Race to the Finish

The war in Afghanistan is spreading its tentacles around the world. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai are now being explained as a plot by Lashkar-e-Taiba to divert the Pakistani military away from the Afghan border areas, a replay of the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001. Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban: The Story of the Afghan Warlords, says, “Nobody could touch the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Afghans and others for the next four years.” Recent explosives found in a Paris department store were part of a planned attack by the Afghan Revolutionary Front to protest French troops in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of supply vehicles headed for Afghanistan were recently torched, and the NATO supply depot in Peshawar ransacked, forcing Pakistani authorities to close the vital Khyber Pass. The main supply routes are no longer secure and Pakistani truck drivers are refusing to transport military supplies. Nato and US officials insist this has had no effect on military operations in Afghanistan despite the fact that attacks happen daily.

In a truly bizarre development NATO is now paying the Taleban to guarantee the security of these supply routes. “We estimate that approximately 25 per cent of the money we pay for security to get the fuel in goes into the pockets of the Taleban,” said one fuel importer. Another boss whose company is subcontracted to supply to Western military bases said that as much as a quarter of the value of a lorry’s cargo was paid to Taleban commanders. “The Taleban come and move with the convoy. They sit in the front vehicle of the convoy to ensure security.”

Raising the prospect of an even wider threat to the convoys, Jamaat-e-Islami staged a rally last week in Peshawar, turning out thousands to condemn NATO missile strikes on Pakistan. The marchers demanded that Pakistan end the NATO convoys, and vowed to cut the supply lines themselves.

2008 saw British deaths there surpass 100, soon followed by Canadian deaths, and US deaths now surpass their total in that other criminal enterprise – Iraq – with the US poised to double troop numbers, despite the fact that popular opinion polls in all the occupying countries regularly show 60 per cent of citizens want their troops home immediately, apparently unfazed by talk of bring democracy and freedom to the grateful locals. A report by the independent US-based Pakistan Policy Working Group claims that at least some of these deaths are at the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, as it is “no longer certain the coalition forces will prevail in Afghanistan and is using militants groups in an attempt to expand its own influence.”

But as Stalin told Churchill, while the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic. More disturbing than any of these statistics are the words of Russell Higgins of Nova Scotia, Canada, whose nephew Tom died there recently and who was preparing to say goodbye to his son Peter, headed for the killing fields. “I don’t figure our boys should be over there to start with. You can’t win a war against people that don’t mind dying. My son is getting ready to go over. What can be said? You can only do what you can do.”

As president-elect Barack Obama prepares to double troops levels, US President George W Bush made a parting visit to Kabul, and cautioned that the war would be a long one. Already Defence Secretary Gates is calling on Canada to extend its commitment of troops beyond 2011, despite the agreement to withdraw them by then. No freedom and democracy for citizens of the West or Afghanistan, it seems.

Predictions are now that the violence will subside as the US builds up its military presence. Apparently the unremitting violence of NATO troops against Afghans is not counted. To counter the “violence” of the insurgents – which might be better called partisan warfare against an illegal occupation – Canadian forces have turned to their Israeli allies for help, buying their deadly unmanned drones that are so effective at murdering Palestinians. This is hardly news that will convince Afghans of the occupiers’ good intentions – Israel effectively attacking and killing them along with their Palestinian brothers. How long will it be before the Mumbai tragedy is repeated in the heart of peaceful Ottawa? How can anyone possibly think that Israel will find peace by spreading its criminal activity farther and farther afield?

Perhaps even more bizarre than paying the Taleban while killing them with Israeli bombs, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has just appointed Canadian Tooryalai Wesa governor of Kandahar. He is a close friend of Karzai’s brother Ahmed Wali Karzai who just happens to be chairman of the Kandahar provincial council. The last governor lasted only four months, but Tooryalai promises to bring order and prosperity. It’s as if Kandahar has become Canada’s 11th province, bristling with 2,500 Canadian troops, and now even governed by a Canadian.

There is a sense of foreboding about the planned push by Obama, with no enthusiasm or hope for success apparent among anyone involved. In an unprecedented breach of protocol, General Hans-Christoph Ammon, head of the German army’s elite special commando unit, branded his own country’s efforts a “miserable failure”, singling out its poor record in training the Afghan police and allocating development aid. The ruling coalition of Christian and Social Democrats face elections next year, with the anti-war Die Linke party making huge gains.

