B. Lee: ‘Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore’

Thanks to Mariann Wizard / The Rag Blog

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14 Responses to B. Lee: ‘Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore’

  1. masterspork says:

    Except how are you going to bell that cat?

    I mean the people that launch terror attacks will not simply stop of we decide to play ‘nice’. But what do you think is going to happen to the civilians that are in Afghanistan if we leave them between the warlords and Taliban?

  2. Mariann says:

    Glad you asked that one, MP!

    Here’s one idea:

    Every nation that condemns the Taliban’s suppression of free thought, music, and women, and the warlords’ reign of terror, would offer SAFE PASSAGE, RESETTLEMENT, and EVENTUAL CITIZENSHIP for x number of Afghanis who want to leave. Use the troops that are there now to escort anyone who wants to leave out, as they are leaving.

    Whatever this cost would be less than another year of military action in a broken nation.

    The promise wouldn’t need to include anything fancy — shouldn’t, in fact — but a chance to get out and survive. And by all means, if a woman wanted to leave and her husband didn’t want to let her, knock that s.o.b. upside the head or otherwise inconvenience him and give the lady a ride.

    You know, the Holocaust might have been a lot less effective if other nations had opened their doors to Germany’s Jews, Romany, homosexuals and communists. We didn’t, not even the US, and consequently had to fight an enormous war to stop the Nazi war machine.

    I’m sure there are many “practical” obstacles to implementing such an evacuation plan in Afghanistan. But if it were our WILL to solve these problems, they could be solved.

    War is like cursing, imho. It’s a lazy option. We can do better. If we can’t, then who are we to tell anyone how to live???

  3. Fed Up says:

    Now let me understand you: you care a great deal about the Afgan people? Yes or no?

    If so, what do you imagine is happening to Afghanis now with the US there?

    I bet you the Afghan people are thinking that while the Taliban shot a few women once in a while in some football stadium, blew up buddist shrines and wouldn’t let women go to school, the USA shoots 60 at a time from the air, including children.

    Oh, and Karzai’s brother is a big drug lord, by the way.

  4. masterspork says:

    Except that just because a nation is against the Taliban does not automatically assume that they will take in that many refugees if at all. Also since that people are returning there since the fall of the Talabin.

    http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/page?page=49e486eb6

    Except that by doing that you are putting western values over the local ones and could be targeted for attacks. Also this is assuming the soldiers are gone too.

    Also here is a thought, there is a group that is trying to have a ‘peace’ gathering in Afghanistan to talk about better ways to solve things there.

    Granted it is on short notice and will be expensive with risk. But if people want to talk about how to do things a better way, they should do more then just talk about it.

    http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/

    Yea I do care, I plan to try to get a deployment to go there in the next year or two. (just got back from Iraq in July) I have not been to Afghanistan yet, but if they are as bad as the groups in Iraq, I promise you that the difference in how we act is huge. We try to avoid civilian casualties, they try to maximize them.

    I have no illusions about the current government, but I believe that Taliban and friends are more of a threat then the Karzai’s government at the moment. If you try to take on both at the same time, it is bond to fail.

  5. Mariann says:

    Masterspork — I’m not assuming that any nation will take in any number of Afghani refugees and help them re-settle. There is not a lot of historical precedent for the idea! But really: if our claim is that we’re in Afghanistan to protect an oppressed civilian population from terrorists, doesn’t evacuation make sense, rather than bombing everything around them to dust? Build a containment area and keep the warlords inside it; let ’em whale on each other. You and other troops could keep ’em in.

    How to tell who is peaceful
    and who is a terrorist trying to gain entry to the US or some other peaceful naion would be the real trick. But we seem to have a problem telling them apart on the ground, as well…

    Really more interested in your experiences in Iraq! We hear a lot of top-down “analysis”, as you know, but not so much about the actual impressions of those who’ve been there. If/when US troops finally leave Iraq, what do you forecast to happen there, and why? Granted that Saddam was an S.O.B., but knowing now that he really didn’t have anything to do w/ 9-11, and no weapons of mass destruction have yet been found, what has been the overall result of the US invasion? Did we do Iraq or its neighbors any favors?

