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> I fucking hate these rules.
Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 6 2010, 02:35 AM
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I'm sorry about the right-wing jibe, but it is a common right-wing straw man to attack what I say based on it being broadly against the extreme right and therefore against the moderate right. My only hostile reaction, and damn right it's a hostile one, is to the "bomb them all, only good Paki's a dead Paki" middle-Englanders tend to resort to when confronted with the difficulties of the front lines. That way lies damnation and Rush Limbaugh.

I'm not sure what exactly your point is, is it that most reasonable Afghans don't mind harder tactics against the Taliban, and it's only to keep up appearances that we must conform to best practice?

If so, then that may be. But it is still important that the military is not seen torturing and knocking down innocent people's doors at 5am. Sometimes that tumbles over into erring too far to the side of caution, and that's the legacy of an imperfectly planned invasion. We the west should be seen, by potential enemies and by friends, to be morally better, and if it's too much to do then our politicians shouldn't be sending our young men to do a job that, with the best will in the world, is impossible to do in a way that improves the situation rather than makes it worse. We risk radicalising potential enemies and alienating potential allies.

Of course, that's a whole other issue and one that is already spilt milk. But maybe lessons can be learned: at the moment, it's all just point-scoring as each side accuses the other of hating America and not caring about families...straw men left and right.

[Edit] This post is unreadable, I might fix it when it's not 4am.

This post has been edited by Passionate Homo Sapiens Ingester: Jun 6 2010, 02:37 AM


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Bain
post Jun 6 2010, 03:24 PM
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My point was that the tactics that put our troops in danger for terrible reasons and make them care for the crafty enemy is only for the first world countries.....America, Europe, etc.


The average Afghan does not care though also. The more taliban an Afghan national army soldier has killed the higher honor, and for lack of a better word, badassery he has. Straight from the Afghans mouth.


So my problem with this situation is I dont want to appease America between 5-8 Am and 7-10 pm when they watch the news and decide to care about it while Afghans and Marines and Soldiers are living this shit 24 hours a day.


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Passionate Homo ...
post Jun 6 2010, 05:55 PM
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While I appreciate that the opinion of Afghans is important, there is a danger of separating people into two camps: Afghans who are instinctively pro-western and those who are instinctively anti-western. The danger is that by taking the second group and writing them off wholesale, we lose a lot of support.

Maybe Billy sees an invading force and his first instinct is to think they're bad. He'll see them building a bridge and trying to keep open a school, but still his instinct is telling him that they're just doing some stuff grudgingly with an ulterior motive -- and you've got to admit that there's a large minority of western thought that thinks that all this is "too good for them" and so on. It's only by ignoring these ideas and being the best, being so much better than the other side that all instinct, peurile aggression and reactionary tribalism has no chance of reeling in the moderate anti-western types.

Anything can be used by the 5% of anti-western people who are just bastards to influence the naive, the stupid and the vulnerable. It's these people that need to be considered in policy, not the pro-western ones who essentially trust good soldiers anyway.

I also think opinion in the west isn't completely irrelevant: in combatant countries, efforts are being made in protection of the people and paid for by the taxpayer. Their support is in the end important, as it is after all a government enterprise to undertake an offensive war. In non-combatants, it is important to maintain allies, even if some will never be happy and will continue to complain over things that have already been done (France). Even the last superpower (and its little brother!!) can't do everything on their own forever.

That's why we can't just bomb them all and hope for the best. I appreciate that the rules are silly, but they're well-intentioned. It's not my place to say exactly where the line ought to be drawn, but I do think allowances must be made because this war is about the bigger picture: hearts and minds and all that bollocks.


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Bain
post Jun 7 2010, 12:50 AM
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I can more or less say so-so to what you said so I wont elaborately, elaborate.


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