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Old 24th August 2021, 04:56 PM   #41
angrysoba
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Painfully true.
Mao was a murdering bastard who is in the finals for "worst human being of all time" competion, but he but spoke the truth when he said

"In the end all political power comes from the mouth of a gun".
No he didn't. In a lot of countries there are elections and political power passes peacefully from one government to the next.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 24th August 2021, 06:08 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
No he didn't. In a lot of countries there are elections and political power passes peacefully from one government to the next.
Yes, but in the end all political power is based on the ablity to coerce, to be able to use force to see the laws are enforced.
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Old 24th August 2021, 07:48 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Yes, but in the end all political power is based on the ablity to coerce, to be able to use force to see the laws are enforced.
This is Bob-level reductionism.

Setting up a civil society, with laws, constitutions, elections, courts and other institutions etc... as means of settling disputes and recognizing legitimate power is to prevent violent mobs imposing themselves on the citizenry.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 24th August 2021, 10:38 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
No he didn't. In a lot of countries there are elections and political power passes peacefully from one government to the next.
Because the people with the guns want it that way. And for good reason. There are a lot of advantages of such a system, even for the people with guns.

But votes don't beat guns when the two clash. Voting works when the results of a vote are implicitly backed up by the threat of violence. Violence is always the ultimate arbiter of power, even in a democracy. It is delusional to think that any alternative arrangement is even possible for humans.
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Old 24th August 2021, 10:43 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is Bob-level reductionism.

Setting up a civil society, with laws, constitutions, elections, courts and other institutions etc... as means of settling disputes and recognizing legitimate power is to prevent violent mobs imposing themselves on the citizenry.
I'm not sure why you think you're contradicting him. What you describe is the state monopolizing the use of violence. That allows for non-violent means to be used in conflict resolutions because the the state's monopoly on violence prevents other parties from resorting to it. But it only works when the state is capable of violence. If the state is not better at exerting violence than individual citizens, then those civil institutions cannot constrain bad actors, and everything falls apart.
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"As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose -- that it may violate property instead of protecting it -- then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder. Political questions will always be prejudicial, dominant, and all-absorbing. There will be fighting at the door of the Legislative Palace, and the struggle within will be no less furious." - Bastiat, The Law
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Old 24th August 2021, 10:55 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Because the people with the guns want it that way. And for good reason. There are a lot of advantages of such a system, even for the people with guns.

But votes don't beat guns when the two clash. Voting works when the results of a vote are implicitly backed up by the threat of violence. Violence is always the ultimate arbiter of power, even in a democracy. It is delusional to think that any alternative arrangement is even possible for humans.
Sorry, but this is just silly. Who are the people with the guns in most democracies? The military. So all countries are military dictatorships. Except of course they are not. That is how we distinguish between a military dictatorship where things are as they are because the people with the guns want it that way, and democracies which are usually run by civilians.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 25th August 2021, 01:57 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Sorry, but this is just silly. Who are the people with the guns in most democracies? The military. So all countries are military dictatorships.
That doesn't follow at all from anything I said.

We are not a military dictatorship because our military follows the orders of our civilian government, according to democratic rules. But they choose to do so, they are not actually forced to do so by any outside power. If they chose not to, then we would become a military dictatorship. And that occasionally happens to countries: the military is not nominally in charge, but seizes power anyways.

Violence is always the ultimate arbiter of power. Always. It has never been otherwise. It can never be otherwise.
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Old 25th August 2021, 03:40 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
That doesn't follow at all from anything I said.

We are not a military dictatorship because our military follows the orders of our civilian government, according to democratic rules. But they choose to do so, they are not actually forced to do so by any outside power. If they chose not to, then we would become a military dictatorship. And that occasionally happens to countries: the military is not nominally in charge, but seizes power anyways.

Violence is always the ultimate arbiter of power. Always. It has never been otherwise. It can never be otherwise.
Only if you define power as violence.

But in fact, it comes down to what will be accepted as legitimate. Of course, one route to doing that is through violence: "Accept my rules or face the consequences!" This is power through violence.

