Afghanistan

What Will Happen if We Leave Afghanistan? Apparently the Exact Same Thing That Happened Last Year.

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At least according to this Time magazine cover, which I think was trying to make a somewhat different point:

Not only that, we all have to see inside Joe Klein!

Seven years ago this month, I noted the "intervention logic" of purported doves like Howard Dean, who back then wanted to (literally) quintuple down on our troop levels in Kabul. Here's a depressingly contemporary excerpt from that:

[B]oth sides of the American political divide believe that confronting Islamacist terror requires essentially the same solution: more overseas commitment.

In part, this reflects the logic of exercising America's historic power. Every president, regardless of what he said before taking the oath, ends up fighting wars, rebuilding faraway lands, and assuming an outsized role in solving the world's problems, great or trivial. Clinton campaigned on the economy, and ended up micro-managing every "peace process" he could get near. Bush famously scoffed at "nation-building," and said his administration would have a "humble" foreign policy. The reality of inheriting existing commitments, and the temptation of using the country's unprecedented might to do good, almost always trump any vaguely isolationist impulse. […]

Right now, as Bush's poll numbers drop and American servicemen get killed almost daily, a loose consensus is emerging that we need to flood the zone with tens of thousands of more troops, all over the world. The New Republic complains about "the blatant foot-dragging over the commitment of American troops to Liberia," and sneers that the Republican Party's "rank and file are extremely uncomfortable with the idea of America as an occupying power." Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria wants a massive budget and troop increase in Iraq, and for Bush to "make a speech explaining to the American people why it is crucial that we succeed in Iraq, what the stakes are and why the costs are justified. He should make clear in no uncertain terms that the United States will stay committed to this course for as long as the Iraqi people wish its help and assistance."

I have no doubt that we'll be running similar pieces in 2017.

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  1. is she missing her nose? will she get it back? who stole it?

    1. Not cool, dude, not cool.

      1. Though happily she will get her nose back – sort of. She’s being flown to the US for reconstructive surgery.

        You’ve got to love what free enterprise can do with medical innovation.

        1. She is getting it under Obamacare.

      2. OK, but why is this the cover picture? It’s like saying “If we live Afghanistan it will horrifically disfigure the faces of all young Afghans”.

        I guess that’s the intended effect…

        1. Actually, she looks better than 90% of the women I’ve had. I would take her without her nose – of course, her reaction to me would be, “Yeech!!! I may be disfigured, but this guy is UGLY…like decomposing corpse ugly 0 send me back”

          1. She’d be OK to do doggystyle.

            Let’s see if THAT gets past the spam filter!

      3. He is waffling on this.

    2. HELLO SHIT FACKTORY!!!

  2. Hot! I like the idea of an additional fuck hole in the face!

  3. We’ll drive the Afghanis further into support of the Taliban, who can at least promise no seeming at-random death from above?

    1. Just like we drove the Germans into further support of the Nazis during the 1950s, right?

      1. Rotten Apples and Rotten Oranges.

  4. Caption Contest!

    “Dude, take some Beano! Your farts are burning my nose off.”

    1. “We play ‘Nose Goes’ for keeps ’round here.”

    2. Maybe a dingo ate your nose.

    3. Where’s Blanket?

    4. My dog has no nose.

      How’s he smell?

      Like this Afgani chick

  5. From what I’ve seen, this cover has outraged all the lefties, refuted every charge of pro-Democrat media bias ever leveled, and made them even more resolute in their resolute resolution to resolutely support resolutely antiwar politicians like Dean (D), Obama (D), and WAR4EVA (D).

  6. “[Bush] should make clear in no uncertain terms that the United States will stay committed to this course for as long as the Iraqi people wish its help and assistance.”

    Let me be clear.

    In no uncertain terms will the United States stay committed to this course for as long as the American people do not wish its help and assistance.

  7. I have no doubt that we’ll be running similar pieces in 2017.

    Unfortunately, you could have run that piece for the bulk of the 20th century.

    Our leaders are a bit slow on the uptake.

  8. What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan

    One notices that it’s not a question, but a statement of fact.
    Press-propaganda on glossy cover stock.
    Not that religious fundamentalism is not history’s most vicious curse.

    1. Marxist fundamentalism was far, far more vicious.

      1. Marxism is a form of religion. Both depend on the unreal.

        1. Like all other brands of atheism.

    2. To bad all those who ask “what if we leave?” don’t notice that this happened while we were there.

  9. Crikies. Is this what libertarians are all about? First three comments completely unserious and callous. I’ve only been lurking for about 1 yr, and I’ve gotten a pretty good idea what ya’ll’re about, but what’s the deal here? No interventions at all? No helping these people?

    1. I’m intrigued. Draw me more into your trollism serious discussion. Let’s be clear though: I’m not actually taking the bait.

    2. Go back to lurking.

      1. I just realized I don’t use the interjection “Crikies!” nearly often enough. Thanks, guy!

        1. That’s because everybody now thinks of Steve Irwin when you use it. Just a ray of sunshine, innit?

          1. What the fuck was that?

    3. Scrat, if you want to volunteer to go over there, and you want to start an “Abraham Lincoln brigade” like some Americans did in the Spanish Civil War, we promise we won’t stop you.

      1. You don’t get it, BP. He wants to “help these people” using other people’s money, sweat, and lives. That’s just the kind of altruist he is.

    4. Is this what libertarians are all about?

      You put your whole self in,
      You put your whole self out,
      You put your whole self in
      And you shake it all about.
      You do the Hokey Pokey
      And you turn yourself around,
      That’s what it’s all about.

    5. We play “nose goes” for keeps around here.

      If you can’t stand the heat, etc. etc. etc.

    6. Re: Scrat,

      I’ve only been lurking for about 1 yr, and I’ve gotten a pretty good idea what ya’ll’re about, but what’s the deal here? No interventions at all? No helping these people?

      Wanna help? Do it with YOUR money, and leave MY money alone.

    7. If you’ve been lurking around here for a year, you should know a post like this is gonna get ripped apart. Crikies man.

  10. What is the right-sized role for America in the world? Is promoting Liberty and American Capitalism beneficial to this country? Do we draw the promotional line just short of intervention? Even in an age when a group of misfits or a nation-state embarrassment can sow much destruction?

    1. We need to push some reset buttons. Preferably the red ones.

      1. Why are you overcharging us?

  11. Very similar to the “if-we-stop-the-war-on-drugs” logic. If we stop, people will continue to take drugs, and sometimes, bad things will happen.

