58 3 mins 10 yrs

As you know, I believe our continued presence in Afghanistan is now utterly pointless. The original mission aims have been frittered away by politicians afraid to do what is necessary (the utter destruction of the Taliban) and so we hang around and our military are reduced to becoming glorified target practise for the savages in that land;

Three British soldiers have died after a man wearing an Afghan police uniform shot them at a checkpoint in Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence said. The soldiers, two of whom were serving with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the other who was serving with the Royal Corps of Signals, received first aid at the scene after yesterday’s attack but died of their injuries. They had been working in an Afghan Police Advisory Team. Their next-of-kin have been informed.”

This news is reported in an almost blase way, just one of those things. But hang on a second. If this was the OTHER way around and a British soldier has run rampant and killed some Afghans, the corruptocrat Karzai would be rushing to the media DEMANDING an apology from the British Government. So, in this instance, when OUR soldiers have been so brutally murdered by someone in Afghan police uniform, where is Cameron’s demand for an apology from Karzai? After all, isn’t HE ultimately responsible for the Afghan Police? If this organisation is being infiltrated by Taliban killers (which is plainly the case) then the responsibility to DO something about it lies with Karzai. But he will do nothing.

We should remove our military forthwith from Afghanistan; it is not worth ONE British (or American) life. If you want to fight a war have clear aims. We have no real aims, just a sham of an operation that costs our men and women in uniform a horrendously high price.  When the question is asked; What did these men die for? The answer is unclear. Did they die so that our Government can bring the Taliban into the Afghan Government? Did they die so that the corrupt Karzai can posture as some sort of leader?

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58 thoughts on “WHERE’S THE APOLOGY?

  1. Agree 100% let them eat mud. I’d also say get the RAF to ‘Agent Orange’ all the poppy fields as well. Especially the ones owned by the dope dealing Karzai family.

  2. The British and Americans there don’t have allies, not allies who are willing to fight anyway.

    And if you’re not willing to fight for it, you don’t deserve any freedom.

    I reluctantly agree with David’s position here.

  3. I get in such a rage when I think of the Afghan civilians who have been butchered by invaders. May they rest in peace.

  4. While you’re in your ” rage ” spare a thought for the civilians who have been butchered, starved or re-educated in a gulag by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, by Kim Jong Il, by the other Communist regimes, details upon request.

    They do deserve a bit of rage too.

  5. Here’s a thought Petr. Let’s, as you obviously wish, get our troops out and then the Afghans can get on with what they’ve been doing for centuries, “butchering” each other, civilians (mostly), or not. At least our boys wouldn’t be “butchered” by cowardly savages any more.

  6. 5Live this morning had some (very nice) lady who had worked for the Beeb before, and whose son is currently serving out there. The lady was saying that great things are being done in Afghanistan, and people just want to get on with their lives peacefully and safely.
    The big problem with this upbeat assessment is that what little progress has been made will all be washed away as soon as the Allies leave.
    And leave they will and leave they must!
    As I have said before, the world is filled with nice people who just want to get on with their lives.In the western world those people are mostly ruled by accountable politicians who do try to provide a degree of prosperity, freedom of expression,safety, health and education.

    Not so in some other countries, where the obsession is adherence to religious or totalitarian values, of which Afghanistan is but one.
    We ain’t going to change them, and if the problem of opium supplies, Al Queda type terrorism, training grounds for British Muslims can’t be sorted there, we must try and address it here in the West.
    Ultimately our politicians are cynically exposing the lives of courageous young service people to death, torture or maiming for – what?

  7. The Afghans of course were left to their own ghastly devices until their ” guests ” committed the 9/11 atrocity.

    It is probably true that the best thing is to leave. But let there be no doubt about what will happen when we do. Karzai and his family will float away with the money that they stole, the women and any non fanatics will be bludgeoned, and a dark age will descend over that miserable, arid, landscape.

    Butchery will be a permanent feature of life there, but it will be ” okay ” since it will be the locals who are chopping heads off. It will be cool.

