News from Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by glocke12, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #1
    I have a brother that recently took a teaching position in Kabul.

    Just received this email from him:

    "I would say that this place is undergoing a rapid deterioration.

    25-50% was from Obama opening his mouth about the troop pull out which caught even the generals by surprise. Within days of that poison gas attacjs against high schools that were coed, a car bombing and other activity.

    40%-50% from the quran burning.

    Massive demonstrations here now all anti western as well as tribal clashes As long as they thought that the USA was going to stay here most opposed the Taliban. Not safe even for me to go outside. I went to the gym this afternoon and when I went out to meet my driver 4-5 other gym people walked out with me surrounding me until I was in the car.


    Here the situation is such that if it deteriates further there will be mobs and they will drag you out of the car and kill you. Nothing that you can do about that. But it is not at that point yet.
    "

    From the sound of it once the U.S. pulls out things are going to go south pretty quickly...

    I also cant help but wonder why on earth Obama announces troop pullouts.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    I can't believe there are that many protests about the Koran thing, its pretty ridiculous to protest about some far right nutter doing something on the other side of the world who even Glenn Beck condemns.
     
  3. macfan881 macrumors 68020

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    #3
    hope your brother will continue to be ok. I think that no matter what Obama does he cant win the last admin screwed up this war so bad no matter what happens we cant do anything. I think had we not got lied into Iraq we would have had Binladen by now.
     
  4. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #4

    I'm surprised that you're surprised. Of course things will go south quickly. It was unstable before and will be unstable after. In my opinion, both the US and Russia (earlier) fail to understand that it's not a country that easily assimilates the ideas of statism.

    Obama announced the pullout because he's a populist (an unpopular populist, but there it is). A lot of people want a pullout.
     
  5. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    The Taliban are not going away. They control almost all the Southern part of the country, including Kandahar, and predominate in most of Western and North Western Pakistan. In fact the only areas they do not control are the areas in the North of Afghanistan dominated by Uzbeks and others inimicable to the Pashtuns. The only way out is to publish an exit plan and let the various peoples of Afghanistan work something out for themselves. We cannot afford to maintain a sufficient force in Afghanistan indefinitely to frustrate the natural demographic pressures. We should have concentrated entirely on capturing Bin Laden, who has been living for years in relative safety in Pakistan, probably with the connivance of the Pakistani ISI, who were instrumental in putting the Taliban in power in Afghanistan in the first place. The first rule of waging a war of choice is to choose conflicts where you can win. This is not one of those. This is likely to bankrupt somebody, and it will not be the Taliban.
     
  6. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Both mid east wars should never have happened. After 9/11 America should have gone forward using the CIA and FBI, not sending 6000+ more Americans to their deaths.

    Nothing has been gained from these wars. We'd have had to have had two more attacks on the scale of 9/11 to even equal the deaths from Iraq and Afghanistan, and ever single terrorist plan since Obama took office (and even the last couple years of Bush) has been stopped.

    I don't believe for a second two more 9/11 scale attacks would have occurred had America not gone to the middle east.

    Afghanistan is a death hole. We don't understand the culture or the history. Russian couldn't "win" there, America has no definition to what "winning" means. The Karzai government is working against us. Our money is being disseminated to the Taliban and possibly Al Qaeda. We can't win public support by carpet bombing civilians to kill one "leader" who has no real power.

    But, hey. A few thousand more American deaths and we might be able to stop a woman's nose from being cut off!
     
  7. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    It's not so much about "lives" of anyone that much anymore. It's about economics.

    Iraq is a success story in terms of main objectives. That is...securing the natural resources. It's on it's way to oil production in such a fashion that they are making more money than they know how to spend. How does this help Westerners? We buy it and continue turning the gears for decades. And so does China...who unfortunately has a large stake even as they didn't do anything to help with the war. Again...an economic necessity which allows them to get away with it.

    Presently, Afghanistan (and its bordering whatever) is more of a playground to demonstrate new weapon technology to showcase to the rest of the world. Even as it's really hard to "tame the most unstable civilization (or lack thereof)", there is a positive aspect the big players can take advantage of. People who like to fight can make money for you. That's been a fact of ancient history. What's more of a demonstration of might when you can destroy your enemies while not being there...and also sell arms to "allies" as a chery on top?

    You might QQ when you hear of all the 6000 "American Lives" that are lost and all, but in the big picture that means jack...to both the world planners AND the Capitalist class. And if you're asking non-spoiled bratty Americans, 6000 lives is like a pin-prick...as a small earth quake elsewhere can wipe out 10 times that while oh so precious American real-estate homes get cracked under the same scenario.

