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U.S. rockets strike Afghan home, killing 12 civilians

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the projectiles veered 300 meters off target and blasted a house

How reassuring. Typical American military incompetence.

Some troops complained that the strict rules issued by McChrystal to spare civilians were making their job more difficult and dangerous. Under the rules, troops cannot fire at people unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent.

So, what they're saying is, they want to be permitted to blast every human of Afghan origin they see off the face of the earth. That's fairly typical too.

As far as I'm concerned they've got no business being in Afghanistan in the first place. They started the war, now they just want to blast all the Afghans so they can maybe get out in one piece.

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At least everyone now knows what Obama meant when he said "Corpseman".

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Sad for the family. Amazing that there have been so few mistakes so far with the Taliban woven into the infrastructure.

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American army is probably proud of this, sadly. Has american military done anything right in their short history, ever? Only crimes against humanity. They deserve to be prosecuted in Hague.

it is so horrible, horrible. Ane president Obama won a Nobel Prize for Peace, so tragic.

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How reassuring. Typical American military incompetence.

it happens so often that sadly I used to such kind of news...

Two U.S. rockets slammed into a home Sunday outside the southern Taliban stronghold of Marjah, killing 12 civilians after Afghanistan’s president appealed to NATO to take care in its campaign to seize the town.

It is time for USa to admit defeat in this war too as in all the others. Have they ever won a war?

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Yes we have LoveUSA

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Yes we have, LoveUSA. Has your own country ever?

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U.S. rockets strike Afghan home, killing 12 civilians

Obama needs to be brought up on war crime charges.

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LoveUSA,

Of course we have! Have you ever made sense before?

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Helter_skelter,

Obama needs to be brought up on war crime charges.

Right after that same tribunal execute George Bush Jr for crimes against humanity and for being an idiot.

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“Basically, if you hear the boom, it’s good. It means you’re still alive after the thing goes off”

the Taliban can fire on them, then set aside their weapon and walk freely out of a compound

Especially for someone like me (having no military experience), these conditions sound like hell. I couldn't imagine living every second of everyday knowing I might be blown to bits the next step I take. I feel for these people on "the front lines". May whatever God they believe in bless them and send them home alive, ASAP.

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I have come to love Afghan culture after studying their music and history and learning about the plight of ordinary people there. If you read my posts regularly then you know I am against war and violence. But Afghanistan raises questions that must be considered.

Like it or not, the Bush administration started this war and we are stuck with it. Had it been my choice we would not be there.

As we are there, we are now responsible for the outcome for the Afghan people. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the post Soviet war without consequences that have global impact. We must get it right this time.

Getting it right means neutralizing or reintegrating the Taliban. Their rule in NWFP and Afghanistan cannot be allowed. The risk to the nuclear armed Pakistan is too great. And that risk creates the threat of a much wider regional war.

How we are fighting that war will fail. The only solution is to scale up and work harder to manage and control more of the country. Without a sense of security the local people will never take control of their communities. This has to be provided or nothing will change and the war will rage on forever or until the west abandon's the Afghans.

I have met a few Afghans over the past couple years and I can tell you this will absolute certainty. The average person there wants what you want, peace, home, family and a way to make a living. Provide this and we win. The Taliban cannot do so. But neither can we until we control security day and night in most of the country. A patrol based war will never accomplish this.
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tkoinds:

My comment is that no matter how long, or how high scaled, the US stay in Afghan, the US can’t make Afghan a country what he want. It’s not merely American’s or their presidents’ problem, it’s a cultural problem. The Western culture simply too much focus on politics/ benefit but not enough considering real compromise/ righteousness, therefore caused the problem! Only if the US totally colonizes the country then they can shape the country they want and that’s western culture’s problem. I tried, but failed, to find just 1 example if any western country ever “ assist” one country successfully to be one whom self want to be, if any, only Jp is a little bit close. So do u really think Afghan or Iraq can be the first successful one?

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Tahoochi: Especially for someone like me (having no military experience), these conditions sound like hell. I couldn't imagine living every second of everyday knowing I might be blown to bits the next step I take. I feel for these people on "the front lines". May whatever God they believe in bless them and send them home alive, ASAP.

