Fighting People Who Have Nothing to Lose, Or Why We Should Leave Afghanistan

Fighting People Who Have Nothing to Lose, Or Why We Should Leave Afghanistan

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I attended a pretty rough school as a teenager. Thousands of  inner city kids from nearby Liberty City and Overtown were bussed into my high school occasioning the predictable confrontations between local, blue-collar white kids and urban, street-tough black kids. If you were unwilling or didn’t know how to handle yourself, you could easily find yourself in big trouble.

I was a decent student and had plans to attend college and pursue some kind of career. Most of the inner city kids did not share my hopes and plans for the future. After all, this was the early 70’s and these kids probably didn’t think they had a chance to make it in a white-dominated society only a decade removed from the civil rights acts of the ’60s.

Now, if you fought on campus you were automatically suspended. A zero tolerance policy – no questions asked.

This meant that a kid who didn’t care about school and had no academic plans for the future had nothing to lose by fighting. What was a suspension to him? Hardly a punishment at all. Perhaps, it was even a reward.

I, on the other hand, could not afford to get suspended and risk losing my chance to attend college.

You follow me so far?

This is what I learned: Never fight someone who has less to lose by fighting than you do because he has an enormous advantage.

That lesson is one that the U.S. Government has yet to learn. We failed to learn it in Vietnam and are now repeating our mistakes in Afghanistan.

The Taliban has nothing to lose by fighting us. Our soldiers, on the other hand – all of whom have relatively decent opportunities back home to get an education, pursue a career and raise a loving family – have much to lose.

The peacetime life of the average Taliban soldier is boring, purposeless and depraved. War, at least, gives him meaning and purpose. He probably never feels more alive than when he is plotting to kill one of great Satan’s troops. Now, when you add to his enjoyment of war his unshakable belief that when he dies fighting the infidel he will overleap purgatory and go straight to heaven and 72 virgins, you have a quite a formidable enemy.

We should never fight people who find war more enjoyable than peace. We can’t defeat them unless we completely annhilate them, which means if we win, we still lose.

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida