Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192


I mean the level… To read any of these books about what we did in Iraq is to just, above everything else just to come face to face with a shocking degree of incompetence.


Joe Rogan: So we’re the good guys. We’re just incompetent.


Sam Harris: Well, who had in the oval office? At that moment? I mean, a lot of words come to mind when you think about Bush and competence is not one of them.


Joe Rogan: You know Bush is a strange case. You know, I mean obviously, he’s not the smartest guy in the world. But when you look at the policies that he put in place, it’s really similar to what Obama is doing. Not much difference at all.


Sam Harris: Right but that.. There are crucial differences but, but one, two important things. One, is that Obama has inherited the world that Bush helped make. So Obama has got the hardest job on planet earth at the moment. Two


Joe Rogan: So you blame Bush for the whole Iraq mess? Or do you blame his administration at least?


Sam Harris: Yeah. We didn’t have to go to Iraq. And it was uh, we could have.. Arguably we have to go to Afghanistan. I mean I  think, I think our approach to war and terror is, is uhm fundamentally ill-conceived.


I don’t see why we need to be fighting wars and taking credit for fighting wars. I mean this should, from my point of view will be all covert, all just


Joe Rogan: Navy Seals and stuff?


Sam Harris: Yeah, I mean in so far as all the, I mean


Joe Rogan: sneaky assasinations


Sam Harris: There may be situations where that’s not possible. I don’t see why we need to be. We should fight the war and terror as a uhm, as a cr– as an International crime problem. And that has the occasional military solutions.


But from my point of view, people, you know, Jihadis in Al Qaeda should just have been disappearing and no one takes credit for it. Why should we ever say we did it? And yes, we did it.


Joe Rogan: Right


Sam Harris: And now, there’s a possible blow back to that and the reality is, whenever you put Navy Seals on the ground and let them shoot. They, or drop bombs from you know, predator drones.


You’re gonna be killing some number of innocent people and that’s terrible truth is there’s no alternative to that. I mean, unless you’re gonna be a pacifist, you’re gonna run the risk of killing innocent people when you have to fight certain conflicts and so that’s… I just don’t see any uhm…


Joe Rogan: Do you ever look at it from their point of view? Do you ever look


Sam Harris: Oh, yeah.


Joe Rogan:  Try to look at it from the Al Qaeda’s point of view, the Taliban’s point of view. The point of view of someone who is watching this giant military machine coming in and ripping this country’s natural resources.


Sam Harris: Well, no. But that’s…


Joe Rogan: Stealing only minerals. What’s going on in Afghanistan?


Sam Harris: Think about Afghanistan for a moment. What is the point of you of a woman in a burka in Afghanistan? Now, from my point of view, her, it’s very likely, whether she knows it or not, there’s  a much better life she could be living.


You know the average life expectancy in Afghanistan for women is 44 years. It’s got the highest, almost the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality in the world.


Most women are illiterate. It’s a terrible life for women. So one of the real, when we think of having to leave Afghanistan and one of the real ethical problems from my point of view is we’re just abandoning them to the Taliban.


We’re abandoning the women to the Taliban and if there was a way to actually help them, we would have the moral obligation to do it. The problem is, it’s so costly to do. It’s so intrusive to do.

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