Afghanistan for the Afghanistanians

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 pm, August 11th, 2009 - 65 comments
Categories: afghanistan, International, john key - Tags:

It was a bit strange listening to Key’s interview on RNZ yesterday morning about deploying the SAS to Afghanistan. He kept on awkwardly saying ‘the people of Afghanistan’ rather than just ‘the Afghans’ or ‘the Afghanis’*. The reason soon became clear: “[if they take any prisoners] they’ll be handed over to the Afghanistanian government…. I am confident the Afghanistanian government will honour their commitment [to the Geneva Conventions]”

It would be easy to make cracks about Bushisms and textses but this is actually serious. Call me old-fashioned but I like important decisions to be made by people who have familiarised themselves with the facts. Listen to Key’s interview and it’s clear that he hasn’t. If he had put his mind to the situation in Afghanistan he would know the name of the people living there.

Listen to the interview and it’s clear he actually has bugger all idea what is going on in that country – he thinks it’s an achievement that Bamiyan has a governor (… um, all the provinces do) and can’t describe the military situation in any detail: “the Taliban is, you know, creeping in it’s involvement around the country “. His argument for downgrading and eventually withdrawing the PRT rather than maintaining it or copying the model elsewhere is that it is successful and “ultimately, there are other things that we would like to redeploy this people to do”(umm… in which countries?). He trusts the Karzai Government to obey the Geneva Conventions in regard to any prisoner the SAS captures and hands over to them – which is either hopelessly naive or willful blindness. Not a person in a position to be making a decision on which lives rest.

OK. Enough about Key. Should we be sending the SAS back? I think on balance no. The way to prevent extremists winning is not to go around killing them, that just leads to more extremists and a lot of dead people. The PRT model is the way to go. As Mao (unarguably a very successful guerrilla leader) said, “the guerrilla is the fish and the people are the sea”.  Going around killing people’s relatives because they are Taliban (or in the way) just makes the environment for the Taliban more hospitable; reconstruction and peace-building poisons the water for them.

*(which is technically not correct but common enough to appear in dictionaries)

65 comments on “Afghanistan for the Afghanistanians”

  1. T-Rex 1

    I think your portrayal of the SAS role is a bit narrow here – I think during their last deployment they spent most of their time sneaking around spying rather than killing. You will no doubt reasonably enough point out that some of the results of that spying will lead to some drone firing a bunch of missiles… which is likely true. But it might also lead to those missiles not being fired in some cases… or alternately fired at the right house. And yes, I do believe their is such a thing as a “right” house to fire missiles at – if it’s full of die hard extremists puppetmasters who get their kicks out of brainwashing children into further destabilising an already broken country then it needs a missile.

    • Hi T-rex,

      Good to see you back although it’s a shame that for all you intelligence you still buy the old Muslim=Terrorist garbage. (I’ve lived my whole live surrounded by Muslims from all over the world, employed them and had to live around Ramadan’s and other religious celebrations. I have never met a fundamentalist Muslim until years after 9/11, was always greatly respected by the males and found the Mulima’s working for me to be strong, independent and capable people, hair covered or not.)

      All they want is us out of their country and not to be subjected to robot planes shelling them and their families or snipers taking pot shots at them. So do the Pakistanis we seem to be at war with now as well.Not to much to ask I feel.

      • T-Rex 1.1.1

        Can’t wait to see you point out where in my post I referred to Muslims Trav.

        Actually I can wait – no rush.

        Out of interest, did you see what happened last time we “just got out of their country”? Didn’t work out so well. The people who’d most like to see ‘us’ out are the ones who want a return to the status quo of the 90’s, and (by a crazy coincidence) the ones who are targeted by the robot planes (even though not always the ones who are hit, sadly).

        • travellerev 1.1.1.1

          Very childish T-rex,

          Afghanistan was invaded because it was full with Muslim extremists and of course because we had to capture the evil mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden. It was never about oil, gas and other resources. UH, uh the US would never stoop that low.

          Oh oops, Osma bin Laden was never captured, the country is still full of Muslim extremists “brainwashing” children, killing women and actually controlling the country and now we have to send more troops and mercenaries into the quagmire that is Afghanistan to protect the new oil pipes the poor Afghanis against themselves.

          • travellerev 1.1.1.1.1

            Help purgatory

          • T-Rex 1.1.1.1.2

            Ahhhh, some things change, some stay the same.

            ’til next time.

