myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Buy and Sell Services
 
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Afghanistan falls
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 12, 13, 14, 15  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When will we ever learn?

Quote:
Opinion by Baktash Ahadi
Yesterday at 3:51 p.m. EDT



3.2k
Baktash Ahadi served U.S. and Afghan Special Operations forces as a combat interpreter from 2010 to 2012 and is a former chair of the State Department’s Afghan Familiarization course. He is working on a memoir of his service in Afghanistan.

Like many Afghan Americans, I have spent much of the past few weeks trying to secure safe passage from Afghanistan for family, friends and colleagues, with tragically limited success. I also know that many Americans have been asking: Why is this crazy scramble necessary? How could Afghanistan have collapsed so quickly?

As a former combat interpreter who served alongside U.S. and Afghan Special Operations forces, I can tell you part of the answer — one that’s been missing from the conversation: culture.

When comparing the Taliban with the United States and its Western allies, the vast majority of Afghans have always viewed the Taliban as the lesser of two evils. To many Americans, that may seem an outlandish claim. The coalition, after all, poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan. It built highways. It emancipated Afghan women. It gave millions of people the right to vote for the first time ever.


All true. But the Americans also went straight to building roads, schools and governing institutions — in an effort to “win hearts and minds” — without first figuring out what values animate those hearts and what ideas fill those minds. We thus wound up acting in ways that would ultimately alienate everyday Afghans.

First, almost all representatives of Western governments — military and civilian — were required to stay “inside the wire,” meaning they were confined at all times to Kabul’s fortified Green Zone and well-guarded military bases across the country.

Each of my own trips to visit family in Kabul was a breach for which I could have been disciplined. But I’m glad I broke the rules. If my colleagues had been allowed to enjoy the same experiences — the scent of kebab in Shahr-e Naw, the hustle and bustle of Qala-e Fathullah — they might have developed a much better feel for the country, its people and its culture.


As it was, however, virtually the only contact most Afghans had with the West came via heavily armed and armored combat troops. Americans thus mistook the Afghan countryside for a mere theater of war, rather than as a place where people actually lived. U.S. forces turned villages into battlegrounds, pulverizing mud homes and destroying livelihoods. One could almost hear the Taliban laughing as any sympathy for the West evaporated in bursts of gunfire.

Sometimes, yes, we built good things — clinics, schools, wells. But when the building was done, we would simply leave. The Taliban would not only destroy those facilities, but also look upon the local community with greater suspicion for having received “gifts” from America.

Second, the front-line troops were given zero training in cultural literacy. The Marines I worked with were shocked, for example, to hear me exchanging favorite Koran verses with my fellow Afghans, mistaking this for extremism rather than shared piety. When talking to Afghan villagers, the Marines would not remove their sunglasses — a clear indication of untrustworthiness in a country that values eye contact. In some cases, they would approach and directly address village women, violating one of rural Afghanistan’s strictest cultural norms.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wsurfer



Joined: 17 Aug 2000
Posts: 1458

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the Taliban taking over the whole (hole) of Afghanistan is like Trump taking over the GOP!

Same shit, different day! Laughing Laughing Laughing
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insight from today's East Bay Times:

Quote:
...if weakening the United States was bin Laden's ultimate goal, we have spent an estimated $5.5 trillion on the war in Afghanistan and other conflicts stemming from the attacks.


Not to mention the ongoing health costs for veterans, and the daily suicides of those who served.

Quote:
This paper
estimates 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans of the post 9/11 wars have died
by suicide, significantly more than the 7,057 service members killed in post-9/11
war operations. These high suicide rates are caused by multiple factors, some inherent to
fighting in a war and others unique to America’s “war on terror” framework. Partially, they
are due to risks common to fighting any war: high exposure to trauma, stress, military
culture and training, continued access to guns, and the difficulty of reintegrating into
civilian life. In the post-9/11 era, the rise of improvised explosive devices (IED), the
attendant rise in traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the war’s protracted length, advances in
medical treatment that keep service members in the military longer, and the American
public’s disinterest in the post-9/11 wars, have greatly contributed to increased suicide
rates. High suicide rates mark the failure of the U.S. government and U.S. society to manage
the mental health costs of our current conflicts.


