Bad news, good news.

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru January 2002:Bad news, good news.
By Artist on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:35 pm: Edit

oHmYgaWd, it looks like I've just developed a stutter...(sorry). That is, unless, head did this to me, to me.

By Artist on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:33 pm: Edit

Speaking of proselytising, those women who were released got better than they deserved...They were just asking for it.

By Artist on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 04:29 pm: Edit

Speaking of proselytising, those women who were released got better than they deserved...They were just asking for it.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, December 11, 2001 - 10:49 am: Edit


I never said that the US was enforcing a way of life on the Afghans. I was making a more general point that people should have the right to determine their own destiny and way of life.


The attitude that all others on the planet ought to live as we live (whether they want to or not) is crap. Are others a bunch of thick, stupid, lesser mortals that they should not be left to determine their own form of government or way of life? If the way of life in the West suits those who live in the West then that's fine. It is not our business to go about proselytising and foisting this way of life on others. We have no more right to tell others how to live their lives than they do to us. And when we do this are we really doing this out of our paternal concern for those 'less-enlightened'? This was the attitude of the British Empire with all it's crap about the 'White man's burden' etc. This 'we know what's best for you and your going to have it whether you want it or not' attitude gets us nowhere. It is not our place to tell others how they should live. As for universal suffrage, we agree with this so long as the people choose a form of government that we approve of, if we disapprove of their choice then 'hasta la vista baby'...

Rabid, as for the Afghan's choosing the Taliban, they did not choose the Taliban. The Taliban (with the backing and support of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (and some would say others)). We should thus let them determine their form of government and way of life this time. The Taliban (controlled by non-Afghansi) foisted a way of life and system of government onto the people of Afghanistan, should we do the same?

Vera, if you're concerned about your 5.7% unemployment then come to Britain, where unemployment is lower. We have 3.2% claiming unemployment benefit (unemployment benefit is open to all, so naturally all those who need to claim it do so). I wasn't arguing about internal civil liberites or the form of government within Western countries, that is the business of the people of those Western countries. Just like the form of government of other countries is the business of the people from those countries, it is not our business. We have no business telling those in foreign lands how to live their lives or how they should be governed just as they have no business telling citizens of the USA how to live their lives or govern themselves.


By Don_Walsh on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 08:49 pm: Edit


No one is talking about imposing a US style republican form of government on the Afghans.

With the help of the UN in Bonn they (the Afghans, minus the Taliban, sat down and set up a 180 day interim government that everyone is more or less happy about except Dostum.

In six months they will hold a traditional Afghan Council of Elders and THEY will decide on the permanent form of government to replace the interim one.

By Afghans for Afghans.

The US and the UN will certainly have legitimate concerns about where our nation-building money goes and whether humanitarian aid os getting to the general population rather than being horder by warlords or politicians (a la Iraq). Beyond that, I don't think the US will much be involved.

I'm sure we would like to get the south/central Asians out of the opium and heroin business but that's pie in the sky. They have no other industry save whittling AK47's out of steel billots with files.

I am also sure that the Pakistanis, when they were running things through their proxy Taliban puppets were a LOT more heavy handed than we would ever be and that is why in Kabul they were/are shouting Pakistan Murtabad!! Death to Pakistan! their fellow Moslems by the by.

By Verawench on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 06:39 pm: Edit

"Our way of life or type of government is not THE
'correct' method that others ought to follow."

No, but it's a pretty good start of the correct method to follow. Per Chong below.

You can talk about disintegration of civil liberties, about the corporate lobby, idiot president, blah blah blah - the true measure of a successful government is the well-being of its people. Until I have to stand 3 hours in line to buy bread or pay $7 for a gallon of gas or live in an efficiency apartment with 4 other people, I won't complain.

We have it so good, that we argue not over what other governing arrangement would serve us better, but merely how passive / active we want our current system to be.

I don't think suffrage is the exclusive factor in this.

Btw, US unemployment recently "sky-rocketed" to 5.7%. Guess what: 1 out of every 6 Poles is without a job. I think I'll stay here.

By Bob_Chong on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 05:51 pm: Edit

"Our way of life or type of government is not THE
'correct' method that others ought to follow."