    Not sure I understand what you wrote about a difference in how US troops act in Iraq and (perhaps) in Afghanistan? Sorry, that sentence in your comment seems to be missing some vital part.

  6. masterspork says:

    Well the reason that I think that a increase in troop levels will allow the prevention of IED attacks and such. The logic is the same as having police patrolling parts of the city. They not be able to prevent crime completely, but I think that they can deter it. Also being able to go after IEDs before they blow up and deny chances to put down additional ones. Then there the other support options that I cannot really go into because of time restrictions. But one argument that I have had in the past with one guy is that a increase in troops will allow troops to have the need support from forward bases. Because Afghanistan is more spread out and that is why air support is vital when the troops come under attack. Because they might be miles from the closest base that could help them.

    That is why interacting with the local population helps in this. One good case is when we stopped at a Iraqi Army (Police?) check point and I gave the outpost commander a IV. What he told us was that the village behind us was filled with nothing but Al Qaeda and that they had a guy on the inside. But because no one until we came by asked them they never told anybody else but their command. That is why I think that going to these villages to see how things are going has made things better in Iraq in recent years.

    Here are some stories and videos that I took while I was over there. It should give a idea of what it was like. I want to take more time to respond to your questions since it is 10:00 pm here and I get up at 5 am.

    http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.myvideos

    http://www.armystrongstories.com/blogger/warren-andrews/

    Well i do not think there is much difference overall, just that since I have not been to Afghanistan, I cannot have the same personal references there as I can with Iraq. It is to response to any replies about “how can you say what is going on if you have never been there.”

  7. masterspork says:

    My concern is that the corruption will cause problems with the different groups there. For example I talked to a few Iraqi Army soldiers and they complain that thngs where better off before the US-Iraqi security pact. The fact that sticky fingers prevented much of the needed supplies from reaching them. The administrative things like pay and medical support is just as bad. My links talk more about that in dept.

    As far as Saddam, I think the invasion was a bad idea(Not illegal). I think that Afghanistan suffered for it because I think that people thought that we would be out of Iraq as quickly as we where in 1990-1. If we have just worried about Afghanistan I would be willing to bet that we would be in better shape there then we are now.

    I would say that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for sure. Iran, yes and no. We removed a threat to them but most likely see us as one with our forces on ether side of their country. Also there are a few groups currently there that want the removal of the current Iran government.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090902/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq_iranian_exiles

    All in all, Iraq could go ether way, but we should at least give it a chance after everything it has been through recently.

  8. richard jehn says:

    You have continued to insist that the invasion of/assault on Iraq was not illegal. This is a case of American arrogance, nothing else. The UN did not sanction the invasion, Iraq did nothing overt to provoke the US (please do not call Saddam’s inflammatory rhetoric sufficient to require invasion, and the tiff about weapons inspections should be viewed in the context of the actual reports produced by the UNSCOM, not by what Bush, Cheney, the US in general said about them), the US is a signatory to the Nuremburg Principles, the Geneva Conventions, and a number of other key international agreements; thus, the US violated international law by invading Iraq, and accordingly, the invasion was and is illegal.

    Period.

  9. richard jehn says:

    And you were a party to killing more than a million innocent people in the execution of that illegal invasion. Think about it, MS.

  10. masterspork says:

    Except that I have given support on why it is not illegal. Also the United States did not cede control of it’s military to the UN. Not to mention that the UN has been giving us a mandate that allowed us to be there, being renewed each year until 2009 when the Iraq-US security pact took over. If the UN really thought that we had violated international law do you really think that they would have given us and repeatedly renewed a mandate that allowed us to stay there?

    http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/sc9725.doc.htm

    What started this was the fact that Iraq was not honoring the terms of the cease fire, which was the conditions for the collation armies to stop attacking. Congress gave it’s support and we invade.

    Now here is the thing, just because it was legal does not mean I think we should have done it. But once it was done things changed. Now Iraq was looking like it was going to be the next Yugoslavia or Somalia. That is why we are stayed there, because regardless of what you think of the invasion, leaving Iraq the way it was in late 2003 would have been criminal.