What's even worse are those from our own countries who spit on the soldiers going through those conditions just because they hate the military. It must be difficult to place yourself in such a high degree of danger to spare civilian casualties while at the same time be accused of wanting to kill everyone around you.

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yosun.

I agree that we cannot make Afghanistan what we want. But then we should not be trying to make it what we want.

I think the key here is that both the US and the Afghan public do not want the Taliban. And when considering the consequences for Pakistan as well, the international community cannot abide the Taliban in power again.

So this is the key problem. How to solve it is the issue?

The real challenge for long term solutions in Afghanistan is how to secure the nation long enough to allow people to get on with the work of living and creating an economy. As long as the Taliban threaten that it cannot happen. But equally as long as we are there it cannot truly happen.

But I do firmly believe that once the Afghan people feel they are on the road to managing their own destiny, that many of the Taliban will return to the main stream. And those remaining will find it harder and harder to manage control over people.

But you and I agree that the US track record in this regard is not good. But the stakes are very high here this time. Failure could destabilize the entire region, all you need to do is ask someone in Peshawar what the current situation puts at risk. Or ask the Pakistanis about the risks facing their nation. India and the entire region have a strong stake in this outcome. So a global solution is required to avoid a regional war.

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tkoind2, I agree with you that we are fighting this all wrong. Some people think its WWII all over again. But I am not sure its winnable in any real sense, certainly not with supposedly "high tech" rockets butchering civilians. And Afghanistan has been one big civil war for how long now? Bizarrely, while the Taliban was never loved outside of Afghanistan, it was recognized that they brought more peace than the country had seen in a long time.

I also disagree with the idea that we have an obligation to the Afghanis. We don't. We went there because the Afghanis messed up in aiding al-Quaida. Well we hit al-Quaida hard. And those starving Afghani men will not learn to fish anyway, so even trying teach was dumb, and to keep stubbornly trying is dumber. We do have an obligation to the Pakistanis, but not the Afghanis.

And mate, meeting a few non-Taliban Afghanis does not let you know what the average Afghani wants. The Taliban is not some skeleton crew with magical powers. The Taliban are Afghanis themselves and if their numbers were not great, they could not do what they do.

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Humans are oddly irrational. Its easy for us to declare that we kill fewer civilians than the Taliban and calmly absorb that fact from the comfort of our homes. But the Afghanis will downplay Afghani deaths by other Afghanis and make a huge stink about those killed by foreign troops. Look no further than the U.S. military in Japan. They commit fewer crimes per capita than the locals, but every military crime gets inflated by a degree of 20 at least. The only way to win is to be perfect, and you got to a complete fool to think it possible.

There won't be peace in Afghanistan. This won't end. This not my hope. This is my prediction after looking at the facts. My hope is that I am wrong. But my money goes on never ending conflict and I am confident I will win the bet.

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SuperLib wrote- "What's even worse are those from our own countries who spit on the soldiers going through those conditions just because they hate the military. It must be difficult to place yourself in such a high degree of danger to spare civilian casualties while at the same time be accused of wanting to kill everyone around you."

I say tough. They did not think it through and now they are on the wrong side of history. Its not like the U.S. made any core changes to ensure another Vietnam could not happen, and since that precedent has been set, joining up and not expecting another one is ignorant at best. If they joined up thinking nothing would happen, they should have jumped out when they saw this coming. Its this sort of nonsense why early Americans refused to have a standing army. And here we get more like our former British masters every day! How quickly we forget. First the Revolutionary War and now the Vietnam War.

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I say tough. They did not think it through and now they are on the wrong side of history. Its not like the U.S. made any core changes to ensure another Vietnam could not happen, and since that precedent has been set, joining up and not expecting another one is ignorant at best.

We're still trying to contain Soviet expansion which was the backdrop for our involvement in Vietnam in the first place? I musta missed the memo.

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Afghanistan has, and will always be, a place where those empires who do not learn the lessons of history, go to die very painful and public deaths (and debts.)

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I think the approach of helping the Afghans rule their own country is a winnable goal. The war against the Taliban might continue for some years but it doesn't mean we'll always have to be involved with it. And as always, you have to compare it with the alternative, which is what could have happened with 8 more years of open terrorist training grounds. Whose to say a single terrorist attack brought by those conditions wouldn't have killed more than all coalition forces in the area combined.