The current GOP strategy focusses not on what we could learn from this grotesque mistake, but whether or not Biden and the military handled the withdrawal well.[/quote]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8731
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a day when we remember the fallen , one of America’s worst days, we are a changed nation . The right wing media went postal on Biden for the debacle in Afghanistan … can you imagine , in today’s climate , if a 9/11 happened after being continually warned Al Queda is poised to strike .. Times certainly have changed ..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 5084

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On August 18.........

mrgybe wrote:
This is the worst foreign policy debacle in decades.

boggsman1 wrote:
You're letting your partisan self get the best of you. A clunky final exit? yes, absolutely. The worst policy debacle in decades ? No sir.

Boggsy, In case you missed today's WSJ editorial, this is the closing para.....

"The Afghan withdrawal is the greatest U.S. foreign-policy humiliation in decades. The damage is made worse by the failure of accountability, starting with the Commander in Chief.

You may have also missed that Biden denied that the Generals advised a residual force be left to stop a chaotic collapse that occurred. Just like Obama in Iraq. We all know how that turned out.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
On August 18.........

mrgybe wrote:
This is the worst foreign policy debacle in decades.

boggsman1 wrote:
You're letting your partisan self get the best of you. A clunky final exit? yes, absolutely. The worst policy debacle in decades ? No sir.

Boggsy, In case you missed today's WSJ editorial, this is the closing para.....

"The Afghan withdrawal is the greatest U.S. foreign-policy humiliation in decades. The damage is made worse by the failure of accountability, starting with the Commander in Chief.

You may have also missed that Biden denied that the Generals advised a residual force be left to stop a chaotic collapse that occurred. Just like Obama in Iraq. We all know how that turned out.


Selective outrage. Omitted here are:

1. The first bombing of the World Trade Center.
2. The bombing of the Cole
3. The second, and vastly more effective, bombing of the World Trade Center.

Can we all spell spin?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 4084

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Selective outrage indeed.

Let's call it what it was. The entire war waged in Afghanistan was a debacle from the very beginning to the very end. And, we knew it would be. Mistakes were made by everyone, at every step, for twenty years...Yes...20 years.

I don't recall Mrgybe objecting when Trump negotiated with the Taliban and set a withdrawal date. His criticism, now, rings hollow.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16734
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had friends in the WTC for both bombings. Some made it out, some didn't. The trial for the first bombing established very clearly Bin Laden's obsession with the WTC as a symbol of American economic hegemony. The Cole bombing established his capacity to scale up attacks. Bush ended the briefings.

Selected outrage to the point of absurdity.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8731
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
On August 18.........

mrgybe wrote:
This is the worst foreign policy debacle in decades.

boggsman1 wrote:
You're letting your partisan self get the best of you. A clunky final exit? yes, absolutely. The worst policy debacle in decades ? No sir.

Boggsy, In case you missed today's WSJ editorial, this is the closing para.....

"The Afghan withdrawal is the greatest U.S. foreign-policy humiliation in decades. The damage is made worse by the failure of accountability, starting with the Commander in Chief.

You may have also missed that Biden denied that the Generals advised a residual force be left to stop a chaotic collapse that occurred. Just like Obama in Iraq. We all know how that turned out.


I am aware of the daily temperature, and certainly Rupert hasn't disappointed in piling on. I think the entire campaign was humiliating. Remember when Dubya pimped out Pat Tillman's enlisting versus playing safety in the NFL, then lied about his death? He was killed by friendly fire in a region he should have never been in.
The exit was ugly, no doubt, and if we left a residual force in there, we'd still be fighting there today, losing more blood and treasure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 8731
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Wed Sep 29, 2021 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Selective outrage indeed.

Let's call it what it was. The entire war waged in Afghanistan was a debacle from the very beginning to the very end. And, we knew it would be. Mistakes were made by everyone, at every step, for twenty years...Yes...20 years.

I don't recall Mrgybe objecting when Trump negotiated with the Taliban and set a withdrawal date. His criticism, now, rings hollow.


That's right. The exit script was written 18 months when that fateful agreement was hatched. I remember the day Trump crowed about it....I was like whaaaaaaaaaaaat???????
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Politics, Off-Topic, Opinions All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 12, 13, 14, 15  Next
Page 13 of 15

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group