Yes it is. Suffrage equals prosperity, in all it forms. There is a direct, positive correlation between self-government and well being. Monarchies, with few exceptions, are shit-holes for the majority of the population. Why are we the richest country in the world? Self rule. (And relatively low taxes.) A single U.S. citizen below the poverty line is better off that a dozen Afghani, Chinese, or N. Korean bums combined.


By Mr_Rabid on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 04:32 pm: Edit

Not to force them- that would be stupid.

We got to do this Sun-Tsu style.

They must think this new, non-great-satan-destroying way of life is their idea.

They must think they chose for themselves.

As to letting them choose for themselves without attempting to affect the outcome-the motherfuckers chose the Taliban last time.

Or let it happen. Same difference.

Put another way- a cannibal moves into your neighborhood. Forcing him to not eat people is at best a band aid solution. He still wants to, and there will be bad blood.

Casually inviting him to a vegetarian dinner and pointing out the benefits of non-cannibalism in such a way that *he* decides to try it is the way to go.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 02:56 pm: Edit


It's not a question of what the Afghans can use for motivation that doesn't involve the death of the Great Satan. If they see themselves becoming pawns and puppets of the USA then there will always be hatred, no matter how much money is thrown at them as a result. Nations need to be given the respect to forge their own destinies and not have the 'correct' form of government and lifestyle foisted upon them. Treat them with respect as independant brothers, as equals and not as servants and colonies and they will have much less reason to hate you. Let them choose for themselves how they should govern themselves and how they should live. Our way of life or type of government is not THE 'correct' method that others ought to follow. We should stop viewing the other nations on this planet simply as a resource for our own self interests.


By Mr_Rabid on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 12:48 pm: Edit

Oh, I believe that- money is not what motivates me, so I have a pretty good example...

It's a matter of risk minimization. Hunger might not be the only thing that motivates attack, but it sure as hell is high on the list.

But your point is very good- full bellies alone won't do it.

Now the question becomes, what can the Afghans use for motivation that doesn't involve the death of the Great Satan?

It used to be a nation filled with intellectuals, and many a time has helped preserve the Flame O Knowledge. But that was long ago. What have they got going aside from blood and iron?

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, December 10, 2001 - 10:33 am: Edit


Sure hunger gives people the motivation to fight but it is not the only motivating factor (or the main one).

Ireland and the Basque country are not exceptions. When people feel that their lives and destinies are governed not by themselves but by outside foreign powers then they will fight and kill. You can throw as much money, DVD players, Baywatch series and other fancy baubles at people but if at the end of it all they are not genuinely determining their own destinies then you will have resentment, hatred and terrorism (or armed resistance depending on whose side you stand). You cannot subdue or control people by throwing money at them. Respecting the rights and views of people and allowing them their rights to determine their own future, political and religious agenda and lifestyle without manipulation is the way forward. Imperialism with monetary rewards for towing the line just will not work.

Believe it or not money is not the major motivating factor in the lives of most people.


By Mr_Rabid on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 04:27 pm: Edit

I'm not reading this whole thing- but I agree with what both Lord H and Don have said here for the most part.

I didn't say the way Americans think of war is correct or realistic.

Americans are often shortsighted, like most people. And they like their Nintendo war and hate the idea of a messy groundwar.

But you can't discount that viewpoint because it's silly- it is a silly viewpoint that drives our actions.

One other thing- Lord H, you are right about Ireland and the Basques- they are exceptions.

But hungry people are more apt to violence. People who feel they are oppressed and who don't have what they consider enough material wealth.

If you don't beleive me, take a stroll through suburbia unarmed at night.

Then take one in the ghetto.

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 09:41 am: Edit

Lord H, we are in general agreement. I think you should distinguish between the Uzbek/Tajik NA and the Pashtun (and johnny come lately) EA, and most but not all of our flase-defection and stay-behind problems will of course be with the Pashtuns. However, I think we can both count on the fact that the US Spec Ops boys and the 22SAS bloody well apprehend this better than we do! It's their butts on the line after all.

Maybe we will shop around and find.or not find, a local force willing to relialy go dig out the tunnel rats that remain. Maybe we will have to do it ourselves. But have no doubt that it WILL be done.

Sure the NA, having been handed the lion's share because they were on the spot, will now turn their attention to bickering over spoils even further, and consolidating their commercial interests (don't we know what that means?) rather than energetically looking for opportunities to take the point for us against the hated Arabs and OBL.