  8. Afghanistan obviously can’t rule itself, and the US/UK alliance is also hardly in a position – morally or militarily – to rule it.

    Afgh. is one of those places, and there are several, that is so fragmented that it has to be administered by some broad-based international group, including the said alliance, the EU, Russia, China etc and a few Arab states thrown in. Like the kind of thing that exists in Kosovo, but with more muscle.

  9. Fro what I udnerstand of the story the person was in an Afghan Policeman’s uniform, and not necessarily an Afghan policeman. Therefore, the kleptocrat Karzai isn’t quite in the same position to apologize.

    It is (and has ever been) a sad place there. And I don’t know what good we can really accomplish at this point.

  10. Pakistan holds all the cards, unfortunately.

    The best solution might be to have a Pashtun state, but that’s easier said than done. The problem is that there really is no Afghan people. There are other peoples, subdivided by clans and tribes, most of whom hate one another.

    The Taliban are largely a Pashtun phenonmenon. They’re unpopular, generally. But unless the majority choose to fight, they will find themselves under the Taliban yoke once more, before long.

  11. Afghanistan was a (comparitively) secular Muslim country prior to the Red Army retreat in 1988. The West’s funding of the Mujahideen against the Soviets led directly to the Mujahideen – Taliban metamorphisis and the establishment of the Islamic State of Afghanistan so it might be argued that a ‘moral’ duty is owed.

    I tend to agree with Agi, Afghanistan has always been a harsh unforgiving place that has never been fully subjugated. The only thing that Afghanistan offers foreign soldiers is maiming & death.

  12. There would be a lot less ” maiming and death ” of coalition forces if the rules of engagement were different.

    It was the Soviet invasion that destroyed the balance of sorts that had existed. But this was always an awful place.

  13. It was the Soviet invasion that destroyed the balance of sorts that had existed.

    Agreed, to an extent, but that wasn’t the genesis of the Taliban. I’ve heard arguments that one of the reasons for the Soviet invasion was to quell any notions of imitating the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

    But this was always an awful place.

    Absolutely correct.

  14. Phantom,
    The Western world is no longer able to enforce its will and values on the rest of the world. Things have changed. Other countries are emerging to threaten and complicate the global staus quo.
    There is absolutely no point in trying to enforce liberal democratic values on a country which has no concept of democracy in the first place.

  15. “I only agree with you when you are right Agi”
    Ah, then you must mis-read a lot of my comments then, Pauly.

  16. “I get in such a rage when I think of the Afghan civilians who have been butchered by invaders. May they rest in peace.”

    Oh oh!
    the teenage Tarasov has returned…

  17. Frankly for one I’ve no desire to “enforce Western” values on anyone. However, certain values are universal (in theory if not application) and these would include basic human rights. Don’t let despots in non-Western nations and their echo chambers in Western ones tell you for a minute that the right not to be killed, tortured or imprisoned on the mere whim of the government, the right to be free (and not a slave), and other human rights are only for Westerners.

  18. Agit8ed – Petr may very well have been referrign to foreign jihadists who came ot Afghanistan and slaughtered people. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt.

  19. mahons

    But in this part of the world, a majority would probably agree that a woman has no right to say no to a prearranged marriage or to travel even ten miles away without the permission of the husband or father.

    And they’re very open about it, in Afghanistan but not just in Afghanistan.

    What possible meaning can any concept of ” human rights ” as understood by a westerner have in such a society?

    They don’t want human rights – they want their human rights to be taken away, within a structure of an Islamic governance. Oh yes they do.

  20. Mahons,
    I believe you posted recently on how Muslims treat each other in their own countries. Something to do with Bethlehem and terrorist groups taking hostages in churches and mosques.
    I think it was you; might have been Phantom.
    But here’s the point.
    The loss of innocent/non combatant life is to be deplored and minimised as much as possible in ANY theatre of war. But where a religion believes that everything that happens ONLY happens as the will of Allah, then innocents dying is his will.
    Mad I know.
    So it seems to me that a religion which treat one half of it’s population as inferior, keeps them isolated, makes them slaves to the other half of the population, and JUSTIFIES it on religious grounds, isn’t going to be much bothered by basic human rights..
    Human rights is a WESTERN concept, based on the worth of the individual and originates in Judeo/Christian thought.

