Saturday, February 25, 2012

A real apology on behalf of free Americans

Thanks to Jihad Watch for the link.

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At 9:54 AM, Blogger Nato said...

Offensively stupid. I'm sure chucklehead civilians and others who think the Afghanistan mission is as simple as stomping around until we've killed all the 'bad guys' think they know better than the conclusions of the military intelligence and command establishment, but I'm not sure why. If they were asked why there was bad blood between ethnic Tajiks and the Pashtun, would they be able to tell me anything? How about the common difference between those who speak Pashtu and those who speak Dari? Maybe give a couple sentences on why the ISI tolerated the Taliban (and continues to do so). These are all really basic questions one would need to be able to answer to even pretend plausibly to understand the Afghan mission as well as an average officer.

The military may not achieve what we hope for in Afghanistan, but not apologizing for what the locals would see as an intolerable provocation would be a tremendous blow to what's left of our chances to get out with something to show for all out blood and treasure.

Maybe the spectacle of the PotUS apologizing hurts some peoples' pride or their illusion of our infallible goodness, but I'm not willing to have such sacrifice pissed away so that angry ignoramuses don't get their feelings hurt.

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

A "provocation" by definition is deliberate, not, as here, something done out of carelessness. I don't give a rat's ass about the differences between Tajiks or Pashtuns or the languages they speak. Islam as practiced in Afghanistan looks like a conspiracy against women and children. Yes, it would be nice if we could just leave and let them continue to abuse their women and each other based on their crackpot religious ideas. Unfortunately, that Hell-realm diguised as a country once harbored Osama Bin Laden, and the homicidal/suicidal maniacs of 9/11 were trained there.

No one's talking about "infallible goodness," just common sense and decency. Yes, Obama and the US were required to eat some shit after the Korans were burned, but that should have been the end of it.

But the Moslem bullyboys---aka, the Taliban---are taking maximum advantage of the incident, just like they did over the hysteria they whipped up over the Mohammed cartoons several years ago.

Hitchens was right: religion---aside from being a cosmic intellectual error---is and always has been a net negative in human history. Our own home-grown Taliban---waging a war on women via the contraception issue---recently reminded us that the US isn't immune to this sort of foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy by religious fanatics.

The ISI "tolerated" the Taliban? The Taliban couldn't continue to exist without Pakistan's help. Afghanistan and Pakistan should merge and form a new country: Crackpotistan.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Nato said...

"A "provocation" by definition is deliberate, not, as here, something done out of carelessness."

Yes, and note that I said "...what the locals would see as an intolerable provocation..." Trust me that Afghans are very ready to see any insult to Islam by the US as deliberate, and apologizing from the top is the best way of persuading the persuadable that it was not intentional.

As for the influence of religion, I'm in the same place. I joined the army after Sept 11 specifically because I'd wanted to shoot everyone in the Taliban in the face since about 1996, and suddenly I had a chance to get involved. I ended up in Iraq instead, and though I supported OEF for a while I never did go, to my lasting disappointment and bitterness. Whatever the case, we had a window in which we might have made things much better, and now that window is closed and our options have narrowed to various outcomes of varying badness, none of which are really acceptable, but some of which are less horrible than others. I can't say how much I wish that wasn't the case, but it's the truth as I understand it, and I continue to watch pretty closely.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Buddhism is the exception among religions, in that it doesn't prattle about God, and, as far as I know, there are no Buddhist terrorists, though the Chinese occupation of Tibet may create some.


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