"it’s better to do that than make more enemies by fighting wars, killing people and making everyone hate you. "
Stockholm Syndrome may have worked for you, but it doesn't work for everyone. The Yezhidis of Iraq didn't fight or kill people, nor were they very hated, but refraining from fighting didn't save the Yezhidis when Al Qaida (or was it Syria?) blew them up. The Taliban resurgence began not with attacks on U.S. forces, but on Red Cross volunteers.
So it's OK for others to hate you - if that means you stay alive. The story of Moshe Dayan comes to mind. After their 1967 defeat, the Arabs hated him, yet respected his military skill. They were compelled to deal with Dayan personally after the 1973 war. Out of the background of respect plus the stimulus of personal contact a genuine admiration and even liking for the man developed. Maybe when you live in the jungle respect is a prerequisite to friendship.
"I guess Obama’s got the smarts to fix this humungous neocon-generated mess with effective long term solutions. "
I'd guess not; I put no faith in a modern-day Commodus. We'll need luck, and then some. However, our little discussion, neocon to neocolonialist, does suggest that renewed political discussion about the future and direction of Afghanistan is in order among the interested parties, and may even bear fruit.
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