            • travellerev 1.1.1.1.2.1

              No sex? no food. That’s a law president Karzai, our friendly Western puppet, has signed recently.
              Man are allowed to deny their wife’s food until she will comply with their need for sex. Is that what you want to support?

              Wasn’t women’s suppression one of the (many crap) reasons we had to start killing Afghanis for?

              But judging from your previous crap about “extremists” I have to conclude that mindlessly and ignorantly following the US for “free” trade in their need for hegemony is the preferred choice.

  2. I’m not so sure that those who accompanied Mao on the Long March and in subsquent campaigns would necessarily see him as ‘unarguably,,very successful’.
    Anyway, no SAS to Afghanistan must be the call on this,

  3. Lew 3

    Muphry’s Law, or something resembling it, strikes again. They’re not Afghanis. An Afghani is a unit of currency. A person native to Afghanistan is an Afghan.

    People who live in Afghanistan are not “Afghanis,” but Afghans. “Afghani” is an apparent conflation of “Afghan” with “Pakistani” and reflects the general tendency to confuse Afghanistan with Pakistan. It’s conceivable that people who say “Afghani” are trying to steer clear of the term “Afghan” because it makes them think of a wool coverlet or a large dog, associations that they fear may give offense. Nonetheless, “Afghan” is the correct term.
    “Afghani” is a real word, but it refers not to the people of Afghanistan, but rather to its principal unit of currency. Hence, referring to the people of Afghanistan as “Afghanis” is roughly equivalent to referring to the people of the United States as “dollars.” (According to this currency converter, $1 will presently buy you 4,750 afghani.) More recently, the word “Afghani,” when coupled with the word “Arab,” has acquired a different meaning: An “Afghani Arab” is an Arab who is not from Afghanistan, but who fought in the last two decades of Afghan wars and has now moved on to another trouble spot.

    Not that this in any way excuses Key, who of all people ought to know better, of using a totally made-up term to refer to people our government claims to want to help. Epic fail.

    L

    [damn it :). Of course, mine is an actual word in common useage to mean the people of Afghanistan. I’m going to correct the post. Eddie]

  4. Rich 4

    I was recently told by an insider that NATO thought the Afghan campaign winnable, but in 20 years. A few weeks later, the UK’s most senior general said publicly that it could take 40 years. Of course, there is no guarantee that in 40 years, we won’t be told that it will take another 40 – or what the defined endpoint is?

    Eventually the US public will probably take the lead in losing patience and the Americans will probably declare victory and withdraw, whatever the actual situation at the time. The Afghans are unlikely to change their way of thinking, so will probably carry on with Islamic fundamentalism and opium cultivation.

    Being part of this has no possible benefit to New Zealand. We should withdraw all troops and state that they will not be replaced. I wouldn’t expect National to do this, of course, but Labour should have done so when they had the chance.

  5. Roger Randall 5

    Winner of the Bushism of the day is……..EDDIE!

    LOL, what a plonker Rodney.

    It was a bit strange listening to Key’s interview on RNZ yesterday morning about deploying the SAS to Afghanistan. He kept on awkwardly saying ‘the people of Afghanistan’ rather than just ‘the Afghans’ or ‘the Afghanis‘*

    *(which is technically not correct but common enough to appear in dictionaries)
    Yeah, yeah, sure.

    🙂

  6. Rex Widerstrom 6

    He called them Afghans?

    Well that takes the biscuit.

    😛

  7. Roger Randall 7

    Spose we could always send Winnie over there with a case of Johnny Walker, that worked in Fiji after all.

  8. outofbed 8

    Iwas listening to RNZ yesterday think is was Mora
    Someone actually asked an NZ Afghani refugee what his position was
    He was a refugee from the Taliban btw.
    He thought the SAS should definitely not be sent. He was given some short shrift by the panel What would he know?

  9. He has a rich opportunity as Minister Of Tourism and War.
    You got yr Canadians from Canadia
    Yr English from Englandon
    Oh, and our mates across the ditch – the diggers or Australasians
    What are we? New Zealandinistans?

    Who advises this man to seem so homely, doofus and non-threatening to the dipshits who vote for these crocks? Crosby and Texas?

  10. I’m glad to see that with regards to 911 John Key at least knows what he talks about. LOL.

    With remarks such as we mustn’t forget that the people who put the explosive devises together for the 9/11 attacks did so based in camps in Afghanistan he clearly shows that he knows how to spin his motivation when sending SAS troops into Afghanistan.

    He’s so hell bent on being the US’s little friend he doesn’t even bother to follow the official story. Explosives sounds so much more credible.