Or it could be, "Please do page 45 for homework". The teacher has the power to set homework because the teacher is recognized as a legitimate authority to set homework. In some cases, particularly in the past, this was sometimes backed up by violence. But not anymore. Not in many cases.

If you go to a job interview, the people on the panel have the power to hire you (and to fire you), but not because they have the ability to do violence to you. If you write an article for a newspaper, the editor has the power to accept it or to turn it down as being too un-PC or whatever. Jack Dorsey also has the power to kick off Donald Trump and Alex Jones from his platform, but not because he has more guns much to the consternation of right-wing lunatics. If you are very wealthy, you have the power to lobby government more than you do if you are poor. If you have a very sexy body you have to power to entrance other humans, etc...

Power takes many forms, far more than are apparently dreamed of in your Maoist philosophy. In many cases, power is derived from the acceptance that someone has legitimacy. Mao and others can take over a country with brute force, but they may be hated for it. You can force someone to do something at gunpoint, and that is indeed a form of power, but you cannot necessarily gain legitimacy by doing so. There are other ideas about how power is derived and part of that is through the consent of the governed. If even those who have been subjugated refuse to give consent, then even with violence the would-be rulers with their greater capacity for violence will never get to exercise the power they want.

In the case of Afghanistan, to pull it back to something more relevant to the thread as well as this digressionary topic of power and violence, in fact, The Soviet Union had more guns and a greater capacity for violence than the warlords. The Afghan government probably had more guns than the Taliban and could have, and should have destroyed the Taliban. The US obviously had more guns and firepower than the Taliban. But the Taliban relied on much of the population believing that the Taliban had more legitimate authority. The Afghan government woefully lacked that kind of respect.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 25th August 2021, 07:01 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Uh, Mindaneo always had a heavily Muslim population.
Muslins are not native to Mindanao.
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Old 25th August 2021, 07:18 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by dellarte View Post
Muslins are not native to Mindanao.
No they seem to have originated in Mosul, in Iraq. Hence the name.

I don't see why they wouldn't be used in SE Asia as well though.
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Old 25th August 2021, 07:56 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is Bob-level reductionism.

Setting up a civil society, with laws, constitutions, elections, courts and other institutions etc... as means of settling disputes and recognizing legitimate power is to prevent violent mobs imposing themselves on the citizenry.
Violent mobs aren't the only "power of the gun", though. Military occupation and the police state are two other examples.

Where do you think the political power came from on Jan 6? The laws, constitutions, elections, etc.? Or from the ability and willingness of the Capitol Police and other security forces to use power against the use of power by a violent mob*?
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Old 25th August 2021, 08:02 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Only if you define power as violence.
I didn't define power as violence. But violence is the ultimate power in human affairs. If someone is willing to use violence against you, and you cannot counter that violence with violence of your own (or have someone do so on your behalf), then you have no recourse.

Quote:
If you go to a job interview, the people on the panel have the power to hire you (and to fire you), but not because they have the ability to do violence to you.
No. But they have the power to withhold their money from you (the point of a job being to get their money), and they can do so with violence.

Quote:
Power takes many forms, far more than are apparently dreamed of in your Maoist philosophy.
There is nothing Maoist about recognizing violence as the ultimate form of power. Lots of people can figure out this rather elementary truth. What distinguishes Mao is the ends to which this violence is put, and the fact that he feels no need to justify violence. Recognizing violence is the ultimate power doesn't actually justify it morally.

Quote:
In the case of Afghanistan, to pull it back to something more relevant to the thread as well as this digressionary topic of power and violence, in fact, The Soviet Union had more guns and a greater capacity for violence than the warlords. The Afghan government probably had more guns than the Taliban and could have, and should have destroyed the Taliban. The US obviously had more guns and firepower than the Taliban. But the Taliban relied on much of the population believing that the Taliban had more legitimate authority. The Afghan government woefully lacked that kind of respect.
The capacity for violence depends not just on the tools, but also the wielder. The Taliban were willing to kill women and children of enemy soldiers. The Afghan government did not have a willingness to do the same in kind. And we basically removed much of their firepower advantage anyways by pulling out the technicians who serviced the more advanced weapons systems such as planes and helicopters.