    The Taliban are utterly vile shit, but it’s not our job to clean the world’s shithouses.

    1. but it’s not our job to clean the world’s shithouses.

      How much does it pay?

      1. It’s a job you won’t do, so we already hired an illegal.

        1. If only we were as smart as the French. And how it pains me to say that.

    2. Really? The problem is that, the strain an analogy, those shithouses breed disease that spreads all around the world.

      In fact, leaving aside discussions of how far Islamic terrorism would spread even if we removed all troops everywhere, all it takes is for them to infect the next country over, Pakistan, and suddenly the world’s most vile people have nuclear weapons.

      It’s a question of how far you take the guaranteeing of security: is the creation of a liberal state in Afghanistan that entails basic amenities and economic growth, choking off the ignorance and poverty that fertilises the Taliban (to carry the metaphor beyond breaking point), really worse than basic military efforts to prevent nuclear spread? Before they lost their heads, that was the central insight of the neocons. Just to make clear: NOT a neocon, but they may have a point.

        1. The Vietnam War was based on a highly questionable ‘domino’ theory, and rather repugnantly saw the Vietnamese as pawns in a larger game, the efficacy of which was, again, highlt questionable.

          In Af-Pak, there is a real, concrete danger of nuclear destabilisation. The problem is that, unlike the Soviets, we are not dealing with rational actors interested in traditional dominance, but with zealots interested in a purge of all they despise, from sexual freedom to commercialism.

          Fortunately, they have proven to be highly vulnerable to cultural attacks, the most basic of which is the rock-ribbed enfranchisement of women. This is what we can accomplish if the job is done well: a situation where we accomplish the strategic and defensive goals of containing nuuclear spread through the method of establishing freedom.

          1. How are we going to establish freedom in Afghanistan? With force?

            1. Yeah, that’s how liberty is guaranteed. How else do we protect life, liberty and property rights, than with guns?

            2. We’d have to de-Islamify Afghanistan, the same way the Muslims de-Christianized, de-Bhuddhicized, de-Hinduized, and de-Zoroastrianized the lands that they conquered.

              1. You don’t, you just have to establish institutions that encourage personal freedom and economic growth. Given that contect, Afghan Islam would learn to moderate.

                1. And you base this on what Islamic country that has made this transition?

                  1. Turkey, up to a point. They are undergoing some backsliding at the moment, but even so, they have had a really instructive experience in the successful secularising of not only the state but most of the political culture.

                    1. Well, at least you had one. That’s better than I expected. Of course Turkey westernized out of internal desire to do so – not having it forced down their throats.

                    2. Turkey secularised in the face of considerable and vehement internal opposition, similar to what modernisers in Afghanistan face. What the areas under Western control prove is that there is a receptive populace – what caused backsliding from the successes of 2001 was the corruption and abuses of the Karzai government, in contrast to which the Taliban offered a brutal, violent, vicious but fair system.

                      Hence the task is not to ‘force it down their throats’, but to establish the Afghan government as a just force. Early days, but Petraeus has already won some concessions on that front re: reducing police abuses and corruption.

                      I’d rather not let a winnable fight for security and liberty in Afghanistan be lost because it’s hard.

                    3. How else do we protect life, liberty and property rights, than with guns?

                      With hugs!

                    4. but to establish the Afghan government as a just force.

                      WTF? Are you channeling Tony or something?

                    5. What’s your objection? A lasting guarantee of Aghan liberty requires a government that can apply force in just manner. I’m not a fan of force, but just look at its necessity in Reconstruction South.

                      To clarify: ‘just force’ means ‘force applied in a just, not capricious, manner’.

              2. And quite successfully too, judging by that list of extinct religions.

                1. The West and particular the U S A are so naive. the people of this region liked their type of living for 2000 years none the big military powers have been able to change them
                  The religions are not extinct

          2. In Af-Pak, there is a real, concrete danger of nuclear destabilisation.

            Simply “War On Guns” logic.

            FAIL.

            1. Well, it matters when our government has banned itself from defending us from nuclear weapons.

            2. Well, it matters when our government has banned itself from defending us from nuclear weapons.

            3. No, it isn’t. Nuclear weapons are uniquely dangerous, and uniquely easy to combat. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, but the world would be a safer place for the right to life if guns didn’t exist. Restricting zealots from accessing a limited stock of weapons is not analagous to Daley&Co;.

    3. Yes, but it is the government’s job to prevent terror attacks on the American people. I don’t see how allowing the Taliban to re-take over Afstan is acceptable with this in mind. Then again, the current MO of throwing reconstruction projects at everything in sight is the worst BS.

  12. Unlimited visas for Afgani women and girls. Offer political asylum to any woman/girl in cultures tolerant of state-sanctioned violence toward women for being female.

    Jackasses want to keep being douchebags, they can fuck each other for a change.

    1. Actually, they do.

      1. Hilariously, this is SO true. US drones took surveilance of Taliban soldiers, uh, ‘wooing’ goats and cows, not to mention their impressive porn downloads.

    2. What about all the woman/girls who support the same thing as the men and we then import the woman/girls who then teach the same thing to their children. For example its not the men who commit the female genital mutilations it’s the women who do it to each other. When you read about examples of this in the west you will mostly find that it was their fellow woman who were involved in it, not the men.

      You import the woman from Afghanistan and you will also import the culture. And many of the most fanatic islamists in the west were born in the west. The parents made the decision to leave their old countries but the children did not and they are the ones reverting back to their heritage.

      1. When they get here; explain that the barbaric actions you refer to are unacceptable violations of the victim’s rights, and will result in criminal charges. If someone abuses/mutilates her daughter after that, put her in jail and put the abuse victim in foster care.

        Would you have sent escaping East Germans back over the wall because they might support communism?

    3. Unlimited visas for Afgani women and girls. Offer political asylum to any woman/girl in cultures tolerant of state-sanctioned violence toward women for being female.

      Agreed. And since the women in these situations are often not permitted to leave, there should be some kind of “underground railroad” to help them escape to civilized countries.

      Same goes for other victims of tyranny as well: apostates, sexual non-conformists, anyone in North Korea, etc.

  13. Well shit, the reply button doesn’t work with Mozilla apparently. Anyways, sage, Warty and Baked, fuck u sideways.

    Just kiddin. Look, I was there, I saw there faces.. what the world is the liberterian doctrine that says we can’t help?

    1. Libertarians have no problem with people “helping”; just do it on your own dime, and don’t force people to participate/subsidize the endeavor against their will.

