Biden says he does not regret Afghanistan withdrawal as Taliban take over more towns

tstorm823

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It is if you actually care about heinousness, totalitarianism, etc.
I understand what you were saying, and I don't agree with it, but if your answer to people criticizing you for defending heinous, totalitarian regimes is "yeah, but so do you!", you're conceding the point that you are defending heinous, totalitarian regimes.
 

Seanchaidh

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I understand what you were saying, and I don't agree with it, but if your answer to people criticizing you for defending heinous, totalitarian regimes is "yeah, but so do you!", you're conceding the point that you are defending heinous, totalitarian regimes.
No.
 

Gergar12

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¿?¿?¿?¿? Swing states? WTF do swing states have to do with anything if neither party is pro-imigration?
Biden is afraid of a backlash from swing district suburbnites in 2022, and key swing states in 2024 for the presidency for accepting refugees.
 

09philj

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The bit about compartmentalising in capitalism and socialist failures as inherent to Marxism sounds to me like some sort of digressive waffle. It's not that capitalism is inherently ace and socialism inherently shit or vice versa, it's just the reality out there was that the Eastern Bloc and China fucking sucked. And irrespective of whether this is some sort of inherent problem of socialism or not, they were unquestionably horrible places at a deep institutional level, and the idea that socialism might be doable in some other less patently abusive fashion in no way excuses the barbarity and harm those places inflicted on their own people (and others).

Do you want to tell me that the working classes weren't exploited in the USSR and China? Do you really think the wealth of the nation was truly flowing to the workers, or do you think it was being wasted in inefficiency or sucked up and squandered by an elite for other purposes - just in this case, a governmental elite rather a capitalist one? DO you think the workers really had any significant say in their lives, and government policy?

It is surely a form of exploitation to view one's people as a series of replaceable cogs in a giant machine, where the only thing that matters is the machine, and if you grind up millions of your own people, that's all fine. Capitalism does this, but so did the Communist nations. They didn't love and respect any individual in their country as persons, they're all just fodder for the Great Plan. That's a lot of why they were convulsed by events where millions died - because it was small loss in the name of whatever ambitions socialist dictators had. If you think it was not exploitation, you are fooling yourself. Likewise if you think they did not live in fear and coercion - albeit via insidious security services, corruption, shitty justice systems, daring to speak what was ideologically impure and so on rather than economic insecurity - you are fooling yourself.
Like, going back on topic, the Soviet Afghan war is a pretty good microcosm of all the ways that the USSR was bad. You've got:
- Racism against non-Russians (They did not bother to teach their central Asian soldiers Russian. All the technical manuals were in Russian.)
- Imperialism
- War crimes
- Other crimes, especially theft from Afghans motivated by the Soviet troops not having any money
- KGB skulduggery (Which got the Soviets to invade in the first place)
- A culture of systematic violence and sexual violence against conscripts that left them severely depressed and with a preponderance to abuse alcohol, unsafe alcohol substitutes like boot polish, and all the drugs they found in Afghanistan
- Military vehicles so unsafe soldiers refused to use them
- Absolute tactical inflexibility leading to more Soviet troops being killed in ten years than the NATO coalition lost in twenty
- Sending dead soldiers back to their village in zinc coffins with no explanation... assuming the right bodies even made it back to the right villages
- Abandoning communism once it became sufficiently expedient, like they went in there with the intent of propping up Afghan communism and before they left they made the Afghan government become not communist

Meanwhile the US were engaging in their favourite cold war past time of giving money and guns to anticommunists without thinking about the long term consequences of doing that which directly led into their own occupation of Afghanistan which ended up lasting twice as long as the Soviet one.
 
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09philj

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The Afghan branch of The Islamic State have suicide bombed crowds outside Kabul Airport.
 

bluegate

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The Afghan branch of The Islamic State have suicide bombed crowds outside Kabul Airport.
Right wingers coming in pretending to care about human lives in 3 , 2 , 1

The above isn't meant literally for users on this board, but media in general.
 

Silvanus

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So you've given up on arguing about whether the Soviet Union was being imperialist-- more imperialist than the United States which was arming the rebels that precipitated Soviet involvement in the first place-- and are now merely asserting that their actions in Afghanistan were generically bad because a military solution worked more or less as you might expect a military solution to a military problem (that was created or at the very least inflamed by the United States) to work (or not work) and some people who were purging and assassinating got purged and assassinated.