    It's not about "Bin Laden". He's just a man. Who is 99% dead. The CIA hid his body to prevent martydom and make an excuse to stay longer for whatever reasons they and the Capitalists cooked up.

    The moral of the story is to follow the money trail. Only children look at it in terms of a "Good vs. Evil" mentality. It's time to ditch the storybooks guys and accept the real world. ;)
     
  8. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #8
    No matter what the US does over there things will go downhill. The US government needs to learn that nation building in the mideast doesn't work.
     
  9. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #9
    I better start stocking up on tin foil.:rolleyes:
     

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  10. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    It depends on how you define "nation building". Kuwait? Saudi Arabia? Even by some tangent...Isreal. In these cases, "nation building" (or some warped definition of it) works excelent. There are many places in Africa that can use a lot of "nation building". We don't put that much effort into that, do we? Because there's nothing we want there.

    Unlike what politicians tell you to believe, we aren't a "charitable international world cop". That's just some BS to sound virtuous and electable. Time to move past high school history textbooks.
     
  11. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Maybe you weren't paying attention to what happened in Iraq, Viet Nam or France during WWII for that matter. You can defeat an army and occupy a country with your troops, but you can't get into people's heads and change their beliefs, their allegiances or their free will. This lesson has been proven over history time and time again.

    Sooner or later you have to pull out and let the people choose their own destiny. It may not be pretty... it may involve decades of struggle, but an occupying army only delays this process and does not prevent it.

    Would it have helped the United States if in the 1860's Spain invaded because of our Civil War? If they occupied our land and kept the North and South largely at bay would that have solved the underlying issues that led us to war? And if after a few years (or dozen years) they finally got back on their ships and left, would a lasting peace reign?

    I wouldn't bet on it.

    America spent years fighting in Viet Nam. Over 50,000 of our soldiers and over a million Viet Cong died in our vain attempt to determine their destiny. In little over a decade after the North Vietnamese finally ran our army out of their country the government instituted reforms that brought them back on the path of international reintegration. In the past decade Viet Nam's economic growth has been among the highest in the world.

    That kind of change doesn't come from the barrel of an occupier's gun.
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #12
    We have no chance of producing a long-term positive outcome in Afghanistan, and the sooner we realize that, the better. It's unfortunate that they will have strife, death and injustice, but at this point there is little we can do to prevent that. Certainly if our goal was truly to help the Afghan people there are many less violent approaches we could have taken.

    "Historically, nation-building attempts by outside powers are notable mainly for their bitter disappointments." - Lessons from the Past - The American Record on Nation Building, Minxin Pei & Sara Kasper (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

    http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/Policybrief24.pdf
     

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  13. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Don’t just go by what you see in Hollywood depictions. In Vietnam, we were fighting the Russians. Only their faces looked like Vietnamese people. With a superpower to back them up, they had a clear distinct boost in combat capability. History has shown that the “will of the people” is not the major factor in the outcome of struggle. It’s the economics. Whoever has the best and most weapons win the war. “God, Country, Liberty” or whatever else you believe in does not make a knife better than a gun. Look at the Afghan War where roles were reversed. The Romans were the greatest conquerors of the ancient Western civilization, and did so by means of superior arms and money.

    Vietnam was just a statement and a “holding at bay” effort during the Cold War. Whether or not we lost 50,000 or 100,000 is irrelevant. The spread of Capitalism is what counts and no matter how much you value your own life, to the bigger picture they think you’re just a spec of dust. Think of how many died during the American Civil War during that period where there were even less people. “Winning” or “Not Winning” the VWar doesn’t change the fact that the USSR collapsed in the CWar and now Vietnam is closer to an American colony than any other fate had the war not happened.

    Human history…as a matter of fact, most of life as we know it…is determined by the “barrel of the gun” from a manner of speaking.
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #14
    ^^ I think we can safely say the US/UK have the best equipment in Afghanistan, but the US/UK have lost.
     
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #15
    Do you think Thailand or Malaysia would have gone communist?
     
  16. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #16
    My definition of nation building is invading a country and trying to change a culture that's been around for thousands of years. That tends to not work out very well.

    IMHO
     
  17. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Well, anyone can speculate “What If…” scenarios. But the fact does remain that the US used the Vietnamese as well as the Afghans to bring the Soviets toward bankruptcy. The real question would be how far can a super-power go unopposed. But no doubt that region would not have progressed toward free markets principles (a form of “democracy”) as fast if that region was consumed unopposed by a communist superpower.