The occupiers and Karzai try to convince Taleban to switch sides, but just the opposite is happening. After fighting the Taleban for the past seven years, many working for the Afghan security forces are joing them. Afghan policeman Sulieman Ameri, now a Taleban commander, used to patrol the border with Iran. Ameri told Al-Jazeera he and his 16 men joined the Taleban because of anti-Muslim behaviour by international soldiers. “I have seen everything with my own eyes, I have seen prostitution, I have seen them drinking alcohol. We are Muslim and therefore jihad is our obligation,” Ameri said in the mountains south of Herat. “Our soil is occupied by Americans and I want them to leave this country. That is my only goal,” he added.

“When Russia came it was only one country, today we have 24 foreign infidel countries on our soil. All our men and women should come and join the jihad,” Fida Mohammad, a new Taliban recruit, told Al-Jazeera. Abdul Rahim, another new recruit, said he received training from Blackwater for 45 days. “I can use the training to save my life in these mountains and I can also use it to fight them,” he said. NATO spokesman Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette dismissed such talk: “The Taliban and other insurgents are conducting a propaganda campaign against us.”

Kai Eide, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, recently told the UN Security Council that Taliban attacks — at an all-time high — would probably grow in the coming weeks instead of easing, as they have in previous winters. “We should be prepared for a situation where the insurgency will not experience the same winter lull, the same reduction in hostilities we have experienced in past winters,” he said. Eide added that attacks against humanitarian workers had also increased.

NATO’s response to its failure to build a reliable Afghan army and police is to set up local militias. The plan is causing deep unease among many Afghans, who fear that Pashtun-dominated militias could get out of control, terrorise locals and turn against the government. “There will be fighting between Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns,” said Salih Mohammad Registani, a member of the Afghan Parliament and an ethnic Tajik. Registani recalled the Arbaki, a Pashtun-dominated militia in the early 20th century. “A civil war will start very soon,” he said.

As Afghanistan prepares for its own election cycle — presidential elections are scheduled for 2009, with parliamentary elections to follow in 2010 — it is likely that the resentment fueled by the presence of troops from the 24 infidel countries and the treatment of Afghans as second-class citizens by the foreign NGOs and military will become a rallying point for politicians. There have been growing indications of this even from Karzai’s administration, notably his agreement to sign the anti-cluster bomb treaty earlier this month despite US disapproval.

The Taleban are not to be treated lightly. They were feared, but respected too, when they ruled. With no help from anyone, they disarmed the entire nation and proceeded to wipe out opium production before the US invaded (after which rape became endemic, warlords amassed arms and opium production soared to record levels). There was virtually no crime, as “we all had nightmares of them cutting off your hand if you stole,” Afghan Canadian Abdul told Al-Ahram Weekly after returning from this year’s Hajj.

“We hated the Russians but we knew they didn’t want to be there. The Afghan communists took power in 1978 and then the US flooded the country with weapons to fight them. I remember this well. The last communist leader, (Mohammad) Najibullah, was actually a good leader, but the US insisted on backing Bin Laden and the other terrorists against him. The US could solve the whole problem in a week if they wanted to. There is no Bin Laden now. Even though I don’t like them, the Taleban should be allowed to take power. They would be better than what my family in Kabul are living through now,” said Abdul.

The current US occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq, the refusal to allow the Somali Taleban — the Islamic Courts and the Shabab — to come to power there, and the unremitting vilification of Syria and Iran can only be explained as the US trying to force the Muslim world into submission. It is no coincidence that these holdouts are the focus of US hostility.

This is all eerily familiar. In the 20th century, the communists were the enemy. The Cold War was the vehicle for keeping alive the enemy myth so necessary to holding together the imperial order. Communism was supposedly destroyed, with no positive effect for anyone, it turns out. But conventional wisdom still celebrates the “victory over Communism” at the same time as it exhorts us to hold firm against the new enemy, recalcitrant Islam, as embodied in Afghanistan’s resistance fighters.

