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 Post subject: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:21 am 
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In the aftermath of the Operation Panther's Claw, on 28 July, David Miliband, our current foreign secretary was full of himself, telling us that several hundred British troops will remain in the area to provide ongoing security. "Hopefully," he said, "there will be a credible turnout at the Afghan elections in August." He then cited Brigadier Tim Radford, Commander Task Force Helmand, who had said: "We are creating the conditions, as we have done in many other campaigns, so that a political process can take place above us, and that security at the moment is going extremely well."

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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:16 am 
Dying for David Milliband adds insult to injury. Odd,isn't it? British troops fight and die so the Afghans can vote,something that Milliband and his master deny the British on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty.


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:23 am 
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Peter wrote:
Dying for David Milliband adds insult to injury. Odd,isn't it? British troops fight and die so the Afghans can vote,something that Milliband and his master deny the British on the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty.


More specifically, our troops fight and die so that Afghans can't vote, achieving nothing more than to give Miliband a few sound bites about the wonderful progress his government is making ... and, surprisingly, the EU election monitors found that the election was "fair"!

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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:34 pm 
It's interesting that our effectiveness in the WoT seems to be inverse to the press coverage. In Iraq the coverage was largely negative, except for that of the British, who were seen as reluctant to be there and merely flaunting their professionalism parolling unhelmeted on the streets of Basra. Ironic how the major military failure of the coalition was the Brits then (for the record, I am a patriotic Brit). Thanks is due to you Richard for your perspicacity and courage in pointing it out. The Americans, for whom the press was an albatross around their necks, responded by vigorously learning the lessons of policing a broken, violent and divided society.

In Afghanistan the press has been very much soft-focus, until just of late they turned hysterical . The lack of scrutiny and criticism seems to have engendered a lackadaisical forgotten war mentality. I agree that fostering a corrupt gerrymandering government of Kabul carrying with it 40% of Afghanistan is a recipe for disaster. I doubt that the US has the will (under the One) to turn things around. Comparisons with Russia in the 80s are just over the horizon as casualties mount and questions are asked about debt levels in the US/UK.

However I would emphasise one thing. To win in Afghanistan requires a conviction that we must win in Afghanistan. There are ample reasons for thinking we must win there. Pakistan is a very dangerous country with nuclear weapons that will be vulnerable if the US/UK withdraws. We cannot invade Pakistan under the current dispensation of things (nor would any sane person want to), so we must stay in Afghanistan until the region is stabilised. The Taliban will actively connive against our interests if left unchecked. Iran will be emboldened if we back down there. We will face much greater challenges from elsewhere if we make it clear there are parts of the world too savage for us. For these reasons and more the fight is crucial. I barely understand those who simply scream that we should get out now or as soon as withdrawal can be achieved. They seem incapable or strategic thinking.

Good luck with trying to buck the tactics up, Richard. I think you must understand that standing our ground in Afghanistan is a critical aspect of the authority which keeps Western nations safe.


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:35 pm 

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It is Miliband and the Foreign Office that are talking up the need to get 'moderate' Taleban to the table isn't it? So too members of the US administration. Yet the Taleban spokespeople are happy to take credit for squashing any voting they can. Why not persuade them to put up candidates instead? Then you've got an immediate 'democratic' result and can bugger off. Having secured the route for the gas pipeline in the meantime...

Is what we know as the Taleban a cohesive than that? Or is it a handy but inarticulate label for all the insurgent activity?

They are presumably aiming for something like the US managed in Iraq - convincing enough of the insurgents that it is in their interests to change sides. Are we doing that?


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:48 pm 
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gareth wrote:
It is Miliband and the Foreign Office that are talking up the need to get 'moderate' Taleban to the table isn't it? So too members of the US administration. Yet the Taleban spokespeople are happy to take credit for squashing any voting they can. Why not persuade them to put up candidates instead? Then you've got an immediate 'democratic' result and can bugger off. Having secured the route for the gas pipeline in the meantime...

Is what we know as the Taleban less cohesive than that? Or is it a handy but inarticulate label for all the insurgent activity?

They are presumably aiming for something like the US managed in Iraq - convincing enough of the insurgents that it is in their interests to change sides. Are we doing that?


The way I see it, we are keeping the seat (of government) warm for the Taleban, ready to hand it over to them, lock, stock and barrel, as soon as the leaders can be persuaded to rebrand themselves and keep the violence down long enough for us to declare a victory and get out while the going is good. Then Afghanistan will disappear off the media radar and it can return to the Stone Age of Islamic fundamentalism.

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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:18 pm 
RAENORTH wrote – Aug22 – 11.23am -

“The EU election monitors found that the election was fair"!

Would it have mattered if it was not? As in the EU just hold another vote, it always comes right in the end!


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:37 pm 
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In2minds wrote:
RAENORTH wrote – Aug22 – 11.23am -

“The EU election monitors found that the election was fair"!

Would it have mattered if it was not? As in the EU just hold another vote, it always comes right in the end!


