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The mire

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 am, September 7th, 2009 - 16 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

Last month’s Time magazine has an article that starts “to understand why the United States is losing in Afghanistan…” It’s a bombshell phrase, all the more for the fact that the reporter makes the statement in passing, as accepted fact.

The article goes on to detail how Western money is going to fund the Afghan insurgency, which fights under the loose banner of the Taliban. Local units are expected to be self-sufficient and they get their funding by running protection rackets. Western governments give money to NGOs who hire local sub-contractors for development work. The insurgents demand payments from the local contractors in return for not attacking their projects. The money ends up being used to buy explosives for IEDs and other weapons for attacks on Western military in the country. The West is funding its own enemy.

afghanistan deathsIt’s just one way in which the mission in Afghanistan is fundamentally screwed. The West, including our SAS are not there fighting terrorism, they’re fighting nationalists who have a pool of manpower that is for all intents and purposes bottomless. More of the country is a danger zone and more troops are being killed.

To more and more people this is beginning to look like a classic case of a superpower and its allies overreaching, starting off with a small objective only to get embroiled in a struggle for power between competing factions. Just like in Vietnam. And like that war, it’s increasingly unclear that the native ‘good guys’, the ones our soldiers are going over to fight and die for, are really so good. Karzi’s corrupt, the elections were more dodgy than Iran’s, and abuses of human rights are being perpetrated and legalised by the government.

doonesbury afghanistan

Against this background, our government has sent troops back in with a combat role with the same ‘relaxed’ attitude that Key takes to everything. He doesn’t even know the name for the people of the country, he thinks we’re fighting for the ‘Afghanistanians’. It would be funny if lives weren’t at stake.

The Government, and the Right in general, don’t seem to weigh up the pros and cons getting involved in a conflict. They’re always for going in, whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. They’ve never met a war they didn’t like.

When are they going to learn that war isn’t a game? When are they going to learn that we shouldn’t go blindly blundering along with America in its third world adventures as it tries to spread peace, democracy, and human rights with bullets, bombs, and missiles.

16 comments on “The mire ”

  1. Especially with the 8th year anniversary of 9/11 coming up and the war going worse for the coalition of the killing having to send more and more troops in to keep control.

    Captcha: concerne

  2. If I recall my John Ralston Saul correctly this conflict is a perfect circle for the American arms manufacturers.

    captcha: summers, luvverly

  3. jcuknz 4

    It disturbs me that the ‘rebuilding troops’ are being replaced by the SAS. The British, then the Russians, and now the Americans are getting a bloody nose in the country. Something wrong in the approach I think. But is there an/what is the alternative which doesn’t encourage the Taliban to become the terrorist centre of the world to the disadvantage of the rest of us?. It is a hell of a decision for Mr Key to have to have made and explain is a sound bite. I read a quote elsewhere “To every problem there is always a simple, logical, and wrong solution”

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      I’m not sure that the Taliban have any such ambition. Even if one looks at it from a cold realist position, what has the taliban learned thus far about allowing AQ to use their land as a base for training?

      Secondly, af/pak is not where terrorist attacks on the west are launched from, financed, trained for, or anything else. 9/11 was planned and executed via germany and florida for the most part.

      As for an alternative, a small military deployment aimed purely at AQ. Let the Afghans sort out how they want to be governed for themselves. It’s not like the west demands that other nations we deal with be just like us, or have governments that we approve of, what makes the Agahans different?

      Flood them with Aid money. Absorb the poppy farming into the legal opiate markets, (shit even just buying the poppy and burning it would be cheaper than trying to eliminate it).

  4. rainman 5

    “When are they going to learn that war isn’t a game?”

    Never, they’re too stupid.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      When they’re the ones sent to die which will never happen. They’ll always be the ones sending others to die.

  5. Eclipse 6

    Any source on Tim Macindoe’s comments? My google-fu is too weak to turn up anything.

    • Marty G 6.1

      the source was a personal account from a speaking engagement Macindoe was at recently.

    • Tim Macindoe 6.2

      Instead of publishing nonsense, why don’t you contact the people you’re defaming to check the facts? I’ve never promoted the idea of launching war against Iran – or any country.

      • Marty G 6.2.1

        Well, you’re hardly going to tell us if you did. But I was just relating what we were told – something along the lines of Iran was going to get enough nukes to destroy the world and Christian nations had to stop that happening. The report suggested it wasn’t an idle comment.

        However, we can but accept your word and I’m happy to do so.

        I’m glad that you don’t support military action against Iran.

        • Pascal's bookie 6.2.1.1

          Perhaps Tim could submit a guest post outlining his views vis a vis the middle east, and peace, just to clear things up.

  6. no leftie 8

    Was Helen Clark a member of the Right when her Government sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq?

    • Zorr 8.1

      HAHAHAHA
      captcha: incorrect

      Says it all.

      The situation when we initially deployed to Afghanistan was very different. It was a time when AQ was still there and we were sending troops to assist with rebuilding after the US invasion. This time, the situation is much different and the US is effectively (once again) propping up a corrupt unelectable official.

      • no leftie 8.1.1

        The rebuilding continues – and will for a long time. Just how long will be determined by the leaders of the west and their determination not to leave Afghanistan to fail again.

        And I’m sure….

        “HAHAHAHA
        captcha: incorrect

        Says it all.”

        is the wittiest thing ever written in the history of human language – really.

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