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October 29, 2010

Comments

There does seem to be a lot of "we'll negotiate with you, but only after you meet all our demands" going on in the world these days. Is that unusual, or do I just need to get out more?

Hogan: I think that's called the "denial" stage of dealing with a crisis. Problem being that many parties get stuck there.

I agree that our military involvement inevitably leads to more terrorists, for the reasons discussed in the post. But what I don't understand is why the citizenry (of Afghanistan, or Iraq) don't similarly get fed up with brutality by the Taliban, al-Qaeda or the other extremists that we regard as our enemies. In short, why do we get blowback from unintended consequences, but they don't?

Eric,

A great post, feel free to add "I told you so" at the end.

Jonny,

Couple of thoughts:

1. Al Qaeda DID get blowback in Iraq. As in, the Sunni insurgents sided with us and rounded them up/killed them en masse.

Further, Al Qaeda is unpopular just about everywhere in the Muslim world because of the violence they wreak therein.

2. It is important to remember that the Taliban are an indigenous movement. So they don't get blowback from their own kin because they are their own kin. However, they do get blowback from rival Afghan groups - hence the many civil conflicts.

Also, keep in mind, the Taliban movement itself was blowback - a local response against the corrupt, brutal warlords that took over post-Najibullah.

Many non-aligned Afghans don't love, like or prefer the Taliban, but the Afghan govt options aren't appealing either. And the Taliban at least have a reputation for restoring order/cracking down on corruption and lawlessness.

We have no such track record, and we are foreigners.

Eric -- Thanks for the response.

Jonny: No problem at all. Thanks for discussing.

Marty: Thanks for the kind words. Consider the post amended.

Bring back Amanullah!

Now there is a fine idea, Dole!

Although in zombie form, he might be a tad boring at cabinet meetings.

Still, we can work around this.

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