Re: If we do get Afghanistan, what shall we do with it?

From: Smigrodzki, Rafal (SmigrodzkiR@MSX.UPMC.EDU)
Date: Tue Nov 20 2001 - 11:57:02 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:

As laudable as these things are, we have absolutely no right to
impose any system of government on Afghanistan or any other

### What is the ethical framework for your statement? It would appear that
the statement's source is the ethical system you personally espoused, yet
you formulate your sentence using the 1st person plural. Are you saying that
the ethical principles shared by us (Extropians?) forbid foreign
intervention? I would think that your point of view is not universally
shared, and therefore it is improper to express it as a categorical

Force is force.  It would be meaningless for these things to be
imposed rather than coming from the people themselves.

### In the ethical system I adhere to, protecting the innocent by force is not only allowed, it is a duty for all moral agents. My opinion is in fact quite common - we (most humans) are perfectly comfortable with imposing goodness (e.g. stopping murderers from forming bands and terrorising the countryside) by force (e.g. killing them).

---- What is important is ending the current violence and creating to the extent possible, starting from what is already present, an environment that a more civil and healthy country may grow out of. What is most needful is to create a process for the resolution of conflict that does not depend on violence and the forceful imposition of religious or other dictates on the entire population.

### I am glad that when it comes to actual concrete plans you suggest the same or similar actions that I or Brian Williams would recommend. Since using force (however indirectly) is the only known method to prevent violent, immoral people from acting in a violent, immoral way, your call for "a process for the resolution of conflict that does not depend on violence" is indeed an oblique endorsement of intervention of some sort (be it occupation, UN peacekeeping, financial manipulations). Kudos for you!

I don't know if there is space to fully get there or how close it is possible to get. What won't happen is that Afghanistan will not become like a little US culturally or politically any time soon. I don't think it would be terribly good if it did.

#### Inching closer to the US, for example, in the dimension of controlled vs. uncontrolled use of force in disputes, would be IMHO quite good if it happened. Are you seriously claiming the opposite?

Rafal Smigrodzki, MD-PhD

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