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Obama says 33,000 troops will leave Afghanistan by next summer

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I certainly hope he consulted with the allies who also have troops in Afghanistan. The British have been heavily involved in the fighting there and have paid a heavy price too.

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The sad thing about Afghanistan is that after countless dead and injured on both sides, the Taliban will come back and regain power. Bin Laden is dead but was it worth? The withdraw is the inevitable conclusion. I dare anyone tell this war was a success.

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TumbleDry,

Is it really such a bad thing if the Taliban come back and regain power? If they can stop al-qaida from using the country as a base then really is it so bad?

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Why are we all so willing to get involved and sacrifice 'ourselves' for the political stability of some middle eastern country that has nothing to do with us,

If we were going to 'hrlp' the world why not start with the more direct problems, of countless dying in Africa each day from hunger.

We could of just about cured that problem with the same amount invested in the war, right?

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Why are we all so willing to get involved and sacrifice 'ourselves' for the political stability of some middle eastern country that has nothing to do with us,

Because American sheeple have been trained to be patriotic on cue.

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@Spidapig

Is it really such a bad thing if the Taliban come back and regain power? If they can stop al-qaida from using the country as a base then really is it so bad?

Yes, because they are horrible extremist religious zealots. Well, I guess it's not such a bad thing if you don't care about the Afghan people at all. Girls that can finally go to school, etc... might consider it a bad thing, though.

Also, what on earth makes you think they wouldn't let Al-Qaida train there again? Because, that's exactly what they were doing in the first place.

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Spidapig24: Yes. It is going to be bad again. The only freedom Afghan had was between coalition bombs and suicide bombings.

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@Stranger,

"Girls that can finally go to school etc... might consider it a bad thing" Oh ok so your saying under the Taliban girls could not go to school is that right? Wonder where you read that rubbish... Girls in fact could go to school under the Taliban, they could not go to school with boys they had to have seperate schools.

And as for your other statement about them letting al-qaida into Afghanistan to train, l really cant be bothered explaining to you so maybe you should go read up about it. By the way you are aware the Taliban critisised al-qaida for their 911 attacks and also tried to reign them in and stop them. You also realise that the Taliban where talking to the US about handing over OBL before the invasion.

But by all means just stick with the stories that the media make up

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TumbleDry,

Actually the most peaceful time for the majority of Afghans was when the Taliban took control of the country and set up government. Funny thing is even the International Red Cross agrees with that. After all that was the time when they where allowed into the country to work unmolested....

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@Spidapig

Funny, I've read several articles saying girl schools were shuttered during the Taliban's reign. Why do you assume your information is correct and mine is rubbish? You've obviously got some kind of soft spot for the Taliban there. Strange and humorous.

I guess it was a cool place run by some laid back dudes who didn't impose sharia law and stone women to death for being with a non-related man. Great. Thanks for clearing that up.

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"the Taliban will come back and regain power"

Yeah but we delayed them a good decade.

"Is it really such a bad thing if the Taliban come back and regain power? If they can stop al-qaida..."

The Taliban stop al-Qaida? You can't be serious.

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@Spidapig24: Just to remind ourselves, we might want to look at video clips from the Taliban era where women were summerarily exicuted just for being outside without the accompaniment of a male relative. the beatings, hangings and stoneings.

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@Stranger,

Could ask you the same question, why do you assume your right and lm wrong. Just because Wikipedia or the US media says it, it must be true right? As for your pathetic little dig about my soft spot for the Taliban..... Better luck next time.

And lm not saying it was a cool place run by laid back guys but it certainly wasnt as bad asa what was reported by the US media. Oh just out of curiousity how many women in total where stoned to death for being out with none related males? Hundreds, Thousands or much less?

As for them imposing Sharia law, so what. Do you see the Taliban invading the US because they dont like the fact the us is a christian country? You are trying to impose your values and beliefs on another people and are effectively saying your beliefs are wrong and ours are right... Arrogance at its greatest

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techall,

Yep they did happen, again how many, how often. How many people does the US execute for breaking their laws? Same thing isnt it. Just because a country may follow what we in the west consider a backward religion with backward laws and punishments does it make it worse than us.

Just out of curiousity though, when the Taliban where in power what was drug production like in Afghanistan, and drug use? What was crime like? What about western NGO's how come they could operate safely there under the Taliban? And finally if they where so bad why where the US doing business with them?

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why do you assume your right and lm wrong.

No, I'm assuming the newspaper articles I've read are right and you are wrong. Why? Because you've given me no reason to believe otherwise. If you just explained your sources, I might think them credible.