Cool, but you're transparently moving the goal posts.
???

I'm still arguing they were being imperialist. Invading, overthrowing & occupying are pretty classic imperialist moves. What, because I didn't specifically use the word in that paragraph, I must have changed my tune...?

The fact that their puppet was from the PDPA isn't the huge redeeming point you seem to be taking it for, and means diddly-squat with regards to whether the decade of occupation and political repression counts as imperialist or not.

((I also like how a post or two ago you were decrying the fact that US intervention resulted in a "precipitous collapse" after they left (which was a perfectly valid criticism of the US, note), but when it's pointed out that USSR intervention also resulted in civil war and precipitous collapse... suddenly now it's not a valid criticism! It's just "more or less as you might expect", and we can't give the USSR the side-eye about it! Funny how that works))
 

The Rogue Wolf

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The Afghan branch of The Islamic State have suicide bombed crowds outside Kabul Airport.
The situation just got a hell of a lot more complex. If this was in fact an attack by a branch-off of ISIS, how is the Taliban going to respond? Was it an effort to try to get Western powers to stay, in order to keep using them as a present enemy to rally their people against, or is this just the opening salvo in a turf war?
 

CM156

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The situation just got a hell of a lot more complex. If this was in fact an attack by a branch-off of ISIS, how is the Taliban going to respond? Was it an effort to try to get Western powers to stay, in order to keep using them as a present enemy to rally their people against, or is this just the opening salvo in a turf war?
My bet is on the second. The Taliban and Islamic State (and its offshoots) do not get along. The Taliban recently executed Abu Omar Khorasani.
 

Agema

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It is my best guess as to why you are making the mistake that you are making with respect to judging the impact and morality of the continued existence of capitalism vs. the impact and morality of the project of building socialism. Do you believe that you've escaped the influence of the most sophisticated propaganda apparatus that has ever existed in human history? What I described is a large part of why that propaganda works: I've been describing the abuse of the fundamental attribution error applied internationally. We always have an excuse. Something else to blame. They on the other hand, are the sum total of each adverse event, and entirely responsible for all of them. And that is liberal 'nuance' in a nutshell.
This is just vacuous rhetoric. It's merely a more attractively worded equivalent to the average conspiracy theorist shouting "Wake up sheeple! You're too stupid and blind to see the truth, but I understand!"

I am not so hostile to capitalism for sure - partly because I don't think capitalism is at core the problem. Competition between states, and between individuals within states is. Capitalism is just the economic system that the most powerful states that are around today and their elites found most useful to exercise their power. The oppression of the poor, the plundering of foreign states, all that stuff predates capitalism by millennia.

Wealth largely flowed to military purposes because actual and threatened capitalist aggression made that necessary. You're judging people for the predictable results of having to contend with constant military threat, espionage, and sabotage by the most powerful empires in human history, empires which project hostility outward in large part because they fear what their own people would do with successful counterexamples to "there is no alternative"- indeed, successfully undermining and overthrowing the Soviet Union has resulted in a steady decline of the meager social democratic programs the UK and US had. It is utterly natural for those who constantly deal with that aggression to become pathologically paranoid. No matter how ethical or democratic any of those places wanted to be, they still existed in the context of global capitalism. Call that a lame excuse if you want, but you're essentially blaming organisms immersed in water for acting like fish. Whether they would necessarily have drowned had they not is beside the point.
No, the Communist states had the same core conception of the world, inherited from their prior empires - empires which themselves were amongst the powerful empires in human history. They could put a sort of Marxian gloss on it all, but these countries were still run by cynical politicians bred as thick and deep in a dog-eat-dog conception of the world as their supposed ideological opponents. They overthrew the old regimes, and just played out the same routines of personal aggrandisement and patriotic bullshit, just with a different means of internally shunting resources round. And when they met resistance - even from elements of the working classes taking control of their own lives as you'd think they might support - they squashed them. The Bolsheviks politically crushed the soviets - the real worker councils they misleadingly decided to name their state after - so they couldn't speak up. They militarily crushed the Ukrainian anarchists, who surely were no friends of capitalism either. The shenanigans of the Soviet higher-ups wouldn't be out of place in a medieval royal court, right down to the exiles, imprisonments and executions.

