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(Gallup)   For the first time since we invaded - more than 12 years ago - a majority of Americans think the War in Afghanistan was a mistake   (gallup.com) divider line 256
    More: Followup, Afghanistan, Americans, Republicans, international affairs, Current Population Survey, number of troops, double coverage, Vietnam War  
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682 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Feb 2014 at 12:40 AM (22 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-20 08:56:58 PM
Shocking, given how much success we've had there!
 
2014-02-20 09:05:54 PM
Does that mean that those of us who were called traitors for saying it was a mistake to begin with will be getting an apology now?
 
2014-02-20 09:10:02 PM
Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.
 
2014-02-20 09:14:01 PM
I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.
 
2014-02-20 09:14:20 PM

MrBallou: Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.


I didn't think it was a mistake at the time, and looking back, I still don't think it was a mistake to go in.  The big mistake was the scale and the duration.  If we'd rolled in with a limited force, routed any taliban or al-qaeda we found within a few months to a year, and then left, it would have been worthwhile.

The large scale prolonged occupation and democracy-building experiment has been a complete failure.
 
2014-02-20 09:25:12 PM
What...the part where St. Regan supported the Taliban and helped put them in power over the secular goverment supported by the Russians in the 80's.
 
2014-02-20 09:34:12 PM

TuteTibiImperes: MrBallou: Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.

I didn't think it was a mistake at the time, and looking back, I still don't think it was a mistake to go in.  The big mistake was the scale and the duration.  If we'd rolled in with a limited force, routed any taliban or al-qaeda we found within a few months to a year, and then left, it would have been worthwhile.

The large scale prolonged occupation and democracy-building experiment has been a complete failure.


I don't want to rehash this, but some of the more libby-lib among us argued that the going on an Imperialistic Crusade against the Muslims was not going to make the Muslims who hated us for our Imperialism stop hating us.

We had the good will of the world on 9/12 and we blew it.
 
2014-02-20 09:39:48 PM

MrBallou: TuteTibiImperes: MrBallou: Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.

I didn't think it was a mistake at the time, and looking back, I still don't think it was a mistake to go in.  The big mistake was the scale and the duration.  If we'd rolled in with a limited force, routed any taliban or al-qaeda we found within a few months to a year, and then left, it would have been worthwhile.

The large scale prolonged occupation and democracy-building experiment has been a complete failure.

I don't want to rehash this, but some of the more libby-lib among us argued that the going on an Imperialistic Crusade against the Muslims was not going to make the Muslims who hated us for our Imperialism stop hating us.

We had the good will of the world on 9/12 and we blew it.


If we had actually rebuilt Afghanistan into a workable economy and kept out of Iraq we'd be in a much better place today.  I never thought going into Afghanistan was a bad idea, though there was obviously little planning about what to do afterwards and then the country just got told "this is too tough so fark it, we're going after Saddam instead".

/and don't get me started on Gitmo
 
2014-02-20 09:45:14 PM
I still think military action was needed.    BUT on a much smaller scale.  We should have had narrow, specific objectives and then LEFT.
 
2014-02-20 09:49:55 PM

enry: MrBallou: TuteTibiImperes: MrBallou: Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.

I didn't think it was a mistake at the time, and looking back, I still don't think it was a mistake to go in.  The big mistake was the scale and the duration.  If we'd rolled in with a limited force, routed any taliban or al-qaeda we found within a few months to a year, and then left, it would have been worthwhile.

The large scale prolonged occupation and democracy-building experiment has been a complete failure.

I don't want to rehash this, but some of the more libby-lib among us argued that the going on an Imperialistic Crusade against the Muslims was not going to make the Muslims who hated us for our Imperialism stop hating us.

We had the good will of the world on 9/12 and we blew it.

If we had actually rebuilt Afghanistan into a workable economy and kept out of Iraq we'd be in a much better place today.  I never thought going into Afghanistan was a bad idea, though there was obviously little planning about what to do afterwards and then the country just got told "this is too tough so fark it, we're going after Saddam instead".

/and don't get me started on Gitmo


I don't know if there is any way that we could have built Afghanistan into a workable economy.  In terms of culture and infrastructure they were just too different to do anything in any reasonable amount of time.  We built a multibillion dollar communication infrastructure for the Afghan citizens, and they destroyed it almost as soon as we finished.

