Just a question

Everyone from the New York Times to National Review agrees that we f*cked up in Afghanistan during the 1980's.

We abandoned Afghanistan then, according to the conventional wisdom.

My question is, how exactly do people figure that after bank-rolling their liberation, we're somehow all the more responsible to babysit them and see them through to a civil society? Yes, I understand that would have been best, but at the time, how does this moral arithmetic work?

We didn't trick or fool the Afghans into resisting Soviet oppression. Their resistance was natural, and we helped them drive the Soviets out.

Why apologize? The U.S.A. is not imperial. We usually itch to get out of foreign entanglements, not to stay.
I think the loyal opposition here actually regrets that we sent aid to defeat the communists. That naive humanitarianism which buttressed genocidal communism is alive and well. Their argument now is sort of childish, like "ha! look what you got in the Soviet's place." But this loyal opposition is the same that would cry bloody murder if we'd tried to interfere in Afghanistan's politics after that war.

It's probably true that our politicians could never have persuaded the voting populace to keep pouring money into that rubble-strewn, ancient land anyway. It would take 911 to persuade us that Islamo-fascism was uniquely dangerous.

Still, my question: why, after helping the Afghans win their war against the Soviets, should we have felt more obliged to that country?

Yes, the latent effect was marvelous. Eastern Europe and all the countries of the Soviet Union were liberated (to some degree).

That doesn't mean we didn't do the Afghans a great favor.

I don't see that we let them down. On the contrary: by some twisted fundamentalist zealotry didn't they declare war on us?

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