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lighthouse's Avatar
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25-Jun-2012, 06:35 PM #211
Afghanistan is a Country that can never really be tamed as it's current Manifestation began with the Descendants of Ghengis Kahn who then transformed India (Britain tried it in the 19th Century, Najibullah tried imposing a western Ideology - Marxism, the Soviets attempted to support him and whatever flimsy Loyalties after 1988 collapsed very very quickly). We might have won our Proxy War against the Soviets in the 1980s but very soon lost the Peace. There were scant attempts to rehabiliatate the Country after its 8 Year War - after it had been inundated with western supplied Arms and military Aid. It was left to become what it did in the 90s with disasterous Consequenses, then we get the botched Attempt to quash the Results of it.

It didn't take long for Al Qaida to establish itself either - the 2 Embassies attacked and even the WTC Bombing in the early 90s confirmed this. What made Osama Bin Laden unique in the List of Islamic Extremists though is how he - unlike any others - was once supplied and supported y the West. This can't be said for the Nasserites in 1950s Egypt, the PLO, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Peoples Democratic Front for same, the Ayatollah, Islamic Jihad, or Abu Nidal in the 1980s. There are too many things about all that that don't ring true. Why wasn't he taken out when the Embassies were attacked and particularly after the WTC Bombing for example? Why were we so easily duped into a War in Iraq as a considerable Distraction in Strategy and Materiel when it was obvious to anyone that that would prove disasterous?

What you have in Afghanistan now is mutual Frustration. American and Western Personel trying to do a Job that required at least Twice that Number, and Afghanis now seeing the Inconclusivity of it all, the Futility - harbouring Resentment at the protracted Presence of those Troops and now beginning to shoot them.

The entire Policy has been frought with Inconsistancies. The biggest Distraction in Warfare since Hitler charged into the Soviet Union in 1941. That fatal 2nd Front. Tony Blairs Peace Initiative with Ghadafi AFTER the Iraq War had started This was the proverbial Plaster on a gaping Wound and one which ought to have been tried without a War in Iraq. Remember that Tripoli was very much in the List of rogue Capitals for Years before any of this or even Locherbie - so an Attempt to broker a Peace there would have Results elsewhere as the rest of the Islamic World takes Note and sees Ghadafi effectively ending his Stand-off with London. Everyone is supporting the current Insurrection in Syria with big Words but they (the Rebels) are embattled against a Government in Damascus that has seen Events in the last 8 Years and responded quite predictably. I pity those involved in the Rebellion for their Plight not disssimilar to People in Basra in the early 90s and fear they will suffer a similar Fate. What does NATO do if that happens? Had Blair approached Lybia without an Iraq War Damascus would have to have made some sort of Concession to its Dissidents for fear of being marginalised further as North Africa begins its Re-alignment. Better they did this than have the Uncertainty we see now and the continuing Massacre of People hopelessly pitted against a vastly superior Force. Are NATO seriously considering a Fourth Front in Syria to support them?

Which brings me to my next Point.

GWBs Gaffe with Iran - causing them to radicalise instead of continuing their gradual Thaw and threatening a - gasp - 3rd Front in the Conflict was another in the growing List of Blunders that continued after 9/11.

Mikhail Sakashvillis Misadventure in Georgia was probably the scariest Prospect in a lot of this. I have written extensively elsewhere on TSG about how the Caucasus is the most dangerous Place on Earth and his blowing a Raspberry at Moscow threatened to bring Russia into a rapidly widening Conflict. NATO wanting to use Abkhasian Seaports as Logistics in their War in Iraq was partially due to this - hence his failed Attempt to bring it into the Tblisi Orbit, while he flexed his Muscles against Moscow over Ossetia to garner Favour with George Robertson and join NATO as a full-time Member.

All of this has created a New World Order that is far more precarious than even the Cold War.

As this is ostensibly a Computer Issues Technical Support Site a Windows XP Metaphor is appropriate in that if we either did a 'System Restore' or started this at a Point which was that "Last known good Configuration" I suggest not misdeploying 125000 Troops in Iraq and sending them to Afghanistan instead, a Peace Summit with Ghadafi, someone telling Tblisi don't be silly - it'll only end in Tears, and maybe - if we "restored to Factory Settings" like it was 1988 beginning to disarm the Moujahedin after the last Soviet Soldier went home and helping to rehabilitate a Country shattered by 8 Years of War
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Last edited by lighthouse; 26-Jun-2012 at 05:53 AM..
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26-Jun-2012, 05:18 AM #212
Oh, and Events in Iraq probably haven't done anything to quell the growing Afghani Resentment either. They must be asking what Mineral Resource they have that the West might covet. Similarly, while Iraqi Oil satiates the Wests Thirst for it Afghanistan now produces Tonnes of cheap Heroin to satisfy another form of Addiction. This has caused Famine as Agricultural Land is turned over to growing Opium and has inadvertantly caused a Recidivism towards the former Government (the Taliban) who actually prevented it.