Never mind the quality, feel the width. As long as the international "community" can pretend it was a valid election, and keep their man in power long enough to hand over to the Taleban, the greater interest can be served. Then all the European forces ... including the UK, can pull out, flags waving, and the EU can get back to building up its own toy army, without the inconvenience of having to fight a real war.

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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:32 pm 
ed t said : 'However I would emphasise one thing. To win in Afghanistan requires a conviction that we must win in Afghanistan. There are ample reasons for thinking we must win there. Pakistan is a very dangerous country with nuclear weapons that will be vulnerable if the US/UK withdraws. We cannot invade Pakistan under the current dispensation of things (nor would any sane person want to), so we must stay in Afghanistan until the region is stabilised. The Taliban will actively connive against our interests if left unchecked. Iran will be emboldened if we back down there. We will face much greater challenges from elsewhere if we make it clear there are parts of the world too savage for us. For these reasons and more the fight is crucial. I barely understand those who simply scream that we should get out now or as soon as withdrawal can be achieved. They seem incapable or strategic thinking.'

Gordon Brown of course has been ranting on about the Afghan/Pakistan border 'the most dangerous border region on Earth' as the channel through which terrorism reaches the UK and other Western Nations. B******ks !! Just two examples out of many. The 7/7 bombers came from Beeston, South Leeds - about 10 miles from my front door (also similar distance from Richard's !). They came by direct route to Londonistan, no 'Day Rover' detour through the Afghan/Paki border Region ! The Glasgow Airport bomber (failed) was a leading neuro surgeon from Jordan.

The simple fact is the 'Battle against Terrorism' should be being fought on the streets of the UK. Instead, to avoid telling the truth to voters and also avoid upsetting the Muslim voting blok, G Brown and others have transported the 'Battle against Terrorism' out of the UK by several thousand miles and sent British Armed Forces to these far flung places where there will be little UK media coverage. With the likes of Alan Johnson (successor to the ridiculous 'Jackboot' Jackie Smith) as our Home Sec and (Admiral retd) Lord West of Shithead as our Security Minister the security of the UK is not in safe hands.

Two final points :

Genghis Khan was the greatest conqueror the world has ever seen. When he invaded India he had to pass through Afghanistan. Did he fight his way through ? No. He bribed tribal leaders to ensure safe passage. What did he know that modern military intelligence (UK/US/Soviet) didn't know. No one, not even Genghis Khan, has defeated and controlled Afghanistan !

D Milliband keeps telling us about how important the role of our forces is in Afghanistan and how important these 'democratic elections' are. This is the same D Milliband who recently told us that 'in some circumstances' 'terrorism' is OK.


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:09 pm 
RAENORTH wrote:

The way I see it, we are keeping the seat (of government) warm for the Taleban, ready to hand it over to them, lock, stock and barrel, as soon as the leaders can be persuaded to rebrand themselves and keep the violence down long enough for us to declare a victory and get out while the going is good. Then Afghanistan will disappear off the media radar and it can return to the Stone Age of Islamic fundamentalism.


Surely that is too cynical. Even if power were handed back to the Taliban, it would be a modified one. And that can't happen without sacrificing the Kabul centre's political apparatus and all associated with it. I would assume reprisals would be vicious. Maybe the Brownies are hoping that the Taliban will have evolved into a negotiable entity which would be presentable to the world. I doubt it, because the Taliban currently are defiant and well-defined. It's surely worth pointing out too that despite the UK's setbacks, the coalition as a whole is not under the same degree of pressure, and the casualty rate is still below that which occurred in Iraq during the worst period (which persisted for about a year)

More interestingly, in light of some of your recent posting, do you consider that the Coalition lost the war in Iraq (I have your book on order, but that was not my understanding of your view, which I understood related primarily tothe UK's failure there)? I think the British certainly lost, but the US gained a victory. However, the Machievellian interpretation would be that the US cut a deal with the worst insurgents, and called it an "awakening" among the tribesmen. Having met a few tribes (not Arab ones admittedly), I would say that the change in fortunes in Iraq was a tribute to the Petraeus strategy, whether or not the switching of sides included some bartering.

On the whole I agree though that afghanistan has been and is being appallingly managed. It's possible you're right that the UK wants to get out. I can't see how they can manage it and it will certainly haunt them if they do. The US ditto. I think if Obama really wants to be a one-term President, withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a cast-iron way to achieve it.


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 Post subject: Re: They mock themselves
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:04 pm 
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When it comes to politics, and the "great game", it is impossible to be too cynical. I write not in jest, we are all pawns in a bigger game. And yes, the Taleban will mutate. It will change its name and acquire a veneer of "civilisation" - enough to convince the Western powers (who will take very little convincing) that they can get away with handing power to it and making a quick exit, before anyone notices what has been done. Hence this election - a huge smokescreen, where a powerless Karzai can be kept in place as a toothless figurehead, until the power brokers decide his fate. He may be hung out to dry, eventually, or they may pension him off, somewhere on the South of France, where he can live out his life in comfort and ease, a good and faithful servant who has served his masters well. It depends whether he gets too greedy - or whether his "friends" get too embarrassing.

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