Read this shit some time.
Read this, as well.
I tried arguing about Afghanistan with people back in 2001; naturally, no one listened.
I understood that, after 9/11, we would be attacking somebody. You don’t outspend the rest of the world militarily and then not use that military when attacked. However, I did not expect an invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. I thought it was a stupid idea then, and I think it’s a stupid idea now.
One of the big justifications for the war was the removal of the Taliban, that group of fundamentalist assholes who imposed their own vision of utopian society in many parts of Afghanistan. Don’t get me wrong–they’re a bunch of fucks. Everyone’s heard the stories about burqas and sex-segregation and women being fourth-class citizens (it was hilarious to watch Republicans trip over themselves to stress how awful and sexist these choad-gobblers were).
I was aware of the Taliban prior to September of 2001. It didn’t take a genius to know about this group of sack wranglers. However, there’s a reason why they were in control of parts of Afghanistan. They provided order. Order is preferable to chaos–it’s why we have government in the first place, and whyLibertarian fantasies will always be just that. When, as happens some times, that order becomes unbearably oppressive, certain groups attempt to replace it. But they never wish to eradicate order altogether. There may be a chaotic interregnum, but no one ever abolishes order in favor of permanent chaos.
Put otherwise: When the people who lived in Afghanistan (and I’m not talking about “Afghanis;” there’s really no such ethnicity) got tired of the Taliban, they would have done something about it. You can provide aid to these groups, and you can encourage less-repressive elements in societies, but you can’t go in and impose an order of your own. It has to be, to use a Hobbesian term, a social contract entered into by the people whose own lives are directly affected–especially in a place like Afghanistan, where interlopers have been frustrated since the days of Alexander the Great.
All that shit about “Freedom is God Almighty’s gift” is just nonsense. Even if it were true, it would be up to the Almighty to dispense it, not to us. Isn’t that fucking presumptuous, to think otherwise?
Not that Hobbes’ view of humanity was perfect. It was, of course, situated in his time–the anarchical years during the English Civil War. However, when in such a state, order–even a harsh order–is something for which people yearn. Corrupt, unpredictable, and abusive governments will always be less popular than repressive yet predictable ones.