    According to the official story of course a Saudi rich prick on a kidney dialysis machine in a cave in Afghanistan told 19 Saudis to hijack four planes and fly them into four buildings.

    Out of those 19 Saudi hijackers it is alleged that only two had ever trained in Afghanistan as far back as the conveniently vague 90ties.

    Osama bin Laden is not on the FBI most wanted list for the 9/11 attacks.

    The alleged suicide bombers of the London attacks were all England based and have never trained in Afghanistan.

    So for all intends and purposes following John Key’s logic we should be bombing the shit out of the headquarters of the bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia (the only country tolerating the Wahabi ultra fundamentalist Muslim movement purported to have given birth to the Muslim suicide bombers and Osama bin Laden) , every Muslim enclave in England and while we’re at it since the Bush family is great friends with the bin Laden family let’s bomb the shit out of them as well.

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      You asked for it, Eddie.

      • Roger Randall 10.1.2

        The difference is Key worked in NY BEFORE he entered politics whereas Clark retired to NY AFTER working in politics.

        Guess who knows more about US politics, Clark or Key.

        Irrespective whats really funny here is the epic fail from Eddie at dissing Key for calling the Afghans, ‘people of Afghanistan’.

        Classic comedy.

      • travellerev 10.1.3

        Yep, he sure did, and you are too. Here’s another nice link just in case you find you balls back to actually inform yourself with an open mind.

    • lukas 10.2

      Trav, you forgot to mention that it was Bush who ordered the planes into the towers. Fail.

    • lukas 10.3

      Also Trav, instead of reading the rubbish that you link to about who is on the FBI’s most wanted- why not go direct to the FBI.

      Here you go, I will even get the link for you

      http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/fugitives.htm

      And in case you can’t find Mr Bin Laden, (second on the list, most wanted outstanding fugitive) here is the link for him-
      http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

      And in case you don’t click on that link, here is an excerpt from it…

      USAMA BIN LADEN IS WANTED IN CONNECTION WITH THE AUGUST 7, 1998, BOMBINGS OF THE UNITED STATES EMBASSIES IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA, AND NAIROBI, KENYA. THESE ATTACKS KILLED OVER 200 PEOPLE. IN ADDITION, BIN LADEN IS A SUSPECT IN OTHER TERRORIST ATTACKS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

      Last time I checked, New York is still under the general subset of “the world”.

      • travellerev 10.3.1

        Not the same as say; We have definite proof (show proof) he was the mastermind behind the attacks on 9/11 and we have definite proof (show more proof) that he is in Afghanistan and therefore we have every reason to bomb Afghanistan back to the stone age is it?

        And no he is definitely not on the FBI list for 9/11 because as Rex Tom, FBI Director of Investigative Publicity stated: we have no evidence linking him to the attacks.

        Horses mouth and all that.

        • Tim Ellis 10.3.1.1

          Sigh. No, Travellerev. The reason why Bin Laden is not listed for the 9/11 attacks is that in order to be on the most wanted list, the person has to be formally indicted. Bin Laden hasn’t been indicted (and for good security reasons) for those attacks. That doesn’t mean there is no evidence.

          There is plenty of evidence in the public domain linking Bin Laden to the attacks. Some of the most useful evidence is Bin Laden’s repeated claims that he was responsible for them.

          • travellerev 10.3.1.1.1

            You don’t have an argument with me but with the guy from the FBI.

            The fact is that Western troops have been in Afghanistan for neigh on eight years with ever changing motivation killing innocent Afghan civilians and Pakistanis and all John Key can come up with ; we mustn’t forget that the guys who put together the explosives for 9/11 did so in camps in Afghanistan.

            • Tim Ellis 10.3.1.1.1.1

              No, that isn’t quite the argument for remaining in Afghanistan Travellerev. The argument is that the Taleban will rise again and provide a training ground for international terrorism in Afghanistan if democracy and civilian government isn’t enforced in Afghanistan.

          • travellerev 10.3.1.1.2

            Actually bin Laden has denied several times he was involved in them. Actually stating that as a Muslim he does not condone killing innocents, women and children. There is only one grainy video of a guy who doesn’t even look like bin Laden stating that he didn’t realise the effect would be so severe.

            Not exactly the bragging of a mad, manic, master mind

            • Tim Ellis 10.3.1.1.2.1

              Travellerev, have you got credible links that have Osama denying any involvement in the 911 attacks?