If we're talking about people being fodder for a great plan, I much prefer China ending poverty for hundreds of millions of people to sending Bezos to the upper atmosphere for an afternoon so that he can advocate for making The Expanse's Belter/Earther class divide a non-fiction.
Roman emperors also made sure their people were fed. They gave them circuses, too.
 
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Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

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The Afghan branch of The Islamic State have suicide bombed crowds outside Kabul Airport.
Afghanistan is so fucked, even if Taliban is planing to make a perfect, peaceful and economic powerhouse Country they simply can't. It's economically fucked, fighting going on and a famine is coming. This is a humanitarian crisis waiting to happen in a month Or two.
 

Godzillarich(aka tf2godz)

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The situation just got a hell of a lot more complex. If this was in fact an attack by a branch-off of ISIS, how is the Taliban going to respond? Was it an effort to try to get Western powers to stay, in order to keep using them as a present enemy to rally their people against, or is this just the opening salvo in a turf war?

When the news of a terrorist attack was coming Russia started pulling out. This may not seem like much but Russia was one of the biggest advocates for peaceful coexistence with the Taliban right now but now they are leaving.

The attack was a giant middle finger to the Taliban and basically wrecked any hope of them being able to rebuild the economy. Countries like China and Russia we're hoping the Taliban would bring stability so they could get resources from the country but this attack show Afghanistan isn't suddenly a safe place now that the Taliban has won.

It was to scare investors, make sure they couldn't build a stable government. At least that's my theory
 

Seanchaidh

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This is just vacuous rhetoric. It's merely a more attractively worded equivalent to the average conspiracy theorist shouting "Wake up sheeple! You're too stupid and blind to see the truth, but I understand!"

I am not so hostile to capitalism for sure - partly because I don't think capitalism is at core the problem. Competition between states, and between individuals within states is. Capitalism is just the economic system that the most powerful states that are around today and their elites found most useful to exercise their power. The oppression of the poor, the plundering of foreign states, all that stuff predates capitalism by millennia.
This looks very much like "no, but actually yes." You personally don't think capitalism is the problem. Slavery and serfdom and military adventurism predate capitalism; other fruits are also poisonous, so why not continue to eat this one?

There is a global economic system. The logic of that economic system is exploitative and often brutal. One group is trying to maintain that system. Another is trying to change it. The group that is trying to change it still has to exist within that economic system and its logic. The group that is trying to maintain it does its best to make absolutely sure that the group that is trying to change it has to deal with as many pressures as possible so that nothing will change. One is brutal because it wants to maintain its hegemony. The other ends up acting for the sake of argument with similar brutality in their competition with the other because doing otherwise would mean losing ground and eventually ceasing to exist so long as the other remains in power.

I contend that it is absolutely silly to regard these groups as morally equivalent, and even moreso to condemn the latter while accepting the yoke of the former.

No, the Communist states had the same core conception of the world, inherited from their prior empires - empires which themselves were amongst the powerful empires in human history. They could put a sort of Marxian gloss on it all, but these countries were still run by cynical politicians bred as thick and deep in a dog-eat-dog conception of the world as their supposed ideological opponents. They overthrew the old regimes, and just played out the same routines of personal aggrandisement and patriotic bullshit, just with a different means of internally shunting resources round. And when they met resistance - even from elements of the working classes taking control of their own lives as you'd think they might support - they squashed them. The Bolsheviks politically crushed the soviets - the real worker councils they misleadingly decided to name their state after - so they couldn't speak up. They militarily crushed the Ukrainian anarchists, who surely were no friends of capitalism either. The shenanigans of the Soviet higher-ups wouldn't be out of place in a medieval royal court, right down to the exiles, imprisonments and executions.
Do you know of any evidence of such cynicism among the secret correspondences and records in the Soviet archives? Or is it at least equally possible that they were doing what they believed to be their best job at securing their state from capitalist interference with the limited resources at their disposal in the context of a global capitalist system which prunes companies and states alike if they are not sufficiently exploitative, whether by buyout, bankruptcy, coup d'etat or military invasion?

