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Comment count is 24
Gmork - 2013-05-28

No charlie sheen jokes, please. We're better than that.

SolRo - 2013-05-29


Afghanistan: the only heroin fueled meltdown worse than Charlie sheen.

That guy - 2013-05-28

From the producer:

"In February 2013, on his last day at the helm of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John R. Allen described what he thought the war’s legacy will be: ‘‘Afghan forces defending Afghan people and enabling the government of this country to serve its citizens. This is victory, this is what winning looks like, and we should not shrink from using these words.’’

The US and British forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan for good (officially, by the end of 2014), and my time in the country over the last six years has convinced me that our legacy will be the exact opposite of what Allen posits—not a stable Afghanistan, but one at war with itself yet again. Here are a few encapsulated snapshots of what I’ve seen and what we’re leaving behind."

http://www.vice.com/read/this-is-what-winning-looks-like-00001 11-v20n5

Noting this, I'm not sure what the West could have done better, in the broad strokes. [In short, I'm assuming that every decision had shit options] Unfortunately everything's seen through the Iraq War and WMD circus. Thanks Dubya, Powell &co.

Between the rancidly gloating title and the fact this is from Vice, I can't give this more than 1 star, so I just won't rate it. It's important journalism, don't get me wrong.

I think that the world's bound to bounce around like this, asymmetrical warfare with no humanitarian solutions, for x decades, until WWIII.
/despondent rant

Mother_Puncher - 2013-05-28

So basically you hate things that are cool more than you care about important journalism?

godot - 2013-05-28

Not so much the world, but bits of the Hindu Kush, the Sahel and (maybe) East African Rift? Sure.

Afghanistan has been the high-water mark of 4 to 6 empires now, depending on how one counts, and only historical ignorance and arrogance led us to believe this time would be any different.

America is an all around bad choice for global policeman, because we lack the cunning and ruthlessness of past colonial empires. We came to believe the Hollywood story about ourselves, forgetting how European-Americans really conquered the American West, or distant places like the Philippines, for that matter. We're not alone, even the Kremlin got caught up in its ideology to the detriment of its colonial ambitions.

Sans ethics, its not complicated - ally ourselves with the local oppressors, put fences around the malcontents, with electricity, trenches, minefields and motion sensing MGs. Retaliate against terrorist acts originating from the quarantine zones in an indiscriminate, genocidal fashion. It just requires us to give up all we believe makes us exceptional.

That guy - 2013-05-29

godot, your last two paragraphs are a well-put version of my thoughts , and too grim to endorse as a wish. The Romans would have thought otherwise.

Mother Puncher, I'd rather hate snotty Vice magazine and snotty producers than do just about anything. I'm sure their solution for Afghanistan would have been 200% genius.

Chocolate Jesus - 2013-05-29

Let me help you out, Guy.

Old People - 2013-05-29

Why the one star, Chocolate Jesus?

Chocolate Jesus - 2013-05-30

That Guy said he couldn't conscionably rate this video one star, even though it was a Vice clip.

I do the big work.

BHWW - 2013-05-28

I don't know which part of this whole mess got to me the most, including seeing soldiers being forced to use the language and methods of bloated Human Resources drones in dealing with the bunch of corrupt, drug addled, child-slavers that are their "allies".

"So, would you guys mind not kidnapping and molesting children so much? No? OK then, well I still think we learned a lot from each other today and I hope this conversation was as enlighting for you as it was for us."

frau_eva - 2013-05-29

God, it's like the Night's Watch and Craster.

Shanghai Tippytap - 2013-05-28

does anyone know any gung ho pro-war folks who supported the war in Iraq? how's their general feeling about all this, particularly about this pretty obvious cutting-and-running going on in Afghanistan?

Ursa_minor - 2013-05-28

Yeah, and it ends up being about Obama.

chumbucket - 2013-05-28

These "engagements" are a huge waste of everything. These countries need to get their own shit together without more guns and gun toters in the fray.

badideasinaction - 2013-05-28

Watched it all. Goddamn us all.

Shanghai Tippytap - 2013-05-28

I was most surprised by the attitudes of most Afghans featured in this. Any insights on why they come across as apathetic at best, and totally nihilistic at worst?

SolRo - 2013-05-28

They were born, and have grown up, in Afghanistan?

It's like Ethiopia without the celebrity aid visits but with a lot more guns and drugs.

FatFatuousNation - 2013-05-28

Chances are considerable that you'll be killed in the near future. You have no prospects and no money, you only speak Dari and have no employable skills, your country is in ruins, all parties around you are attempting to prey on one another with the boys you just watched serving as your police force, and many of the people you know are already dead. You have drugs at your disposal. How would you act?

FatFatuousNation - 2013-05-28

to trillion. That's ,000 to ,000 per employed person in the US.

Had we forgone these wars, the majority of the United States could have taken an entire year off work. Alternatively, we could have provided free cancer treatment in hospitals for dozens of years. (It currently costs ~0 billion per year to treat everyone.)

Instead, hundreds of thousands of people are dead as direct casualties from our wars and the resulting chaos, and people continue to go bankrupt trying to pay for their cancer treatments.

What has been gained? The Taliban has nearly the same membership count as in 2001, bouncing back up from a low point after our invasion. Warlords and Islamist terrorist groups are posed to rampage within the two severely destabilized countries for the foreseeable future. Whatever groups seize power will have just as much manpower and capital to generate terrorist plots as Bin Laden had at his disposal, and they'll have arguably greater impetus.

I can't see anything positive that came from this. Anocracies, weak democratic governments that are unable to control warlords, lead to more civilian deaths per year than the autocracies and theocratic governments that were previously in place. What an astounding waste of money and lives.

SteamPoweredKleenex - 2013-05-28

That's pretty much what I say when, for example, some new flavor of Al Qaeda blows up something near one of our embassies or we foil a plot of theirs and the wingnuts start saying, "Well, we can't just do NOTHING!"

Yes, we can. In fact, it'd piss the terrorists off even more. If we'd actually used the goodwill generated by 9/11 to strengthen ties with other countries and address global problems that lead to terrorist acts rather than giving a giant paycheck to Halliburton and a stiffy to paranoiacs like Cheney and everyone else held over from Bush I and Dick Nixon, we would have easily "won" the war on terror without ever firing a shot.

We turned what should have been an international police investigation and criminal trial into an endless war. Good job, us.

That guy - 2013-05-29

I won't make any claims as to how well it'd work in the long run, but one thing it absolutely will not do ever is piss the terrorists off even more.

badideasinaction - 2013-05-29

The problem isn't pissing off terrorists, it's pissing of regular people who then become terrorists.

This form of terrorism is intended to be a wedge between the West and Islam. It wants a fight where sides are chosen, so the moderate Muslims end up siding with the extremists. The whole point of 9/11 was to start a fight, and we happily obliged them.

PegLegPete - 2013-05-29

Obama gave the "We can't just do nothing." argument in his latest speech on terrorism wherein he defended the use of drones. That's not surprising, but what is actually very disturbing is that he drew that phrase up in context of a dichotomy: we can either use drones, or do nothing. That is something none of us should accept. Carrying out an international criminal investigation is not nothing, and don't let anyone say it is. Prosecuting terrorists and treating them like humans would be demoralizing to their entire movement and lend credence to the endless preaching our leaders practice. Until then - to just scratch the surface - we have our robotic hit squad creating a grassroots movement of hate against the USA.

That guy - 2013-05-29

How's prosecuting going to end up with butts in seats of courtrooms? And how are those courtrooms going to resemble anything like what we'd call a courtroom?

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