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Tuesday, September 01, 2009



You say, "The Left's brief approval of the Afghanistan war was entirely tactical. It allowed Democrats in particular to be in favor of defending the U.S. with military force while vehemently criticizing the war we were actually fighting. The left is congenitally incapable of any enthusiasm for making war against our enemies."

Those are some pretty broad generalizations. Lets try a little paraphrasing--just for fun of course.

George Will's and the rights long approval of Bush Administration's tepid efforts in Afghanistan were entirely tactical. It allowed Republicans in particular to be seen as fighting the real 9/11 attackers while vehemently defending the debacle in Iraq. The Right is congenitally incapable of any enthusiasm for making war against our real enemies.


Afghanistan is a country without railroads. It hasn't even gotten to the wild, wild, West moment in development.

haha, Good to see racism and a sense of western superiority present as always.

Miranda Flint

FascistSocialist: No one said anything about race. Afghanistan is a country. It is made up of several ethnic groups including: Pashtun, Tajik, Farsiwan, Qezelbash, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen and Baloch. Dr. Blanchard did not single any of these groups out. He merely observed that Afghanistan has not developed railroads. Which is true, as far as I know.


It's hilarious to me that Dr. Blanchard thinks of trains as an "old" technology from our past when most countries think of them as super-modern technology and are investing heavily in train infrastructure. And our own government is starting to trend that way, also with an 8 billion dollar initial investment (tiny but significant).

And when I said racist, I was talking about his apparent racism toward the Afghan people. Not a particular ethnic minority there, but the nationality. He tries to paint their country, people and civilization as backward or undeveloped. I'm sure he's not an expert on that country, nor has he traveled there, nor does he probably know much about Afghan culture. He's simply making a baseless generalization about Afghanistan.
There's a picture of part of Afghanistan, does that look like the US in the 1850s? Yeah, not so much. It looks like modern Athens.

As for the argument of this post it's absurd. In what world is 8 years fleeting? And in what world is the Democratic Party led by the president and leaders in congress not considered part of "the left" that is so categorically incapable of supporting violence against enemies of the state? Is Obama not stepping up efforts and expanding our effort there with support of Congress?

Aside from all that, I object to the use of the word War since war was never declared, and what we are fighting does not fit the definition of war since you don't war against non-state entities. We're occupying and peace-keeping if anything. (well I guess in this country we like to declare war on various nouns, poverty, terrorism, crime, drugs, etc. so why not expand it to NGOs also)

This post is just silliness.

Miranda Flint

It's about as silly as.... the UN.

IRIN, which is operated by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, rated Afghanistan the "fifth least developed country in the world." Here's the report: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=75365

Here's an excerpt:

Afghanistan was ranked 174th out of 178 countries - ahead of only Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone and Niger. In Afghanistan’s first-ever human development report, which was released in 2004, the country was ranked 173rd and was widely expected to improve its human development indicators.

George Mason

The left did use the war in Afghanistan as a political device. Their decision to select treason as a political tactic in regards to Iraq led to a strategic
victory in the War on Terror. Al Queada, believing that Harry Ried et al could produce a withdrawal (as from Viet Nam,) poured their resources into Iraq. This allowed our forces to reduce Al Queadas numbers and caused them to consume
their resources to the point that they were effectively bankrupt. This forced
them to withdraw to Afghanistan and the hinterlands of Pakistan. It also demonstrated to the Iraqi's that the U.S. would fight to defeat the common enemy. If Pakistan had been more willing to forcefully engage the extremists, prior to the last few months, the Taliban and Al Queada could have been crushed. Unfortunatley this opportunity was lost.


Wow. Thanks to everyone for posting.

A.I.: Terms like left and right, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican, are necessarily generalizations. The difference between my general statement and your "paraphrase" is that mine fits the facts and yours does not. I think George Will has been pretty consistent. Conservatives are more likely to support military action than liberals. That's a generalization, but it's generally right, no? Didn't a lot of Democrats, including one Barack Obama, constantly talks as if Afghanistan was the right war and Iraq the wrong one? If the left in general and Democrats in particular now shift dramatically against the Afghan war, might this not have something to do with the fact that Dubya is gone and Iraq is largely off the radar screen? I think my interpretation is a fair one.

FS: I am happy to see you back. You do your homework and help keep me honest. I am sorry if I am a slow learner. I do think the accusation of racism discredits you more than me. Some nations are more technologically advanced than others, and that includes institutions as well as locomotives. It is not racist to point that out. Iraq had a lot of advantages when it comes to building a modern state than Afghanistan. That's a fact, and it may mean a lot when it comes to "nation-building." These are the arguments made against further intervention in Afghanistan by critics on the left and right. I haven't given up on Afghanistan yet, but I did try to see the sense in the arguments of those who have. It's good to start by trying to make the best case for the arguments of your opponents. You might try that some time.

If I wanted to be nasty, I might point out that your photographic evidence suggests a very simple minded idea of what a country is. It's more than a city with a built up landscape. Has Afghanistan ever had real central government, exercising control of much outside the capital?

I don't think for a moment that the problem with Afghanistan's development has anything to do with the Afghan people. It has to do with geography. When comparing Iraq, where civilization arose, and Afghanistan, with no railroads, it might do to place them on planet earth. You might try that sometime.

George: Your interpretation of the war against Al Qaeda is plausible and sophisticated. It is weakened by the accusation of treason against the Democrats just as FS's argument is weakened by his puerile accusation of racism. Democrats may have been dangerously unserious in their political tactics, but no reasonable person can think they were actively trying to secure victory for the other side.


While trolling the net looking for infomation on Afghanistan's ability to form a central government, the tribal nature of the country makes for an easy answer! Maybe not so easy. All I can find is, no centralized government has ever existed! Ergo, it would be like fighting 8 or 9 different small countries. Think Korea or 'Nam.

celebrities exposed

Go out of Afgan!

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