Author Topic: Afghanistan  (Read 58021 times)

Toedancer

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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2006, 12:20:20 AM »
Injured Can. military.  Cannon fodder.

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The number of Canadian Forces members who were fired because they were too ill or injured to serve in a battle zone doubled between 2002 and 2005 — a puzzling increase that comes even as the military tries to bolster its ranks.

"They are letting go of so many people," said Brenda MacDonald, an ex-military nurse who was released because of a medical illness and who wants the Forces to find jobs for the released soldiers within the Department of National Defence.


http://tinyurl.com/ykl33g  Globe
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

kuri

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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2008, 07:17:26 PM »
Thought I'd bump this to share something found via the Feminist Philosophers:

Look the freedom we brought!

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An Afghan journalism student has been sentenced to death for downloading a report on women’s rights. What a fabulous democracy we’ve brought the Afghan people.

    "The fate of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh has led to domestic and international protests, and deepening concern about erosion of civil liberties in Afghanistan. He was accused of blasphemy after he downloaded a report from a Farsi website which stated that Muslim fundamentalists who claimed the Koran justified the oppression of women had misrepresented the views of the prophet Mohamed.

    Mr Kambaksh, 23, distributed the tract to fellow students and teachers at Balkh University with the aim, he said, of provoking a debate on the matter. But a complaint was made against him and he was arrested, tried by religious judges without – say his friends and family – being allowed legal representation and sentenced to death."


News linky

Nation-building indeed.

Alison

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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2008, 08:07:12 AM »
Re Kuri's link:

The Afghan Senate passed a motion yesterday confirming the death sentence.
The MP who proposed the ruling condemning Mr Kambaksh is a key ally of Karzai.

Petition to free Kambaksh at the Independent
.

skdadl

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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2008, 08:51:24 AM »
Signed. Now to read, maybe to write.  :rant:  :rant2:

Croghan27

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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2008, 09:22:28 AM »
Hillier is vocal again, along with British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells, they both say
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:"If you're in Kandahar, you're going to be in combat operations," Gen. Hillier said. "If you're in Kandahar, this is the home of the Taliban. If you're in Kandahar, and you have soldiers on the ground, you are going to be attacked by the Taliban. You simply are going to be in the middle of it."

No problem there - the debate as I see is not about the fighting, it is about whether we should be fighting.

The story (CBC) goes on to quote Howells:
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In a separate interview with Canwest News Service, Mr. Howells said the Canadian Forces have learned to fight the Taliban and have destroyed the "cream" of its best fighters, and that Britain has an intelligence sharing arrangement with its trusted Canadian ally in the south that could not easily be replaced by another country.
Phew ... a light at the end of the tunnel.  :D  We had a hard time before, but because of our consistancy and efforts and artillary and US bombing stirkes (that manage not to kill Canadians), and tanks and drums and guns and guns and drums, we have managed to slaughter enough citizens of a third world country to allow them to get back to the important business of producing heroin and chopping the head off journalism students.

(did I mention oppressing the occasional woman, too?)

Fcukin 'eh, boyz ... wadda glorious victory. Why don't we stay and do more?
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Boom Boom

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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2008, 09:40:35 AM »
Did you catch Hillier on CBC yesterday saying that when the prisoner transfer debate broke out, he was in the Dominican Republic on holiday, and on his third rum and coke; and, then, saying, "after my third rum and coke, I don't give a damn".  :rotfl:  :roll:

Croghan27

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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2008, 09:46:33 AM »
Quote from: Boom Boom
Did you catch Hillier on CBC yesterday saying that when the prisoner transfer debate broke out, he was in the Dominican Republic on holiday, and on his third rum and coke; and, then, saying, "after my third rum and coke, I don't give a damn".  :rotfl:  :roll:


Probably true... another example why the military should not comment on political questions.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2008, 09:52:36 AM »
I think that the wheels may be coming off on Afghanistan. There's a lot tumbling out right now, all of it bad.

skdadl

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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2008, 10:07:34 AM »
See here, eg:

Quote
But the immediate crisis has been triggered by Canada, which has threatened to bring home its 2,500 troops from Kandahar, next to Helmand province where British forces are fighting the resurgent Taliban insurgency, unless other allies send reinforcements.

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, told Gordon Brown this week that the "clear choice" laid out by an internal Canadian panel was that Canada would remain in Afghanistan beyond February 2009 only if allies supplied more combat troops for Kandahar and Canada acquired new equipment.

Gates angered Nato members last month when he complained that forces were still stuck in cold war mode and ill-prepared for counter-insurgency operations.

Wrangling over the number of boots on the ground coincides with a flurry of warnings that the entire effort to stabilise Afghanistan could fail because of resurgent Taliban violence and a looming humanitarian crisis. On Wednesday the former US Nato commander, General James Jones, suggested Afghanistan was in danger of becoming a "failed state" because there were "too few military forces and insufficient economic aid". Oxfam separately urged troop and aid-contributing countries to undertake "a major change in direction".

ReWind.it

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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2008, 12:25:16 PM »
Germany has resisted the U.S. attempt to place more troops in Afghanistan.
Good on them.

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Several German commentators attacked the government for rejecting the American request. The left-leaning Süddeutsche Zeitung accused politicians of being afraid of the voters.

Fekking idiots, the guvs are suppose to be afraid of the voters!

Independent

And the student has gotten a reprieve, but this line just makes the entire claim of Afghanistan is cottoning onto to democracy is ludicrous.

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Ershad Ahmadi, a senior aide to Mr Karzai, said the President was "keeping a close eye on the case". But he stressed it was a "long, difficult and complicated legal process".


Really? It's that complicated of a legal process?