Roman emperors also made sure their people were fed. They gave them circuses, too.
The United States throws away food and guards the dumpster to make sure no one will eat it. And then gives the dumpster guards military surplus hardware and vehicles and license to kill.
 

Satinavian

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There is a global economic system. The logic of that economic system is exploitative and often brutal. One group is trying to maintain that system. Another is trying to change it. The group that is trying to change it still has to exist within that economic system and its logic. The group that is trying to maintain it does its best to make absolutely sure that the group that is trying to change it has to deal with as many pressures as possible so that nothing will change. One is brutal because it wants to maintain its hegemony. The other ends up acting for the sake of argument with similar brutality in their competition with the other because doing otherwise would mean losing ground and eventually ceasing to exist so long as the other remains in power.
There is no "group against capitalism". There are many people and groups unhappy with capitalism but there is not even a hint of a shared idea what is suppoed to replace it. Which is the main reason capitalism continues even though hardly anyone really likes it.
Do you know of any evidence of such cynicism among the secret correspondences and records in the Soviet archives? Or is it at least equally possible that they were doing what they believed to be their best job at securing their state from capitalist interference with the limited resources at their disposal in the context of a global capitalist system which prunes companies and states alike if they are not sufficiently exploitative, whether by buyout, bankruptcy, coup d'etat or military invasion?
Both ? You can find a lot of quite nasty rationalisation for quite nasty measures. But many of those leaders certainly still believed that all that would be usefull/necessary for their greater good. And there was certainly far less personal enrichment than in capitalist systems. But then, capitalist societies also have no lack of people genuinely believing in the good of capitalism. But having those idealists does not actually make capitalism any better in practice.
 
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Seanchaidh

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You can find a lot of quite nasty rationalisation for quite nasty measures.
Any acknowledgments that their rationalisations were thin? That they weren't serious about the project of building and defending socialism?

There is no "group against capitalism".
There might not be only one, but my argument doesn't depend on that.
 

Satinavian

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Any acknowledgments that their rationalisations were thin? That they weren't serious about the project of building and defending socialism?
Oh, i never said they were not serious.
But see, when you make the Holodomor worse to let industrialisation happen sooner, then that is quite awful, even if you believe that helps building a communist utopia.

I said nasty, not flimsy.


The dishonesty was mostly directed to hiding how the system didn't work. And there was more than enough of that as well.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Is this an example of why you cant fight an ideology? This is a country that wants to live this way, right?

I mean sure people are trying to leave now, but when they were given every resource and every chance to learn how to prevent this exactly thing from happening...they did nothing.

The troops that the US trained, did nothing. The citizens did nothing. The government did nothing.

At this point it is clear that they just want to rule their little country like a medieval hellhole and outside governments should just leave it alone. Because the solution is nothing that civilized countries would be willing to do.

I say get everyone home and leave the place to fester. But also leave strong warnings that if they begin to issue acts of terror on foreign soil, the next time we come back it will just be to rain fire and death upon everyone.
 

Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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This looks very much like "no, but actually yes." You personally don't think capitalism is the problem. Slavery and serfdom and military adventurism predate capitalism; other fruits are also poisonous, so why not continue to eat this one?

There is a global economic system. The logic of that economic system is exploitative and often brutal. One group is trying to maintain that system. Another is trying to change it. The group that is trying to change it still has to exist within that economic system and its logic. The group that is trying to maintain it does its best to make absolutely sure that the group that is trying to change it has to deal with as many pressures as possible so that nothing will change. One is brutal because it wants to maintain its hegemony.

The other ends up acting for the sake of argument with similar brutality in their competition with the other because doing otherwise would mean losing ground and eventually ceasing to exist so long as the other remains in power.
I think with that carefully inserted caveat "for the sake of argument", you are trying to skip over a huge potential flaw in your argument.

There has been an explicit movement in socialist circles and embraced by the Bolsheviks early on, I believe called "proletarian internationalism". The aim of which was to foster revolutions across the rest of the world, and post-1917 via assistance from the USSR. I'm pretty sure this fluctuated in influence - Stalin I suspect was as blinkered a nationalist as they come and turned its functions to Soviet interest ahead of general communist benefit - but threads of it keeping running through. It is inescapably an ideology that says Communist nations should undermine capitalist ones. One can also view the persistent attempts of Communists to even suppress other stripes of socialist - social democrats, anarchists, etc.

