Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Slight Problem in Rhetoric

So I read this article on NPR.org this morning, and had to do a double take:

McChrystal: Give Taliban Fighters A Political Voice : NPR: "'I would absolutely be comfortable with fighters and lower-level commanders making the decision to reintegrate into the Afghan political process under the Afghan constitution,' McChrystal says."

Look. I agree with the guy. I'm of the opinion, when it comes to foreign countries, that a. sovereignty should be respected apart from egregious human rights violations, b. that people should be able to choose their leaders, even if those leaders are not friendly with me, and c. that IF a group is taking care of their people, in the way that their people want, and NOT committing egregious human rights violations, then that is a legitimate and sovereign leadership. I use this argument in discussions about Hezbollah, so if lower level Taliban members can create a functional system that isn't oppressive (which is admittedly questionable when dealing with the Taliban but not unheard of), then they should be able to do so.

On the other hand, I have family members over there, fighting a war that has absolutely no solidified goal. What would victory in the Middle East look like? What would winning the "War on Terror" actually entail? I have yet to receive an explanation, let alone an adequate one. Eradication of terrorism is not something that can be done through war (if it can be done at all, which history shows is very unlikely). People will fight oppression, violently if necessary. They will also try to impose their will on others, again, violently if necessary.
So the issue therein is that if the SINGLE clearly defined current target of the American war industry is allowed to do this, then why were we there to begin with??
The question remains even if they're not, of course, because I'm largely against the idea of a war that can't be given a goal, but now even the flawed rationale behind it is just becoming that much more convoluted and screwed up.

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