Tuesday, May 05, 2009

should the taliban be crushed? why not???

I understand the difference, at least utilizing the language and logic of mainstream politics, between Iraq and Afghanistan. I also find it much more difficult to strive towards empathy for the Taliban than for those employed as soldiers or bureaucrats of the Iraqi government under Saddam (it's complicated but that's how it shakes down for me). That said, even if there are extremely expedient reasons to crush the Taliban, and crush them now, it's just another cycle in the folly of imperialism and the inevitability of reactionary byproducts of imperialism. So regardless of what Obama does (and he seems to intend to at least try to crush them, though I suspect he'll fail and be fodder for the right as a result), we need to have a public conversation on short term expediency versus long term policies and the foundations thereof.

Also, if I were in uniform, I probably would have had serious reservations about being deployed to Iraq (as some soldiers did); I would have far fewer reservations about going to Afghanistan to crush the Taliban. I can't think of one positive thing the Taliban contribute to human existence. They are a blight on civilization, humanity, solidarity with the oppressed, and common sense. I would personally shake the hands of the soldiers who captured any portion of the Taliban leadership. That wouldn't change my opinion regarding long view versus short view, but I would be happy they were no longer able to do what they do.

Finally, it's really the task of those who voted for Obama, knowing explicitly that he intended to step up the Afghanistan campaign, to defend his decision to do so.

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