Here, the Policy fell flat twice - once because it has caused Resentment and Mistrust, and again as it has resulted in the Proliferation of something the Enemy had put an end to. Also, of course all that cheap Heroin has be sold somewhere - and where does anyone suppose that is going to be?

So not only should my Points in the last Paragraph of the previous Post be noted but also perhaps the Fair Trade Movement ought to have been engaged just after the Afghan-Soviet War to ensure they get a decent Return for any Produce that isn't going to cause Starvation in its own Country but also won't see a Proliferation in Heroin use in the Estates and Projects of Britain, Europe and North America.

While Heroin seems to to have become cheaper you might have noticed how other rather more essential things haven't. Food, Fuel, and almost anything else. There was a Time and for Centuries when Goods could be transported by Land across 1000s of Miles - from what some call Indochina and the Subcontinent - through Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Not sure I'd want to be hauling Stuff through any of those these Days so almost all of it now travels by Air or by Sea. Subsequently, don't expect to be seeing any Caravans loaded with Herbs, Spices and Silks bound for London watering at a Waddi somewhere near Damascus in the forseeable Future. This has made everything more expensive as the Transit Cost finds its way to the Consumer - along with the Increase in VAT (4%) to recoup some of the Cost of the Wars!

Last edited by lighthouse; 26-Jun-2012 at 06:33 AM..
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26-Jun-2012, 08:34 AM #213
None of this is helped by the UN. It was one thing to have Celebrities as goodwill Ambassadors - another to have a Secretary General called Banky Moon. Either he changes his Name or changes his Job otherwise why should anyone take what he or his Organisation has to say at all seriously? Oh that 90s Disease got in everywhere didn't it!
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22-Jul-2012, 05:14 AM #214
The UN should either appoint a new Secretary General or explain to the 1.3 Billion Chinese or 1 Billion People in the Indian Subcontinent how their Interests are being represented. Either that or I'm not surprised there was an empty Chair at that Security Council Meeting in 1967 - and again in 1973 - where Israels Representative ought ot have been. It's not right that an almost Machevelian Attitude should exist in an Organisation that represents People who might not necessarily have any Who or Pink Floyd Albums.
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22-Jul-2012, 10:10 PM #215
Syrian death toll tops 19,000, say activists

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More than 2,750 people killed this month in Syria as July set to be deadliest month since uprising began.
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31-Jul-2012, 08:01 AM #216
Quote:
Originally Posted by ekim68 View Post
Interesting you should mention peak oil....I thought that happened in the 1970's and so decided to look it up on wiki....Seems to be contradicted now.... I hope Paq sees this....
You are referring to U.S. oil production peaking in 1970. It's not contradicted because BP has shown that conventional oil production has not been meeting demand since 2006, and the IEA has just confirmed that we are now in peak oil globally.

For a list of multiple reports on the matter, visit

http://ralfyman.blogspot.com
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31-Jul-2012, 08:02 AM #217
Given a combination of peak oil, the current economic crisis (which may become a permanent one), and the long-term effects of global warming and environmental damage, one should expect more wars.
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19-Aug-2012, 11:41 AM #218
Gen. Allen orders US troops armed at all times in Afghanistan after insider attacks
By Carlo Muņoz - 08/18/12 12:56 PM ET

Quote:
The order, according to reports by CNN, states that all U.S. personnel will carry a weapon plus a magazine of ammunition around the clock.

The weapons will be carried in formerly secured areas, CNN reports, such as U.S. headquarters in Kabul and other coalition and Afghan government installations around the country.
http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill...-at-all-times-
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29-Aug-2012, 10:05 PM #219
Three Australian soldiers killed by rogue Afghan soldier

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(Reuters) - Three Australian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday by a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in an alarming series of "rogue" shootings that have damaged trust between Kabul and its allies.
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03-Sep-2012, 07:32 PM #220
After the recent Hoo Hah about Irans Nuclear Weapons and a potential Israeli Strike against any Installations I was prompted to ask a rather poignant Question....................