Independent
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

matttbastard

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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2008, 01:19:39 PM »
Caroline Wyatt, BBC News:

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Nato's members know they cannot afford to fail now. All sides are aware that stabilising Afghanistan is the mission Nato has staked its reputation on.

That means that the alliance will have to pull together rapidly, for the sake of its own credibility as well as for the future of Afghanistan, whose people are rapidly losing faith in the ability of their own government and the international community to improve their daily lives.

James Travers in today's Toronto Star:

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As much as a decisive military victory is out of reach, a Western defeat would further destabilize the region, encourage extremists and badly damage NATO as well as the United Nations.

Just so we're clear: qua the Serious set, the West simply must keep pissing away lives (and dollars) in what is likely a futile effort to engineer "victory" in Afghanistan, else North Atlantic Treaty Organization members look foolish for, um, foolishly trying to delay the inevitable.

Matthew Parris rejects the conventional idiocy:

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All of us, at every turn in our life, encounter circumstances in which there are severe limits to our ability to intervene. We feel no shame in this sane and commonplace response. “There's only so much I can do,” we say.

If as individuals we so readily acknowledge private incapacity, how is it that, when we act as publics, parliaments, nations, armies, or indeed newspaper columnists, we find such simple truths so hard to acknowledge? Nations do, of course, come up against limitations. Reality rebuffs. But we fight shy of the language in which to talk - and think - about impotence. And so (like those hyperactive battery-powered puppies they sell in novelty shops) we bounce around the pen within which fate confines us, changing direction only when we hit a wall, then heading off with mechanical yaps towards another one.

Forgive me for writing like this yet again, of Afghanistan. None of us can know whether the situation is beyond retrieval but we surely sense that we British - never mind about America, or Italy, or Canada, Germany or France - are at the limit of what we can achieve by force. It is no good sending any more troops: we haven't any to spare, and the force we already send to Helmand province is overstretched. In Paddy Ashdown we have offered the best imaginable possibility for a figure capable of knocking heads together, and the Government of Hamid Karzai has rejected him.

Three recent reports - most worryingly one from Oxfam - have painted a picture of a failing state. Inch by inch we are being edged into keeping thousands of troops permanently parked in a barbarous place, in the open-ended support of a puppet government led by a man who wears elegantly tailored clothes and speaks nice English but whose writ hardly runs.

And now the Americans are demanding more troops from Nato. Well, good luck to them. Perhaps they will persuade the French to do a little more; maybe they can stop Canada from carrying out its threat to pull back. But the starting point for a British Foreign Secretary is that in terms of boots on the ground, we British are at our limit and losing confidence in our usefulness.

There is, I concede, no immediate crisis to respond to. People tend to think that brinks, thresholds, Rubicons, cliffs' edges and forks in the road are where historic decisions are called for and statesmen are proved. But doldrums, paralyses, slow-drifting currents, slow roads going nowhere - times when no decision seems urgent and a vaguely unsatisfactory situation can safely be allowed to drag on - can be greater tests of mettle than emergencies. The politician with the guts and brains to say “It can't go on like this” and convince Cabinets and mandarins who might have preferred a long, expensive drift - these are greater heroes than men who, cometh the hour, do what plainly has to be done.


There's only so much we can do. At this point, the only realistic option for Canada to choose is summed up by Parris' succinct headline: "Enough. Time to pack up and leave." The Grits must show some guts and brains, not give Harper another blank cheque financed with the blood of Canadian soldiers and Afghan citizens.

re: Sayed Pervez Kambaksh, Malalai Joya has endorsed The Independent's campaign.
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

skdadl

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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2008, 01:39:52 PM »
Parris's argument is only half of the truth, though. Notice also, btw, that pogge called this this a.m., warned that the Serious Set were about to begin exactly the kind of propaganda campaign you see there from Wyatt and Travers.

Where I part company from Parris is on his throwing up of hands at a "failed state," a "barbarous place" ...  and his refusal to analyse what is actually going on at the moment, how Afghanistan connects to the whole regional upheaval, and what truly serious people would do about it.

The head-knocking that needs to be done diplomatically is first of all with Pakistan and the U.S., who are more responsible for this mess than anyone, although there has been no shortage of useful idiots playing along, and the British certainly figure large there. Serious diplomats and reporters also have to disabuse the world of the propaganda concerning the "Taliban" and al-Qaeda. Yes, such orgs exist, but that is such a sloppy way to describe and think of what is happening in several parts of Afghanistan. We're talking about the people who live there, y'know? It's, like, their country?

Above all, we have to get rid of the Cheney/Bush regime, and whoever is the new U.S. prezzie really has to be taken to the woodshed by the Smart people and lectured on a few things the world is not gonna put up with any more.

If we have "failed states," the U.S. created most of 'em, and there's only one way to start fixing that.

ReWind.it

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« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2008, 01:40:37 PM »
Thanks for that last link Mattt. Joya is a joy, no?

Quote
The country's parliament is like a zoo, it is corrupt and chaotic. It is run by warlords who should be tried for their crimes. As the people running our country were not democratically elected, it should be no surprise that they are imposing these undemocratic sentences.

There are countless examples of human rights abuses – from rapes to imprisonments and killings. I want to raise international awareness of these issues but I have been forced to stay in Kabul after my passport was seized by the government.


I did not know that. And why isn't the international community lobbying for her right to travel?
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sir Winston Churchill

matttbastard

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« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2008, 02:21:44 PM »
Likely for the same reason the international community has been willing to turn a blind eye to the status of women in post-Taliban Afghanistan all these years: because those who claim to represent our interests (and the interests of freedom-lovin' Afghans) truly don't give a good goddamn.

skdadl: incorporated your comments into this post.
I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.

skdadl

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« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2008, 02:38:28 PM »
Great post, mattt with three tees -- shall watch for it at PB. Gee: I'm in there with all the greats.   :wink:

 

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