Wait, I thought we beat 'em already!
April 13, 2003 9:10 PM   Subscribe

Remember how we beat the Taliban? This must be science fiction - I was told that we freed Afghanistan and killed all of the evil-doers there! I hope wacky stories like this don't start cropping up while we're introducing democracy to Iraq! I suppose it doesn't matter what the repurcussions are; even in our silly movies we have a history of ignoring that sort of thing.
posted by GriffX (61 comments total)
 
Another interesting article here about Afghanistan and US foreign policy.
posted by Bletch at 9:19 PM on April 13, 2003


Double post, I think.
posted by raysmj at 9:21 PM on April 13, 2003


I was told that we freed Afghanistan and killed all of the evil-doers there!

By who? a third-grade teacher?
posted by kablam at 9:24 PM on April 13, 2003


Related WarFilter post.
posted by homunculus at 9:45 PM on April 13, 2003




It's amazing. You people actually enjoy any setback or failure the US has, in the war against terrorism. I am truly witnessing the self destruction of the left, before my very eyes.

Every giggle or squeal of delight you make whenever something goes wrong in Iraq or Afghanistan, only strengthens the resolve of the American people to support our President, who enjoys an 80 percent approval rating, because he's doing what you despise, protecting this great nation, and ensuring our independence for this new century.
posted by Beholder at 9:53 PM on April 13, 2003


I remember when people posted interesting links on metafilter without the in your face agenda.

(Or at least they hid them well)

But I guess pushing your agenda on metafilter reaches a lot more eyeballs than on one's own personal site. Still, very sad.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:57 PM on April 13, 2003


It's amazing, Beholder. You actually hate any criticism or suggestion for improvement leveled at the US, in the war against some terrorism. I am truly witnessing the regression of the right into mindless, unquestioning nationalism before my very eyes.
posted by Jimbob at 10:07 PM on April 13, 2003


You people actually enjoy any setback or failure the US has, in the war against terrorism

Who is "you people"? The one saying this post was flamebait, or the one saying it was naive?

Wait, wait, sorry.. I'm supposed to ignore you, I forgot.
posted by Hildago at 10:09 PM on April 13, 2003


Jimbob - don't feed the trolls, c'mon. Hildago, you too.
posted by jonson at 10:11 PM on April 13, 2003


Wait, wait, sorry.. I'm supposed to ignore you, I forgot.

Actually, it's the other way around. It's the anti war movement being ignored.
posted by Beholder at 10:13 PM on April 13, 2003


Sorry, jonson. I'm going to spend some time in the "quiet corner" now.
posted by Jimbob at 10:16 PM on April 13, 2003


a friend of mine and I were discussing whether or not Beholder is real, but I'm going to have to abstain from now on because of a conflict of interest: in my heart, I want to believe people like him don't exist!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:21 PM on April 13, 2003


mmmm anyone like a lollipop? i got cherry ones and strawberry ones and cola ones, there's even one for Beholder! and a hug
posted by kv at 10:21 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder - I'm not enjoying any of this. I'm certainly not giggling or squealing with delight over it. I am, however very upset by the fact that my President is waging a war that I oppose, and selling it to the American public on the dead backs of the people who perished on September 11, 2001. I find the selling and marketing of this war disgusting - and if you ever call my beliefs and convictions on this subject cowardly or unpatriotic, I hope you never ever use the words 'freedom' or 'democracy' again with a straight face.
posted by GriffX at 10:22 PM on April 13, 2003


You actually hate any criticism or suggestion for improvement leveled at the US, in the war against some terrorism

Not at all. I just don't think this is the proper place for these discussions, especially when the poster is trying to be a troll, and since the owner of this board doesn't like the phrase Iraqfilter, I'm now inclined to go into more detail on why fpp like this one suck.
posted by Beholder at 10:24 PM on April 13, 2003


Hmm... Those of you who think the liberation of Afganistan was an utter failure, should read up on how life was in that country BEFORE the war.

Oh yeah, while you're at it, read the fallacy of misleading vividness too, and realize how these isolated cases are, while tragic, totally insignificant in the grand sheme of things.
posted by VeGiTo at 10:28 PM on April 13, 2003


I am truly witnessing...

...cynicism. You know, that feeling you get when no matter how ridiculous something is, people support it? You stop caring, and laugh at the world. Join us.