You are trying to impose your values and beliefs on another people and are effectively saying your beliefs are wrong and ours are right... Arrogance at its greatest

No, I believe in universal human rights. Cultural/religious differences don't take away people's basic human rights. And, what dig? You are sticking up for the Taliban. I'll say it again, seems like you've got a soft spot for them.

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@Stranger,

So your assuming the "newspaper" articles youve read are right and lm wrong... Would these be the same newspapers that said there where WMD's in Iraq? Rather than read newspapers or Wikipedia try picking up a book on the subject there are plenty out there. Try reading about how when why the Taliban where founded. Try reading about the conflict in Afghanistan and its history and try to do it with an open mind. You might be surprised at what you learn. Rather than relying on the media. After all wasnt it just a couple of days ago you where bagging the media about their biased reporting?????

You believe in universal human rights hey so you are against the death penalty? So just because you dont agree with how a country is run and what religion and laws they perscribe to they should be invaded and forcefully overthrown. So you would advocate that the US invades Iran, Saudi Arabia, jeez any mid east country infact. Really thats what your saying just because they are different and yes they dont have the same respect or rules regarding life as say the US. Oh wait the US execute people that break the law. Japan then, oops they do too.

And yes your weak little dig. I do not supprot the Taliban but and this is a big but. They bought stablitity to a country that has been in turmoil for decades they reintroduced law and order (you dont have to agree with their methods). They brought back infrastructure that had been not working for years and guess what they represented 70% of the population. So are they that bad.

Oh and you havent answered my question how many people did they execute for crimes during their rein?

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Spidapig24: They bought stablitity to a country that has been in turmoil for decades they reintroduced law and order

The Taliban brought stability through terror. Ask an Afghan about what type of beard he was required to grow, ask him about entertainment.

They brought back infrastructure that had been not working for years and guess what they represented 70% of the population. So are they that bad.

They had an infrastructure before the Soviet invasion. To be destroyed successively by the Soviet and the long civil war. Ask an Afghan about the water supply and eduction.

The Taliban didn't bring infrastructure back. When the coalition invaded Afghanistan, there wasn't much to be destroyed.

Oh and you havent answered my question how many people did they execute for crimes during their rein?

Logs from the soccer stadium in Kabul have yet to be found.

The Taliban regime is one of the worst regime human created for themselves.

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Rather than relying on the media. After all wasnt it just a couple of days ago you where bagging the media about their biased reporting?????

Books are media as well, and no I don't think it was me bagging the media about biased reporting. Authors of books also have bias you know and it seems one or two of them has passed their pro-taliban bias on to you.

Really thats what your saying

No, that's not what I was saying. What I said was, "I believe in universal human rights. Cultural/religious differences don't take away people's basic human rights." I didn't say I was for the death penalty, or that one country should invade another to impose their values on the other. You are trying to put words into my mouth.

And, no, it's not a dig, simply an observation.You are saying they did some good things therefore they aren't that bad, but your conclusion doesn't follow logically from your premise. They could still be bad, whether they did some good things for their country or not. I believe they are. For one, they are religious extremists who force their views on society with no regard to human rights, because they don't even acknowledge human rights exist. I don't even need a second reason for believing what I do. Even assuming your 70% figure is right and that is a huge assumption it has no bearing on what I'm saying.

And, oh, I didn't answer one of your questions? I really can't even tell if they are hypothetical questions or if you really want an answer. But, knowing some specific factoid about how many people they killed for crimes (which, I'm sure you think you know, but I doubt anyone does) has no relevance to what I'm saying either.

It's very simple, your approach is one of cultural relativity and mine is of universal rights.

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Spidapig: I do not support the Taliban.....

Care to explain what it is about them that you do not support? You don't seem to be buying the reasons others have given when they say they do not support the Taliban.

So, what are yours?

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TumbleDry,

"The Taliban regime is one of the worst regime human created for themselves" Says who? Says the US, they werent that bad when the US was doing business with them. The Afghan people? The Taliban were formed by the Pashtun's who are the majority ethnic group in Afghanistan. The groups that claimed they where bad are the Tajik's and Uzbeks, who are from the north of the country and where aligned to the Northern Alliance. If the Taliban where so bad (and l am talking pre 2001) why did they enjoy so much support especially in the Pashtun dominant south of the country?

You site beard lengths and entertainment. Let me see as l said given that the south of the country is Pashtun and they are of the same ethnic group and religion as the Taliban then they subscribe to the Taliban beliefs regarding entertainment, beards, women and homosexuality. It was only in the main city (Kabul) that the Talibans beliefs where seen as backward. Why? because Kabul was by Afghan conditions modern and progressive so of course any ban on entertainment would be seen as backward. And in the north the different cultures and religion caused friction.