Capitalism, as socialism, can be practiced in different ways. A base of capitalism can have very extensive social protection systems, and restrain the power of capitalists. The key is institutional safeguards against excessive exploitation. Socialism is really not so different, because as per the above examples of the USSR and China, in fact extensive exploitation and abuse are also possible and thus also require appropriate safeguards. In either system, failure to install or maintain those safeguards is liable to end in abuse and exploitation.

Do you know of any evidence of such cynicism among the secret correspondences and records in the Soviet archives? Or is it at least equally possible that they were doing what they believed to be their best job at securing their state from capitalist interference with the limited resources at their disposal in the context of a global capitalist system which prunes companies and states alike if they are not sufficiently exploitative, whether by buyout, bankruptcy, coup d'etat or military invasion?
I think their actions were cynical enough. They were completely controlling: again, extensive secret police, etc. What government that claims to represent the people suppresses them so thoroughly?

The military crushing of the Hungarian and Czech movements for democracy and liberalisation caused many Western communists to break with the USSR. They at least finally saw through the facade, and that the USSR was every bit as much the bullying, imperialist titan as any major capitalist nation. It is perhaps easier to miss for modern communists who don't see it occurring right in front of them.
 

Seanchaidh

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There has been an explicit movement in socialist circles and embraced by the Bolsheviks early on, I believe called "proletarian internationalism". The aim of which was to foster revolutions across the rest of the world, and post-1917 via assistance from the USSR. I'm pretty sure this fluctuated in influence - Stalin I suspect was as blinkered a nationalist as they come and turned its functions to Soviet interest ahead of general communist benefit - but threads of it keeping running through. It is inescapably an ideology that says Communist nations should undermine capitalist ones. One can also view the persistent attempts of Communists to even suppress other stripes of socialist - social democrats, anarchists, etc.
I'm not sure what is supposed to be the problem; internationalism sounds fine to me. My argument is that the surrounding context of global capitalism explains and potentially even justifies much of the questionable behavior of the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China. Undermining imperialist nations and their puppet regimes in exploited nations pretty directly means relieving pressure at home as well as moving closer to giving the working classes of the entire world a chance to take control of their own destinies. "Socialism in one country" only makes any sense to me if it's exceedingly difficult to pursue literally any other path with respect to building socialism which, to be fair to Stalin after Germany didn't have its expected proletarian revolution, it was.

Capitalism, as socialism, can be practiced in different ways. A base of capitalism can have very extensive social protection systems, and restrain the power of capitalists.
You're witnessing the vultures circling over the NHS and still saying this? Such protections don't last very long unless the capitalists are threatened by the flourishing of alternative systems such as the Soviet Union and unrest at home. The power of the capitalists isn't being restrained so much as their conduct is being coordinated to avoid unrest and instability. As soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to rolling back whatever modest gains workers have won, because they are the ones with the real power. They simply delegate some authority to their handmaidens in the government; with sufficient agreement among the capitalist class, that delegation can be revoked.

The key is institutional safeguards against excessive exploitation. Socialism is really not so different, because as per the above examples of the USSR and China, in fact extensive exploitation and abuse are also possible and thus also require appropriate safeguards. In either system, failure to install or maintain those safeguards is liable to end in abuse and exploitation.
The key is taking away the power of the capitalist class to manipulate elections, legislation, and public opinion, which means taking away their ill-gotten money and control over the means of production. It also means reducing the threat from abroad to take away the justification for allocating the surplus to maintaining a military and intelligence service. This seems to require a world revolution.

I think their actions were cynical enough. They were completely controlling: again, extensive secret police, etc. What government that claims to represent the people suppresses them so thoroughly?
The United States.

By agents in the private sector, such as these:


And in the public: 22% of the world's prison population is in the United States. People are murdered by cops in the streets, assassinated by the FBI, and so on.

The military crushing of the Hungarian and Czech movements for democracy and liberalisation caused many Western communists to break with the USSR. They at least finally saw through the facade, and that the USSR was every bit as much the bullying, imperialist titan as any major capitalist nation. It is perhaps easier to miss for modern communists who don't see it occurring right in front of them.
Given the timing I suspect McCarthyism played a much greater role.