how long. so, i and anyone else who voted for him don't have much room to gripe about what he does decide until, or if it becomes a cluster ala iraq. i don't personally think he'll let it go that way.

putting an end to bin laden would be emotionally satisfying, but other than that it's kind of a "so what?". he's only one among many who dig the idea of stirring things up through violent means. we can all agree that terrorism is nothing new, right? despite the rhetoric of "state sponsored terrorism", it's individuals moving around under the radar that have been doing the deeds.

so we wind up right back where we were with terrorism being unaffected by military action. terrorists were part of the reason that the interpol organization was started. we should make better use of that kind of resource. gotta fight fire with fire, ya know?

i'd hope that obama does see that trying to force american style democracy down the throats of people who either don't get it or don't want it is a proven loser. if all the military is used for is to do things that the NGOs can do, like build roads, schools and all of that, then it's wasting man power and cash (which we appear to have run pretty damn low on); so there again the military is the wrong tool for the job.

for myself, i don't see that there's a "victory" to be had. iraq and afghanistan were both so poorly planned and directed that it may well be that the whole operation is beyond salvage. in which case continuing either one is just throwing good everything after bad. do the american people really want to do that? or, is it time to move on and try to rebuild our own country?

i mean, if we allow our own country to crumble further, just what the hell is it that is supposedly being preserved, anyway?

avoiding the same mess that the russians wound up with would be something of a victory, i guess. they didn't change much there either.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 04:14 pm
@DontTreadOnMe,
It's a conundrum, in that terrorism and terrorists are an extreme reaction to something, however legitimate. non legitimate, or discussible. Reaction causes more reaction, if not always, in many cases. Non reaction can cause proliferation of terrorists and their programs for a bit, but there can also be time for moderation to happen from both or many sides. Reaction can ramp everything up.

The verve for war has been with us for millennia. It is often a stupid verve.
I suppose weapons design has improved over time, but the search for how to live together seems to have not done as well - or maybe it has, but hasn't gotten the publicity. Which is easy to explain, it's not as much fun.
DontTreadOnMe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 04:52 pm
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

It's a conundrum, in that terrorism and terrorists are an extreme reaction to something, however legitimate. non legitimate, or discussible. ...

The verve for war has been with us for millennia. It is often a stupid verve....


agreed and agreed.

as to terrorism; along with the absence of cooperative u.s. involvement in international policing and better agency intelligence gathering (thanks largely to unilateral thinking); the neutering of the u.n. has also contributed to the increased terrorism over the last 40 years.

if you are a terrorist, or even just an international criminal with no ideolgical motive, the disfunction of a world body that demands accountability without the muscle to back it up is an invite to try to get away with anything you can.

in that regard, the sooner that everyone wakes up to the fact that the world is a much more mobile place, that to maintain anything like a civilized world will require greater cooperation between nations, the sooner things would start looking a little more pleasant for everyone. it wouldn't hurt if some quit using their religion as an excuse to beat the crap out of someone else either, for that matter.

i'm not trying to be all pie in the sky about it; only that when i think about what life means, continuous violent conflict doesn't really seem like what the creator intended.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 05:23 pm
Everybody keeps using that word "victory." I don't believe Obama himself has used it in relationship of the two wars we're now waging. Here's my thinking on that score:

We achieved "victory" in Iraq early on. We destroyed their military force, took over the capital city of Bagdad, rousted out the dictator, Saddam Hussein, and had him executed. What more "victory" could one ask for? Fifty years ago that would have been hailed as a rousing victory. But times have changed; we are now "nation building." That's horse manure. We won in Iraq; now let's get out.

In Afghanistan, however, it's a different situation. There was no over-all "victory" to be achieved. The only reason we went in and overthrew the Taliban government was because they refused to surrender binLaden and his minions to us following 9/11. But we haven't made Afghanistan safe from the Taliban yet, not the way we made Iraq safe from Saddam. BinLadn is almost an afterthought. (I personally believe he's long dead.) But both the Taliban and alQaeda are still extremely powerful forces in Afghanistan (again, cf. Iraq where there's a civil war raging now, but that should be of no concern to us as it's Muslim v. Muslim). As long as there is a real danger of the Taliban coming right back into power after US forces leave, we can't abandon the country. You might say, "But that's Muslim v. Muslim, too." Not quite. Neither Sunnis nor Shiaa, as sects of Islam, are dedicated to terror attacks against the West. The Taliban/alQaeda cabal are.
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 05:45 pm
@snood,
it seems to me that president-elect obama and the american people will be dragged deeper into the afghanistan quagmire without truly understanding what's going on there .