    As for the US/UK have “lost” even as they have bigger guns, don’t forget that “Afghanistan” was abandoned by the US once already after the war was “won” against the Soviets…and as recent history records, giving rise to the Taliban. As mentioned, what you have to see is the bigger picture…not the board game final peg layout. Afghanistan is part of a bigger war with the opposition that exists throughout the Middle East. Some can say its future holds more value as a staging ground as yet another jump point into Iran. No doubt Iran sees this coming and is not very happy about it.

    If you look at Afghanistan, no one ever stays. Because there’s really nothing there of great value. No ports, a bunch of deserts…maybe some heroine but OK…all those ppl are mixed from Asians, Persians, even Caucasians! Where else do you find middle eastern men with a red beard??? People just conquer that area…to either pass through it…or just leave later. My guess is that we are just passing through…in hopes to achieve a bigger objective. Heck, maybe one day the Afghan state will find some way to prosper starting with like cheap labor or something. Who knows.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    The reason noone ever stays is because they get their arses handed to them on a plate and shown the door.
     
  19. steviem macrumors 68020

    steviem

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    #19
    There wasn't a good reason to send troops into that country. Maybe send in small teams from the SAS and whatever US force there is that matches them and get them to operate without detection to find Bin Laden - although I suspect Bush's reasons were never to find Bin Laden but to keep him as his arch nemesis.

    Britain and America funded the Taliban in the 80s to make things harder for Russia, they should have seen that the enemy of their enemy wasn't necessarily their friend...
     
  20. rasmasyean macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    That's just propaganda hype.
    "Oh the land that is unconquerable! Afghan Lions repel all invaders!"

    Before you believe all that bull crap intended to exagerate headlines and make stories to frighten little kids... Look at the people. What the heck is an "Afghan"??? Is there such a long lasting civilization that lasted eons repelling all invaders? Uhhh...Noooo.... All you get is a bunch of mixed people from all over the place...in the millions. Just look at "Hazara". wtf is that? I'll tell you. It's Chinese ppl who conquered them and stayed there long enough to reproduce like rabbits. As a matter of fact I think somewhere in thier liguistic whatever...it means decendants of Gheghis or some crap.

    [​IMG]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazara_people

    Even if you don't know anything about native Afghans, it's much more plausibly explained by the fact that various ppl form arround the region settled and conquered the place from OUTSIDE, over and over again. And the smart ones left after a while, maybe. :p
     
  21. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #21
    Pretty ridiculous to attempt to kill somebody with an axe and a sword over a cartoon drawing, too.
     
  22. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #22
    Tell that to the British Empire, the USSR and now the US. :rolleyes:

    You really think that military might can really bring a people down in their home turf if they are determined and have the will to stay way longer than you do? at some point whoever is going on an adventure wants to go home, for them it is already their home regardless of how messed up it is. They are not going nowhere, simple as that.

    They don't have to be "lions", they just have to be willing to wait out and drain whoever is an idiot to go in there thinking "this time it will be different".
     
  23. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #23
    All chances at stability were flushed when Obama announced when we were leaving. Votes are more important than lives of people he never has to face.
     
  24. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #24
    Isn't that what every politician unfortunately does?
     
  25. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    The President of the United States' ultimate responsibility is to the American citizenry, while it is ultimately Hamid Karzai's responsibility to promote the interests of the Afghan people. Indeed there exists a serious ethical debate over what condition to withdraw from what has turned out to be a military occupation of a foreign country.

    Even if the United States possessed the resources and the political will to stay in Afghanistan for the next two decades, it is highly unlikely that there would be anything that resembles a modern and stable state.

    The Afghans have had nearly a decade to reach some sort of amicable rapprochement among the various ethnic and tribal groups within the country. Obviously this is not enough time, but it is not readily apparent how much time is ultimately required.

    More importantly, it is not readily apparent what the strategic importance of Afghanistan happens to be to the United States. Al Qaeda can strike American interests from any particular place in the world - increasingly from the Southern Arabian Peninsula. Despite leaked reports of significant mineral resources in the country, there is no ability to have an American monopoly on those resources. An argument can be made that a destabilized Afghanistan only serves to destabilize Pakistan, but then we are merely fighting an ineffective proxy war.

    We are ultimately arriving at a point of diminishing returns on the investment in Afghanistan. It needed to be made clear that the United States is not willing to occupy the country indefinitely - both for the American audience as well as the Afghan audience. While the President made this point, it is still very much up for discussion what the initial American withdrawal will look like.

    Final point, why is it that the United States seems very much interested about stabilizing Afghanistan when the major threat to the United States in the country has effectively been dispersed globally while large countries in the actual region (China, Russia, and India) have been less reactionary towards regional instability - instability that would first impact those states before reaching the shores of the United States?
     

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