      It’s not very complicated, really.

      1. Yeah, but unless you’re one of the anarcho-capitalists, government means forcing people to subsidise the protection of everyone’s rights. This isn’t about forcing charity – it’s the most basic rights of life and liberty.

        Are their rights really none of our concern at all, just because they were born across the other side of the world?

        1. Do you really believe our government cares about the rights of the individual Afghani? How much more liberty does the population of Afghanistan have today compared to ten years ago?

          1. Uh, considerably more liberty. How about the freedom to go to school, if you’re a gal? Or to have a basic say in your government, via voting? To just go outside, again if you’re a woman?

            I get your point about our government: liberty is not our principal war aim, security is. But the happy thing about the West is, liberty and democracy are habits. Setting up democratic government and ensuring women’s rights are automatic responses in Afghanistan.

            1. Sorry if I’m less then impressed by the Afghan populace getting to vote in their favorite warlord in a rigged election. Democracy isn’t any better than any other system of government if there isn’t a check on power. The only reason our democracy allows for liberty is the bill of rights.

              I’m glad women can go to school now & walk outside now. If that can’t be maintained culturally without NATO troops. It won’t last no matter when we leave.

              1. Well that’s fatalistic. Democratic institutions can be self-sustaining if they do their job, and they alter the culture.

                The thing is, women’s rights, which I harp on about, are special, because they are uniquely hard to destroy once established, and they bring into society a whole half of the population with distinctly different attitudes to cultural institutions like councils and religion. Look at the effect of women’s rights on China’s birthrate.

                As for rigged elections, there are degrees of corruption, and a system with widespread corruption that still produces oppositional parties reflecting some measure of popular will is diifferent from a rigged show election.

                1. “As for rigged elections, there are degrees of corruption, and a system with widespread corruption that still produces oppositional parties reflecting some measure of popular will is diifferent from a rigged show election.”

                  ^^THIS^^

            2. And they like the democratic government we set up so much, a majority of Afghans actually wants the Taliban back.

              That’s some tasty nation buildin’ right there.

              1. It’s a douche AND a shit sandwich.

                1. We need to talk about this new feminine hygiene product of yours.

              2. majority of Afghans actually wants the Taliban back

                {citation needed}

                1. My bad – it was limited to Afghans in Helmand, and only when compared to the corrupt Afghan National Police, not the ISAF.

          2. Do you really believe our government cares about the rights of the individual Afghani?

            Do you really believe our government cares about the rights of the individual American? They just fake it enough to get elected.

        2. Ok. I’m one of them anarcho-capitalists. Stop stealing my money. Are my rights really none of your concern, just because the other side of the world sucks?

    2. The “libertarian doctrine” as you call it, advocates friends, family, charity and church to help. When the help comes from them it’s genuine. When it comes from the government there are strings attached, fraud, waste, abuse, etc. Sort of a longer version of Baked Penguins comment above.

  14. If you won’t let Time cover for Obama, just who do you think is going to do it?

    1. Rolling Stone?

      1. The Carlos Slim Times?

    2. High Times?

  15. Everything a Democrat touches turns to Vietnam.

    1. Iraq and Afghanistan were pretty well quagmired-up before Obama took office.

  16. @ Tarran (cuz the fucking reply button doesn’t work)

    Force people. I, and others joined of their own free will. We had two fucks who skipped out before going to GW1, otherwise we went because it was our duty. And isn’t it in the constitution that our military be paid for? Is that the problem ya’ll have?

    1. Sounds like you’re suggesting reinstating the draft. Not all of us have always wanted to be a slave and die for the state.

    2. And isn’t it in the constitution that our military be paid for? Is that the problem ya’ll have?

      No.

      Assuming you’re serious and not a concern troll, do some reading.

      1. (I figured out the reply button). Um, Warty, that wasn’t the constitution u linked to.

        1. No. No, it was not, idiot.

          1. Then answer the original question, fuck stain.

            1. I would love to, but your writing is too garbled and incoherent for me to figure out what your question is. Ask it again.

    3. Force people.

      you just crossed into trolldom w/ that draft talk.

      1. It was meant to have a question mark after it. My bad.

    4. And isn’t it in the constitution that our military be paid for? Is that the problem ya’ll have?

      Um, no. Actually it only requires that we fund a Navy. See Article I, Section 8.

      Further, the mandate of the military is “the common defense of the several states”. I don’t see anything in there about the military being an international troop of Boy Scouts.

    5. Yep, the founders were real big on maintaining a standing army so we could project power and get involved in land wars in Asia.

  17. Oh come on sage, friends family and church ain’t gonna do shit for the afghans, except for our military. Go ahead, ask them how they feel about being there. You’re bitching about the money spent, u give a fuck about that woman, based on your first comment.

    1. So why aren’t you over there killing Taliban, tuffgai?

      1. Well, first of all, I’m a chick. Second, I’ve done my duty. Third, why the fuck are u asking these inane questions?

        1. I’ll make a deal with you: cease contracting “you” into the horrid “u”, and I’ll try to reduce my inanity.

          1. I’m thinking it’s another John T. persona.

          2. OK.

            You fucknozzle. 😀

            This may be why libertarians have such problems in getting people on their side, you’re (ur) a bunch of assholes who don’t think others deserve help.

            1. Sometimes we have a moral imperative to help others. What we don’t have is a right to force other people to do what we think is right. Does that make any sense to you?

              I’m trying really hard here to be nice. I don’t quite understand why.

              1. Cuz you’re an old softy?

                I guess it’s a perspective thing then, cuz I don’t think that’s what we’re doin. Alot of those people want to be helped, no? I think of it as a good thing, not a forceful thing.

              2. “I’m trying really hard here to be nice. I don’t quite understand why.”

                Because you’re sweetness made man.

            2. Of course others deserve help–don’t all those poor people in our country “deserve” health care paid for by money stolen from productive taxpayers? Don’t poor people “deserve” education paid for by money stolen from productive taxpayers?

              Obviously this can go on and on, but once you notice that help can come in the form of charity or theft you’ll get the idea.

              1. I never used the word “deserved”, so stop putting words in my mouth.

                1. you’re (ur) a bunch of assholes who don’t think others deserve help.

                  I never used the word “deserved”, so stop putting words in my mouth.

                  Let me help you with reading comprehension. You call libertarians assholes who don’t think others deserve help–but you don’t think others deserve help either. Does that make you an asshole? Do I even need to ask that question?