One can, of course, understand why few in the West want the orthodox view of the Cold War overturned, or want to see the withdrawal of US/NATO forces from the Middle East. If that were to happen, the whole edifice of postwar politics would begin to crumble. People would realize the heavy burden of postwar rearmament was for naught. Israel would quickly have to make peace with the Palestinians, ending their criminal occupation. People everywhere would wake up to the reality that the war against Communism — and now Islam — actually imperiled rather than saved us, and they would see the real enemy. Is there time? Can the Afghan resistance prevail against the mightiest death machine in world history? The war in Afghanistan is now a race to the finish – for us all.

Eric Walberg is a journalist who worked in Uzbekistan and is now writing for Al-Ahram Weekly in Cairo. He is the author of From Postmodernism to Postsecularism and Postmodern Imperialism. His most recent book is Islamic Resistance to Imperialism. Read other articles by Eric, or visit Eric's website.

28 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on December 31st, 2008 at 9:55am #

    UK’s empire may have been the largest ever. and UK had, afaik (as far as i know) own troops in each captured land.
    US empire appears much smaller. in some of the lands, its troops r stationed w. the approval of those respective lands such as s.arabia, germany, kosovo, japan.
    egypt, jordan, yemen and other countries r controled by money/protection and not by troops.
    it seems that even US can only spread so much by occupation. in order for US troops to remain in iq, afgh’n, it surely must install puppet govts in both evil empires.
    in case puppet govts turn inadequate, US can install in each evil empire three puppet govts.
    US/europe also wants to be in syria, iran, and the ‘stans using the same plan.
    so, for US the way is (in)direct control of much of the world and then take a hard look at china and russia.
    euros r not finished settling. only americas will not do anymore. thnx

  2. UNK said on January 1st, 2009 at 4:39am #

    The occupation of Afghanistan is legal, actually. Article 51 of the UN charter, and a mandate that authorized an international security force both make it “legal” in the eyes of people who care what the UN thinks. According to you, Mr. Walberg, the “Taleban” are some pretty great people. They fight to have their murderous, woman-hating doctrine enforced on their people and cite US atrocities such as “drinking alcohol.” It’s funny that it is ok for people to stone women to death for showing their hair in public, but the US waging a war against the people who made the WTC attacks possible is murder.
    If anyone is thinking about responding with a 9-11 conspiracy theory at this point, please do. I love a good laugh.

  3. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 7:03am #

    how nice to have evil empires ok invasion of afgh’n. be that as it may, what has the collective punishment achieved? and why the tacit notion that US/nato has moral an dlegal right to kill civilians.

    when shall we stop punishing a people that knwe nothing ab socalled 9-11 perps, who were arabs and not afghans.
    or was 9-11 planned in caves of afgh’n or plush offices ins. arabia. thnx

  4. Bob said on January 1st, 2009 at 8:06am #

    Clauswitz and Sun Tzu have been pretty pretty well forgotten of late, particlarly not to take the first step until you have some idea where the last step will bring you (ST) and from Clauswitz, the dialog between the general and politician before a war starts dealing with the mission and the means. This mess starts up, the politions simply tell the generals, “pacify that country, grunt”, the generals salute, say, “Sir, yes sir”! Who knows? Maybe they even hit a brace and wrinkled their chins in proud plebe fashion.

    Now after they retire they’re swarming out of the woodwork telling how much against it. Sell my mother and a few million strangers and do the right thing, or blow my pension? Gee, what did they pick I wonder?

    They keep telling me that this is nothing like Viet Nam. Not a bit. And yet, I see the same foolishness, including the buying off the Taliban.

    In Viet Nam in the early sixties, the US used back channels with the VC to move materiel on the road. Military trucks would be painted in black and yellow stripes, and at VC roadblocks the drivers (Vietnamese) would pay the VC off and they’d be let through.

  5. Tree said on January 1st, 2009 at 8:25am #

    My understanding is no country has ever succeeded in taking down Afghanistan so why the American gov’t. thinks it will succeed where others have failed is a good example of their hubris and greed.
    Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, militant ideologies, no regard for life, nuclear weapons. Obama will lead us to major destruction based on a plan set in place years before he will enter office.