as i have said before numerous times : if afghanistan truly were such a serious problem , why are the countries in the area paying scant attention to it ?
india , pakistan , japan , saudi-arabia ... ... all seem to be able to deal with the afghan problem and even maintain some commercial relations with various groups/tribes of people making up "so called" afghanistan .

i wonder if the new administration has any plans of sitting down with countries closer to and more familiar with afganistan before making any decisions about it ?

i keep re-reading : "Ambassador's Journal: A Personal Account of the Kennedy Years by John Kenneth Galbraith" .
galbraith - who was a close and personal friend of president kennedy - pleaded numerous times with president kennedy not to become involved in vietnam . he kept explaining that the U.S. would be trying to prop up a corrupt government - which was at war with its own people .
kennedy kept repeating that he had no choice : he was being told what to do in vietnam by members of his administraton .
galbraith's pleadings were in vain - as we all know .

is the same going to happen to obama with afghanistan ?
will obama be told by members of his administration to get deeper into the quagmire of afghanistan ?
hbg

........................................................................................................................
websites that i have found of interest when trying to learn about afghanistan :

the BBC website on afghanistan :

http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?uri=%2F&scope=all&go=toolbar&q=afghanistan
............................................................................

the site of "afghanistan.net" :

http://www.afghanan.net/afghanistan/history.htm
...........................................................................................................
i have also enjoyed listening to and reading the books of rory stewart .
stewart has appeared several times on canadian television and has written articles about afghanistan for canadian news .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rory_Stewart
...............................................................................................................
stewart works with the afghan "turquoise moutain foundation" to help preserve the artistic skills of the afghan people .

http://www.turquoisemountain.org/

..........................................................................................
one interesting source of information were members of the canadian forces returning from tour of duty in afghanistan .
since one of the army bases is right within our city , members of the canadian forces would frequently speak to a local newspaper reporter about their experiences ... but no more !
when a conservative government came into power , our soldiers and officers became quiet ... they must have lost their voices .
too bad !




0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 08:34 pm
@snood,
The main problem of Afghanistan is its poverty and its reliance on poppy fields. Its geography is a dry mountainous region not conducive to agriculture. It has a population of28 million. Two neighbors are Iran and Pakistan. Iran has population of 60 million while Pakistan 200 million. Ethnically Pakistani and the Afghans are close - same Pushtan tribesmen. Afghanistan and Pakistan were conquered by Mughals (Persian for Mongols). Since the Partition of India in 1948 into India and Pakistan, Kashmir was the unresolved problem. The British left without fully delineating the Partition Line in Kashmir between India and Pakistan. The Kashmir Raja (king) sided with India (population of 1 billion) while the Kashmiri population being Muslim had the opposite desire of uniting with Pakistan. India in 1949 promised to hold a UN referendum to allow Kashmiris to vote but reneged on it fearing loss of Kashmir by sending thousands of Indian troops into Kashmir. India and Pakistan fought three wars over Kashmir. This naturally created Muslim extremists both in India and Pakistan. There have periodic bombings in India.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan added another dimension to the festering problem in the region. The CIA armed and trained Mujahadin with Osama bin Laden. The Soviets left but what turned Osama bin Laden anti-American was the Gulf War I. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed as initially George Bush Sr. neglected Saddam Hussein's concerns about Kuwaiti horizontal oil drills siphoning Iraqi oil. Saddam sent thousands of tanks into Kuwait and of course we had the Gulf War. Saudi funding of madrases (Islamic schools) with fundamentalist Islamic teachings provided an unending stream of fanatic followers ready to be foot soldiers of all Islamic battles. Al Queda was born from the American intervention in Afghanistan.

With such a poor country the political system would resemble something from ancient history - warlords or tribal gangsters more accurately. The trick is to somehow modify the economy and only with an educated populace could it be transformed. It is a long haul thing to transform the economy.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2009 08:57 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Quote:
We won in Iraq; now let's get out.