    May I recommend you read the book that Harri the Questionmark? recommended to me?
    The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad. It’s a true (and very depressing) story.

  21. Phantom- Forces of ignorace have a greater hold in that part of the world than elsewhere, but the fact that they are behind in the march of human history doesn’t mean that certain rights are self-evident merely apply to Western folks.

    I’m not expecting Afghanistan to turn into the Upper West Side of New York, but there are certain core rights that are triggered by humanity and not borders.

  22. Agit8ed- I think you are confusing me with Phantom. He’s taller than I am, though that doesn’t come across in this venue.

    Culture evolves. At different speeds. Surely the basic right to not be killed or tortured is not merely a Western one.

    In an earlier thread which dealt with the death of a former Israeli Prime Minsiter noted that he approved of an assasination of a UN diplomat. I doubt many here knew that the man who replaced that slain UN diplomat was an American who would go on to with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in trying to bring peace to the Middle East. I bet fewer still would know he was an African-American who, despite the Nobel win, would not have legally been able to use a front door or sit in the whites only sections of many restaurants in his own nation at that time.

  23. They’re not behind – they’re marching in the opposite direction.

    Esp when you consider that there is huge support in Afghanistan, Egypt, etc for making it a capital offense to convert from Islam to another religion.

    That to me means that they do not support freedom of religion at all. They want freedom to practice their version of Islam , and, in the case of Egypt, an oppressive and subject to change tolerance of Christianity and in Afghanistan, zero tolerance of faiths other than Islam.

  24. Religious freedom should be a fundamental and universal human right. It isn’t in Egypt, Iran or Afghanistan. It also isn’t in China. The fact that some ideology decress otehr wise (be it fundamental islam or communism) doesn’t mean we have to abandon our efforts to make it so.

  25. China is an oasis of religious freedom, a light unto the nations, as compared with Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and many other Muslim lands.

    If you keep your head down and don’t challenge the govt, the Chinese will generally let you be. That’s not the case in Saudi.

    And as far as I know you can switch religions every day of the week in China and they could care less about that too. They only care about maintaining control and making money.

  26. “Culture evolves. At different speeds. Surely the basic right to not be killed or tortured is not merely a Western one.”

    Tell that to Saddam Hussein’s Mukhabarat, Saudi’s Secret Police and Religious Police http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78862.htm
    Iran’s Savak,Syria’s secret police etc. etc.

    It is not inevitable that culture’s “evolve.”
    Societal change usually comes through the convictions of the one or the few, who are willing to die for what they believe.

    Protestantism didn’t “evolve” in Germany. Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door, and said, “Here I stand, I can do no other”
    http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/martin-luther.html

    Fox’s Book of Martyrs, http://www.jesus.org.uk/vault/library/foxes_book_of_martyrs.pdf.

    You might like to think that through history people of opposing views and powers sat down around a table, sipped tea or coffee and impressed each other with their intellectual prowess before discussing the “contentious issues”; but I assure you it didn’t happen that way.
    There are varying kinds of Islamic interpretation, but looking around the world at the moment Mahons,
    “Are they “evolving” forwards or backwards?

  27. Part of control in China is the establishment of 5 state run religions, no one else is allowed to practice openly and many who do are harrassed, imprisoned and tortured. It is a testament to the faith of those who practice outside of the control of the state and against its will that there is a sizable underground of faith there.

    In any event the level of supression is not the issue. The right to practice freely should be a universal one.

  28. “the right to practice freely should be a universal one.”

    Sez who?
    Western concepts, Mahons!