            3. Anyone who uses “u” and “ur”, even in jest, is a subhuman douchebag. Try harder.

              1. At least she didn’t throw in a this.

                1. ^^^^^^^^
                  That.

        2. Obviously you haven’t done your duty since the Taliban is still alive. Big deal if you’re a chick, you can find some way to get weapons into the country and hunt down the Taliban yourself.

          Why don’t you stop forcing others to pay for this shit, asshole?!

          1. Dude, way to give libertarianism a bad name.

            Paying for the protection of rights – NOT charity, NOT pet projects – rights to life, liberty and property, is a basic obligation. Whether that only applies within a community that has organised itself voluntarily to form a state for that purpose, or applies to every human in possession of rights, is arguable.

            1. Basic obligation from who or what exactly? Nice try, but no one is stealing the money I made to kill the innocent or guilty in another country. I realize pan-statism might seem fun to you, but it’s not quite a libertarian stance. Your logic is flawed.

              1. A basic libertarian obligation – you know, the one to ‘liberty’ and its maintenance?

                I’m not talking about pan-statism, I’m talking about pan-liberty. What, ‘I’ve got mine, so everyone else’s liberty can go hang’? Are you supporting ‘libertarianism in one country’? That would be a reasonable position, but so far, you’ve failed to articulate a reason why that girl’s liberty deserves less protection than yours, just because you were lucky enough to be born in a country with freedom to get that ‘money I made’.

            2. “Paying for the protection of rights – NOT charity, NOT pet projects – rights to life, liberty and property, is a basic obligation.”

              Yes, their government has an obligation to protect them using the taxes it collects from them and with the efforts of patriotic citizens of their nation.

              What the fuck that has to do with American soldiers, American taxpayers, American citizens, and American government is beyond me.

              1. I think that the fact that their countrymen are dedicated to assaulting their rights, that their government, when present, is corrupt, violent and capricious, and that they lack even the most basic amenities to protect their rights, instructs me that whoever can protect them should. I don’t think that liberty depends on capability to pay. I don’t see how your logic doesn’t apply to a poor homeless dude on the street: he can’t pay taxes, does that mean his life, liberty and limited property are fair game?

                Frankly, I refuse to treat their right to life and liberty any differently because were unlucky enough to be born in Afghanistan.

                Liberty should not be a lottery.

                1. GoW,

                  I think you and Scrat continually forget that someone else (namely, me) has to pay for this equalization through force pardigm both of you advocate.

                  In other words, when you say “liberty should not be a lottery”, you are projecting a Platonic ideal. Yes, it should not be, but it is, and no amount of theft from others to pay for overseas adventurism is going to rectify that reality.

        3. Why the fuck are you willing to send unwilling people, or their money, over there, but you’re not willing to return? You’ve “done your duty”? The Taliban still exist, soldier.

          You want to create a volunteer army that goes and fights over there, good on you. I might even pitch in if I can afford it, because the Taliban truly are shit. You want to force me to pay for endless shit-mopping exercises all over the globe with Americans who joined up to defend America, get stuffed.

          1. Shit. zoltan beat me to it.

          2. Unwilling? If they didn’t want to go, they could do like they do during ‘nam.

            As for your link, it says these people JOINED. So what’s your point?

            1. Okay, this cuntsore is a troll, or too stupid to breathe. You’ve had your fun, pls fuckoff kthxbye.

            2. You’re encouraging the reinstatement of a draft “like they do during ‘Nam”. You’re a sick fuck and deserve to be strung up in the town square for your support of slavery.

          3. Is this how people on the wrong end of the bell curve think? It’s indescribable.

            1. I think we got played by an “A” troll, bro. Like I said downthread, if she was that stupid, breathing functions probably would have stopped.

          4. As a former soldier myself, Baked penguin is spot on. Well said.

    2. Good point. I doubt my friends, family and church will be killing many Afghan civilians.

      1. (And don’t promise to fuck Warty sidewise if you don’t really mean it. Newbies. Sheesh.)

      2. Oh, what a bunch of what-about-fuckery. He’s the one brought up church and what not. Non-answer.

    3. Re: Scrat,

      Oh come on sage, friends family and church ain’t gonna do shit for the afghans, except for our military.

      You’re absolutely right. It has been through history that only the military can do a lot for afghans – which are on sale at Macy’s.

      1. IKEA is better.

        1. Are afghans on sale at IKEA? I haven’t picked up the 2011 catalog just yet . . .

          I just hope our military would invade IKEA, to help more afghans…

    4. Look, the plight of women over there is horrible, no doubt. Just like many crap holes in the world.

      From a legal and cultural standpoint, IMO the best thing we can do is lead by example. And for the most part, we do: The women here can work any job they want, they don’t have to have their heads covered, they aren’t treated like dogs. I’m proud of that.

      Playing TAWP isn’t going to change many minds over there. But if we allow Afgan women refugee status over here, you can bet there will be plenty of churches willing to bring them here. Another reason I’m against closing off our borders.

      So yeah, it’s not perfect. But it’s better than dragging ourselves into endless battles like the enemy wants.

    5. Re: Scrat,

      You’re bitching about the money spent, u give a fuck about that woman, based on your first comment.

      I thought Afghanistan was invaded to capture Bin Laden and destroy Al-Qaeda. Correct me if I’m wrong, maybe the priorities changed as expediency and embarrassment came into play…

      1. Well, one last comment and I’m done. I’m not talking about government here, but about our soldiers. Did I want us to go into the second war with Iraq? No. Do I think this Afghan war sucks? yes. Do I want either of these missions to be in vain? No. I want them to succeed. Period. So suck it.

        1. Re: Scrat,

          I’m not talking about government here, but about our soldiers.

          Hey, they’re not our soldiers – I have MINE, and I don’t share.

          Do I want either of these missions to be in vain? No. I want them to succeed. Period. So suck it.

          Your argument is nothing more than a variation of the Gambler’s Fallacy – I keep at it, maybe I will win this time.

          The same with those wars – maybe the US will get lucky and the Afghanis will simply stop resisting and learn to love jack-booted Americans. It could happen . . .

    6. Scrat, the problem is, where does it stop? If liberating oppressed people is sufficient justification for a war, then most of the continent of Asia, the entire continent of Africa, and about half of Latin America should be in our crosshairs. But obviously, we can afford neither the manpower nor the resources to make war on every thugocracy.