And it's not the respect of the general populace which was the immediate problem, but the faith of Afghan soldiers themselves. If they aren't willing to commit violence on behalf of the government (and many of them weren't as soon as we stopped helping), then the government doesn't have much violence it can exert.
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Last edited by Ziggurat; 25th August 2021 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 25th August 2021, 08:03 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
That is a good article.

"“The Taliban are inheriting a different country than they left 20 years ago,” US Congressman Jake Auchincloss, a Marine veteran who led patrols through Afghanistan, said in a recent interview. “The literacy rate has doubled, the infant mortality rate has halved, access to electricity has tripled or quadrupled, there are ten times as many kids in school as there were 20 years ago, 40 percent of whom are girls. The Taliban are inheriting a country in which real progress has been made.”

"The question for Western policymakers should not just be whether, as Auchincloss asked, the Taliban will maintain this progress, but why, despite it, the country still fell."
My guess: The numbers looked good, but didn't actually measure the kind of progress needed to keep the country from collapse.

This article is basically just the precursor of a handwringing think piece a decade hence: "When we left Afghanistan ten years ago, literacy was doubled and infant mortality rate halved. Now the situation is even worse than before we went in. What happened?"

Narrator: The Taliban happened.
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Old 25th August 2021, 08:05 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Sorry, but this is just silly. Who are the people with the guns in most democracies? The military. So all countries are military dictatorships. Except of course they are not. That is how we distinguish between a military dictatorship where things are as they are because the people with the guns want it that way, and democracies which are usually run by civilians.
Why did President Eisenhower deploy the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce school segregation?
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Old 25th August 2021, 10:49 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
This is Bob-level reductionism.

Setting up a civil society, with laws, constitutions, elections, courts and other institutions etc... as means of settling disputes and recognizing legitimate power is to prevent violent mobs imposing themselves on the citizenry.
And how does a Government does those things?
In the end , by force or threat of force.
That is just a fact of life. The power of government in the end rest on the ability to use force if necessary.The minute a government hires a policeman, it is in the coercion business.
And there is nothng wrong with that. You need the sanction of force to have any kind of civil society,human nature being what it is.
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Old 25th August 2021, 11:01 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by dellarte View Post
Muslins are not native to Mindanao.


I hope that's not a typo. I've been on a one-man mission to get that into common usage.

Thank Norman Stanley Fletcher.

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The minute a government hires a policeman, it is in the coercion business.
And there is nothng wrong with that. You need the sanction of force to have any kind of civil society,human nature being what it is.
That should be the end of that off-topic drift - we know with 100% certainty that if all the cops died tomorrow, there wouldn't be a government for more than about 5 minutes.

Anyway, back to Afghanistan, or someone may like to start a [very short] new thread - the idea that democratic governments don't rely on guns (metaphorical in the case of places like everywhere outside America, where cops aren't routinely armed) is naive in the extreme.
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I thought the Taliban and ISIS hated each other and ISIS had no power in A'stan, but it looks like there's a Special K branch there.

And, of course, they're sticking their noses in...

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...cuation-506807
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Old 25th August 2021, 01:53 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post


I hope that's not a typo. I've been on a one-man mission to get that into common usage.

Thank Norman Stanley Fletcher.



That should be the end of that off-topic drift - we know with 100% certainty that if all the cops died tomorrow, there wouldn't be a government for more than about 5 minutes.

Anyway, back to Afghanistan, or someone may like to start a [very short] new thread - the idea that democratic governments don't rely on guns (metaphorical in the case of places like everywhere outside America, where cops aren't routinely armed) is naive in the extreme.
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I thought the Taliban and ISIS hated each other and ISIS had no power in A'stan, but it looks like there's a Special K branch there.

And, of course, they're sticking their noses in...

