Overthowing the Taliban

Max Sawicky sawicky at bellatlantic.net
Thu Oct 4 13:44:18 PDT 2001

Michael Pollak wrote:

> we should support the effort of Francesco Vendrell and the UN to build a
> new government through the instrumentality of the king and the loya jirga.
. I agree with this. But at the moment Colin Powell is adamant that getting rid of the Taliban is not an explicit goal of the campaign. The goals are (1) to destroy the bin Laden terrorist camps and (2) to make the Taliban "pay a price" for having harbored them. We've seen those words used before and they've always ended up meaning the familiar routine: bombs, civilian destruction, and more chaos.

On the other hand, there seems to be more official support in Washington for Ziad and the loya jerga process than I would have expected. So it's hard to say. This could be another Sudan medicine factory, or it could be a genuine positive intervention. We'll have to see. Seth


Hey I'm being outflanked on the right, on LBO no less. I must act.

It seems to me that nation-building has much more risk of mayhem and destruction of innocents than a more limited invasion. It's one thing to go in, kill some bad guys (and some innocents in the process), and split. It's another to hang around and have to defend yourself -- be the object of a guerilla war -- while creating a new state.

Whatever harm that results from the shorter-term approach is subsumed in nation-building. The same goes for any animus from radical Islam.

I think the best that can be expected from the standpoint of preventing terrorism is to find and kill as many OBL/ Al Qaida/Taliban operatives as possible, and to destroy their equipment and military facilities. Meanwhile supply arms to their opposition(s) and let the latter sort things out (shudder). Provide food and other relief to the extent possible (but remember Somalia). Otherwise get the hell out.

Now let's hold hands and sing 'The Ballad of the Green Berets.'


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