  29. Agit8ed- Western in practice, universal in appeal. And not always Western in practice mind you.

    What is it you are proposing? That freedom of religion be limited to the West and those of us lucky to have been born in nations which have a freedom of religion not make efforts to have such a freedom extended throughout the World?

  30. Mahonsy,
    I am not proposing anything except that throughout history the top dogs have enforced their will or stolen the territory/possessions of the little dogs.
    The West was once the top dog, and could impose its will by economic and military force.
    The little dogs wagged their tails and rolled over.
    It’s not that way anymore.
    Why waste the lives and futures of young men and women by exposing them to death, torture and amputeeism for a cause that will not/cannot endure?
    Please try and read “The Bookseller of Kabul.” or even the one I have kept pushing, “The Imam’s Daughter.”
    The reality is Mahons, that despite hundreds and hundreds of years of interaction and colonisation on both sides, Islam is no nearer to adopting Western values than they were.
    In fact by and large they are reacting against Western democratic values and retreating further into “purer”, more extreme Middle Ages type Islamism.
    As you sometimes remark,
    “Say it ain’t so..”

  31. “Agit8ed- I do not favor the continued Afghanistan war.”

    Ah!
    Well that’s that settled then. 🙂
    The other issues I raised can wait.

  32. It most certainly is not universal in appeal, mahons.

    This idea has very little appeal in the Muslim world.

    And that is one big chunk of the world…

  33. Agit8ed – What other issues?

    Phantom – Fundamentalist Islamics are indeed the worst present day enenmies of religious freedom.

  34. “Agit8ed – What other issues?”

    Whether Islam is going backwards or forwards,
    Whether basic human rights are really an accepted part of the Islamic mindset
    Why the Western world interferes in Islamic states anyway
    How societies evolve and what is really required for a major fundamental shift in values
    The books I recommended.

    But,
    “Agit8ed- I do not favor the continued Afghanistan war.”
    probably covers it well enough. 🙂

  35. Agit8ed

    1. Certainly in areas where fundamentalists reign, Islam is going backwards.

    2. basic human rights are not part of the Islamic fundamentalist mindset. Nor where basic human rights a part of the mindset of Pol Pot, Mao or Stalin.

    3. I wouldn’t decribe our contact as simply interference.

    4. Societies evolve slowly and not at the same time. One of the waysto generate change is significant communications which has helped worldwide to fight isolationism, and the ability of some to keep their populations isolated.

    5. The books you recommend – I am sure they are good reads, the Bookseller has a bit of controversy since its subject fells he was not correctly represented. I don’t think there is a newsflash out of either of them. it sucks to be female in a Strict islamist society.

  36. Mahons,
    And soooo precisely summed up!
    I agree (partly)with 1.
    Ignoring your second sentence in 2 as irrelevant, I think fundamentalism is spreading in the Islamic world.
    3. Correct, but I originally said that we were trying to impose our will and values on them..
    4.If your world view does not allow for alternative value systems, repression can be very effective in blocking communication and interaction. Viz. The Cold War lasted 50 years and affected millions.
    5. As insights into Muslim societies well worth the reading. Åsne Seierstad is a well respected female author.

  37. Allan – The Tillman incident was a rather sad episode of military stupidity in trying to portray an incident for what it wasn’t for propoganda purposes. I think most folks would have to agree with that.

    The idea that he was officially silenced to prevent word getting out about the war or the state of Afghanistan, cosnidering the ample news coverage, number of journalist sources and even fellow soldiers testimonials seems a bit much.

  38. Oops – Pat Tillman was shot three times in the forehead by ‘his own side’ from 10 yards. Obviously, people on his own side wanted him dead. Was anybody charged with that murder?

  39. Mahons – look at the photographs. The photographs of the troops protecting the opium poppies are real and not conspiracy. The graph of opium production soaring under US/UK protection is real too, as can be found from the UN’s figures. Now, I’m not sure that there is a good explanation for these facts but there is certainly a bad one.

