The major human rights concern that we face if we leave Afghanistan is the treatment of women and others by the Taliban. I see no easy answer to this. We can try to shame them, give sanctuary elsewhere to as many as possible before we depart. But the dilemma is that between the killing we are doing and suffering there versus their presumed abuses of women and other victims.

Pretty obviously we cannot control all of Afghanistan with much less than a half million troops. Our impulse is to make it a democratic nation, but this is scarcely its tradition and our so-called leader, Karsai, can barely control Kabul, let alone the rest of the country. He looks to be keeping us there so that he (and family) can control the inflow of wealth from the U.S. and from selling heroine.

This is a hopeless game, as was Vietnam, and as there,  is also corrupted by our propaganda. Supposedly allowing Vietnam to slip out of our control was to unleash Communism throughout the region. It did not. Facts such as the animosity between the Soviet and Chinese regimes were disregarded, much as Wikileaks has disclosed the split in Pakistan which sends our monies and arms to the Taliban to use against our troops.

Pakistan needs Afghanistan as a support against its own nuclear threat — India:

We are over our heads in sorting out these conflicts. We are just increasingly resented for our killing games there — another colonialist nation pursuing its own interests and not those we are afflicting.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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