The middle east will have to come to democracy and the modern world in their own time on their own terms.  Even comparatively modern and industrialized nations like Egypt have had major problems trying to make a modern government and economy work.
 
2014-02-20 10:00:05 PM
They touch our balls
like this.
 
2014-02-20 10:04:48 PM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


Pretty much this.
 
2014-02-20 10:12:02 PM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


I can't agree. In what way are your 'main purposes' discrete, achievable goals? To me they are still horribly ill-defined. I don't see any way to invade a country in order to take out a terrorist organization within it and somehow not be at war with that country. What were we supposed to do, invade Afghanistan but tell the Taliban "we don't want to fight you, we just want to comb your country killing people you are allied with for an indefinite period of time"?
 
2014-02-20 10:21:58 PM
I had more support for the incursion into Afghanistan than Iraq certainly.  The strategy isnt what I thought was ideal preferring less soldiers and more aerial attacks.  And ultimately it was in Pakistan that OBL was finally purportedly killed.  I was never really clear on what our goals were/are in Afghanistan.
 
2014-02-20 10:31:47 PM
I just consider the last 10 years or so a mistake.
 
2014-02-20 10:32:06 PM
I think the wording is problematic. I imagine if you ask the question "given the current result, would you still endorse the actions the US took in 2001?" You'd get one answer, but if you ask "do you believe the decision to invade Afghanistan, at the time the decision was made, was a bad decision?" you'd get a very different answer, but the question as worded conflates the two.

Since I played poker recently, I'll use that as an analogy: If you have three of a kind on the flop, and you correctly put your opponent on a straight draw, when he goes all-in you call his bet. After he catches the straight and wins the pot, was calling the bet a mistake? Certainly knowing the outcome, it would have been better not to call, but only given the information at the time, it's hard to argue for any other decision.
 
2014-02-20 10:37:24 PM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


What he said.
 
2014-02-20 10:40:10 PM

vudukungfu: They touch our balls
like this.


White dudes touch their balls like this.

Black dudes touch their balls LIKE THIS.
 
2014-02-20 11:29:48 PM
So, do you feel safe?
 
2014-02-20 11:59:20 PM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.


"Good idea, bad execution" could sum up a lot of the early 2000s.

And then we diverted resources from Afghanistan to Iraq, which was "bad idea, bad execution" that eventually morphed into "bad idea, mediocre execution".
 
2014-02-21 12:14:59 AM
I'll bet a high percentage of Halliburton executives think both of Bush's wars were FANTASTIC ideas.
 
2014-02-21 12:26:32 AM
Iraq was a mistake. Afghanistan was the right course. Unfortunately we lost focus in Afghanistan trying to chase ghosts in Iraq and both turned into a giant clusterfark.

People who think that Afghanistan was a bad idea are wrong.
 
2014-02-21 12:27:23 AM
Wearing white socks with black shoes is a mistake.

Afghanistan was farkup of biblical proportions.
 
2014-02-21 12:32:53 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: Iraq was a mistake. Afghanistan was the right course. Unfortunately we lost focus in Afghanistan trying to chase ghosts in Iraq and both turned into a giant clusterfark.

People who think that Afghanistan was a bad idea are wrong.


It's amazing - 12 years of unending failure in that country, and yet you still find opponents of that war to have been wrong. Where's the humility? Wheres the introspection?
 
2014-02-21 12:36:48 AM

DamnYankees: AverageAmericanGuy: Iraq was a mistake. Afghanistan was the right course. Unfortunately we lost focus in Afghanistan trying to chase ghosts in Iraq and both turned into a giant clusterfark.

People who think that Afghanistan was a bad idea are wrong.

It's amazing - 12 years of unending failure in that country, and yet you still find opponents of that war to have been wrong. Where's the humility? Wheres the introspection?


How we handled that war and how we let ourselves get bogged down and depleted in Iraq; these were mistakes. Invading Afghanistan was the correct course of action.
 
2014-02-21 12:38:56 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: How we handled that war and how we let ourselves get bogged down and depleted in Iraq; these were mistakes. Invading Afghanistan was the correct course of action.


