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Michael Moore is Rethinking Afghanistan

Posted by Josh Mull on March 15th, 2010

I’ve been talking lately about different ways to debate Afghanistan, specifically outside the narrow boundaries of the “all-in-or-all-out” argument typified by H.Con.Res 248. Although I write about it as if it’s some revolutionary concept I’ve just thought of, there are lots of folks out there already talking about solutions to Afghanistan in very reasonable terms. One of them is director Michael Moore. Let’s look at his response to President Obama’s speech on December 2, 2009.

Watching that, there’s no way you can interpret him as anything but anti-war. But look closer at some of the arguments he made. He suggested that the US could in some way buy off the poppy growers or “outbid the heroin guys.” Drug trafficking we know is one of the key interests regionally, with Russia, Iran, and China all having a stake to lose when it comes to crime and drug addiction. Moore also supports both the idea for a “war tax” to help mitigate the cost as well as re-instituting the draft in order to rile domestic opposition. He even hints that he’d be comfortable with “special forces to capture the killers,” presumably in Pakistan, something even more violent and legally dubious that anything we’re going for.

Of course, you can agree or disagree with his points. I, for one, don’t support the idea of a draft, if only on the off chance that they go through with it and President Obama sends 500,000 conscripts to Afghanistan. But Moore’s interview was on the very night that President Obama announced his escalation, and even then we were willing to discuss compromises, if not alternatives to escalation. He’s one of the most high profile anti-war voices in the country, and even he’s willing to give and take. How did we get from there to 248 calling for complete and immediate withdrawal? How do we get back to the point where we can have a rational, bipartisan debate about Afghanistan without resorting to extremist all-in-or-all-out arguments?

Luckily, you can ask him.

Moore is out promoting Capitalism: A Love Story and will be stopping by Brave New Films tomorrow for a live chat with our own Robert Greenwald. Right now, you can head over to Brave New Films and submit your questions for Moore, and they’ll be asked tomorrow during the interview. What solutions do we have for Afghanistan besides removing all the troops immediately. We pull them out, then what? Pulling the troops out got 65 votes in the House of Representatives, so what other policies do you add to that to grow the vote? Go ask him, then head over to Rethink Afghanistan’s Facebook page and join the debate there.

The chat starts at 3pm EST, and while you’re there, you can $5 off his new movie on DVD/Blue-Ray. Go ask your question, grab the coupon, and we’ll see what Michael Moore has to say about solutions to the war in Afghanistan.

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for The Seminal and Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on The Seminal or at Rethink Afghanistan.

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