You'll always have those who feel sorry for weaker parties who use terrorism because they don't think it's fair that one side can have guided missiles while the other has just knives, but that's a point of view that should quickly be ignored and forgotten because mental masturbation isn't the solution to Afghanistan.

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sailwind wrote -"We're still trying to contain Soviet expansion which was the backdrop for our involvement in Vietnam in the first place? I musta missed the memo."

Intentional silliness or accidental? You can't see the similarities between Afghanistan and Vietnam? Outsiders getting involved in an internal conflict, militarily supporting one side over the other using technically advanced and cowardly weaponry, raining bombs down on civilian and intended target alike. Not winning over the people by such tactics. Unfaltering confidence for nearly a decade despite setback after setback. Trying to fight a guerilla war with airplanes and helicopters. Most people back home not really giving a damned anymore. Government cover-ups, only this time its not letting us see coffins coming home on the TV.

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SuperLib wrote- "Whose to say a single terrorist attack brought by those conditions wouldn't have killed more than all coalition forces in the area combined."

You can't reason with people when their neigbor got killed by foreign troops! Forget it.

"You'll always have those who feel sorry for weaker parties who use terrorism because they don't think it's fair that one side can have guided missiles while the other has just knives"

You seem to define terrorism in a very strange and selective way. For starters, neither side are technically terrorist. But both sides are using tactics which cause terror. You seem to be playing a hair-splitting game of who is the nicer terrorist and your basis is body-count alone. If that works for you, fine. It will not work for the Afghanis no matter what you say. Its not fair or logical, but that is the way it is.

And as always, you have to compare it with the alternative, which is what could have happened with 8 more years of open terrorist training grounds.

That is a huge fallacy. The goal of destroying terrorist training camps and building a nation are two entirely separate things.

"I think the approach of helping the Afghans rule their own country is a winnable goal. "

I remember hearing in the eighties about people who swore Vietnam was winnable and were as bitter as Nazis blaming "defeatists" for the loss. There are psychological obstacles that rockets will not overcome, not the least of which is a proud, independent people feeling like thralls to a powerful technological advanced nation. Many Americans actually think they are going to get mountains of gratitute, and the little bit they get will confirm that delusion. Every extra day we are there is a direct stab at their self image. All our tech and affluence are just causes for self-loathing and loathing of us, and that goes triple when that tech kills civilians.

Your "winnable goal" has spilled that Taliban into nuclear armed Pakistan. You are like the man lost and driving full speed the wrong way, but absolutely refusing to ask for directions.

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"civilians unsure where to cast their loyalty"

Who needs civilians like these?

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"Typical American military incompetence"

Well then, could your country please take over and get rid of the Taliban without a single civilian casualty? Thanks.

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RIP,people.

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Sarge wrote-"Who needs civilians like these?"

Nobody! That is why you let them kill eachother without interference!

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You can't see the similarities between Afghanistan and Vietnam?

Not really because there not even comparable. Culture totally different, regional history totally different. global players at the stage at time totally different. Cold war politics and proxy wars throughout the globe from South America to Africa and South east Asia between west and east for global dominance, even so far as to have the Soviet Union invade Afghanistan in 1979 in a bid to assert her influence in the Middle east and lessens the Wests after the fall of the Shah and his pro-western government.

Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal became a failed state and the Taliban filled the vacuum by imposing a draconian form of Islam on the populace, you know beheadings, burka's the usual medieval nonsense.

The country became a terrorist haven and resulted in our country being attacked. I guess we should not have responded? We should of had a "moment of reflection" instead as to how our evil foreign policy forced those poor Taliban and Al Queda allies to attack us in the first place. Maybe an apology would have been in order instead?

Not in this sailors world. As far as using tech instead of a distorted sense of some honor of going mano to mano instead of dropping bombs on targets in your advance to eliminate enemy fire.

That is called protecting your troops. You see this war thing operates like this you kill them before they have a chance to kill you and the more of them you kill before they have a chance to kill you the more lives you save of your guys. That is the bottom line and every person who has ever commanded troops in a war zone will never jeopardize his men the way you suggest so you and liberal like minded folks sense of fairness is satisfied.