But if I were Doshtun, for example, I'd want to be America's mercenaries. But after the prison-revolt debacle does the US want such soldaten?

Problem is the Pashtuns won't want the Uzbeks on their Tora Bora turf; flip side, the Pashtuns are just opportunists and turncoats and can't be trusted to do a damned thing. They are Pakistan's fifth column in Afghanistan.

If theSAS. US Special Forces, the 10th Mountain Division, the Rangers, and/or the USMC need to go do this, they will. Trust that the CIA would not have built an impregnible fortress without having a way to take it down! not unless they grew witless by the 80s and early 90s. (Not impossible but I think unlikely.)

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 07:49 am: Edit

I must admit that so far the reports on civilian casualties are less that what I had expected.

As to the Northern Alliance protecting Bin laden. They will certainly not oppose anything the West cares to do with Bin Laden (his protection is not a concern of theirsone way or the other). But can we really rely on the Northern Alliance to go in and physically get Bin Laden for us? I think not, if we are really serious about getting Bin Laden then it will have to be Western troops that go in and get him. As to a war with the Northern Alliance if they don't seriously go and get him for us? Well perhaps certain parts (but by no means all) of the USA government would be willing to attack the NA if this was the case, but no other government on the planet would support this (you may as well kiss goodbye to the global alliance).

The bottom line is if the West wants Bin Laden then the West will have to send its own troops in to get him and this will mean the deaths of many Western soldiers. He won't be got just by dropping bombs from the sky.

It may surprise you but I believe that Western troops should go in to the Afghani hills and get the bastard (nobody else will do it for us). I have more moral problems with the bombing of Kabul etc. than with the mobilisation of ground troops, at least a soldier sees who he is shooting and can discriminate.


By Don_Walsh on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 04:41 am: Edit

Well, would you care to see how fast any 'faction leader' can find himself in a hole in the ground if he opposes anything we care to do with OBL?

I would think that the lesson of the fall of the Taliban would not be lost on the NA, the EA, etc. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Omar's escape from Kandahar was obviously a done deal between Omar and Naqibullah, there will be false defections, there will be faction fighting, Afghanistan is a place of betrayal and violence. Go read your Kipling, yet again.

Taliban propaganda aside, I believe we did a helluva lot less damage to Afghan civilians that did the Taliban in the same period. Come on. The press has been reporting every band-aid from friendly fire or enemy action among our troops. We lose more people than this is a training exercise. So, where's the civlian casualties? The Taliban reports about this are of a vein with their fights to the death. Hot fartgas.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 01:09 am: Edit

No problem, on reading it again, after I made my last post, I realised the 2nd half of your post was not meant for myself.

As for my views on this war, while I was bitterly opposed our involvement in this war in Afghanistan, now that the war has proceded and the damage to civilians has been done, and is irreversible, action is needed on the ground to move in and apprehend Bin Laden with all the risks this entails to our own troops. Let's face it several of the leaders that head the NA factions have quite openly stated that Bin Laden should not be handed over (and those that remain silent or make gestures towards the Wests aims are at best disinterested in and at worst sympathetic to Bin Laden and Omar). Can we really rely on the NA to apprehend Bin Laden or Mullah Omar?. I was opposed to the Gulf War against Iraq but was also opposed to the termination of that war (once it had become well under way) before using ground troops to invade Iraq and apprehend Sadam Hussain. If we haven't got the resolve to finish a job (with all the pain involved to your own side) then we shouldn't start the job in the first place.


By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 01:04 pm: Edit

Second part of that post was clearly aimed at Mr Rabid and demarked as such, Lord H, so sorry, I never said what you thought I said you said and now you say you didn't and I agree and say so now...


By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 10:47 am: Edit


I've never ridiculed the USA's immense and highly advanced warfare technology. I don't use the term 'Nintendo war' I just ridicule the use of this term by others. Air superiority and bombing from the air facilitates action on the ground and is not a substitute for it. Bombs dropped from the air will not alone win a war. There is no such thing as a 'Nintendo war'. War is about death and suffering, there are no 'clean wars'. In the end to win a war you will have to bear deaths of soldiers on your own side.