            • lukas 10.3.1.1.2.2

              TE, she will probably provide you with a link to her website 😀

            • travellerev 10.3.1.1.2.3

              How about CNN September 17, 2001
              Daily Mail

              Also the Taliban said they would hand over Osama bin Laden if the US provided proof of his involvement.

              That was not to the US liking, they wanted to Attack Afghanistan. A war planned well before 9/11

            • Tim Ellis 10.3.1.1.2.4

              Good on you, Travellerev. You’re quite right. There were initial denials from Bin Laden denying responsibility for the attacks. Over the years however the consensus of analysts has been that Bin Laden has claimed responsibility and given indications of his involvement in the 911 attacks. An example of this is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3966741.stm

            • BLiP 10.3.1.1.2.5

              There once was a voter named Ellis
              Who’s head was shaped like a phallus
              He worshiped John Key
              Because he just couldn’t see
              The man’s hollow heart and malice

              His first name was Tim
              And, boy, was he dim
              Like any old coot
              When the facts didn’t suit
              His comments were bollocks to the brim.

            • travellerev 10.3.1.1.2.6

              That is if he’s still alive by than.

              Consensus is not really scientific though isn’t it. It’s just a bunch of people (specialists my ass) saying yeah alright he claimed responsibility.

              For a non 9/11 conspiracy theorist you have all the debunking crap right at your fingertips you know. You’re a real pro.

            • travellerev 10.3.1.1.2.7

              BLiP,

              LOL. Funny how he keeps moving the goal posts too eh?

            • Lew 10.3.1.1.2.8

              BLiP, while I don’t approve of the unjustified personal attack on Tim, that is very clever.

              L

      • travellerev 10.3.2

        Also Sibel Edmunds a Farci translator and Whistleblower and the most gagged women on the planet (ordered not to seek about what she knows) in a recent hearing in which the gag orders were put aside due to the fact that she ahd been summonsed told the world that Osama bin Laden had worked for the CIA up until 9/11.

  11. the sprout 11

    afghanistanians?
    what a total fucking cringe-worthy plonker.
    it really is very embarrassing having him as our international emissary.

    • Roger Randall 11.1

      Two words, Winston Peters.

      HA HA HA.

      Make that three.

      Winston “fucking” Peters

    • bobbity 11.2

      Key is barely coherent at times.

      Eve is …Eve …..engage at your own risk..and don’t expect her to shift from her rather particular view of the world.

      The SAS are clearly very good at their job and there’s few places better for them to do that job than in Afghanistan, it does appear that this is being balanced with NZ sending engineers and similar reconstruction forces as well – sounds fairly sensible to me.

  12. sk 12

    Eddie, we flatter ourselves in calling John Key’s verbal mangling “Bushisms”. At least Bush had been Governor of Texas beforehand. No, we have elected the NZ equivalent of Sarah Palin . .. . Afghanstania = seeing Russia from her frontdoor. The reality is that John Key does not have the background/ experience / intellect to be in the job he is. The closest analogue in a Western democracy is Sarah Palin.

    And Roger, being a MD of Merrill Lynch – which would have gone bust (with JK still a shareholder) without the US gov’t forcing Bank of America to buy it prepares you for nothing – certainly not making life and death decisions over the fate of young New Zealand soldiers. Keith Holyoake anguished over Vietnam. No anguish is on display here.

    But that is what you get when you elect a Sarah Palin

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      Good point, sk. The New Zealand public were obviously very stupid to elect John Key’s national party when it is led by such a corrupt, stupid, ignorant and lazy person. The public got it wrong when they didn’t reelect the clever, talented and honest Helen Clark.

      There is only one thing left to do to restore democracy. Revolution, and overthrow the government!

      • ak 12.1.1

        Dear oh dear. Right-wing humour attempt alert. Cringe-ons all round.
        Stick to your simple “they did it toos” and “we wons”, Timmy old boy, there’s a good chap. No need to gild the lily – “Afghanistinian textes” alone should keep us safely out of serious international consideration for quite some time….in fact the Keypalinisation of our reputation could be of huge anti-terrorist benefit – who’s threatened by a nerdy clown?

        • Tim Ellis 12.1.1.1

          ak, if you have any influence in labour party strategy, and you think that New Zealand will lose credibility on the international stage just because the Prime Minister occasionally makes inadvertant malapropisms, then labour has a long way to go to become government again.