  40. Allan,
    I cannot see the American government condoning their troops guarding poppy fields to ensure the crops get to (US) markets.
    It makes no sense. Why would the Americans be helping South American countries in their battle against the drugs trade?
    The worst you could say is that there are instances of corruption: not a US government policy….

  41. Allan – perhaps it was the Arizona Cardinals whose football contract he rejected.

    Frankly, friendly fire is a fact of war, and in the case of a popular and fairly well known individual (such as Tillman) a black eye for the army. I don’t think Tillman enjoyed any special insights into the war not available from a thousand other sources. There would be more of a conspiracy in keeping him out of harms way, but to his credit he avoided special treament.

  42. “The idea that he was officially silenced … seems a bit much.”

    Not to the US Army doctors who concluded that Pat Tillman was murdered.

  43. Agit8ed –

    “I cannot see the American government condoning their troops guarding poppy fields to ensure the crops get to (US) markets. It makes no sense.”

    There’s big money in drugs for Wall Street.

    The Guardian, in an account yet to be picked up anywhere in the US media … reports that Wachovia was at the heart of one of the world’s biggest money laundering operations, moving $378.4 billion into dollar-based accounts from Mexican casas de cambio, which are currency exchange firms. While these transfers took place over a period of years, the article notes that it equals 1/3 of Mexican GDP.

    This is how big it is, from the same piece:

    At the height of the 2008 banking crisis, Antonio Maria Costa, then head of the United Nations office on drugs and crime, said he had evidence to suggest the proceeds from drugs and crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to banks on the brink of collapse. “Inter-bank loans were funded by money that originated from the drugs trade,” he said. “There were signs that some banks were rescued that way.”…

    [Paul] Mazur [lead infiltrator of the Medellin drug operation] said that “a lot of the law enforcement people were disappointed to see a settlement” between the administration and Wachovia. “But I know there were external circumstances that worked to Wachovia’s benefit, not least that the US banking system was on the edge of collapse.”

    The CIA is well into the drug business too. It has been for decades. Obama and the rest of the Dem saps don’t control government. They’re just the fluff out front.

  44. Pete – The Army doctors did not conclude he was murdered (P.S. an Army doctor would not be in a position to reach such a conclusion in any event, that would fall to a foresensic pathologist and criminal investigation).

  45. I notice there is no link to this scoop.

    Probably some of Alex Jones’ ravings. He’s quite the entertainer.

  46. Agit – I must ask you to consider the facts. Obviously any ‘conspiracy’ argument can be constructed from the facts and the facts are not in dispute, these being:
    1. The US/UK have large numbers of troops and area-controlling equipment (armed drones) in Afghanistan.
    2. The drug crop has rocketed since 2001 when the taliban were deposed.
    3. the drug crop is not being destroyed by the troops who are in and around the poppy fields, and it does indeed look as though they are guarding the crop as seen from the photographic evidence.

    As I wrote, there is no ‘good’ explanation for this but there is a bad one as Pete Moore’s post at 7.01 indicates.

  47. I know it it is simplistic, but sometimes I like the ides of putting a big powerfull army in a place like Afghanistan with the proviso that it will not interfer with however people choose to live by genuine individual choice but that it will move in and kill anyone who tries to enforce any type of religious/political/social lifestyle on unconsenting others.

  48. Pete is likely impressed by a Daily Mail story which quotes unnamed American Army doctors who allegedly claimed the death suggested murder.

    What amuses me is the level of competence and secrecy a conspiracy must have, a competence and ability to keep secrets that frankly the government has demonstrated an inability to match.

  49. I am not troubled by our having gone into Afghanistan in the first instance, it is remaining there despite any progress that bothers me.

  50. Mahons – clearly there must be reasons for having the US/UK military in Afghanistan. I’ve put forward what I consider the reason to be: what’s yours?

  51. Allan – Destroying the al-Aaeda terrorist organization at its base (pretty much accomplished) and creating a viable stable government (pretty much hopeless). I get staying around for some time i nthe attempt to defeat the insurgents and help to create a stable environment, but it just isn’t taking.

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