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...cuation-506807
They're the Cereal Killers.
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Old 26th August 2021, 09:32 AM   #58
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At least two explosions outside Kabul airport, claims of U.S. casualties:

Explosions at Kabul airport with US personnel reported among casualties


Quote:
(CNN)At least two explosions took place outside the Kabul airport on Thursday as the United States and other countries try to evacuate their citizens and Afghans at risk from the Taliban.

Three US officials and a source familiar with the situation said that according to initial reports, there were some US personnel among the casualties.

"We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby tweeted.

The blast happened at one of the entry gates of the Hamid Karzai International Airport and appears to be a suicide attack, according to three US officials.
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Old 26th August 2021, 09:34 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
At least two explosions outside Kabul airport, claims of U.S. casualties:

Explosions at Kabul airport with US personnel reported among casualties
Maybe the Taliban shouldn't have emptied all those ISIS Terrorist prison Cells!
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Old 26th August 2021, 09:35 AM   #60
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CNN reporting 13 dead, 52 wounded, no breakdown of nationalities.
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Old 26th August 2021, 10:24 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
CNN reporting 13 dead, 52 wounded, no breakdown of nationalities.

Looks like 4 marines have been killed per WSJ (I posted it in the other thread.)

Pentagon confirmed "at least 3 (marines) killed" to reporters
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Old 26th August 2021, 10:27 AM   #62
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Reading some of Biden's advisors are saying stop all operations and getting out now.
I could not imagine a worse decisioin then leaving Americans behind.
The Dems could kiss 2022 bye if that happens.
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:05 PM   #63
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Today's attack is a terrible tragedy, in a country which has already seen many tragedies.

However, I believe that too many Afghans are fleeing their country, and many of them probably educated.

The Taliban have promised an amnesty, so I think these educated Afghans should remain in their country, help develop the economy and fight for freedom using words, rather than bombs.

Last edited by Michel H; 26th August 2021 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:12 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Today's attack is a terrible tragedy, in a country which has aleady seen many tragedies.

However, I believe that too many Afghans are fleeing their country, and many of them probably educated.

The Taliban have promised an amnesty, so I think these educated Afghans should remain in their country, help develop the economy and fight for freedom using words, rather than bombs.
Yeah, like the Taliban is really trustworthy.........


AMybody trusting the Taliban is a fool, frankly.
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:30 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Yeah, like the Taliban is really trustworthy.........


AMybody trusting the Taliban is a fool, frankly.
There are undeniably some risks, but I believe taking some risks for your country and for civilization is better than participating in a possible vicious U.S. conspiracy to try to transform your country into a kind of economic and human rights desert (and hell).

For example:
Quote:
The Taliban may have seized control of Afghanistan - but for now, the group can't access the country's central bank's nearly $10 billion in reserves, most of which is reportedly held by the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Last week, Taliban members attempted to inspect Afghanistan's billions of dollars in foriegn reserves only to be told by officials at the country's central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank, that they could not access it because it was being stored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan, the Financial Times reported.

Regardless, most of the central bank's roughly $9.5 billion in assets were frozen by the US last week after the Taliban swiftly took control of Afghanistan following the stunning collapse of the Afghan government.

"[The Taliban] realize they don't have the expertise they need," Omar Samad, a former Afghan ambassador to Canada and France, told the Financial Times. "They are reaching out to technocrats and renowned Afghans. They know they are going to need these non-Taliban figures in their government."
(https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/fe...anistan-2021-8 , I don't know if this link will work for you).
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:30 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
.... I think these educated Afghans should remain in their country, help develop the economy and fight for freedom using words, rather than bombs.
You should go there and try to convince them.

Do you at least think they should have the choice to stay or go?
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:37 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
You should go there and try to convince them.

Do you at least think they should have the choice to stay or go?
Frankly, I don't even think the Afghans should be allowed to leave their country in these circumstances.

The Taliban should explain to them:"No, you can't go now because your country needs your talents and knowledge. Don't worry, you will be respected, you won't be persecuted".

Last edited by Michel H; 26th August 2021 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 26th August 2021, 01:47 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Frankly, I don't even think the Afghans should be allowed to leave their country in these circumstances.