No desire to actually back this up at all? Just going to repeat the same sentence again?

We went into Afghanistan in pique of rage and self-righteousness, with absolutely no intimate knowledge of the country, no clear goals, no exit strategy and no plan for how to execute what we wanted to do. And yet people still think this was a good idea. It's dispiriting.
 
2014-02-21 12:43:04 AM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


Yeah, I do not think going into Afghanistan was itself a mistake.  But we completely screwed it up.
 
2014-02-21 12:43:20 AM
I think a lot of people still support the Afghanistan venture because they think that at least our intentions and rationalizations were fair and just. Iraq is pretty despised now since people realize that not only did we execute it horribly, but we just had no legitimate reason to be there in the first place.

But lots of people still think we had a legitimate reason to go into Afghanistan; I don't really have a strong opinion on this, since I just lack the necessary expertise. But there's a serious difference between saying "we have causus bell" and saying "this war is a good idea". You can be justified in doing something, but it still might be a terrible idea to do it.
 
2014-02-21 12:46:36 AM

DamnYankees: AverageAmericanGuy: How we handled that war and how we let ourselves get bogged down and depleted in Iraq; these were mistakes. Invading Afghanistan was the correct course of action.

No desire to actually back this up at all? Just going to repeat the same sentence again?

We went into Afghanistan in pique of rage and self-righteousness, with absolutely no intimate knowledge of the country, no clear goals, no exit strategy and no plan for how to execute what we wanted to do. And yet people still think this was a good idea. It's dispiriting.


The goals were clear and the ultimatum to Afghanistan was clear.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom#Operation_En du ring_Freedom_.E2.80.93_Afghanistan_.28OEF-A.29

That the entire thing was bungled because of incompetence at the highest levels of government does not negate that invading was the right course of action. It only indicates that better leadership was necessary. Unfortunately you go to war with the leaders you have and not the leaders you might want or wish to have at a later time.
 
2014-02-21 12:46:59 AM

RobertBruce: I still think military action was needed.    BUT on a much smaller scale.  We should have had narrow, specific objectives and then LEFT.


In other words, a war was not a mistake, but the war was a mistake.

Can anyone recommend a good read on what did or didn't go down at Tora Bora early on when we supposedly had Bin Laden surrounded -- we allowed Afghanis to move in, rather than finish the deal ourselves? Is that correct, or am I misremembering what little I think I know? Anyway, if that had been successful, it would have been all but over at that point, best I can figure. Pity that.
 
2014-02-21 12:49:45 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: That the entire thing was bungled because of incompetence at the highest levels of government does not negate that invading was the right course of action.


Really? Seems like it does negate that. If you lack the capacity to do something due to a lack of competence, you probably shouldn't do it.

AverageAmericanGuy: Unfortunately you go to war with the leaders you have and not the leaders you might want or wish to have at a later time.


How about if you lack the adequate leaders you shouldn't go to war? That seems like a good principle to me.

AverageAmericanGuy: The goals were clear and the ultimatum to Afghanistan was clear.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom#Operation_En du ring_Freedom_.E2.80.93_Afghanistan_.28OEF-A.29


Are you referring to that 5 point list? That's a diplomatic request - I fail to see how our war effort helped us do any of those things.

Again, you need to make the distinction between a justifiable demand, and figuring out whether or not starting a war is a good alternative to being rebuffed.
 
2014-02-21 12:49:47 AM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


The bolded part beared repeating.
 
2014-02-21 12:50:42 AM
What percent think trading Sammy Sosa was a worse mistake?
 
2014-02-21 12:51:02 AM

DrBenway: RobertBruce: I still think military action was needed.    BUT on a much smaller scale.  We should have had narrow, specific objectives and then LEFT.


In other words, a war was not a mistake, but the war was a mistake.


This might be true. A limited military action, something like what we planned in Syria but maybe somewhat larger, MAY have been a good idea. I'm not qualified to know. But that's simply not what happened, so it seems weird for people to somehow justify the efficacy of what we actually did by appealing to something else we should have done.
 
