less rodeo clown more carny capitalism...,
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picking the horse you rode in on:
Melissa Roddy thinks we need to stay in Afghanistan to protect it from Pakistan:
Much of the current leadership of Afghanistan (including President Hamid Karzai) is actually controlled by [the Pakistani] ISI ... Unfortunately, the US and NATO, who are largely responsible for having empowered corrupt leaders such as the Karzais, Gul Afgha Shirzai and Abdul Rasul Sayaf, did not come to understand this dynamic until fairly recently.
A simple rule of thumb for identifying who should not be governing Afghanistan would be to eliminate from consideration any Afghan leader who was based in Pakistan during the 1980s war against the Soviet Union. Far too many persons fitting that description lost their integrity to ISI influence at that time.
the US is not trying to "win" or conquer Afghanistan. The mission of our military is to stabilize the country and assist in reconstruction, with the goal of leaving it strong enough to once again defend itself against the ongoing threat from its neighbor, Pakistan.
Roddy really owes it to her audience to tell us who she thinks we should actually be supporting, since we happen to be supporting these Pakistani agents - never mind their government - that she says we're now at war with. Or for that matter, how we're going to end Pakistani interference in Afghanistan, as by her account the government we are supporting there is run by Pakistan, as are the Taliban that said government is ostensibly fighting. One suspects that there is no one who could control the country in general, since the Pakistani agents are all fighting one another, let alone anybody that meets the requirements of her simple rule of thumb.
The evidence marshalled to support the claim that the US and NATO are suddenly cognizant that they are really actually srsly fighting Pakistan is approximately nil. Granted, we have been asking Pakistan's permission to bomb greater swathes of Pakistan, but they've shockingly turned us down. Normally that wouldn't stop us, but between using their country as a forward operating CIA base for over 30 years and the fact that they've got nukes, we seem to have rather limited alternatives in an unfuckable situation.
And as far as her fuzzy numbers and guilt trips go, it would probably be easier for somebody to do something about over 300,000 preventable child deaths a year in Afghanistan if anybody at all finally conquered the place. The least likely to win that lotto are the natives, and second to them is us. It doesn't matter anymore who it is than it did when the Taliban conquered most of it and aid workers returned and started saving childrens' lives and clearing the ordinance that killed so many of the 400,000 or whatever guesstimate of civilians that died to the conflict in the 90s. You know, before the US chased aid workers out of the country, militarized their efforts, and slapped targets on their backs.