The difference between winners and losers

Dr. Eric Berne, the psychiatrist who wrote Games People Play and founded the Transactional Analysis school of therapy, defined winners and losers as personality types.

The winner’s goal is victory; the loser’s goal is to avoid defeat.  The winner has a clear goal, takes the initiative, and looks on any temporary defeat as a milestone on the road to victory.  The loser lacks a clear goal, is reactive and looks on any temporary victory as a postponement of eventual defeat.

My question is: Does the U.S. government have any goal in Afghanistan except to avoid defeat?

Long ago I favored U.S. intervention in Vietnam because I saw it as part of the global dual between the United States and the totalitarian Soviet Union, in which North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were instruments of Soviet power.  But at some point it became clear to me that, as Daniel Ellsberg put it, the U.S. government’s only policy was to prevent the fall of South Vietnam until after the next election.

I favored the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan because I saw it as the only way to get at the criminals who murdered thousands of Americans the 9/11 attacks.  But this goal seems to have slipped away, and now the only purpose of the continued U.S. presence seems to be to avoid admitting defeat.

I am not a pacifist.  I accept that war is sometimes necessary.  But it is morally wrong to send patriotic young American men and women to risk being killed or maimed, and to unavoidably kill or main tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of noncombatant civilians who have as much inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as you and me, when the main purpose is to to enable people in power to avoid admitting they made a mistake.

Click on Eric Berne for a web site devoted to his work and thought.

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One Response to “The difference between winners and losers”

  1. Joyce Ireland Says:

    I AGREE…


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