As for those who think the USA should never risk the lives of its own people by getting involved in any ground war, well this attitude is self-deteating. What message does this send out to Bin Laden and his kind? Bin Laden and his sort believed that the West is soft and decadent and hasn't got the stomach to risk the deaths of any of their own people, not even their professional soldiers. Is he right? He knows how to hurt us then doesn't he, all it takes in future is the deaths of a few Westerners (as opposed to thousands) to really hurt the West and have the West running scared. As for him and his kind, well they can easily put up with deaths of their 'soldiers', they're used to it so it doesn't really bother them too much, they see it as the inevitable hazards of 'warfare'.


By Don_Walsh on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 08:07 am: Edit

Lord H, I think I have stated clearly and often that the aims of this war go far beyond one country or the destruction of the Taliban. Or even of the destruction of Al-Qaeda and OBL.

So, no, it's not time to claim the final victory, it's just a battle, not the war

Mr Rabid's analysis of the Vietnam Syndrome is the conventional one but it's wearing a little thin. The US military indeed is skittish of having its political masters misuse it but that is as it should be. Does that mean that the US will never fight a major and protracted conventional war again? Let's hope it never has to, but that's a pretty foolish hope. In the meantime we have a robust special operations capability and all that high tech that you ridicule as Nintendo War.

If you are interested in a first rate Clausewitzian analysis of the Indochina War I suggest ON STRATEGY by Col.Harry Summers. He did a sequel, applying the same methodology to the Gulf War, ON STRATEGY II. Also recommended.

History, you say, will look askance at any president who gets us into a Vietnam. I say history will look even more askance at any president who fails to fulfill his responsibilities as commander in chief by not recognizing a war when we really need to fight one. The main problem with Vietnam was that the government never bothered to explain to the people what we were doing there in the first place and why it was in our national interest. Had they done so and declared war, and mobilized the national will, things may have gone better at home. Make no mistake, that war was lost at home, not in Vietnam. In Vietnam the war was won. It was a political defeat not a military one. Highly entwined with the downfall of the Nixon presidency, but Nixon didn't start the war, he was elected to get us out of there 'with honor'. The war was started -- how far back would you care to go? The 1930s when the Kuomintang organized the Viet Minh? (What, you didn't know that Chiang Kai-shek's men started the Viet Minh?) The OSS Deer Missions of 1944? Nixon's visit to Dien Bien Phu in '54? The Lansdale/Conein team and Diem brothers? Because we were there long before the '63 coup d'etat and make no mistake, we were in the war in the 50s. So who would you like history to chastise? Roosevelt, Truman? Eisenhauer? Kennedy, Johnson, not just Nixon.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, December 08, 2001 - 02:57 am: Edit

Don and Rabid,


Do you (as the British government seem to think) believe that the aims of this war have been achieved and that we can claim victory? The main war aim (and virtually the only stated war aim of the British government) was I believe to get Bin Laden. How can victory be claimed when the prime war aim has not yet been achieved? As my oil-pipeline theory we'll just have to wait and see what happens here.

And Rabid, you can bomb as much as you like from the sky but to defeat terrorists (unlike some governments) you need action on the ground. You need men to go in and kill people with guns and inevitably a lot of men on both sides will die. There is no such thing as a risk free war, the 'Nintendo War' idea is a fallacy.

As for prosperity ending terrorism, well Northern Ireland is a comfortable place to live, there are McDonalds, you can watch Baywatch and the standard of living is much greater than anything that the Afghanis could hope for. The Spanish Basque country is also a nice place to live. The idea that people stop hating and wanting to kill people just because they now own a DVD is nonsense. Not everybody on the earth is motivated primarily by money and material possessions. To some people their beliefs are more important motivators than how many things they own.


By Don_Walsh on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 03:44 pm: Edit

LH, you say 'the West' is desengaging, you mean the West Midlands? The West, and the rest of the Coalition, which includes quite a chunk of the Islamic world, are NOT disengaging, because nobody wants OBL/Al-Qaeda to survive in any way shape or form.

The NA this the NA that. Hamid Karzai isn't NA. And all the Afghans hate the 'Arabs' and most especially will kick them now that they are down.

It's been only 2 months since the war started and 3 since Sept 11, and this shootin' match is FAR from over.

