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It’s Not Funny to Joke That We’re in Afghanistan for Revenge

Posted on June 17 2010 2:00 pm
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Oh, Johnny boy, you usually seem so smart. So with it. We may not always agree but I can usually tell you’re not just running your mouth. But this time, man you are way off. Last night on The Daily Show, Stewart was talking about the discovery of minerals in Afghanistan that could be worth over $1 trillion.

He notes that this was originally reported back in 2007 and hints that we’re only hearing about it now because the war isn’t going so well. I was going to write about the significance of this find—how it’d inspire Afghans, spur investment, potentially turn them away from selling drugs for a living, etc.—but then Stewart made a comment that really irked me.

He says that this is only going to make Afghanistan more war-torn, because now “we’re” going to want the resources beneath them. Until now, we just were there for revenge, he says. Watch the otherwise funny segment below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Ore on Terror
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

This statement bothers me on multiple levels. He isn’t mocking the notion that we’re just there for revenge, it’s a political statement inside a joke. It basically calls all of our policymakers who support the war in Afghanistan both from the left and the right, liars. Forget the fact that the Taliban could come back—we’re obviously there because we’re still bloodthirsty after 9/11 and are willing to make mothers attend the funerals of their sons and daughters out of revenge. The smack at our morals and why we’re there, even if you disagree with the decision, isn’t even funny. I may have a low opinion of policymakers, but to imply they’d continue a war just for revenge isn’t humorous no matter how you put it.

This isn’t about revenge. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are as close as allies get. The Taliban were willing to risk their destruction to provide Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists safe harbor—the guys who were directly and undeniably behind 9/11. Since their overthrow, the Taliban has instituted Sharia Law in places in Pakistan, oppressed innocents, and even poisoned gassed a girls school.

And they’ve never, ever, renounced their belief that jihad should be waged against America. If the Taliban comes to power in Afghanistan, then Al-Qaeda regains the safe harbor they utilized to carry out 9/11. There’s no reason to believe that the Taliban we’re fighting now is somehow a different Taliban from back in 2001. Of course, Stewart will react to this just by saying that this argument just conjures up fear like Bush did. That is, after all, the criticism he made of Obama when he announced the surge in Afghanistan. So, if you warn that the war in Afghanistan is directly connected to stopping attacks at home, you are just using fear to make your point.

This is simple. I can’t even believe that I’m reviewing this right now.

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