Life and war ain't fair and will never be no matter how much utopian thinking is done. We got the tech and they save our troops lives when they go into combat and that is how you ultimately win an insurgency. Look at Fallujah, pretty darn quiet there now after the Marines got down to business. Same will happen here in Marjah.

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"That is why you let them kill each other without interference!"

We tried that already - we got burned on September 11, 2001!

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I wonder, how would China handle Afgahnistan ?

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" I wonder, how would China handle Afgahnistan ?" They don't handle it except some small trading along borderline.

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"We tried that already - we got burned on September 11, 2001!"

~During the time a father try to find a murder who killed his little son, he only knew the murder hides somewhere a rural village. The father go there killing and become murder of some others'sons. He sold everything in home for cost of this action but still can't terminate the murder. The father's wife and other sons is beginning to suffer poor condition... ~ So Jesus said "Hatred ties your mind and only Forgiveness releases yourselves"

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Dearjohn, you are wrong that we have no obligation. And here is why.

We are the ones who empowered the Taliban and other militant groups to come to power. Why? Because our cold war mentality was what drove us to supply these groups with weapons to fight the Soviets. That policy had nothing to do with Afghans but everything to do with our own geo-political objectives.

When the war was won, we abandoned the people of Afghanistan and failed to deliver on all our promises of improving the country. The vacuum left behind resulted in a protracted civil war and the rise of the Taliban.

Now sure there was relative peace in Afghanistan for a short time, but the Taliban rule was anything but peaceful for the people living there. And their brand of radical thinking was already spreading and threatening the stability of nuclear armed Pakistan.

Now we invaded and fought several half assed years of poor policy there before recently getting serious about Afghanistan. And again I think the key reasoning here is geo-political and has much more to do with regional control and Pakistan than it does Afghans.

You said only a few Afghans don't represent the country. But that shows how little you know about Afghanistan or their culture. Read what Afghans are saying about their country. Few communities there support the Taliban. Most are subservient due to fear. Period! I know people from many parts of that country who say the same thing. They want the Taliban gone and us gone. But to do that they need to be able to work and make a living. That requires security and that is and should be the goal in that war.

As for other Afghans, we do volunteer support work for orphan groups there to raise money and I know quite a few Japanese who have been there in relief of NGO roles. Again their stories reflect the same thinking. You can even turn to BBC documentaries and some made by other independents to validate this thinking.

Afghans don't want anyone repressing them. They just want to get on with living. So if we want our boys and girls home and out of harms way and not risk a regional war, there is only one viable solution. And that is to find a way to provide the security that Afghans need to get on with building their lives independed of both the Taliban and the west.

like it or not, this is the reality

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One more thought.

You know I read a lot of comments where Americans think we have no responsiblity to many of the nations where our conflicts take place or originate. It is a sad demonstration of how little most Americans know about their own history and political policies.

Much of the conflict between Islamic fundamentalists and the west has roots in conflicts where we have had very bad policies. The post Soviet War Afghan policy led to today's war. The poor policies in the middle east and Iraq and even our poor policies in Asia.

What we do today has consequences for tomorrow's young people. A young man who loses his family in NWFP today may grow to be tomorrow's Bin Laden or 911 bomber. Or the solider we arm today to fight our political adversary may well turn those weapons on our own soldiers another day.

Until we have better, long sighted geo-political policies, we will continue to suffer from the same kinds of conflicts we endure today. And the people who do all the bleeding and dying are regular people like us, not the ones who usually benefit from bad policies.

So we need to take more of an interest in what our contry does and how to help prevent all the blowback we can.

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A young man who loses his family in NWFP today may grow to be tomorrow's Bin Laden or 911 bomber.

That is pure speculation. In fact, I am inclined to think it is closer to wishful thinking.

Bin Laden was born to wealth unimaginable for an Afghani.

It is the same with people who rush to say Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. They wish that was the case. But in fact Great Britain's empire lasted decades after their involvement in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union's demise may have been hastened by their imperialist misadventure in Afghanistan, but the Russian empire is still with us.

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Odogma. Again you need to spend a lot more time studying history before making such empty claims.