...protecting this great nation, and ensuring our independence for this new century.
posted by iamck at 10:30 PM on April 13, 2003


a friend of mine and I were discussing whether or not Beholder is real, but I'm going to have to abstain from now on because of a conflict of interest: in my heart, I want to believe people like him don't exist!

Yes we conservatives exist. You might be surprised to know that a slight majority of Americans consider themselves conservative.

That's how President Bush got elected.
posted by Beholder at 10:31 PM on April 13, 2003


Yes we conservatives exist. You might be surprised to know that a slight majority of Americans consider themselves conservative.

That's how President Bush got elected.


was that another troll, for us to bring up the election? oops.
posted by Espoo2 at 10:40 PM on April 13, 2003


VeGiTo - So, another example of the fallacy of misleading vividness might be:

Abdul: So, our country got the shit bombed out of us by the US, right?
Kamel: Right, because the US wanted to catch Osama bin Laden!
Abdul: Well, I can understand that, sure! But they didn't catch him, did they?
Kamel: No, but they wanted to get rid of the Taliban, who were horrible people.
Abdul: I can certainly support that, but the Taliban is still around, I see. The American people must be outraged about that!
Kamel: Sadam has WMD.
Abdul: Wait, what are you talking about? Our country is still a hellish, impoverished shithole!
Kamel: Look at all that WMD he has that the UN found eventually!
Abdul: Holy shit, the Taliban is still here!
Kamel: Iraq has WMD, dude!
Abdul: I thought that Afghanistan was being liberated!
Kamel: OK, we'll talk later. Hang tight for a while, ok?
Abdul: Osama?
posted by GriffX at 10:41 PM on April 13, 2003


Prez Bush wasn't actually elected. The re-count never truly took place according to florida law, and the Supreme court short circuited a successful conclusion, basically appointing him, but don't let that stall your "interesting" rant.
In fact I remember Gore winning the popular vote..
posted by Elim at 10:43 PM on April 13, 2003


you bit!
posted by Espoo2 at 10:45 PM on April 13, 2003


GriffX: Uhh... There's a difference between removing Taliban from power and slaughtering every last one of them.

Believe me, if the Taliban was still in power and they wanted to make a point of killing tourists, you'll see a lot more than one or two tourists getting shot by stray Taliban gunmen.

Jeez. THINK
posted by VeGiTo at 10:48 PM on April 13, 2003


Yes we conservatives exist. You might be surprised to know that a slight majority of Americans consider themselves conservative. That's how President Bush got elected.

While I disagree with those who would claim Bush 43 "stole" the election, there's no getting around the fact that he lost the popular vote. You can't use his election to support the idea that there's even a conservative majority.

Of course, there could be. I'd consider myself somewhat conservative... in presidential elections, I've chosen the Republican candidate in every election since I could vote. Except Bush 43. So maybe there is a sligh majority. Just not all of us love Rush or the neo-cons.
posted by weston at 10:58 PM on April 13, 2003


I was told that we ... killed all of the evil-doers there!
Grifx: You still haven't answered the question as to who told you this. I am no Shrub supporter, but I do not recall anyone in Shrub's administration ever claiming anything like this. Do you have a source?
posted by mischief at 11:10 PM on April 13, 2003


Beholder: ... protecting this great nation ...

I asked "Protecting us from what, exactly?" months and months ago, and I still haven't gotten an answer. Care to offer one? There was never nor was there about to be a credible, direct threat from Iraq.

I explained the situation with Iraq to my kids like this:

Suppose there's this guy who doesn't like me-- we'll call him Sam. No one really likes Sam; he's a bully and an asshole. Sam and I have had run-ins in the past, like when I kicked his ass for beating up on Karl, Sam's neighbor. Sam told me that I'd better watch my back, that he's gonna get me some day. I don't take Sam too seriously on that point.

One day another friend of mine tells me, "You know, I saw Sam earlier and he was cleaning his pistol and talking about how he was going to 'get' you." That's enough to make anyone nervous, and I prudently go home and get my gun. Now, consider the two following scenarios:

1) After taking due precautions at home, I continue my normal activities, keeping an eye out for Sam. If I see him, I'm armed and capable of defending myself-- or I can call the police. Either way, I wait for Sam to make the first move.

-- or ---

2) I get my gun and go out looking for Sam. I find him eating at a the local diner, where I shoot him dead.

