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 Post subject: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Politically, for the period that British troops remain in Afghanistan, it is going to be an interesting time. We are going to see a Conservative defence team, which in opposition specialised in low-grade sniping, now exposed to its own medicine, as unhappy events unfold. What would have been a classic example of this is the resignation today of Colonel Bob Seddon, the principal ammunition technical officer of the Royal Logistics Corps.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:27 pm
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Location: Oxford, UK
Pick fight with 'Afghan government', go off in a huff, withdraw troops. Problem solved. Piss off Obama? Bonus!

India vs Pakistan may well be at the root of it, or its insolubility, but we really really cannot fix that, they bloody well hate each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 7:34 pm 
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This simple soul posits that were we not there we would not be seeking unattainable solutions...but we are there unfortunately, though we should not be. The most sensible solution is to say sorry, wrong house, and get out.
Whatever his shortcomings, Fox is, like his predecessors, between a rock & a hard place (less so than the poor squaddies increasingly maimed & slaughtered on a daily & increasing basis)...Knows that we cannot win, knows that we will be forced out eventually if we do not leave voluntarily...and in describing the area as 13th. century pretty well voiced the views of many here.
Whatever the interests & machinations of India are in the area, I am totally unqualified to comment...but by no stretch of the imagination can I agree that Muslim Pakistan can be considered as an ally.
To summarise, my views on our presence are well-known...we are not saving lives by being there...if certain groups in Afghanistan are causing us problems in our own country, then we (sorry, the Americans) have the technology & means to deal with it without putting a foot on the ground. If India & Pakistan wish to persist in quarreling then let them get on with it...but one thing is for sure: were it not for militant Islam there would be no discussion.
I am 100% sure that the extremely knowledgable Prashant follows all threads on EUReferendum including this one. And I am also 100% sure that we would appreciate his take on the subject...put your fear of hurting the poor British to one side, Prashant, and give us both your barrels :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Mosquito wrote:
Pick fight with 'Afghan government', go off in a huff, withdraw troops. Problem solved. Piss off Obama? Bonus!

India vs Pakistan may well be at the root of it, or its insolubility, but we really really cannot fix that, they bloody well hate each other.


Nothing to do with India, really, otherwise Pakistan and Bangladesh couldn't be a state. India is a secondary problem - their behaviour is opportunistic, after the effect. Making it worse, yes, but with no India we would still be there.

The cause of Afghanistan's problem is the majority, individualistic Pashtun people. We've been over this before. They've a long history and Afghanistan is, essentially, a Pashtun empire - a vehicle by which the Pashtun benefit the Pashtun and play out inter-Pashtun conflicts.

The other Afghan ethnicities within the borders of this power black hole are caught up in the Pashtun dominated political struggle. The solution is the partition of Afghanistan, but this, being relatively more simple, wouldn't employ so many brass and researchers at in-the-not-too-distant-future Pontins holiday camp aka Joint Services Command and Staff College.

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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:42 pm 
Denis MacShane wrote: We have to look again at the ideology that spurs on the Taliban and other extremists. That ideology is not of the Islam religion, which should have the same respect as any other Abrahamic faith, but is a coherent world ideology of Islamism that is rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood that was founded by Hassan al-Banna in the 1920s and that has developed steadily since.

That was enough for me to stop giving any further credence to Denis MacShane. He should really begin understanding the goal of all Islam, and not just Islamists. That objective has stood for 1400 years, and has caused the destruction of civilisations, and the annihilation of whole cultures and people, by the sword, starvation and the instruments of Dhimmification.

Denis MacShane should read Robert Spencer, William Muir, Fitzgerald, Ibn Warraq, Ali Sena, Wafa Sultan, Hirsi Ali, Churchill, Marco Polo, and host of others. OTH, as some commentators have pointed out, McShane has a lot of Muslims in his constituency, and has perforce, become a dhimmi.


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:34 am 
" "His view appears to be that Afghanistan has not changed since the 13th century and it implies that Afghanistan is a tribal and medieval society."

If that is indeed Fox's view, it says little for his broader understanding of the politics of the region,"



What's so bad about saying this?