The Taliban should explain to them:"No, you can't go now because your country needs your talents and knowledge. Don't worry, you will be respected, you won't be persecuted".
The Taliban also said Osama Bin Laden didn't do 9/11.
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Old 26th August 2021, 02:09 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Crazy Chainsaw View Post
The Taliban also said Osama Bin Laden didn't do 9/11.
I don't think that's true.

However, in my opinion, the proper way for the U.S. to ensure its security is to stop their absurd support for Israel, not to invade (even more) other countries.
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Old 26th August 2021, 02:17 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
I don't think that's true.

However, in my opinion, the proper way for the U.S. to ensure its security is to stop their absurd support for Israel, not to invade (even more) other countries.
http://www.theblaze.com/news/taliban...s?fr=operanews
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Old 26th August 2021, 02:32 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Crazy Chainsaw View Post
Yes, I know.

It is possible that I didn't express myself clearly enough.

When I wrote: "I don't think that's true", I actually wanted to say: "I don't think it is true that Osama Bin Laden didn't do 9/11".
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Old 26th August 2021, 03:20 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
However, I believe that too many Afghans are fleeing their country, and many of them probably educated.
Many of them might be terrorists pretending to be refugees, too.

How do you know which is which?
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Old 26th August 2021, 03:24 PM   #73
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One big problem is that the Taliban is not a unified whole that are all on the same page. While there may be Taliban in leadership who realize that they need non-Taliban expertise to run a country, there's a lot of other Taliban whose goal is to plunge the country into the 13th century. There's also still a lot of tribalism going on, and if the Taliban can't access the money they need to pay off tribal warlords, they will find themselves with an active resistance on their hands.
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Old 26th August 2021, 03:37 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Many of them might be terrorists pretending to be refugees, too.

How do you know which is which?
This is a possibility, although there has been no terror attack so far done by an Afghan refugee in a Western country.

I suspect many in developping countries are seeking opportunities to emigrate in a more advanced country. Now some may have found a good pretext.
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Old 26th August 2021, 09:08 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
CNN reporting 13 dead, 52 wounded, no breakdown of nationalities.
Wonder if any were Taliban.
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Old 26th August 2021, 10:27 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
Frankly, I don't even think the Afghans should be allowed to leave their country in these circumstances.

The Taliban should explain to them:"No, you can't go now because your country needs your talents and knowledge. Don't worry, you will be respected, you won't be persecuted".

Well, you have shown what you think about individual freedom.
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Old 26th August 2021, 10:30 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
One big problem is that the Taliban is not a unified whole that are all on the same page. While there may be Taliban in leadership who realize that they need non-Taliban expertise to run a country, there's a lot of other Taliban whose goal is to plunge the country into the 13th century. There's also still a lot of tribalism going on, and if the Taliban can't access the money they need to pay off tribal warlords, they will find themselves with an active resistance on their hands.
A lot of Afghanis hate the Taliban because it's pretty much totally Pashtun and Pashtun are widely regarded was being pretty much puppets for the Pakistani Government.
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Old 27th August 2021, 02:07 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
This is a possibility, although there has been no terror attack so far done by an Afghan refugee in a Western country.
Just a **** ton of sexual assaults and rapes.
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Old 27th August 2021, 02:11 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
However, in my opinion, the proper way for the U.S. to ensure its security is to stop their absurd support for Israel, not to invade (even more) other countries.
Of course. Why would I expect anything other than blaming the Jews for Islamic terrorism? Never mind that it’s historically ignorant and without any actual basis in fact. Al Qaeda didn’t really care about Israel. Israel was an afterthought. They cared more about Al Andalus. Think we should give that back to appease them?
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Old 27th August 2021, 02:15 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by Michel H View Post
The Taliban have promised an amnesty,
And you believed them? How gullible are you?

Quote:
so I think these educated Afghans should remain in their country, help develop the economy and fight for freedom using words, rather than bombs.
I think everyone should always be nice and nobody should ever be mean.

But I’m not stupid enough to think the world actually works that way.
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