Which course of action would end with my ass in jail for murder?
posted by Cerebus at 11:14 PM on April 13, 2003


"wiped out the taliban"
posted by crunchland at 11:20 PM on April 13, 2003


Did you tell your children that Sam had executed thousands of people, Cerebus? Did you tell them that Sam had special rooms referred to as 'rape rooms'? Did you mention that Sam was living lavishly off of oil money while his roomates couldn't even afford to buy even basic medical supplies? Did you tell them that Sam was just as justified as Hitler? Did you tell them that Sam had the potential to sell untraceable handguns to thousands of like-minded criminals? Did you ask them if their their father was a near-sighted jackass?
posted by ttrendel at 11:37 PM on April 13, 2003


Dear god ttrendel, it was analogy...and it's not hard to take it to an absurd level:

Did you tell them that your pistol would "accidentally" kill thousands? Did you tell them that you're father used to fund Sam? Did you tell them how there's a million other "Sam's" out there, many of whom are your friend, but whose actions you ignore?
posted by iamck at 12:00 AM on April 14, 2003


crunch: that google search ain't worth shit!

Guardian: But more reliable observers say the Taliban have been comprehensively wiped out. "The Taliban movement is history. Mullah Omar was the head of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. It doesn't exist any more," one senior aid worker said.

Guardian: American jets have wiped out the Taliban's airports

ABC: So, I think the alliance, although they're delighted to now have Kabul, will not be content until they've completely wiped out the Taliban

Muslimmedia: By December the US claimed to have wiped out the Taliban

Business Week: Air strikes have wiped out the Taliban's military command-and-control centers

Nothing that can be attributed to Shrub, so what was your point?
posted by mischief at 12:03 AM on April 14, 2003


Ladies and Gentlemen!
Do not Feed the Trolls, I beseech Thee!
posted by spazzm at 12:58 AM on April 14, 2003






Don't make me have to post another "O' Defenders of All Things Duhbya" poem! I mean it!
posted by nofundy at 5:20 AM on April 14, 2003


iraq/taliban filter

/yawn
posted by lampshade at 5:57 AM on April 14, 2003


Cerebus, nice example, trouble is there aren't any police nor is there a jail. There are a bunch of neighbors who will tutt tutt, but that is it.

Face it: an impartial police system for security issues won't exist for another 100 years, if ever. Right now, its a jungle out there.

Oh, and to make your example more complete, Sam should be raping his six year old daughter twice a day--and no one does a thing about it.
posted by ednopantz at 6:00 AM on April 14, 2003


ttrendy: The point, which you conveniently missed, is that preemptive war is immoral. Is that clear enough for you, or do you need glasses for your own brand of myopia?

Sheesh. Some people. If you can't make a cogent point-- or even answer my posed question-- you could at least be polite enough to not resort to ad hominem.
posted by Cerebus at 6:00 AM on April 14, 2003


is that preemptive war is immoral

always?

How about to prevent a greater harm?

How about killing 1000 civilians to spare 10,000 and free 23,000,000 from tyranny?

Is the freedom of 23,000,000 worthless because I fail to free another 13,000,000 somewhere else?

The costs of acting may be high, but inaction has costs as well.

But we have been here already. The high horses are already drawn up. Everyone thinks they have a monopoly on righteousness.
posted by ednopantz at 6:26 AM on April 14, 2003


UtilitarianismFilter.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:48 AM on April 14, 2003


I was told that we freed Afghanistan and killed all of the evil-doers there!

By who? a third-grade teacher?


Practically. Guy's name is Christopher Hitchens.
posted by soyjoy at 6:51 AM on April 14, 2003


Every giggle or squeal of delight you make whenever something goes wrong in Iraq or Afghanistan, only strengthens the resolve of the American people to support our President, who enjoys an 80 percent approval rating, because he's doing what you despise, protecting this great nation, and ensuring our independence for this new century.

I am very quickly beginning to believe that everything Beholder ever writes is merely taken verbatim from astroturfed letters to the editor in local newspapers.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:52 AM on April 14, 2003


Stavros, I just like saying 'felicific calculus'.

I just learned the other day that they've replaced Jeremy Bentham's head with a paraffin model. I'm so disappointed.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:10 AM on April 14, 2003


People, shut up with these god damn analogies. Analogies are used to illustrate a point, not prove it. We are all adults here and can discuss the situation without talking about neighborhood bullies who live with 10,000 innocent civilians, owns the local gas station, and has a nuclear reactor in his back yard.
posted by delmoi at 7:10 AM on April 14, 2003


"How about to prevent a greater harm?"