          I really don’t think New Zealand’s major trading or international partners are so snobby as to scoff and think ill of John Key just because of occasional slips of the tongue. Much more damaging in my opinion are things like prospective leader David Cunliffe mocking Pansy Wong’s Chinese accent in Parliament, trying to develop good relations with China, or the impact on trade and foreign investment if the Finance Minister rushes through rules changing foreign investment regulations to block a bidder in an airport.

      • Murray 12.1.2

        clever, talented and honest Helen Clark. Now that is sick

  13. Tom Semmens 13

    I heard John Bishop on Jim Mora”s panel yesterday as well. As he was ranting on about confronting the on some foreign shore BEFORE you find him raping your sister in the drawing room of your Cashmere home I was struck by how timeless a passtime old men indulging in angry sabre rattling actually is.

    • aj 13.1

      If you don’t mind me altering the position of one word, I was struck by how timeless a passtime angry old men indulging in sabre rattling actually is.

  14. Andrei 14

    If he had put his mind to the situation in Afghanistan he would know the name of the people living there.

    Which would be Afghanistani as opposed to Afghanistanian, either that or a long list of the various warring tribes that actually live there

  15. Roger Randall 15

    It’s like this guys and girls, other world leaders like mixing with winners, alpha people, Key is an alpha person, he has cred, other leaders relate to him because he has won other battles.

    Labour doesnt have any winners these days.

    • sk 15.1

      Roger, that is so lame as to be pathetic.

      Foreign policy is about defining your country’s interests, and coming up with policy that furthers those interests. That is how ‘cred’ is accumulated. And all this government is doing, from restoring knighthoods and sending combat troops to a colonial battlefield is taking us back in time. And all commentators from the right such as you respond with are platitudes about alpha males.

      Get real.

      • Roger Randall 15.1.1

        your comments show a complete lack of understanding of how human relationships and nation state politics work.

        People buy people – period.

        Thats why uncle helen worked, people respected her, they didnt like her but they respected her.

  16. Ianmac 16

    An important reason for the USA to not withdraw is the oil pipeline that they established across Afghanistan, surprisingly enough soon after the post 9/11 invasion. The pipe-line was wanted years before 9/11. And I believe that the USA army bases just happen to be clustered around that pipeline.
    Is the war in Afghanistan really because of the terrorist threat?

  17. lukas 17

    Fair cop on the criticism of JK on the pronunciation. Now, going to do the same for Goff on Al Qaeda?

    Here is the link to the video http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/labour-s-phil-goff-breakfast-12-08-09-5-35-2906411/video

  18. So Bored 18

    Something Jonkey and any politician should know here: the acid test for deploying troops is the simple question. WOULD YOU SEND YOUR OWN CHILDREN TO FIGHT THIS WAR OR GO IN THEIR STEAD?

    My family can ask that question, we currently have (and have had) military service members. We trust our leaders to make the right decision, and we go. Our question is does Jonkey know in his heart of hearts that this is the right move?

    Prior to deployment I would challenge Jonkey to get in front of our troops and their families, look them in the eye and tell them with conviction and honesty that this is the right thing to do. If he is genuine it will show.

  19. deWithiel 19

    Just a point of pedantry here: Key wasn’t MD of Merrill Lynch. He was head of Global Foreign Exchange, basically a mid-upper management level position which has been talked up by the National party into something it patently wasn’t. If he was an alpha anything personality it would have to be alpha minus minus. So the ‘Afghanistanian’ thing sits pretty comfortably with the general ignorance levels of this mid level NY banker with a (very) funny accent.

  20. willy w 20

    Head of Global Foreign Exchange is one of the cash cows of an investment bank. Maybe that was why he was on the board of the NY Federal Reserve.

  21. ghostwhowalks 21

    Its Gallipoli all over again

  22. Zaphod Beeblebrox 22

    I defy anyone to make any sense from the Key interview yesterday morning. The worst part for him was that it followed Phil Goff’s interview. Phil put together a very good argument for non-military intervention and sounded well informed on the current situation.

    BTW can’t radio NZ get interviewers who can do proper research on the topics so they flesh out the non-sensical statements of polticians?

    If you go to Australia listen to an ABC interviewer- they are ferocious!!

    Kim Hill where are you?

  23. rave 23

    Read some imperialist history.
    Afghanistan invaded, besieged, liberated, invaded, besieged, liberated, invaded, besieged, liberated, invaded, besieged . . .

    9/11 is every day in Afghanistan.

    http://redrave.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-new-viet-nam-war-in-afghanistan-and.html

  24. Always one for real arguments aren’t you eh Lucas.

  25. pie man 25

    do any of you like pie

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