What you thought about the way this would play out -- hasn't happened. Al-Qaeda's manpower in Afghanistan was a few thousand and is now only hundreds or less. Their Taliban partners are finito. They are alienated by their own actions from the local population, despised and hunted. Their Paki sponsors have disavowed them. We have and are continuing to uproot their financial networks.

So, there isn't going to be a pitched battle with these folks, not above the company level. And probably we will let the Pashtuns have most of the fun, it's the sort of fighting they enjoy, with the playing field at a steep angle and to their advantage. We will be there with advisors, intel and air support. If they have a problem the USMC is there on the ground and in helicopter gunships.

There's going to be an international peacekeeping force in there but it will probably be all-Islamic, probably led by Turkey, and they are up to the job. All Islamic because that's the way the Afghans want it and that's fine with us. I dunno if this will be under UN auspices, or under the aegis of one of the pan-Islam groups that OBL has pissed off.

We didn't WANT the NA (Dostum etc.) to be the spearpoint, any more than we wanted the KR to be the only real resistance to the Viet invasion of Cambodia. But sometimes you have to work with what you have at hand. Bush learned this lesson with the debacle of Abdul Haq. And there was a hiatus (most demoralizing to the USAF and USN who has to take a break) before and after his death while Washington floundered around searching for any repeat ANY viable entity to use rather than the NA. Once it was apparent that there was no choice -- things went rather swiftly.

I quarrel with your pipeline conspiracy theory simply because I do not believe that Afghanistan will EVER present an acceptably low political risk for such a venture, and anyway, it should be apparent that the primary beneficiaries of such a pipeline, terminating in the Indian Ocean near Karachi I presume, would be the Azerbaijanies (sellers) and the Japanese (buyers). Yeah I know the SIS has been mucking about around Baku since the days of Sidney Reilley and the founding of BP (by Reilley and Churchill and a few cronies) but I really doubt that even Lloyd's would want to insure such a scheme.

By Mr_Rabid on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 03:06 pm: Edit

You cannot discount the psycological effects of America's last two big wars.

Vietnam means we dont want our boys in a messy groundwar. And any president who commits to such an action can probably be assured of Kidnap Kissinger campaigns, political ruin, and a dim view in the history books.

Iraq means we really like the idea of low casualty, high tech Nintendo style warfare. We dig the idea of bombing the shit out of the enemy from the relative safety of a stealth bomber.

And a ground war in Afghanistan (in the winter!)stinks of Vietnaminess all over. The Russians weren't fond of their stay there...

So fuck it. We can acheive most of the war goals by bombing the Taliban into submission, setting up a government with economic and secular goals that wouldn't rather kill it's citizens than see them become christians or buddhists. Making them fat and happy and when Osama does finally come down from the hills, no one will follow him back up there with friendly intentions.

There will (hopefully) be in the Afghan mind a division: the bad old days under the Taliban when that psycho got us bombed and we were poor and oppressed, and the good new days when we have enough to eat and women can learn to read and hey did you see the new episode of Baywatch last night, Rachid? What? Bin Laden is trying to get the old gang together? Fuck him! I'm going to Mcdonalds- you want a hummus mcmuffin?

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 02:41 pm: Edit


The fact is that the NA doesn't give two fucks about the fate of Bin laden and al Qaeda either way. He's not their concern and he's not their problem and like it or not the eventual government of Afghanistan will only at best be influenced by the West and not decided by the West. The 'victorious' NA will be in the driving seat here.

What surprises me is how quickly the West are disengaging in Afganistan now that the Taliban have been ousted. At the start I thought that the air strikes would lead to Kabul falling quicky to the NA, then the other cities and then Bin Laden and Taliban retreating to the hills with the Western armies (without the NA troops, their own job being done) going in to engage them in a long and messy ground war with the West eventually being victorious. But the western armies seem unwilling to go after him unless they are ensured the safety accorded by bombing from the air.

The fact is that the West are just not prepared to risk large casualties of their own in a messy ground war. Al Oaeda (as with all guerillas/terrorists) will not be defeated by bombs dropped from the sky and the message now, as they will perceive it, is that the West is soft and decadent and afraid to risk the death of its own soldiers. This was what Bin Laden thought all along.

When Jack Straw talks about victory he displays his complete ignorance of the meaning of victory in a war. Victory in a war means achieving the war-aims, and this clearly has not happened. What a dickhead.