    Also you cannot blame the deaths on us when most if not all have been from IEDs, suicide attacks and other conventional violence from each of the separate groups against each other. It is not us that is doing these killings. Also considering that I have gotten several personal thanks from local Iraqis about our overall efforts to help Iraq, your guilt trip really means little to me.

  11. Mariann says:

    Masterspork — want to take time to look at the links you sent, and I appreciate you sending them — it may be a while, tho, b4 I can respond due to a personal matter — wanted to say I’m not ignoring this.

    Re the legality issue that Bro. Richard raises, just want to point out that what constitutes legality seems to keep changing on us in recent decades. Used to be only Congress could declare war. Any other war would have been by definition illegal for the USA. Personally, I tend not to look so much at the legality as I did when I was first getting interested in the “Viet-Nam conflict”, as it was sometimes called, but at the LEGITIMACY of armed conflict. Not necessarily the same thing. Laws get changed and “interpreted”. Sometimes that may be good, other times not.

    But two wrongs aren’t ever gonna make a right, no matter who’s giving orders.

    In the personal sphere, maybe most folks have experienced, at least once or twice, having to say to someone, “I’m sorry. I was wrong/out-of-line/an idiot. I’ve done what I thought would make it right, but I’ve only made it worse. Please tell me what I can do to help.” It’s very difficult to be in that position. For nation states, it must be even more difficult; they don’t tend to do it voluntarily, no matter what’s going on.

    Sixty years after the end of WWII, various organizations and nations are still issuing apologies for their complicity in the Holocaust. I don’t want my grandkids to be apologizing for what WE are doing TODAY.

  12. masterspork says:

    Not a problem, look forward to your thoughts. I know that real life takes importance over this.

    I agree that just because we can do something that we should. Because it can be legal but the action could be very wrong. Kind of like the suing the fast food place for having no warning labels that the hot coffee was hot.

    I agree with the two wrong also, because those that died cannot be brought back. But you can try to prevent the deaths of those who are still alive. That is why such missions that work on clearing mines, IEDs and dud warheads across the area is a good thing. Now I would say that before the invasion that going after Iraq was a bad idea. But when it changed over to trying to stabilize the country and the fact that people had been on multiple tours and still going I wanted to help. Because I posted on another blog that imagine that you have been on three deployments and being told that you where going again. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else said that “Don’t worry about it, I will take it.” That is why I joined in 2006 and not earlier.

    Again another good point about the whole admitting you where wrong. I would imagine that things in politics make that much harder. I cannot argue against invading Iraq being a mistake (even though I can sympathize) but I think what we are doing now will be seen if we where concerned about the people there our own interests.

    But with WW2 we judged the people there individually rather then collective. There is a collective guilt about not being about to do something about it, but I have read reports that talk about looking into each unit and political groups activities to see if there where any crimes committed. That is the reason that Rommel does not have the stigma as Goring does even though both worked for Hitler.

    Also here is interesting story about ww2 and involvement.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,604076,00.html

    That is what I am asking as far as Iraq and Afghanistan goes that the actions of the soldiers should be looked at individually rather then collectively. (For better or worse) That is why I have been commenting on the ‘winter soldiers’ because for the most part things are not as they say and they have no problem in claiming that everyone there acts this way.

  13. The war in Iraq is unwarranted indeed; probablyl illegal (in my opinion).

    In fact, I see both wars as unjustified………

    However, since I’m not inclined to debate this or respond to this at length, I’ll just leave it at that – as Richard Jehn said, ‘period’.

  14. masterspork says:

    I agree with the first part but it became something more.

    But here is the real frustrating part. John talks about Iraq being illegal because it was not sanctioned by the UN, yet Afghanistan was and groups are still calling it illegal despite the UN approval. So which is it? Does the UN approval to go to war matter or not?

    I understand if you do not what to talk about this in length or not to get too involved. But it is one thing when it is far away out of sight. But another thing when it is right in front of you in the form of injured Iraq Solider that is no older then 22 with BB like spading on his face, a closed fracture on his left leg and doped to the gills on morphine.

    So that is why I post on topics like this because I see our involvement in post-Saddam Iraq and post-Taliban Afghanistan as a good thing.

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