The US has hardly won, Merry. Everyone is holed up in a barricaded enclave, scared shitless about venturing out.

Quote:
Neither Sunnis nor Shiaa, as sects of Islam, are dedicated to terror attacks against the West. The Taliban/alQaeda cabal are.


Would this be the same Taliban who were entertained in Texas, the ones looking to do business with American oil companies, the same Taliban that the CIA bankrolled/taught how to make bombs/ ... ?

You seem too bright to have been caught up in this propaganda, Merry.

Quote:

Perspective

The Real Reason the United States is in Afghanistan

by Stephanie Kirmer

In hindsight, one is hard-pressed to name a modern military conflict in which the United States has become involved without some economic motivation. The truth of the current day is that our latest war, the “war on terror,” is no exception. In fact, the United States government has published information about the economic importance of Afghanistan. The Energy Information Administration states, “Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from Central Asia to the Arabian Sea. This potential includes the possible construction of oil and natural gas export pipelines through Afghanistan, which was under serious consideration in the mid-1990s. The idea has since been undermined by Afghanistan's instability. Since 1996, most of Afghanistan has been controlled by the Taliban movement, which the United States does not recognize as the government of Afghanistan.” [1] So it certainly appears suspicious that the US government has touted the “war on terror” as a war for freedom and the American way of life, without mentioning this information. In Congressional testimony in 1998, John J. Maresca, vice president of international relations for the oil company UNOCAL stated it even more plainly. “It's (the oil pipeline) not going to be built until there is a single Afghan government. That's the simple answer." [2]

[please do read on]

http://www.mediamonitors.net/stephaniekirmer1.html






Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 03:54 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Everyone is holed up in a barricaded enclave, scared shitless about venturing out.


That's true. It's because we no longer have any business there and should leave. I was commenting on the use of the word "victory." In purely military terms, victory was achieved by the defeat of the Iraqi armed forces and the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Quote:
Would this be the same Taliban who were entertained in Texas, the ones looking to do business with American oil companies, the same Taliban that the CIA bankrolled/taught how to make bombs/ ... ?


Yup. Same Taliban. That was then; this is now.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 09:22 am
@snood,
I would say that, whether one calls it victory or not, the mission must be to destroy or permanently cripple the Taliban. The term taliban means students, from talib, a seeker, and by extension, a student. Afghanistan descended into civil war in 1963 (that's right, over 40 years ago), and the eventual "winners" were the Marxists, or at least they were the only ones left standing and sufficiently well-organized to form a government. At that point, many people began to get out of Dodge, and in the south and southeast, that meant Pathans (Pushtuns, whichever name you prefer) sent their sons into Waziristan (the oft referred to "tribal area" which straddles the Afghan-Pakistani border), or into Pakistani cities. There they were educated in the madrasahs. Madrasah has become a dirty word in the western world, although it is an old, old term, and within the Muslim world it is politically and ideologically neutral--it just means a school.

However, Saudi Arabia finances a great deal of foreign aid in the Muslim world, and a favorite project of theirs is to build, staff and fund schools. Wahabism, a conservative Sunni sect, is the variety of Islam the Saudis export with their school projects. The Revolutionary Guard of Iran are, like almost all Persians, Shi'ite Muslims, as are Hezbollah, and some other notorious groups, usually labelled terrorists. The Wahabis are the fundamentalist Sunni equivalent of a group like Hezbollah. They taught a conservative form of Sunni Islam in the madrasahs of Pakistan, which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But times change, and so do ideologies.

Most Afghan students in the Pakistani madrasahs were Pathans (or Pushtuns, if you prefer the contemporary rendering), and this teaching was not much different than the conservative form of Sunni Islam which obtains among that population. According to the CIA Factbook, 80% of the Afghans are Sunni Muslims, and just over 40% of the population of Afghanistan are Pathans. So, from the point of view of the situation prior to the Soviet invasion, it was not unusual that Pathans were overwhelmingly the majority of refugees to Waziristan and Pakistan, and it was not unusual that they would be educated in Saudi-funded, Wahabi-run schools.