      The only reason to ever go to war is the same as the only reason to ever shoot someone: self-defense. I think we had a legitimate reason to invade Afghanistan and depose the Taliban, what with them aiding and abetting Osama bin Laden. I also think the government has lost sight of that mission, which is why this is getting dragged out.

      1. Thank you for this. I absolutely agree with the first paragraph. Where I come into conflict is that, now that our boys and girls have been sent, we should support them. I guess I just have bad memories of assholes back home dissing our efforts in GW1.

        I guess what I’m sayin is, libertarians ain’t gainin no friends here, at least with this veteran.

        1. I guess what I’m sayin is, libertarians ain’t gainin no friends here, at least with this veteran.

          Awww, we’ll be sure to cry ourselves to sleep at night.

        2. Given how many of us around here are veterans, I think we’ll cope somehow.

          1. Seriously. I think there is a reason Ron Paul had the military’s support. We know he is a Libertarian.

        3. Boys and girls? They’re fucking adults, asscunt. And watch the honor roll on the PBS News Hour. A good many of those killed are over thirty.

      2. It’s a sufficient condition, but not a necessary one. Maybe we just pick off the worst governments every half-century or so.

        Anyways, that’s a wonderful argument against the American Civil War. So, why do you think black people should be slaves? Racist! You’re probably in a Tea Party too!

        1. That’s the War of Northern Aggression, you Yankee Lincoln-cultist.

  18. You know? I prefer the old National Geographic photo better . . . that is, before everybody starting meddling, starting with the Soviets and now the US.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Girl

    1. Always loved that picture.

    2. That is a GREAT pic! Her eyes are intense.

  19. The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911. But yeah, that war is pointless and unprovoked.

    The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were to make the US stronger. But you asshats know that. Anyway, keep confusing your cowardice with principled objection to the war.

    No, I never served in the military. So I guess I’m some sort of hypocrite.

    Anyway, it’s pure coincidence that the strongest country in the world is also the freest. Pure coincidence.

    1. Spending billions will only make us stronger!

    2. I never understood much of Marx, but is this what he meant by “false consciousness”?

      1. Al-Qaeda is mad that they don’t get credit.

    3. Anyway, it’s pure coincidence that the strongest country in the world is also the freest. Pure coincidence.

      Do you mean Hong Kong (economic)? Maybe the Netherlands(social)? I don’t think either is all that strong.

    4. Re: Holy Cow,

      The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911.

      That would explain why 911 dispatchers are so clumsy…

    5. The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911.

      That would explain all those Saudis of course.

      I’m sure this is just way too complex for you – but who helped create the Mujhadeen (that became the Taliban)?

      1. No – don’t go there! Nothing we do ever has negative consequences! We didn’t arm Ho Chi Minh, neither, even if we did!

        And Iraq was involved in 9/11… somehow!

        1. Nothing we do ever has negative consequences!

          Well, most progressives view me as some kind of neanderthal; I might as well get some right wing nut to think I hate America.

        2. Hell, we armed Stalin. The Soviets showed their gratitude by enslaving half of Europe and pointing thousands of nukes at us.

          That doesn’t necessarily mean it was the wrong thing to do in the face of the Wehrmacht. (Roosevelt was clearly a giant trusting douche who got badly played, but still.)

  20. So I guess I’m some sort of hypocrite.
    Recognizing your shortcomings are the first step toward overcoming them.

  21. The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911.

    And the US was a major sponsor and supporter of the Taliban.

    We’re doing this to ourselves.

    1. It’s the circle, the circle of death…

  22. Uh, no, it wasn’t. Don’t lie.

    1. Uh, yes. It was.

      The Taliban stopped teh heroin. Tehy is heroez.

  23. The solution is to stay in Afghanistan, supporting a corrupt, illegitimate and incompetent government until the the natives adopt western morals and philosophies. Should only take a fuckin’ century or two.

    Or just get the fuck out, stop throwing good money (and lives) after bad.

    1. Personally, I can only afford to prop up one incompetent, corrupt government at a time, so I’m gonna have to pick the one I live under. The Afghanis can go screw.

    2. Actually, the choice is between supporting a corrupt, illegitimate and incompetent government and allowing a government that helps train people to come over here and blow up our buildings.

      Reality doesn’t always give you a good option and a bad option. Sometimes it gives you a shitty option and a really shitty option.

  24. The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911.

    I’m pretty sure monthly fees on telephone numbers are the major supporter of 911. Try again troll.

  25. Really? Hong Kong? The Netherlands? Seriously?

    Yes, I’ve often marveled at how the worlds looks to HK and The Netherlands for liberty and freedom and the fear of being crushed by the Chinese or the freedom that comes along with knowing that Lichtenstein High’s girls JV softball team could overrun your capital in minutes.

    1. Okay, hamburger-to-be, pay attention. I know you grew up here in the US and bought all the crap about how we’re the home of the free. Here’s a hint: it ain’t quite true. There are other countries that disinterested observers rank as freer than us. If you look at the countries who are economically freer than we are, most of them don’t have huge armies. One could (and others have) point out that we might be even more prosperous if we weren’t pouring an endless stream of money into better ways to blow up things.

      1. “If you look at the ever growing list of countries who are economically freer than we are…”

        1. Come on, BP. Just because we drop a place every year doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong. It just means other people are doing things better.

          Damn it, I broke my American exceptionalism again. Where’s the super glue?

          1. T, just go to any (R) or (D) candidate, especially for President. They’ll fix it right up…

      2. I’m with T. If we had no armed forces we’d be a 100% free Communazi paradise, just like N Korea, which everyone who lives there will tell you is the greatest country in the world.

        And, it has some of the cutest starving little kindergardeners you’ve ever seen.

        1. Is that sarcasm addressed to T or Holy Cow. Because North Korea is probably the prime example of a nation that puts more effort into its military than its people. They won’t get invaded anytime soon, for all the good it will do them.

        2. Im pretty sure N Korea has a millitary.

  26. I’m not a troll, asshole.

    Care to refute the fact?

    1. I just did. 911 is funded by state imposed monthly fees on local telephone numbers. Why in the world would the Taliban sponsor the US emergency telephone number?

      1. You make me happy in my secret place.

    2. Yes, it’s true – this man has no dick.

  27. Well, this thread is a big ball of fun.

  28. Ah, yeah, the US military and its government is full of murderers. Like I said, whatever fills that void of cowardice you got.

    Aside from insults, snark and sarcasm, got any reasonable arguments?

    1. Nope. You won the shit out of the thread, dude.

    2. Re: Holy Cow,

      [G]ot any reasonable arguments?