You forget that Bin Laden was one of the Mujahadin that the US provided arms to as a part of their cold war efforts. We knew at that time that these guys were fundamentalists. We even had warnings from some of the more moderate Afghan fighters. But we gave them money and weapons anway. We even trained a lot of them.

So yes, Bin Laden was rich, but his ability to carry out his militant practices came largely from our support and training.

The majority of Palestinian bombers over the years have been people who have lost family or grown up in the middle of conflict.

Who do you think are blowing themselves up in NWFP and Afghanistan today? Many of these young people come from shattered families who have suffered in the wars.

Where do you think the taliban come from? Most of the original taliban were young people recruited in the refugee camps of Peshawar. They had fled their homes and war in their home country only to end up starving and living in camps in Pakistan. They were easy pickings for radical Islamists to recruit.

As for Afghanistan and the graveyard for Empires. Well, you can defy history all you want, but denial does not change the fact that every power who has tried to hold Afghanistan has failed. It is a nation of tribal groups who are unlikely to be open to true central rule of any kind. Realizing this fact may help resolve the problems in that country.

Odogma. History is more than dusty old books. Times and technology change, but the stupidity of humanity seems to run consistently throughout time. People make the same boneheaded mistakes over and over again and repeat history. Why? Because too many people like you fail to see the true value in learning from the past or simply don't bother to study.

If we fail to understand the past, we fail to understand the present. And we condemn ourselves to repeating the same foolish mistakes.

More time reading history my friend would do you some good.

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As for Afghanistan and the graveyard for Empires. Well, you can defy history all you want, but denial does not change the fact that every power who has tried to hold Afghanistan has failed.

Name one modern empire, comparable to the American one, which went to a graveyard of some sort after waging war in Afghanistan.

I don't think you can. I think you will just ignore the challenge.

Times and technology change, but the stupidity of humanity seems to run consistently throughout time.

I realise you probably consider the capitalist, secular West to be populated by 'stupid' people, unable, supposedly, to learn from the past. But, do you have the same criticism for Afghanis, and the thousands of foreign mujahedeen who not only failed to learn from the past but want to return to 800 AD?

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Odogma. The challenge does not make sense. First of all the American "Empire" as you define it has failed military aspirations in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq to some extent and Afghanistan. If you want to compare relative success stories, the English, Mongols and others had a better track record of controlling places they invaded.

the problem with your challenge is that it ignores too many key factors in favor of an incorrect assumption that comparing past invaders of Afghanistan with the current conflict is somehow analagous to the current conflict. Which it isn't.

As for the history of human stupidity. I consider all of humanity guilty of this problem. We humans are just to self centered and overly confident. We think our technology makes us universally superior to those who came before us so we discount history. But looking at history we can easily see how this thinking comes back to bite humanity again and again.

Modern western countries think that the spread of globalized capitalism will make everyone happy. Like the colonial states who thought their policies would make the locals happy found out, we too are finding that some people don't want our way of life. Some are perfectly happy with their old ways. And it is their right to be so.

It is clear that a lot of Taliban are at war with change that they are afraid of and don't want. They see it as a corruption of their ways. And like us they think they are right. So they fight back.

Now history tells us that we will likely fail in our aspirations for Afghanistan. But it equally tells us that the Taliban will fail to preserve their old ways too. Change is inevitable. But the nature of change can be managed to a certain degree. And that is what I hope the allies can bring to the Afghans by providing security for people to get on with daily life. But doing so requires respectful humility to the lessons of history and not the arrogant stupidity that dominates human activity. We just think we know all the answers to the world's problems and that we have little to learn from the past. When in reality, the past can show us exactly where we risk failure if we bother to look.

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The challenge does not make sense. First of all the American "Empire" as you define it has failed military aspirations in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq to some extent and Afghanistan.

You assert that empires go to die in Afghanistan. And then you change your assertion and say that America is an empire, but this is in ironic quotation marks.

Which is it? You don't appear to know what you are talking about. America, unlike England or Russia, did not try to occupy and make a colony of any of the countries you named.

If you want to compare relative success stories, the English, Mongols and others had a better track record of controlling places they invaded.

They had completely different goals. You call yourself a student of history? And please note - - nowhere did I assert that we are seeing a success story unfolding or even in the making.

The US does not want to occupy or take over Afghanistan the way the Soviet Union did.

