I'm having difficulty discovering my sense of our moral obligation to the Afghan people above and beyond the obligation all wealthy, powerful peoples have toward those who aren't. We're at war because Afghanistan's Taliban government nurtured and empowered a terrorist movement that mounted a devastating attack against the United States. President Bush's 2001 intervention was for our sake, not Afghanistan's. If we had focused more single-mindedly on the Taliban rather than going to war in Iraq as well, the situation might be better today, or perhaps not. Afghans are famously resistant to foreign influence and manipulation.He replied:
Don't you think we have an additional obligation to countries we used as proxies in our (successful) global conflict against Soviet communism? Particularly when we conducted said proxy war so poorly (allowing Pakistan to dictate the distribution of arms and aid to fundamentalist forces, in order to keep any subsequent Afghan government weak, while the more pro-U.S. forces, which I have reason to believe RN favored, where left in the cold). Particularly when, having won a Soviet defeat that was a major contribution to the collapse of the USSR, we walked away from devastated Afghanistan, where, in the wake of our dishonorable disengagement, the Taliban rose (again, through Pakistan's nefarious influence).
By the way, those two Pakistan references should highlight the canard in that line about "Afghans are famously resistant to foreign influence and manipulation." Except when they aren't, which is, historically, when Afghanistan is weak, which occurs when it is divided, as it is now, awaiting yet another American absquatulation and the inevitable interference of neighbors, which will likely not be in America's interests. Please abandon that tired line about Afghan resistance, which belongs in the rhetorical junkpile of conservative doozies such as "they've been fighting for thousands of years," invariably intoned whenever a foreign conflict gets complicated and the isolationist delusion rises.