      You mean as reasonable as this?
      “The Taliban was the major sponsor and supporter of 911.[sic]”

      I just want to know – you may have different standards of what passes for reasonable. I am in the dark, here. Help me out.

    3. It’s government is full of murderers? Ever heard of the police?

  29. How is what I said re: the Taliban wrong? Unreasonable?

    Didn’t the 19 hijackers train in Afghanistan on the Taliban’s dime? Yes. But other than that, I have no idea what I’m talking about. And I’m unreasonable, too!

    Your turn.

    1. Didn’t the 19 hijackers train in Afghanistan on the Taliban’s dime?

      Sure, the Kabul School of Flight. That’s it.

      You’re funny, sorta like Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou.

      1. He was quite good in that film.

  30. Hey Scat — I would just gently make explicit what my post suggest: This poor gal got her nose & ears lopped off *while we were right smack dab in the middle of Afghanistan.* If one wants to indicate care about her well-being in the context of discussing U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, one might begin with grappling with the fact that our involvement there already failed at saving her face.

    1. “When one of my teachers noncombatants loses his her face, I lose face!”

      1. Well, I’m against us being in Afghanistan because I’m a pacifist. I pass a fist – get it?

    2. So what point are you making Matt? That since our military didn’t stop every single act of gross domestic abuse committed by the Taliban that somehow our efforts are all in vain?

      Would you admit at the very least that our military involvement in Afghanistan has been a net GAIN for women in Afghanistan?

      And does anyone remember why we are in Afghanistan in the first place?

      1. The narrow point I’m making is that selling the ongoing war as necessary by posterizing this woman’s mangled face is not at all convincing on its own merits, yet argumentation like that is a part of why we are likely to continue our long trend of taking something like sole responsibility for whole swaths of international policy.

        1. Wow, it almost sounds like you want a reasoned foreign policy instead of emotional knee-jerkery.

          You can’t sway the proles with reason you know.

        2. The narrow point I’m making

          You can say that again.

          selling the ongoing war as necessary by posterizing this woman’s mangled face is not at all convincing on its own merits

          So that’s the only reason Time and others are giving for our continuing presence in Afghanistan? Save the noses? Or are you trying to erect a straw man argument by ignoring the geopolitical consequences involved with our desertion of the new government in Kabul, which coincidentally would also leave the noses on the chopping block? Maybe the noses are hardly the only reason for staying, but instead a net benefit of our continuing support for a Taliban-free Afghanistan government?

          I’m going with straw man since you already admitted how “narrow” your argument is.

          something like sole responsibility for whole swaths of international policy.

          I’m trying to understand this. Help me out. Are you saying that the US is taking on too much responsibility for whole swaths of “international policy”? And by “international policy” do you mean “standing up for oppressed women in countries that we recently liberated from oppressive goatfuckers”?

          1. I for one look forward to the next decade of continued “liberation” of the Afgahn people by us, their all knowing overlords.

          2. Seems like a wicked circle of shit: we help Taliban when they are fighting Soviets, knowing that they are fundamentalists, but hey, they’re helping us against communists, so it’s ok. Then, when they help a terrorist who blew up a bunch of our citizens, we (rightly?) go in and topple them from power. Ok, fair enough. But when does it stop? Is there maybe another way to topple governments and help out oppressed people without spending billions and having a bunch of our highly-trained military men and women blown up by IEDs?

            I think that there probably is.

            And, two wrongs do not make a right.

            Finally, was our mission really to stand up for oppressed women from oppressive goatfuckers?

            1. We didn’t support “the Taliban” per se, it was actually the mujaheddin, but many of the mujahideen did end up becoming Taliban.

              Is there maybe another way to topple governments and help out oppressed people without spending billions and having a bunch of our highly-trained military men and women blown up by IEDs?

              I’m not proposing we should run around the world toppling every fascist dictatorship/oppressive goatfuckers. But when said oppressive goat fuckers are holding the man responsible for the four smoking craters on our soil and essentially taunting us by refusing to cooperate, well, they dug their own graves.

              was our mission really to stand up for oppressed women from oppressive goatfuckers?

              No, it was fortunate by-product of our response to being attacked.

      2. Re: Tman,

        So what point are you making Matt? That since our military didn’t stop every single act of gross domestic abuse committed by the Taliban that somehow our efforts are all in vain?

        You mean, they haven’t been in vain?

        Would you admit at the very least that our military involvement in Afghanistan has been a net GAIN for women in Afghanistan?

        Maybe for those that are still alive, not being killed in some “Ooops, sorry!” operation . . .

        And does anyone remember why we are in Afghanistan in the first place?

        Uh…. Uh…. To… Uh…. To get…. Uh…. Don’t tell me! Don’t tell me!

        Uh…. To get Saddam???

        1. Maybe for those that are still alive, not being killed in some “Ooops, sorry!” operation

          The country now has around 5.7 million children in school, of whom 35 percent are girls. There are 8,000 schools, including several hundred just for girls. Under the Taliban’s rule, there were none. Women now have access to health care and hold a full 25 percent of the nation’s parliament.

          “Oops” indeed.

          1. But do the unchaste still get free one-way tickets to the soccer stadium?

            I mean, sure, equality and all, but the public entertainment quotient is way down.

          2. So you admit we were wrong when we created the taliban circa 1980? Because the soviets were probably doing an even bettr job, if those are the figures of merit.

    3. Also, directed at Scat… Like many other topics we discuss here, the question is not WHETHER to help someone in need, but HOW? Is it best to go in with guns blazing, and “liberate” a country, or is there another way?

    4. Eight people were shot in Chicago last weekend, thus using Matt’s logic I conclude the police have no business in Chicago since they’ve clearly failed to prevent violence.

      1. Now that you mention it.

      2. The United States military should not be used as a police force. Almost by definition that is why it fails in these “100 year” occupations. It is designed and intended to kill people. The only people it should protect are Americans and it can’t do that when its mission is aimless and its targets amorphous.

        Regarding Chicago, people get murdered. Shit happens. People have bad days, weeks, years, lives, and lose their minds. They take other people’s lives and by extension should lose the right to theirs. No tolerable police presence is ever going to stop that shit from happening. But then again, you could probably tolerate a little more than the rest of us in the name of smiling children and Unicorn shit. Outlawing guns might very well have an effect, but the net number of murders will probably increase due to increased/exclusive criminal access to firearms. Comparing police and the Armed Forces is like comparing chemotherapy to a machine gun.