With the Soviet invasion in 1978, the students of the madrasahs were "radicalized." It had been bad enough that a secular, Marxist regime ruled Afghanistan, now the godless commies themselves, and hated foreigners into the bargain, had invaded the country. Mohammed Omar became a member of the mujahideen, a "holy warrior" against the Soviets. He was wounded by shrapnel during a battle, but when and where that was is in dispute. While recuperating, he was educated in a Pakistani madrasah. When the Soviets finally withdrew, Omar, already enjoying a legendary reputation among the majahideen, gathered young, radical Wahabi Pathans around him, and formed the Taliban, the Students. They were based in Kandahar--where the Canadians and the English are currently fighting--near where Omar had been born and grown up. The Pathans are the largest single ethnic group, and Omar, now known as Mullah Omar, and soon to declare himself an amir, a chieftan or leader, in his case, Amir al-Mu'minin, Commander of the Faithful, at least at first, commanded the loyalty of the Pathans. He is still commonly referred to as Mullah Omar. (Mullah is a religious teacher and leader.)

During the chaos of the civil war, and the war against Najibullah's Marxist regime and the Soviet army, warlords had taken control of many parts of the country. They extended their hold in the power vacuum after the Soviet withdrawl. When the Taliban organized under Mullah Omar, they quickly seized armored vehicles of the former government, and especially self-propelled artillery. This gave them an enormous advantage in the continuing civil war which erupted again after the Soviet withdrawl, especially when combined with the authority Mullah Omar commanded among the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. By 1996, the Taliban had taken Kabul, and declared an Islamic government. The Afghan people initially welcomed the Taliban, because Omar's first move, and a canny one, was to put the warlords out of business. But they also imposed Islamic law and custom on the country, for example cutting off the hands of those convicted of theft, stoning aldulterers and executing drug users. They imposed the hijab and burqa on women, and at their most extreme, executed women found wearing cosmetics in public. Girls were not allowed to be educated with boys, which effectively meant that they got no education at all. Women were allowed to work in few places, almost exclusively in the medical profession, and then only in treating other women. After, by then, over 30 years of civil war, a great deal of the adult population of Afghanistan were widows, and the new Taliban program effectively prevented them from working to support their families. All western influences were prohibited, including motion pictures, television and almost all forms of music. "Polytheism" was outlawed, and a great many art objects in museums and private hands were destroyed.

For all that the Taliban did some good (primarily by putting the warlords out of business and attacking the drug trade, although they didn't care about heroine exported to the infidel and decadent West), they did a great deal more harm. Osama bin Laden is a Saudi Wahabi, so there is no surprise in his warm welcom in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Mullah Omar was not simply a religious bigot, he was an ethnic bigot, too. All of the other ethnic groups combined outnumber the Pathans, but no single group is as large, and they were never united and organized against the Taliban. Under Mullah Omar, the government's party line was that the other ethnic groups were degenerate, especially the Uzbeks, Tajiks and Turkmen of the northeast, who were charged with supporting the Soviet invasion. The "Northern Alliance" (a newspaper term) was a very loosely, largely unorganized assembly of ethnic groups in the northeast, principally lead by the Uzbeks. Even having formed some kind of organized, they were unable to oppose Mullah Omar's government. They must have been deliriously happy when they learned that the United States and NATO would invade.

The Taliban cannot be tolerated if the Afghanistan is to have a unified, effective government, and if ridding that region of a major source of terrorist militancy is to be a goal of ours. Unfortunately, as i pointed out earlier, Baby Bush and his Forty Thieves of Baghdad were already planning the invasion of Iraq less than a year after the invasion of Afghanistan, and they simply installed many of the old warlords before rushing off to their new adventure.

As much as we need to defeat, and if possible, destroy the Taliban, we also need to get rid of the warlords (the best thing the Taliban ever did), and try to set up a relatively corruption-free and efficient government there. In order to destroy the Taliban, we need not only to succeed militarily, we also need to usher a successful government into power.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Jan, 2009 06:05 pm
@Setanta,
The Pathans were regularly screened or arrested in India as they suspects in terrorist activities related to Kashmir. They were usually taller with fairer complexion than the average Indian and wear a fancy wrapped turban with a crown like that a cock (chicken that is). Many of Bollywood actors are Pathans but may have converted to Hinduism. The Kapoors are Pathans.
0 Replies
 
 

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