2014-02-21 12:54:20 AM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


^ FINISH WHAT YOU START BEFORE GOING TO THE NEXT WAR.....
 
2014-02-21 12:55:09 AM
Throw out your hands
Stick out your tush
Hands on your hips
Give 'em a push
You'll be surprised
You're doing the Afghani Mistake
Allahu akbar!
 
2014-02-21 12:56:00 AM
I guess a real question would be what does it take for the American public to assess a war as a mistake? I think once they start a lot of us want to justify the loss of life however we can. In the end our inability to admit err
 
2014-02-21 12:57:44 AM

AirForceVet: I, for one, do not think the Afghan invasion was a mistake.

The Bush Administration blew the main purposes of the invasion: destroy al-Qaeda, its safe zones and bases and kill its leadership, especially Osama bin Laden.

They just toppled the Taliban and pranced on their merry way to the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.




Came in here to say this. The Bush Administration did not want to invade Afghanistan. All it did was cock block their build up to the only country they had interest in invading: Iraq.
 
2014-02-21 12:58:24 AM

DamnYankees: I think a lot of people still support the Afghanistan venture because they think that at least our intentions and rationalizations were fair and just. Iraq is pretty despised now since people realize that not only did we execute it horribly, but we just had no legitimate reason to be there in the first place.

But lots of people still think we had a legitimate reason to go into Afghanistan; I don't really have a strong opinion on this, since I just lack the necessary expertise. But there's a serious difference between saying "we have causus bell" and saying "this war is a good idea". You can be justified in doing something, but it still might be a terrible idea to do it.


The links between the 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda were clear, and the training camps used to train Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan were known. At the time, it was suspected that OBL was in Afghanistan, so the Taliban government was pressed by the US to turn him over.

There is a direct line of reasoning that puts America in Afghanistan. The refusal of Afghanistan to aid us in the investigation and apprehension of terrorist suspects connected to the 9/11 attacks put them at war with us.

If you look at this in hindsight and judge the operation based on its effects, you're mistaking hindsight for wisdom. What was right at the time is still right at the time, though the course of history has caused it to appear to have been a mistake. A good analogy is the poker one made above.
 
2014-02-21 01:02:05 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: The links between the 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda were clear, and the training camps used to train Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan were known. At the time, it was suspected that OBL was in Afghanistan, so the Taliban government was pressed by the US to turn him over.

There is a direct line of reasoning that puts America in Afghanistan. The refusal of Afghanistan to aid us in the investigation and apprehension of terrorist suspects connected to the 9/11 attacks put them at war with us.


Ok. And? You're describing the facts of what happened. This isn't an argument for its wisdom.

AverageAmericanGuy: If you look at this in hindsight and judge the operation based on its effects, you're mistaking hindsight for wisdom. What was right at the time is still right at the time, though the course of history has caused it to appear to have been a mistake. A good analogy is the poker one made above.


It was wrong at the time. There's been no argument presented that asserts at what point this went from being a good idea to a bad idea, or how the initial actions were ever designed to have a good result. Given that, I can only conclude it was a bad idea from the start.

If something was a good idea at the time, and ended up badly, you have two options: (i) you were wrong, and it was a bad idea at the time or (ii) some unforeseeable, intervening event happened which caused a good thing to turn into a bad thing. I see no evidence of (ii) at all, and you haven't asserted any.
 
2014-02-21 01:04:55 AM
www.quickmeme.com
 
2014-02-21 01:05:36 AM

DamnYankees: There's been no argument presented that asserts at what point this went from being a good idea to a bad idea


AirForceVet: the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.

 
2014-02-21 01:06:06 AM
I remember the Taliban saying something like 'The 9/11 attacks were a terrible crime, and we'll hand over bin Laden if you can show us he did that'.  And I fully expected our government to do just that.  Instead, they delivered more ultimatums.

So, I realized the Bush Administration was going to war, and wasn't going to let anything get in the way of that.  The level of bloodlust in the nation was high, so I didn't complain too much.. it was more of a 'here we go again'.
 
2014-02-21 01:07:17 AM

nmrsnr: DamnYankees: There's been no argument presented that asserts at what point this went from being a good idea to a bad idea

AirForceVet: the real mistake, invading Iraq, leaving the Afghan War on the back burner for years.