  6. Antonio Gonzalez said on January 1st, 2009 at 8:51am #

    Americans think Afganistan will fail because they want kill all the
    people like Iraq.

  7. UNK said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:05am #

    Good point, Senior Gonzales. Of course the war is perpetrated foolishly; anything the government touches becomes inefficient. I don’t understand how that makes anyone want to rally around the “Taleban.” Are most of the contributors to this site simply contrarian? Of course, this article was written by a writer for an Egyptian newspaper.

  8. Tree said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:17am #

    UNK, your comments only prove the strong link between racism and ignorance. I’m sure you meant “senor” not senior. Taleban seems to be the British spelling variation of Taliban. Similar to the way there is al qaida and al qaeda.
    You may have completely misunderstood the article and you may be a racist, but at least you spelled Egyptian correctly. So, kudos to you.

    Antonio, I’d appreciate it if you and others would remember the American people are not all representative of the American gov’t and military.

  9. mary said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:21am #

    http://uruknet.info/?p=m50208&s1=h1 Reuters are reporting the largest ever number of casualties amongst the coalition forces in 2008.

    Reminder here to the generals and their warlord political masters about the last man standing when the British tried this stupidity in the 19th century.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Game (British-Russian Rivalry – Dr William Brydon 1842)

    Troops out now. When will we ever learn?

  10. Eric Walberg said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:42am #

    >the Taleban’s murderous, woman-hating doctrine enforced on their people

    This is the standard US propaganda. The rape and violence against women began with the US invasion. Girls were going to school before the US invaded. Now they can’t. Women, while subject to restrictions which Westerners dislike, were safe from rape and murder. While I’m no fan of the Taleban, it’s clear the people of Afghanistan preferred them to the warlord/mujahedeen chaos that preceded them and the NATO chaos that followed them.

  11. Don Hawkins said on January 1st, 2009 at 10:08am #

    Today is the first day of 2009. The talk with some is good riddance to 08, kiss it good by, 08 is gone thank you. That people is a big mistake to think in that way. Not much has changed and still trying to hold on to a system that needs to change and change in a big way. To not remember the mistakes and go ahead in the future with the same thinking is called insanity.

  12. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 10:19am #

    bears repeating, or have new readers read this:
    it is an assumption that US goals in iraq and afgh’n was to win anything or to subdue any nation by war.

    a better assumption wld be, is that world plutos (and not just amer’s) invaded the two lands merely to establish perm military bases in each land.

    to do that, all they have to do now or later is to shop for and buy puppet govt’s of folks which inhabit the two lands.

    and go on onto other ‘stans?

    but what r the facts? what r US plans? well, we can only guess. but in decades to come, the knowledge ab US intent may become public. thnx

  13. Max Shields said on January 1st, 2009 at 10:48am #

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I agree that client bases and control over energy sources in ME were the key reason for the persisting occupation of Iraq (and Afghanistan).

    But, we need to keep in mind that Iraq was not a decision that George W. Bush made. The exact location was determined by actions taken over a decade earlier.

    I see no mystery in concluding that we already know the US “intent”. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the “balance” of power and the need for enemies which is the perpetual state of Imperial Empires like the US required an assessment of the “value” of the Middle East. No one denies the Middle East as a strategic “national” interest to the US empire. Jeopardizing (even the perception) will not be tolerated by the US.

    Al Qaeda are simply the latest pretext for a “war on terror” which is not a real enemy or real war. It is merely a pretext for continued dominance vis a vis Russia/China in a battle that has been waging for decades. Anyone who has studied the cold war period will tell you that behind that were energy “wars” throughout. Before that, starting with the consolidation by Rockefeller and Standard Oil, and the subsequent break up, the world became one big petro grab. The plutocracy has its center right there. Miss it and you’ve missed the whole storyline.

    The plutocracy is based in the interest of corporations which are an outgrowth of the UK empire and transplanted to the US as a means of empire expansionist mandates. On occasion there is a backlash and some corporations are broken up as one grows to monopolistic proportions. But overall, these entities are legally established and run to privatize as much of the world and its resources as possible. The economic system behind it is insatiable. Along with the mass media (now owned by private corporations) they are a mighty power fully infiltrated in the body politic.