Even so, on the basis that "what if" scenarios might be flawed. Then again, there are people who support the death peanalty even if mistakes are beign made in its application. For the record, prefer NOT being bombed even if the ruler of my country is a dictator with invisible WMDs.
posted by magullo at 7:55 AM on April 14, 2003


ednopantz: always?

Generally, when the preemptive cause is self-defense.

How about to prevent a greater harm?

That's not the same thing I was discussing above. If you want to discuss bellum justum as it applies to the creation of justice in Iraq, fine-- but just now I was talking about self-defense. Please stick to the subject.

Here is a good primer in the current context.
posted by Cerebus at 7:58 AM on April 14, 2003


I just want to know how many of the many many evil dictators in the world, (who also kill thousands upon thousands of thier own people) we are going to take out. If Bush wants to sell me that idea on the war, then I want to know that we will handle all of the evil dictators with the same treatment! There is a list of them as long as my arm you know.

Tell me exactly what country we are going to attack that is not directly connected to the oil business? We actually have one in our own back yard, Fidel Castro. How many dead Cubans do we allow to make taking him out justifiable?

These neocons who are now so vocal about how we "did this to free the Iraqi's" make me sick. As if they care about anything other than thier own wallets...How about Uganda? So do the Iraqi people deserve freedom more than Cubans or Ugandans or the millions of others who live under the same or worse conditions than the Iraqi people?
posted by SweetIceT at 8:03 AM on April 14, 2003


How? No one here truly knows the situation; we engage in semi-educated conjecture based on information gleaned from media, independent research, and "between the lines" reading of polarized propaganda.
Besides, the facts typically don't enter into many discussions regarding foreign policy; it's governed by opinion. Folks on the right are quick to point out the anecdotal acceptance ratings whenever Bush is criticized. Folks on the left quote protest sizes to "balance" the discussion. Foreign policy is a great way to engage the more educated populace into "discussion paralysis" and stupefy the less educated populace into silence. I'll probably drop dead of abject shock the first time it's applied equally to all countries (and no, I don't mean "bomb everybody.") We know that China has violated human rights for decades - you don't see us bombing them. Hell, we're shaking their hand and backing off because they're willing to throw North Korea to the dogs of war in return for our silence. We know that Israel and Palestine are two sides of a never-ending war used by larger countries to manipulate Middle East policy - instead of castigating both countries, we pick (and, on occasion, change) sides and meddle at will. We utter this "axis of evil" bullsh*t and are "surprised" when the countries quoted start ramping up defensive (and offensive) capabilities.

And now, some ranting for your reading amusement.
For those of you in the rabid right, remember while you're quoting atrocities that we already knew about them, supported them, and even supplied weapons and education for them, because Saddam agreed with us while we were at odds with Iran. Your high horse is covered with blood; get off it. As for this "you hate America" crap, anti-war doesn't mean anti-American, and it certainly doesn't mean anti-troops; they're our family, friends, and neighbors as well, and we'd like them back whole and healthy. The right used to be for personal freedoms; why are you standing by and letting them be ripped from you? If you want to support democracy, start by booting out of office every bastard who voted for the Patriot Act.
For those of you in the liberal left, remember that Bush and his cronies seized power legally and destroyed this country's reputation and finances because you let it - two-thirds of the fat-assed, self-contented, self-absorbed American population couldn't be bothered to vote. Our election came down to friggin' Florida as the deciding state! You want to "think globally and act locally"? Don't paint a sign, don't whine; fill out a voter registration card and vote in 2004. If you have the time to march, you have the time to vote, and nobody gives a sh*t if you're just blocking traffic. Voting is one of those personal freedoms we have that we're just not using right now, apparently. If you want to protest, start by booting out of office every bastard who voted for the Patriot Act.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:03 AM on April 14, 2003


Can't help it; bored and disgusted by this thread.
posted by FormlessOne at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2003


I think we should invade the Congo next; the fascist regime there has an unfair hold on famine, poverty and ebola, and I want to get in on some of that action.
posted by xmutex at 8:21 AM on April 14, 2003


Re. the original post, it was my impression that the last war in Afghanistan consisted of a number of 'last stand' battles which seemed to consist of bombings and firefights that lasted 3, 4, 5 days, at which point the Taliban (or whoever they are), many of whom looked like irregulars, 'surrendered,' gave up their weapons, and then basically walked off. This happened once, and I thought it was unusual, but then it happened again and again (Kabul, Kandahar, etc.). It was always the next military objective that was going to be the 'last stand.' So a few places had the shit bombed out of them (that fort in northern Afghanistan where they found John Walker Lindh?), the caves where someone was using OBL's satellite phone. But basically, it looked like the new Afghanistan would be old wine in new bottles a lot of the time; which, if you read your Machiavelli, is not really the way to win a war.