If Israel feels confident enough to launch an Airstrike into Iranian Airspace against any Weapons Systems or processing Facilities (a Country 2 and a Half times the size of Iraq - and further away) then why weren't they similarly motivated to decapitate the Regime of Saddam Hussein about 10 Years ago? It was rumoured that Mossad had an Agent in his Cabinet as long ago as 1991 - which suggests his Whereabouts would be known to Jerusalem, while the Demise of the Dictator would be as welcomed by the Populace of Iraq as it would be opposed.

This can't be said of Iran - while any Military Actions against them could provoke disasterous Consequences - far worse - than anything similar done in Iraq before any War was mobilised. It was Saddams apparent 'Threat' to Israel that partially prompted the War that sent a Coalition to Iraq instead of to Afghanistan.
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04-Sep-2012, 02:29 PM #221
Meanwhile, in 2008 the Georgian President pushed the World to the Brink of an even bigger Catastrophe as the once feted pro-western former Soviet Republic Leader over played his Hand with the 5 Day War. This was one time when we ought to be grateful it was concluded very promptly as any Protraction could have widened the Conflict with Russia or even some of the Caucasian States in the Region. They might not be the Superpower they were but Russias rapid Destruction of nearly a Third of his Military in that Time proved they are not to be trifled with.

I think though, that there must be a Competition in Politics to see how many other Leaders you can be photographed with. Almost every Link on Google Search's first Page on the Subject has him being seen with yet another Politician.

The Problem is that while he is seen with everyone from GWB to David Cameron - even Vladimir Putin before that War - it's a Shame he isn't with those he really ought to be - the Leaders of South Ossettia and Abkhazai. His Attitude towards those smaller Countries - motivated by Military Objectives - reminded me of someone else from Georgia who saw a large Chunk of Europe as part of a Pact for Military Purposes. He might be another post-Cold War Leader of a former Communist State but he's no Vaclav Havel.

Havel advocated a concurrent Dismantling of NATO with the Warsaw Pact - while he ceeded Slovakia within 2 Years of his early 90s Presidency without a Shot fired or Blood spilt! Unfortunately, Sakashvili joined the same Club that Milosovich belonged to while his Actions in 2008 had a similar Effect on the Georgian Federation to the attempted Coup by Yaneyevs Cronies in Moscow on the Soviet Union in 1991.

And don't call me Johnny!

Last edited by lighthouse; 04-Sep-2012 at 03:16 PM..
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04-Sep-2012, 05:12 PM #222
In his Defence I would say that he was another in the Line of Politicians of the early 21st Century who found himself in the Mire of the World Order as it was then......while, his Policy towards South Ossettia and Abkhazai didn't involve some of the awful things that happened in the former Yugoslavia - it cost him a Coastline with some very valuable Seaports and potential Black Sea Tourism. When Serbia fell out with almost everyone in their Federation because they (Croatia etc) wanted Independence a similar thing happened.

The Implications of that Conflict - that lasted for less than a Week - were potentially more dangerous than anything else that was happening at the Time.
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11-Sep-2012, 03:40 PM #223
War-weary US is numbed to drumbeat of troop deaths

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WASHINGTON (AP) — It was another week at war in Afghanistan, another string of American casualties, and another collective shrug by a nation weary of a faraway conflict whose hallmark is its grinding inconclusiveness.

After nearly 11 years, many by now have grown numb to the sting of losing soldiers like Pfc. Shane W. Cantu of Corunna, Mich. He died of shrapnel wounds in the remoteness of eastern Afghanistan, not far from the getaway route that Osama bin Laden took when U.S. forces invaded after Sept. 11, 2001, and began America's longest war.

Cantu was 10 back then.
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12-Sep-2012, 05:43 PM #224
It's terrible, that this is becoming a Generational Conflict in the sense that it now involves People who became old enough and joined the Army after it started. No-one is saying whether those currently in Iraq will be sent to bolster the Afghanistan Contingent either - which might help in the Inconclusivity - meaning that there might at least be enough to do it rather then have them sent everywhere else!

As for 9/11 - that is something that has also become as wearisome a Subject in that there are the Conspiracy Theorists and those who don't question any of it. That's another Hamster in a Wheel Issue these Days, while I still believe the Iraq War was a Distraction and Osama Bin Laden was grown in an Intel Test Tube! In the same Club as Kun Sah and Noriega!
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12-Sep-2012, 07:11 PM #225
who's in Iraq currently that could bolster the Afghanistan contingent ?
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