December 2, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
Here are my reasons for supporting this strategy of a surge with a timeline at the end:
First and foremost, women and the Taliban. This is the main reason I support this - we cannot abandon the women and people of Afghanistan to the Taliban.
This is not an "escalation" in the way that we are used to from Vietnam. This strategy - the one Bush resisted for years - has shown success in Iraq and has reduced the fighting, allowing the society to stabilize.
This is not Vietnam, where we were fighting the people. We are not fighting against a popular insurgency. We are helping the people throw off a bunch of thugs.
Which leads to the government, we are not there to help a corrupt government maintain power against its opposition as we were in Vietnam. Part of this plan imposes accountability on the corrupt government there. That is part of the trap Bush left behind. But we can't just abandon the people there because of the corruption in the government.
Always keep in mind the impossible position that we are in because of Bush. We wouldn't be there at all now except for Bush. He used corrupt strategies to win, aligning us with the corrupt elements of the country. After going in they just dropped it, letting the Taliban come back.
Posted by Dave Johnson at December 2, 2009 10:03 AM
Um... everything you just said was false.
(1) The US military occupation has made life worse for the Afghan people (including women) just as it did in Iraq and everywhere else you've bombed and murdered your way to imperial control. Surprise! Wars tend to do that.
(2) It is an escalation. Again that is the English word for when you massively increase the force used. It will increase the level of deaths in rough proportion to the number of the new forces (ie it will roughly double them) if past escalations in Afghanistan are a guide.
I see you repeat the Bush lie about Iraq being stabilised. Please give me the estimates you have for the number of Iraqi casualties that your statement is based on. So far as I know, they don't exist.
There is a formula the military have for the number of troops needed to pacify an imperial province and it works out to something like 800,000 troops for Afghanmistan. That's four times the number Obama is committing.
(3) You are fighting a popular insurgency. The US military are the thugs not the Taliban. They LIVE there. You are foreign invaders. I know it is really hard for an American to understand this so try to imagine how you'd feel if another country invaded and bombed your country. Would you love them for it? Would you love them when they murdered Americans? No. You'd suddenly find common cause with any militant nutcase group of right wingers who were fighting the invader.
(4) It is not a corrupt government. It is a puppet government that is a front for a foreign military occupation. The "corruption" is a strategy not an error. You are bribing people not to fight you just as you did in the "surge" in Iraq. It's not complicated. You send in sacks full of dollars and hand them to the worst warlords you can find.
(5) You would not be "abandoning" the Afghan people. You would be ceasing to murder them. You seem to be having a hard time telling the difference but I assure you the Afghan people can tell the difference.
(6) It is Obama's war now but obviously the US government founded, trained, armed and funded both the Taliban and Al Qaeda going back decades across Democratic and Republican administrations. Until as recently as 2001 the US government was partnered with the Taliban and as recently as 1998 with Al Qaeda.
Now. What are your real reasons for supporting the murder of thousands of people? Is it simple loyalty to Obama?
The original reason for invading Afghanistan was to get Osama bin Laden and the top of Al Qaeda, then based in Afghanistan. Afghanistan refused to turn over ObL, possibly on the grounds that we didn't prove his guilt to their satisfaction.
And notice that the FBI page on ObL still doesn't mention 9/11. Never has.
Since ObL is apparently now holed up in Pakistan, what are we doing in Afghanistan?
Posted by: John M 307 at December 5, 2009 9:43 PM
Thank you David Byron, you said it so eloquently! The American people, I am afraid, my people I love so dearly, are a naive lot. The tendency is to believe anything they hear in the media. If our politicians and people making profits from missiles/weapons say we are "fighting for our security and freedom", well, it must be! Yet, take a good hard look at the budetary pie. Our basic human rights (education, healthcare, justice, environmental fairness hence less cancer) are cut to bone while the budget for "defense" soars. You are right that the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have only been hurt with the U.S. invasion.....sheer look at numbers of innocent civilians killed tells the story. The women were also not treated so badly after all (read the "Forever War" by Dexter Filkins) gives insight into this.....they are expected to wear burquas...no big deal. Not allowed to vote, no big deal either....worth peoples lives? No! Meanwhile, take a look at the discrimination our beloved country still instills upon its boys/men! Yes, we discriminate much more with men than women) Google selective service for one....there is no compelling reason to have a separte law for this inhumane injustice for one gender over the other. It takes no physical power to fight our useless wars with all the robotic technology we've paid for with our hard earned dollars, for one reason. Dollars that should be put back into the American peoples education and other justices.
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