In the western press, regime change (and thus 'victory') was achieved in Afghanistan. Whether the US now controls (or wants to control) Afghanistan is more doubtful, although there was talk of plans to pipe Central Asian oil out to Pakistan somewhere around the Khyber pass.

The overall implications of such US strategy for Iraq (Syria, Iran ...) are not encouraging, if the amount they are spending in Afghanistan ($1 bn/month, I think), achieves at best limited results. Whether or not it continues depends I guess on how long Bush et al can spin partial success as 100% success to Congress and taxpayers/voters.
posted by carter at 8:57 AM on April 14, 2003


Beholder - I'm not enjoying any of this. I'm certainly not giggling or squealing with delight over it. I am, however very upset by the fact that my President is waging a war that I oppose, and selling it to the American public on the dead backs of the people who perished on September 11, 2001.

This may be, but MeFi is not supposed to be a place where you simply express your personal outrage in FPP's ... that's what personal blogs are for. And this FPP seems very confused, as it appears to do nothing but make a case for killing all of the Taliban. While the MeFi bar for FPP's has been lowered considerably since the war began, you'd need a pick-ax and shivel to get under this one. Three links that are completely unrelated to each other, and very nearly unrelated to the point of the FPP itself. It's fairly clear that you wanted to express your opinion about something, and simply hunted for a few links you could toss into the post to make it an FPP.

It's probably worth mentioning that there isn't a single person in the government that thinks all of them are dead. The goal of the US - which was successful - was to remove a government that was providing state support, and a foundation, for the operations of Bin Laden and his terrorists ... thus making it much harder for them to operate. There's a big difference between an isolated terrorist being able to assassinate a tourist here and there, and a government that supports things like multiple systematic training camps and communications/logistics centers for planning large-scale terrorist attacks. If the effectiveness of the Taliban has been reduced to scattered individuals here and there taking pot shots at westerners that stray in the boonies, all you've managed to prove is how effective the US has been.

I find the selling and marketing of this war disgusting - and if you ever call my beliefs and convictions on this subject cowardly or unpatriotic, I hope you never ever use the words 'freedom' or 'democracy' again with a straight face.

Er, actually, that's pretty much the definition of "freedom" and "democracy". You can hold, and express, any beliefs and convictions you want ... whether anyone likes them or not. And everyone else can hold, and express, any opinions about those beliefs that they want, whether you like them or not.

And it may also be worth noting that while America is a democracy, the forum of MeFi is not. It is a benevolent dictatorship. We are here at the pleasure of our host ... a host that has asked us innumerable times to refrain from exactly this sort of FPP. It is to his credit that he manages MeFi with a very light touch ... but that doesn't excuse self-centered rudeness.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:04 AM on April 14, 2003


We are all adults here

As with the rest, I think that's open for debate.
posted by crunchland at 9:10 AM on April 14, 2003


I know I've said this before, but I think "matt hates it" is the new "shut up and support our troops" or "love it or leave it!"
posted by mcsweetie at 9:11 AM on April 14, 2003


Mike Fiore.

Matt also asked us not to call posts "FPPs."
posted by muckster at 9:17 AM on April 14, 2003


Matt also asked us not to call posts "FPPs."

Did he? Where? Why? (This isn't snarky ... I'm serious ... I was unaware of this. And if it is true, I'll be the first to apologize).
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:24 AM on April 14, 2003


This thread is a thorough disgrace. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.
posted by walrus at 9:25 AM on April 14, 2003


SEAR E YUH! SEAR E YUH! SEAR E YUH!
posted by zekinskia at 9:53 AM on April 14, 2003


This is going to just kill the tourist industry promoted with such enthusiasm by Kabul Online.
posted by hairyeyeball at 1:02 PM on April 14, 2003


walrus: Why don't you take your self-righteous self and be ashamed for all of us. Sound good to you? Wonderful!
posted by mischief at 11:21 PM on April 14, 2003


Glad you caught the irony in my comment then mischief.
posted by walrus at 1:38 AM on April 15, 2003


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