As for infrastructure you would be suprised the Taliban actually did manage to make some progress to repairing the damage done by years of war, certainly not by western standards. And you mention the soccer stadium, yes they did execute people there. People that had broken the law, for example a woman who was stoned to death, her crime was she killed her husband while he slept. Now l agree stoning isnt a humane, but it is their way of instigating a death penalty just like the US used gas, electric chairs, hanging or lethal injection. Did you also realise that it wasnt the Taliban who commited her to death but the victims family, you see in Afghanistan the old eye for an eye law still applies.

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TumbleDry,

Continued

I guess what lm saying is what right does the west have to force western values on a country just because they dont agree with how they are running their country. There are countries out there that dont like how the US does things is that an excuse to invade? And there are countries out there as bad as Afghanistan (Iran, and several other mid east countries) do you see them getting invaded?

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@Stranger,

"Rather than relying on the media. After all wasnt it just a couple of days ago you where bagging the media about their biased reporting????? Books are media as well, and no I don't think it was me bagging the media about biased reporting. Authors of books also have bias you know and it seems one or two of them has passed their pro-taliban bias on to you." Actually yes it was you just a couple of days ago saying this media outlet sensationalised news..... So if this one does it why wouldnt others. And l realise books are media as well and they have differing views depending on the authors beliefs and biases which is why you read more than one from different sides. Um you accuse me of pro Taliban bias wow good for you. I could accuse you of being a biased by the US media towards the war and its reasons. After all according to you, you rely on newspapers for your facts...... VERY TRUSTING!!!

Lets just say your entitled to your one sided view based on what you read in the newspaper and l will keep an open mind (or as you call it being Pro Taliban.) I guess that you are one of these the US is always right people. Just out of curiousity how many peoples human rights has the US trampled in the past few years, how many have they executed? How many countries have the US bombed and invaded (on false information)? But yes the Taliban are evil!!! Definately.

Finally, you did confirm one thing for me you believe that your beliefs are more important and morally right than anyone elses and therefore you agree with forcing your beliefs on others because they are inferior to you and your beliefs. So whats next Iran, Saudi, any of the mid east countries that dont subscribe to your beliefs?

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Spidapig24: Give an Afghan your way of living. Ask him/her which they would prefer. Better, go to live under the Taliban regime. You'll be back. It's hard for me to see in which condition they put themselves. After years and years of war, I guess anyone would accept whoever if they bring stability. But at what cost? They had nothing to begin with. I agree that the West is hypocrite.

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TumbleDry,

I am not saying at all that they are a good group. What l am trying to say and l guess l havent gone about it right is this. We as western nations cannot, should not expect all countries in the world to act like us. But we do and if they dont we call them uncivilised, immoral, evil. You go and ask a Pashtun person their thoughts of the west and l bet they say the same. What l am getting at is what gives us the right to meddle and force our beliefs and processes on these people. We do it all the time and that is what lm getting at, we may see there stoning of people as barbaric and geez it is. But they would see our drug, booze and adulturous lives as equally evil. We shouldnt be forcing our ways on them and they on us. But bombing and killing them isnt the answer its just going to cause more problems. The Taliban may have been hated or liked by the people of Afghanistan who knows we only hear what our media and governments want us to hear. But the facts are their support is stronger now than it was pre 2001. Why? Thanks to the invasion and bombings.

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Actually yes it was you just a couple of days ago saying this media outlet sensationalised news.....

Actually, this "media outlet" doesn't do any "biased reporting" because they don't report anything, as in write articles. And I didn't say they sensationalized news, I said they selected sensational stories. Not quite the same thing, but spin it any way you like and then claim objectivity.

Lets just say your entitled to your one sided view based on what you read in the newspaper and l will keep an open mind (or as you call it being Pro Taliban.) I guess that you are one of these the US is always right people. Just out of curiousity how many peoples human rights has the US trampled in the past few years, how many have they executed? How many countries have the US bombed and invaded (on false information)?

Neither ad hominem attacks nor criticism of the US are relevant to my point, which is; The Taliban is an extreme religious group that cares nothing for human rights and tries to force it's views are others. This makes it a bad group according to my view of things.

you believe that your beliefs are more important and morally right than anyone elses and therefore you agree with forcing your beliefs on others because they are inferior to you and your beliefs. So whats next Iran, Saudi, any of the mid east countries that dont subscribe to your beliefs?

I believe in the concept of universal human rights, as I've said. Apparently you believe putting words in people's mouths is a credible rhetorical tactic. We'll have to disagree on that one, as well.