    They are separate from AIPAC which is a pathological outgrowth of a pathological transplant in the Middle East. Conflating the plutocracy with Israel/Zionist/AIPAC is missing, imo, the issues that have been controlling affairs.

  14. Max Shields said on January 1st, 2009 at 10:51am #

    To clarify one point: the plutocracy is not simply the oil companies, but all of the corporate entities which need fossil – which is EVERYONE of them.

  15. bozh said on January 1st, 2009 at 12:27pm #

    i agree. plutos want the planet. i said- or shld have said in case i didn’t- that we do not know what was it that the war planners wanted to achieve in afgh/iq.
    was it just bases or was it also to severely punish pashtuns and iraqis or to get rid of the old bombs and missiles in order build ‘better’ weapons.
    or to reward tajiks/uzbeks or to break the country in three piecesthnx

  16. Recifense said on January 1st, 2009 at 5:23pm #

    Major world leaders, those who wield power and money, have many sociopathic similarities with Mafia leaders. Business is business and they enjoy making money, but its the life-and-death decision making that provides the turn on. Just as Mafia chiefs order murders to solidify political dominance, so do world leaders. The game in Afghanistan has no fundamental differences from “The Great Game” played for the better part of a century there between the British and the Russians. Evens the place names are the same, e.g., the Khyber Pass. Clearly 9/11 is merely a transparent excuse. Those being attacked had nothing to do with 9/11. The American (and European) game is to keep the rest of the world off balance so that no alternative to American/NATO dominance can gain a foothold.

  17. David said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:09pm #

    # Tree said on January 1st, 2009 at 8:25am #
    “My understanding is no country has ever succeeded in taking down Afghanistan…”

    Anyone that has ever tried to invade Afghanistan has succeeded. Afghans are so ready to stab each other in the back that a troupe of Boy Scouts armed with slingshots could march in and take down whatever stood for Afghan government. No, the problem is not invading, it is governing the mess afterwards. I don’t suspect anyone has ever successfully governed Afghanistan, not the Taliban, not anyone.

    Past invaders have given up simply because the ground is so devoid of any value that they left before the job was finished. We will too, for the same reason. No matter though, the original purpose of the invasion has long-since been achieved. There is no way Afghanistan will ever again be host to open training camps. There is no way any government will ever last that is not at least covertly backed by US power. We don’t need troops on the ground for this, just lots and lots of smart bombs. The only path to Afghanistan independence is through a peaceful democracy (that can be bought like the rest of us). Failing that, they will never again be independent, never.

    As for the Taliban… (changing topics) they are not a cohesive group that can be pinned with a single label, good or bad. Some of them, though, think it is right and proper to douse acid on girls walking to school, simple because they are going to school. If you are going to espouse the virtues of the Taliban movement, you should at least take the effort to identify which Taliban you are talking about. Obviously, they are not all great.

  18. kalidas said on January 1st, 2009 at 9:40pm #

    They hate, with a very putrid hatred, any and all things Hindu and Buddhist.
    When they destroyed those Bamiyan statues, among many many others in museums, that said it all..


  19. Tree said on January 2nd, 2009 at 6:44am #

    David, do you think the Soviets succeeded?
    And could you clarify, “Past invaders have given up simply because the ground is so devoid of any value that they left before the job was finished.”
    By ground do you mean the people or capital or what? I’ve read that Afghanistan is fertile in areas and full of pomegranates and almonds and other things that could provide a good living for the Afghans if they were able to export.

    There seem to be various reasons why men join the Taliban. However, given their track record and my dislike of religion, I tend to think the world would be better without them and their kind.

    The US needs to stay out of Afghanistan.

  20. Max Shields said on January 2nd, 2009 at 8:02am #

    While I do not claim to have studied Afghan history, my general understanding of that area is that they have two things going for it to reject invaders: 1) complex and formidable terrain 2) the lack of any semblance of a central government. These two elements are no doubt connected. Afghanistan, it appears, is not an organized nation-state.

    As such it cannot be “toppled” and in fact the only vague central government is the one the US/NATO put in place. That role is not of any importance to the feifdoms that exist on their own terms.

    It is a place on the map with a certain culture and language woven into the fabric, but it is not organized in such a way that it can be subdued.