  31. You guys are pathetic.

    1. Yep. You kicked our asses, dude.

      1. You are so burned, Warty. It called you “pathetic”…on the internet.

    2. So who’s next? i mean there must be lots of other countries we can attack next that do bad things to their citizens.

      I vote for Canada, there blatant disregard for the right of free speech has gone on too long. Off with their heads!

      1. Even if they were shelling New York and Maine daily, we’d be told our invasion was a “disproportionate response” and be condemned by the UN.

      2. I’ve heard that their socialist health care system is basically genocide against the sick and elderly. Plus, it was the inspiration for co-conspirators in American to try to bring that vileness here. It’s time to purge America’s hat.

  32. Like I said, refute what I said. Or simply answer Tman’s question. Why are we in Afghanistan?

    1. knee-jerk reactions?

      Thank god we invaded Yemen, or we would be facing daily terrorist attacks no doubt.

    2. Ignorance of history?

    3. Mission Creep?

  33. I thought it was a bonehead move by the Taliban NOT to turn over UBL.

    They coulda still been livin’ large over there.

  34. Scrat,

    I, for one, thank you for your service and think that there’s some point to keeping the taliban holed up in caves.

    1. Thank you, Abdul.

  35. We can’t train up a gov’t like we did in Iraq any time soon, we certainly can’t guarantee basic civil rights any time soon (an Afghan who converted to Christianity last year was immediately forced to flee the country to avoid execution), and we can’t abandon the country to the AQ enablers of the Taliban.

    So, yeah, expect to be there in 2017.

    The most we can hope for is that Iranians take back Iran, removing some of the dysfunction from the area.

  36. Who’s been spiting her face?

  37. For those who advocate withdrawal, I ask how do you want to do this?

    Do you want to negotiate some kind of peace agreement with the Taliban first (something where they don’t regain the full control they had over the country prior to 2001)? Or do you want to just withdraw outright, and let the chips fall where they may?

    And what about the little matter of Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden? Do we try to negotiate peace with them also?

    My position is that it is unacceptable for the Taliban or Al-Qaeda to regain the power and safe haven they had in Afghanistan before October 2001. If the Taliban is willing to lay down their arms and be re-integrated into Afghan society, I could accept that. Higher level members of the Taliban (Mullah Omar and others who chose to refuse to shut down Al-Qaeda even after the WTC attacks) should be permanently barred from personally reentering government. Lower level members who had no part in the decision should be allowed to run in elections like anyone else, but they should not get any automatic position of power just for making peace. The message: If you fuck with the US, you lose power and don’t get it back.

    There should also not be any concessions on human rights just to bring the Taliban to the table.

    I am willing to consider something similar for Al-Qaeda. Although I don’t like the idea of bin Laden and his top deputies escaping justice permanently, I could live with some kind of house arrest arrangement for such people, if it brings about a quicker end to the war without jeopardizing US security or having any of the other malicious effects alluded to above.

    1. For those who advocate withdrawal, I ask how do you want to do this?

      I don’t really want to. But I also don’t see what we’re accomplishing by staying.

      Okay so the Taliban don’t get to take over today. But someday we really are going to run out of borrowed money and won’t be able to keep up the occupation.

      The Taliban will come back in power on that day.

      Looks a lot like a Mexican standoff to me.

      Don’t think I’m a pacifist or a dove either one. Far from it. I’d love to see the Taliban knocked out.

      But that job isn’t getting done and I don’t see anybody with any realistic ideas on how to get it done.

      I’m ready to declare that if we’re going to stay in Afghanistan, we need to annex it as US territory outright.

      And if keeping the Taliban down is the goal, the next thing we’ll have to do is start looking at annexation of much of Pakistan.

      This story should have a nice ending.

      1. Why is it inevitable that the Taliban will regain power one day? It is unlikely that all Taliban members are too ideologically committed to their cause to ever accept reintegration into Afghan society. And the ones who are too committed to ever accept a non-Taliban-controlled Afghanistan can be killed.

        Remember in 2001 and 2002 there were few US and coalition casualties, and the Taliban had relatively little presence in Afghanistan. If the “Taliban resurgence” had been met early on with a massive increase in troops and military operations against them, it likely would have been nipped in the bud. It has snowballed a bit as US attention was diverted to Iraq, but that doesn’t mean their momentum can’t be reversed.

        There are plenty of practical problems in fighting the Taliban: for example they operate and recruit in parts Pakistan almost with impunity. But the practical problems can in principle be solved, and more difficult problems in war have undoubtedly been overcome. It is not a kind of Law of Nature that the Taliban regime will always resurrect itself it, like some kind of Phoenix of South Asia, regardless of what we do to.

        1. We’ll just have to be there long enough for their grandchildren(great?) to stop giving a shit about the infidels, and to start caring about their Playstation 25’s.

          Here’s a practical problem for you: Where is the money going to come to cover this bullshit?

          1. Well where does the government usually get money? It would have to be from taxes.

            I know libertarians don’t want taxes to exist at all. But unless you are an anarchist (which has its own problems) then the government will need a source of revenue. Some people may have an idea for an alternative, voluntary source of revenue. I am not sure that any such proposals are actually practical; but if you have a plan like that, by all means try to convince congress to implement that instead of taxing people. If you succeed, then your alternative source of funds will become the answer to the question “Where is the money going to come (from) to cover this bullshit?”.

            1. So…we will tax everyone 90% of their income to pay for this bullshit and the parallel drain of entitlements come 2025? Yeah…I’m sure people will just go along with that. No rioting in the streets. No lying on tax returns. No suicides/homocides for the fuck of it. Nope. Nothing to see here folks.

              The alternative is to do something else, and stop wasting untold sums of money for arguably beneficial gains.

              As for my various typos and grammatical errors, I’m drunk 90% of the day and in chronic pain for the rest of it.

              1. Where do you get 90%? The highest marginal federal income tax rate is 35%, and only a small percentage of people earn enough to have to be in that bracket. With state and local taxes added in, the highest marginal rate becomes about 47 or 48 percent in the most taxing areas. And again, only the very highest earners (think NYC residents who make millions per year – a group that seems unlikely to riot in the street) pay anywhere near that (most pay much lower if anything).

                Perhaps you think ObamaCo plan on raising taxes? Maybe they will, but it won’t be to anywhere near 90% for anyone. And it is also improbable that taxes will be so high that we get a wave of suicides and homicides for the fuck of it.