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@Stranger,

Your exact words where "This site is not Japan and I don't think it really presents a balanced view of Japan." and also "Reading the articles here everyday gives one a somewhat skewed view of Japan". So your critical of this site and its selective reporting of incidents. My point is you think that this is limited to this site or is it a wide ranging issue with all media including the media that you use to form you views on the topis being discussed?

So you throw ad hominem around (do ou even know what it means)? Here is the meaning for you.. It is an attempt to link the truth of a claim to a negative characteristic or belief of the person advocating it. Which is exactly what you initially did when you said "they have passed on their pro Taliban bias to you". So keep throwing your big words around mate but you started the derogitory comments and then go sooking off to the dictionary for a come back when someone calls you on it.

And yes critisism of the US is very relevant to the arguement as this whole story is about the US involvement in Afghanistan or did you miss that bit in your speed to attack me over my thoughts?

Yes the Taliban is an extreme religious group agreed much like many other religions, even some christian groups could be called extreme would you not agree?

So you keep saying you believe in the concept of universal human rights. Good for you!!! So your universal human rights justifies you trampling on a groups religious beliefs? Yes / No. Because what you are saying is l dont agree with you, your religious beliefs or religious laws so you must be eliminated or change. Theres some great universal human rights!!! Oh by the way what about the human rights abuses that the US and its allies have perpatrated in the name of this war. Can you please tell me where you stand on that? I would love to know but lm tipping you wont answer that one!

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Moderator: Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

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My point is you think that this is limited to this site or is it a wide ranging issue with all media including the media that you use to form you views on the topis being discussed?

Oh, is that your point? I'm still not sure what your point really is. All media will naturally have some bias. So what? That doesn't mean the Taliban isn't an extreme religious group who care nothing for human rights.

So you throw ad hominem

You've attacked me personally, instead of keeping to the points I've made. That's what an ad hominem attack is. I've made it a point not to do that.

even some christian groups could be called extreme would you not agree?

I would agree, but whether other groups are extreme or not is completely irrelevant to my point which is; the Taliban is an extremist religious group who force their views on others and disregard human rights and is therefore BAD.

So your universal human rights justifies you trampling on a groups religious beliefs? Yes / No.

Yes, if that group is infringing on other people's human rights. As I said in the beginning, culture is not an excuse for disregarding people's human rights.

what about the human rights abuses that the US and its allies have perpatrated in the name of this war. Can you please tell me where you stand on that?

Why do you keep bringing up the US? It's certainly not relevant to anything I've been saying. The US committing human rights abuses or not doesn't have any bearing on the nature of the Taliban. Just so you know, I am very anti-military, anti-US hegemony, and have criticized America and it's numerous unjust dirty wars over the decades for a long time now. I've also been hated for it and called a traitor as I'm an American myself. Now, none of that was relevant in the slightest, but maybe you'll stop asking unrelated questions.

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@Stranger,

"So your universal human rights justifies you trampling on a groups religious beliefs? Yes / No. Yes, if that group is infringing on other people's human rights. As I said in the beginning, culture is not an excuse for disregarding people's human rights." You dont get it do you, you want to FORCE your will upon people against their wishing and in defiance of their religion. That is a breach of their human rights. I suggest you look up universal human rights and read about the critisism of it. I will quote a small section for you "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, by saying that the UDHR was "a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition", which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law." So you say bugger their human rights in terms of religious freedom they must obey human rights as set by us.

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@ Stranger,

Continued

"what about the human rights abuses that the US and its allies have perpatrated in the name of this war. Can you please tell me where you stand on that? Why do you keep bringing up the US? It's certainly not relevant to anything I've been saying. The US committing human rights abuses or not doesn't have any bearing on the nature of the Taliban. Just so you know, I am very anti-military, anti-US hegemony, and have criticized America and it's numerous unjust dirty wars over the decades for a long time now. I've also been hated for it and called a traitor as I'm an American myself. Now, none of that was relevant in the slightest, but maybe you'll stop asking unrelated questions." It is completely related if you cant see that then there is no point continuing this discussion. The arguement is the US is there because of the Taliban and there "human rights record" l am asking is the US any better or any different. The method may be different but the underlying issues are still the same. You say the Taliban force their ways on others. This is EXACTLY what the US is doing right now in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq etc.

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your initial statement was your opinion of the Taliban was formed by reading newspapers.

No, my initial statement in reference to you was "they are horrible extremist religious zealots." That's been my point all along.

you want to FORCE your will upon people against their wishing and in defiance of their religion.

No, I want to protect people from the Taliban forcing their will upon them.

you say bugger their human rights in terms of religious freedom they must obey human rights as set by us.