By Don_Walsh on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 12:58 pm: Edit

True enough, LH, but it's a lot like being on the outskirts of Berlin, with der Fuhrer in his Fuhrerbunker, giving cyanide to Blondi the Alsatian and Eva B. While down the hall Goebbels did the same for the Frau and the kinder.

I reckon the USMC are there to make sure the NA and the Pashtuns don't drop the goat's head and let the Al Qaeda gophers break out of Tora Bora or whichever hole they are in.

By Lordhobgoblin on Friday, December 07, 2001 - 11:40 am: Edit


I'm not in any way diminishing the role of the USA and her allies in the outcome of this conflict. Without the airstrikes the Taliban would still be ruling Afghanistan with the NA being just an irritant to them.

I am well aware of how much this war has cost us, no doubt this will be funded increased taxation or a reduction in what is spent on education or our health service (probably a mixture of both). Bob doesn't see why he should be forced to give over a large chunk of his pay packet to fund social services, well I deeply resent the fact that I will be forced to give over a large chunk of my pay packet to support a war I personally did not approve of. But then that's life and what will be will be, I'll just have to accept this fact.

The NA may not be crack troops but they will be seen by Afghanis as the liberators of Kabul etc (they marched in to 'liberate' the cities). The West's involvement will be viewed by Afghanis as an aid to the NA 'conquering heroes'. That's the way it works and is why the NA marched into Kabul despite promising the West that they wouldn't (and wouldn't you do the same in their shoes?). To the victors go the spoils.

As you clearly recognise victory cannot be claimed until war aims have been fulfilled (including getting Bin Laden). Tell this to Jack Straw and the British Government who are claiming victory (despite the fact that they, unlike the USA, held the position that apprehending those responsible for Sept 11th was THE aim of this war, and not ust one of the aims as was the position of the USA).

The UK are saying that the conflict is over and that we have been successful. It's a bit too soon to be claiming victory.


By Don_Walsh on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 05:32 pm: Edit

Bin Laden will be gotten. The US military has no plans to stand down nor do their allies.

We built the holes he's hiding in, don't you reckon we know how to destroy those cave complexes?

You do us a disservice to minimize what thge Navy and Air Force have done as 'air cover'. Any idea how much money this has cost? The NA had a habit of sitting on their asses while the US dropped bombs; doubtless this minimized the casualties that the NA would have taken to a great degree, but I would have preferred to see some more aggressive activity from them. However, this is typical of the Afghans. They do not much deserve their reputation as great warriors, truth be told.

Obviously, all parties save the Taliban and OBL and Al-Qaeda preferred that non-Afghan combatants on the ground be as limited as possible, so a direct confrontation was always going to be between the NA (and now the opposition Pashtuns) on one side and the Taliban on the other.

Also, our aims in Afghanistan go beyond 'getting Bin Laden'. These included removing and dismantling the Taliban (accomplished, Kandahar surrenders today); the destruction of Al-Quada (well in hand) and the establishment of a multi-ethnic broad based new government with at least a fighting chance of viability (accomplished in Bonn by Afghans for Afghans with some help from the UN.) And this was done while succesfully resisting all attempts by Pakistan to reinsert allegedly moderate Taliban elements (the ISI's proxies) into the new government. Good. That's how it needs to be. We have seen what THEY wrought. The citizenry of Kabul weren't shouting Pakistan Murtabad! for nothing. (Death to Pakistan) They know whose running dogs the Taliban were.

Lots of dire predictions from the wise did not come to pass. Winter has not yet halted operation, about a month along from when things were said to be impossible. There have been no Allied troops beheaded on videotape or otherwise. By and large civilian casualties have been figments of the Taliban's propaganda machine. Humanitarian assistance to the population is proceeding. There's the prison uprising to look into but I'd sure that will be done and the ICRC certainly won't be a party to any supposed whitewash. (Did this cost Dostum the foreign ministry portfolio I wonder?)

To be assured there will be little Al Qaeda pockets to be dug out and this may take some time and effort; and their are lingering concerns about whether OBL has anything nasty like some radionucleotides to wrap round some Semtex and scatter. However, he's cornered and largely impotent, friendless, nay, surrounded by those who hate him. In short he's history.