Fair enough - its been asserted, but I don't think its been remotely proved.

Remember, by the time Iraq happened, the War in Afghanistan was already 1.5 years old. We still had no farking clue what we were doing.

The Iraq War was a disaster, but it doesn't absolve the Bush administration of the Afghanistan disaster either.
 
2014-02-21 01:11:25 AM

DamnYankees: AverageAmericanGuy: The links between the 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda were clear, and the training camps used to train Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan were known. At the time, it was suspected that OBL was in Afghanistan, so the Taliban government was pressed by the US to turn him over.

There is a direct line of reasoning that puts America in Afghanistan. The refusal of Afghanistan to aid us in the investigation and apprehension of terrorist suspects connected to the 9/11 attacks put them at war with us.

Ok. And? You're describing the facts of what happened. This isn't an argument for its wisdom.

AverageAmericanGuy: If you look at this in hindsight and judge the operation based on its effects, you're mistaking hindsight for wisdom. What was right at the time is still right at the time, though the course of history has caused it to appear to have been a mistake. A good analogy is the poker one made above.

It was wrong at the time. There's been no argument presented that asserts at what point this went from being a good idea to a bad idea, or how the initial actions were ever designed to have a good result. Given that, I can only conclude it was a bad idea from the start.

If something was a good idea at the time, and ended up badly, you have two options: (i) you were wrong, and it was a bad idea at the time or (ii) some unforeseeable, intervening event happened which caused a good thing to turn into a bad thing. I see no evidence of (ii) at all, and you haven't asserted any.


It seems we're at an impasse, then. You have gone from saying that the war in Afghanistan is a "mistake", which I have already shown it to be a perfectly correct course of action, to saying it is not a "good thing", a term for which no war save the War for American Independence, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy can possibly meet.
 
2014-02-21 01:14:14 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: You have gone from saying that the war in Afghanistan is a "mistake", which I have already shown it to be a perfectly correct course of action


I'm sorry, you've shown no such thing whatsoever. You haven't even tried. Unless you linking to the Wikipedia article about the war was somehow the entirely of your argument.

AverageAmericanGuy: to saying it is not a "good thing", a term for which no war save the War for American Independence, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy can possibly meet.


Yes, most wars are mistakes. The only wars in U.S. history which IMO unequivicolly weren't mistakes were the Civil War (at least form the perspective of the North) and WWII. The Revolutionary War is a distant third; there's arguments on both sides of that one.

So say something was not good is to say you shouldn't have done it - ergo mistake.
 
2014-02-21 01:14:57 AM
Ahahahahaha, yes, we definitely should have left the al Qaeda training camps and infrastructure and hierarchy in place.  That more than half the citizenry would think it was a mistake is a more a stunning indictment of our education system and the public's general lack of interest about what's going on around them more than anything else.
 
2014-02-21 01:15:46 AM
I thought a "war" was a mistake (I'll always favor strategic strikes over war any time possible) and that it should have been handled in a similar fashion as Japan in WWII (without nukes though)....go in blow your targets to smithereens take out as much of the Taliban as possible, kill OBL, leave. Not go in and act like drunken idiots dancing in circles for 12 years.
 
2014-02-21 01:17:33 AM

MrBallou: TuteTibiImperes: MrBallou: Only 9% said it was a mistake at the start? I thought it was higher, but calls for good sense and a smart response got drowned out pretty quickly when the panicked national pants-wetting took over.

I didn't think it was a mistake at the time, and looking back, I still don't think it was a mistake to go in.  The big mistake was the scale and the duration.  If we'd rolled in with a limited force, routed any taliban or al-qaeda we found within a few months to a year, and then left, it would have been worthwhile.

The large scale prolonged occupation and democracy-building experiment has been a complete failure.

I don't want to rehash this, but some of the more libby-lib among us argued that the going on an Imperialistic Crusade against the Muslims was not going to make the Muslims who hated us for our Imperialism stop hating us.

We had the good will of the world on 9/12 and we blew it.


www.debbieschlussel.com

I think we had this cheering Palestinian's good will the most.
 
2014-02-21 01:17:39 AM
Hindsight.
 
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