Furthermore, while you do criticize the Taliban the moral relativism in your comparison is something to behold. The Taliban are no worse than the rest of humanity? I couldn't help but notice you fail to acknowledge a great many of the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan are foreign, and most of their funding comes from Muslim 'charities' and sources. When the Taliban ruled the country from Kabul the six-member committee did not include a single local. Where is your criticism of the Taliban and Al Qaeda's genuinely imperialist designs upon that country? Believe me, it does not end with Afghanistan.

Your 'argument' is a collection of contradictions and hollow abstraction which can be paraphrased like this: "'Empires fail - but I can't name any. The locals in Afghanistan (the Taliban - many of whom are not locals) will also fail, because, you see, humanity is stupid, and never changes. But, 'change is inevitable.'"

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first of "Empire" is in quotes referring to your statement that the US is an empire. Your words, not mine.

Second. There is a key difference between executing regional policy and trying to take over a nation permanently. Imperialism means long term permanent occupation. I have never said or suggested that this is what is happening in Afghanistan. Again your words.

"They had completely different goals." Not true. All had long term occupation plans for Afghanistan. Same goals.

You need to re-read my posts. I clearly talk about expansion of fundamentalism into neighboring regions and the risks that are a part of that threat. As for there being foreigners amongst the Taliban, they are not by any means the majority. The majority are domestic or NWFP people.

I think my points are pretty clear. Let me make it more so for you.

The current approach to war in Afghanistan will fail. Any plan with a chance to succeed requires the provision of security so that Afghans can rebuild their economy and return to normal life. The Taliban will diminish in power if security is provided, already many are eager to put down their arms and return to normal life if security to do so is there. Westernization of Afghanistan as we define it will not work. While change is inevitable, it will be on Afghan terms how that manifests itself. We, like the Soviets, have failed to understand the history and reality of Afghanistan and her tribal culture. This failure is now and will continue to result in people dying needlessly on all sides. As long as we ignore history, that arrogance and stupidity condemns us to relive it.

I hope you can digest this now.

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I wrote: "That is why you let them kill each other without interference!"

Sarge wrote: "We tried that already - we got burned on September 11, 2001!"

Like many people, you seem to think that Afghanistan had something major to do with 9/11. Outside of harboring bin Laden, and being the ground for a brief meeting of the hijackers and the mastermind, Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11. None of the hijackers came from there, none trained there, none lived there. The only connection is bin and other al-Quaida members.

What is more, I read that plans for Afghanistan were put in motion before 9/11. I don't know why I did not hear about it before. The Bush administation decided to give the Taliban an ultimatum to hand over bin Laden on 9/10/01. They really seem to have wanted war and it was nothing to do with 9/11.

These civilians are dying at our hands for some other reason. I think money is one of the bigger ones. Somebody made a pretty penny for those errant rockets you know.

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Odogma wrote- "The US does not want to occupy or take over Afghanistan the way the Soviet Union did. "

That all started in 1979, not 1945. Stalin was dead. Afghanistan had just fallen apart and was a state bording the Soviet Union. There is no doubt that they, as the U.S. does too, had ulterior motives. Since the Soviet Union was not believed by many to have any goodwill intentions, despite 1978 treaty of friendship with Afghanistan, why do you think the goodwill intentions of the U.S. will be believed without question? To non-Americans, America is just another superpower as was the Soviet Union. There is no special love, and no reason to think America is pure and honest for those people. And every time Americans kill civilians, it creates a lasting impression of America.

The Soviets were notorious for massive amounts of civilian deaths. We have far fewer. But it still does not matter. Every one is a huge black mark on us, because we are the foreigners. This is the way people are and it won't change.

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The real consideration is that even Afghans don't want central control. The tribal people are happy living in their areas with localized control. Likewise you have ethnic groups that don't trust or like each other to consider. Again they prefer autonomy.

The only solution is security. And that has to be provided by some kind of central or regional control entity. For now that has to be the coalition in order to assure that it does not fall to the Taliban. But over time it will have to be trusted providers of security and that means localized security in regions or the establishment of states of some kind.

US intentions are unlikely to be fully trusted until it is very obvious that long term objectives roll up to autonomy for local groups.

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