What will be the next move in the war on terrorism, post Afghanistan, remains to be seen.

By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 02:37 pm: Edit

At the end of the day the government of Afghanistan is up to Afghanis. It is not our decision.

The war on the ground to physicaly take cities from the Taliban was won by the various factions that make up the Northern Alliance. To the victors go the spoils etc. The fact that they couldn't have done it without Air Support will be seen by the people there as a side-issue (just as how we needed the Northern Alliance to do the killing on the ground will be as a side-issue in the West).

The Northern Alliance have just about won their war, their job is complete, they're not bothered about Bin Laden. But the West's war was I thought about getting Bin Laden, this hasn't happened therefore the West has not won it's war in Afghanistan, even though it helped the Northern Alliance to win their war.


By Lordhobgoblin on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 02:21 pm: Edit

Didn't quite work with the Jews though did it? Not much sign of their sense of nationhood having been broken?


By _Blackjack on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 01:55 pm: Edit

Hey, there is huge historical precedent for such things. The Romans did it, as did the Babylonians. If you want to pacify a population, you uproot them and haul them off to another country, or scatter them across several. Once their sense of nation-hood is broken, they are happy to assimilate and become productive citizens of the empire...

By Mr_Rabid on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 12:42 pm: Edit

If only there weren't so many fucking Afghanis in Afghanistan.

Perhaps we should replace them with... I dunno, Magyars or the Enuit or something.

We could give them a nice severance package, a pension maybe...

"Rachid, you've been an Afghani for 29 years, and we appreciate all you've done for the country in that time. But we're going to have to let you go..."

By Meat_Nipples on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 11:06 am: Edit

Replacing the government in Afghanistan with something that pleases everybody, when the country is speckled with various militant factions, is virtually impossible.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 09:26 am: Edit

We will know we have a fair government for Afghanistan when all the ethnic groups renounce it equally...

By Don_Walsh on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 07:15 am: Edit

You are still an asshole, Dr Asshole.

The Afghans are just being Afghans.

You want the Taliban back?

You buy into and affirm Taliban propaganda like you do.


I am going to send a donation to the British Falklands Forever Fund.

By Dr_Ordinaire on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 12:43 am: Edit

Afghan Warlord Dostum Threatens Boycott of New Government


KABUL (Dec. 6) - Powerful ethnic Uzbek warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum said on Thursday he would boycott the interim Afghan government to be installed in Kabul after faction leaders clinched a landmark power-sharing deal in Germany.

Dostum, whose forces dominate a swathe of northern territory including the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, told Reuters by satellite telephone that his mainly Uzbek Junbish-i-Milli faction was not fairly represented under the accord signed in Bonn on Wednesday.

''We are very sad,'' Dostum said from northern Afghanistan. ''We announce our boycott of this government and will not go to Kabul until there is a proper government in place.''

Dostum said he had demanded that the foreign ministry be allocated to his faction, which is part of the militarily dominant Northern Alliance. Instead it got the portfolios of agriculture and mining and industry.

''This is a humiliation for us,'' he declared, adding that he would deny officials of the new government access to the north, where Afghanistan's oil and gas resources are located. "

OK, Ok, nobody gets snippy about this. We may have the best intelligence service in the world, something that costs us untold billions of dollars (and couldn't predict Sept. 11) but still: how could have anybody predicted that the same Afghan factions that made the TALIBANS look good in the eyes of the Afghans would fight for power. We cannot blame the CIA, NSA and whoever else is watching us for ignoring hundred of years of history.

No way. And our plan was SOOOO MTV good. We go in, we bomb them Iraq style, replace the Taliban bad guys with the Northern Alliance OH S0 good guys, in a few years they will be Switzerland. Only more prosperous.

It hasn't happened this way. We have bombed just about everything that can be bombed in an already bombed country. We have bombed innocent civilians, women, children.

And Osama is still farting in our general direction...

Hey guys/gals. Get on the Net. Journalists were taken to places where "villages where flattened". The U.S. explanation: "We are not sure civilians were living in these villages..." 'Nuff said...

Enough shitty stuff for the night, the Doc does not want you fellow Forumites to be depressed.

Now for the good news: Secretary Powell is eyeing Iraq...

Hey, guys, we can do it AGAIN!

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