  38. Do you want to negotiate some kind of peace agreement with the Taliban first (something where they don’t regain the full control they had over the country prior to 2001)? Or do you want to just withdraw outright, and let the chips fall where they may?

    That is a false dichotomy. There are any number of options.

    The message: If you fuck with the US, you lose power and don’t get it back.

    At what point does the message become too expensive? How many American lives and dollars would be too much for you to keep sending that message?

    1. There are any number of options.

      Such as?

      1. Such as?

        You really cannot think of any way to resolve the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan except for those two choices?

    2. That is a false dichotomy. There are any number of options.

      OK, would you care to describe the option that you prefer?

      At what point does the message become too expensive? How many American lives and dollars would be too much for you to keep sending that message?

      Is that a rhetorical question or do you want actual numbers for an answer?

      1. OK, would you care to describe the option that you prefer?

        What I prefer will have no impact on the outcome whatsoever. You and I are paying a lot of money to employ people who are perfectly capable of coming up with more than two options. If not then get rid of them and find a team with greater problem-solving skills.

        Is that a rhetorical question or do you want actual numbers for an answer?

        I want to know if there is a price that you consider too high to send this message. Give me an over/under on KIAs and dollars that we can build a cost-benefit analysis with. Given what we have achieved since we invaded, has it been an economical message thus far?

        1. Well if you just want any old numbers I decide to throw out, then I’ll say the maximum acceptable cost (over the lifetime of the entire Afghanistan/Pakistan operation) is 30,000 lives and $15 trillion dollars.

          Those are the numbers that I am using for now. Based on that, I would say that so far it was worth it to invade Afghanistan, and it stands a good chance of being worth it overall, assuming the Taliban doesn’t suddenly acquire the arsenal of a major world power or something.

          I am open to changing these numbers as I revise my methodology (or if someone points me a convincing methodology to use). But until and unless that happens, there is nothing in my current cost benefit analysis to convince me that it won’t have been worth it in the end.

          I should also note that sending the message (which is useful for US deterrence) is only part of the benefit to be weighed against the cost of the war. Our security is also enhanced by reducing the overall number of active terrorists and their opportunities to train and coordinate attacks. And there is the improved human rights situation as well.

  39. Thank you for the picture and article. If anybody thinks we and our troops are the evil ones, just look at that picture.

    Our people are not doing that, they are. If you don’t care about people being enslaved by bad religion, keep opposing our efforts. If you are against it, stop whining.

    1. Suki, what happened? I’ve come to expect better reasoning from you than that.

      We’re going to permanently occupy Afghanistan to free them from their own religion?

      ??

  40. I’d love to see the Taliban wiped out. But what we’re doing looks a lot like fighting a gopher infestation in your back yard.

    You can rouse all the determination that human-kind is capable of, and vow to succeed. That won’t change the fact that under your yard there’s all these tunnels.

    I’ve said from the start, the single biggest problem with the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan is that Americans will never be willing to do what must be done, if there is to be any hope of eventual victory.

    The first thing we’d have to do is build a fleet of drones that go on 24/7 patrol over the Afghan-Pakistan mountain region. Their mission is simple: for at least five years, they shoot anything that moves.

    If Pakistan gets pissed off and starts shooting down our drones, then we proceed to shoot anything in Pakistan that moves.

    This bullshit we currently operate under, where the philosophy is “you’re allowed to go to war against the Taliban but you can’t hurt a single innocent fucking fruit fly along the way, has got to go.

    If it isn’t going to go, then we need to go. Because there’s absolutely no way we’re going to prevail. The Taliban will just hide out in the mountains until we’ve run out of money and/or will power.

    The way we’ve been going at it, someday we assuredly will run out of both.

    Another option is to try a feint. Withdraw, let them come out of hiding, and then (without announcing it to the whole f’ing world a month in advance this time) we go back in and get them.

    Another option is to withdraw ground forces, and then when they’ve come out of hiding, we carpet bomb the whole place at random intervals. Whether it looks like we need to or not.

    There is no nice, clean way to win this kind of fight. Either fight it at the level that is necessary, or get out of the fight.

    And never forget that once the Taliban are gone, you’re left with a nation full of people who will have absolutely no clue how to put a government together that’s got any hope of working.

    It seems we’ve now got that same problem in Iraq.

  41. “And never forget that once the Taliban are gone, you’re left with a nation full of people who will have absolutely no clue how to put a government together that’s got any hope of working.”

    Not to mention hundreds (thousands) of individuals who may have lost family/friends to indiscriminate death from above. The desire for retribution is a powerful motivator to perpetuate the type of shit we wanted to stop in the first place. Hell…that’s why we are really still there as far as I can tell.

    1. In Iraq that was probably the motivation to begin with. In Afghanistan we want to keep them from rebuilding terrorist training camps. Which they’ll probably start doing a few minutes before the last US forces pull out.

      I don’t see any options that make any sense, no matter which way we go at it.

      Which is my primary reason for being in favor of getting out asap. If and when somebody comes up with a game plan that makes sense, maybe then we go back in if they do rebuild terrorist training camps. And I’m betting they will.

      1. I think only in a science fictiony future could we actually resolve this satisfactorilly. I call it the “Iron Man Strategy” and it essentially involves deploying several dozen guys in expensive Iron Man-like suits to go in there and clean the place out systematically. Potentially, we could just use robots of some sort to do it instead of people. Regardless, in this fantasy, the suits would protect the wearer, making them virtually invincible to conventional Taliban arms, thus giving them the ability to cripple, literally, the Taliban. Hear me out. Instead of just killing these fools, these nuclear-powered commandoes could just break their arms, backs, legs, jaws, etc. until their effectiveness as fighters has been reduced to 0.03%. This would only be done to those who actually fire on the Iron Men. Everyone else will be unmolested. The literally broken fighters would be reduced to shame (assuming they awake from their comas) and their chance at any sort of “martyrdom” in battle would be extinguished. Seriously, how would an army of paraplegics control such a backawards country?

        In closing, I need to stop reading comic books.

  42. That is a false dichotomy. There are any number of options.

    OK, would you care to describe the option that you prefer?

    At what point does the message become too expensive? How many American lives and dollars would be too much for you to keep sending that message?

    Is that a rhetorical question or do you want actual numbers for an answer?

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  45. Thank you for the picture and article. If anybody thinks we and our troops are the evil ones, just look at that picture.

    Our people are not doing that, they are. If you don’t care about people being enslaved by bad religion, keep opposing our efforts. If you are against it, stop whining.

  46. That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy,

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