Seems pretty spot on.


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:07 am 
Wish we had politicians who were as honest, forthright and upstanding as here

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/05/congr ... l#comments


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 10:39 am 
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R grey wrote:
" "His view appears to be that Afghanistan has not changed since the 13th century and it implies that Afghanistan is a tribal and medieval society."

If that is indeed Fox's view, it says little for his broader understanding of the politics of the region,"

What's so bad about saying this?

Seems pretty spot on.


I agree, but it is not clear why Fox referred to the 13th Century in particular. Was he picking out a year from 'a long time ago' at random?

The modern Pashtun history as a political force seems to begins in the 18th Century with the Pashtun Hotaki dynasty (1709–1738).

The Mongols did invade the region in 1258 and influenced Pashtun language. They may also have influenced Pashtun tribal structure.

But given the mountainous topography I'm inclined to think tribal structures would have pre-existed the Mongols. Fox could have just as accurately called Afghanistan a "pre-historical" or "Old Testament" country.

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 Post subject: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:11 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:32 am
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The Afghan calendar's start-off date, understandably, is not Jesus Christ's birth - but Mohammed's flight from Medina to Mecca in 621 AD. So this year is 1389 to them - ie the 14th, not 13th Century! So Fox was only one century out. Certainly forgiveable in private, but undiplomatic in public. Anyway, the truth's out now.

But I wonder if his real background reason for his rather undiplomatic gaffe was his possible (& if so, in my view, quite correct) assumption that the Afghan War has become a pointless & unwinnable war. And one which Britain can't afford at a time of severe economic difficulty, when so many other genuine UK Defence issues are also on his agenda. The list is a long one:

how many troops should a counter-insurgency-capable UK army have; more combat helicopters whether Britain is at war or not; the very costly A400M (though recent reports suggest that it will prove to be a very capable aircraft, despite its very high unit price); problems with the F35; the 3 costly but necessary Rivet Joint aircraft recently ordered as replacements for the 3 Nimrod R1s; the need for more small surveillance aircraft & U/UCAVs; the size of the orders of the army's new armoured scout vehicle to replace the Scimitar & for the replacement vehicle for the Snatch L/Rover also; the 2 new large a/carriers (& whether they are a relevant design & size for the UK's next 30 years' defence needs); the inadequate numbers of the RN's principal surface combatants (including insufficient numbers in the air defence category because of the excessive cost of the Daring class & problems with their French missiles when much superior US ones are also available); better hospital intensive care facilities in Britain for the wounded & their after-care; the Trident replacement; & probably lots more.....I'm sure other readers of this blog can add to this list.

But if these issues were going through his mind, then perhaps his gaffe has served a useful purpose.

Incidentally, with our govt's money now so tight, my view is that Britain should really cut back its international development aid to charity-like stuff that the local UK embassy can back to be popular with the local citizenry, also money for emergencies/disasters etc, & money for small countries who have few sources of income but are basically anglophile - eg the ex-British Pacific islands who as long as they get a little bit of money regularly can be relied on to back the UK at the UN (a fair deal I would have said!), & the Caribbean Islands & some small African countries (as long as in general they vote right!).

Watchet


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 5:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:04 am
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Location: Cheshire
But for reading this site I might have been surprised at Dr Fox's outburst. As it was, I was aware that he was an oaf, so his oafish behaviour was quite expected.

As to bomb disposal, it baffles the hell out of me why we send men to disram these devices as if they were a German bomb buried in the basement of St Paul's. They are in the middle of bloody nowhere. I'd disarm them with an RPG. Why don't we?


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 Post subject: Re: Thirteenth Century Fox
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 6:35 pm 
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JohnFSK wrote:
But for reading this site I might have been surprised at Dr Fox's outburst. As it was, I was aware that he was an oaf, so his oafish behaviour was quite expected.

As to bomb disposal, it baffles the hell out of me why we send men to disram these devices as if they were a German bomb buried in the basement of St Paul's. They are in the middle of bloody nowhere. I'd disarm them with an RPG. Why don't we?


Very good point ... apparently, after all this time, that is what they are going to do...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 81955.html

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