No, I say religious freedom doesn't give anyone the right to trample on someone else's human rights.

The arguement is the US is there because of the Taliban and there "human rights record" l am asking is the US any better or any different.

Who's argument is that? The only point I've been trying to make is that the Taliban is bad for reasons previously explained numerous times. Whether the US is bad or not is irrelevant to whether the Taliban is bad or not, as I've already said once or twice, as well.

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@Stranger,

"your initial statement was your opinion of the Taliban was formed by reading newspapers. No, my initial statement in reference to you was "they are horrible extremist religious zealots." That's been my point all along." Um no you said "No, I'm assuming the newspaper articles I've read are right and you are wrong." So please dont twist my words this is what you said about why your arguement is right and mine wrong.

"you want to FORCE your will upon people against their wishing and in defiance of their religion. No, I want to protect people from the Taliban forcing their will upon them." Yep by forcing your will upon them and making them change their religion and lifestyle because YOU dont agree with it!! So you by that arguement are no better than the Taliban who force their will on people.

"you say bugger their human rights in terms of religious freedom they must obey human rights as set by us. No, I say religious freedom doesn't give anyone the right to trample on someone else's human rights." Wrong again, you are trampling their human rights by saying l dont agree with your laws or religion therefore you MUST change. That my friend is abusing their human rights.

As you obviously cannot or will not see the picture beyond "the Taliban are bad and must change" then there is no point talking about this with you anymore. You have your opinion and lets leave it at that.

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Um no you said "

Um no, look above where I said that to find my initial statement.

Yep by forcing your will upon them and making them change their religion and lifestyle because YOU dont agree with it!!

Sure, and someone attacks a little old lady I will force my will upon them and make them stop because I don't agree with it.

l dont agree with your laws or religion

Religion doesn't trump human rights. Neither does culture.

As you obviously cannot or will not see the picture beyond "the Taliban are bad and must change"

Ha ha, more like I won't let you drag me into a thousand little side arguments. I made my point in my first post to you and I'm sticking to it.

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@Spidapig24

In a previous post you said that you do not support the Taliban. What is it about them that you do not support and why?

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you obviously do not understand that by saying that statement you are disregarding their human rights.

Is it their human rights to oppress and control women? I don't know where you would get that idea.

if a country forces another to change its religion or culture, that is an abuse of human rights

If a country's religion or culture is violating some members of that society's human rights, that situation needs to change. Education is preferable to bullets, but the freedom of religion, or any other freedom, doesn't contain within it any rights to oppress people or infringe upon their human rights. Seems pretty easy to understand.

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please show me a country that doesnt fall into this catagory

I'm not talking about other countries. I'm talking about the Taliban.

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Obama at his usual worst,trying to please everyone, be all things to all people once he finds his neo-Marxist designs thwarted. I guess it's his idea of compromise or playing to the center.

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How many Taliban have been killed during the past decade? And yet they continue recruiting new members. That's because everyone knows the U.S. will leave Afghanistan eventually. And the Chinese, who have the world's biggest army, seem unwilling to step up and help the Afghan government to build up a force capable of dealing with the Taliban. What's up with that?

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Stranger: I'm not talking about other countries. I'm talking about the Taliban.

What I don't get is that you both actually agree. You don't support the Taliban and Spider says he doesn't support the Taliban. Now it's obvious he doesn't support any of the reasons you've given, but surely he must have his own reasons or else he wouldn't have said that he does not support them. I'm just really, really curious as to what his reasons are and I'm really, really, really curious as to how he's going to phrase it.

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I'm just really, really curious as to what his reasons are and I'm really, really, really curious as to how he's going to phrase it.

As am I, SuperLib. Perhaps he will favor you with a reply as he seems to be bored with me.

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Finally, victory for the Taliban. It was unavoidable, and Obama deserves credit for finally doing it, even if for the wrong reasons (short term electioneering).

Now, if he tries to depict it as some kind of grand policy success, then of course he deserves all the ridicule he can get,

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This attitude rankles me: "Still, almost 70,000 U.S. troops will remain in an unstable country, fighting in a war bound to see more Americans killed."

Why does the writer choose to ignore the Afghanis?

You can bet your last yen that there will be a lot more of them killed, injured and crippled than there will be Americans.

"Fighting for peace is like folking for virginity." (misprint)

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The WHO has said that for each year that the US has been in Afghanistan and the Taliban denied rule of Kabul a minimum of 40,000 lives have been saved.

And by this they mean a measurable decline in the infant mortality rate.

By my estimation then the US presence has meant close to half a million Afghani lives have been saved.

And that is only one arena in this conflict.

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