    Afghanistan does have a link to natural gas and oil – Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline. USA didn’t invade for nothing. Iraq, least we forget, has one of the greatest reserves of oil in the world. Much of that due to the fact that it has been at war (Iran and then US invasion and embargo) for 15 years. This has meant a dramatic reduction in oil export which has kept the oil in the ground longer – by now it would have reach peak (or close to).

    Wars of indigenous attrition are rarely won (if ever). I can think of one example – Europeans and indigenous natives. What happened was a genocide of massive proportion. The term genocide has its origin as a means to eradicate or exterminate, with intent, an identified group.

  21. Michael Kenny said on January 2nd, 2009 at 9:39am #

    Yes, this is good news for the new year! The bad guys are slowly but surely getting their comeuppance!

    A little word about Europe. What was found in the Paris shop was some explosives but no detonator. Hardly a professional job! I would link it to some small scale and very inept acts of sabotage committed recently against the French railway system which were traced to unemployed youths. Linking it to Afghanistan was probably just to get attention.

    I agree that Oskar Lafontaine’s party will do very well in the German elections but let’s keep it in proportion! 10% of the vote will be a huge victory for them. 15% will be a miracle. They could easily end up holding the middle ground, which, I would guess is what they want. Also, no European leader now favours the various American wars. Those who let themselves be bamboozled into joining them are desperately trying to find a face-saving excuse to get out without having to admit publicly that they committed an enormous blunder by defying their own public opinion and going in in the first place. They want Obama to end both wars ASAP and have no desire to burn their fingers further by getting involved in any “surge” in Afghanistan. Essentially, the EU is doing what it is supposed to do and giving Europe the “clout” to defend its own interests.

  22. bozh said on January 2nd, 2009 at 5:59pm #

    no, nobody has to date taken afgh’n dwn; just beaten many times.
    but, there is good news here also: afghans have never taken dwn any other country.
    but i wld love to see pashtuns take dwn canada, germany and other members of the axis of evil.
    another good news is, nobody rapes afghan women; they r so damn ugly and wear so much clothes, it’s just not worth it.
    i’m curious? r u for sale or on sale? but u have to be under 9o to qualify. thnx

  23. David said on January 3rd, 2009 at 12:34am #

    > David, do you think the Soviets succeeded?

    Invading, yes; occupying, no. My point is that Afghanistan has never mounted any organised resistance to invasion. Anyone with an army can go anywhere in Afghanistan without serious opposition. Sure, a few Afghans here and there might put up a fight, but they don’t help each other enough to offer any organised defence. More often, one or more Afghan factions join in with the invaders. Their record of this is hardly inspiring.

    Basically, as others have pointed out, Afghanistan is a bunch of armed groups managing their own areas in a territory that only exists because nobody else wants it. If Afghanistan was worth the effort to keep, it would have long-since been part of Iran, Pakistan, or one of the other ‘stans. It only takes a low-level counter-insurgency to make any successful invader decide that staying isn’t worth the effort, because there’s nothing there to justify it.

    > And could you clarify, “Past invaders have given up simply because the ground is so devoid of any value that they left before the job was finished.”
    > By ground do you mean the people or capital or what?

    Yes to all three, but basically it comes down to the land. It just can’t support enough prosperous people and there are no resources to make it valuable in its own right. Even if the farmers grow something, it’s too hard to transport out and make a profit (opium being the exception, because it’s illegal) I doubt any central authority, at any point in history, has managed to collect enough taxes from Afghans to pay for the cost of collecting. Yes, these days, there is some limited value in pipeline routes, and there may be some gas reserves. It also provides a useful strategic air-base for invading, or at least intimidating, Iran. But, really, once the Iranian issue is dealt with, one way or another, who’s going to care about Afghanistan? A few NGOs maybe. Everyone will leave, except for the requisite US strategic airbases, and the insurgents can declare victory – even though they will never overthrow the puppet government.

    I’m just sick of the “Afghanistan has never been defeated…” line. It has, every time. The Mujahideen as warriors that defeated the mighty Soviets is just Cold War propaganda. The didn’t successfully defend, repulse, or stop any invasion. They rolled over with most of them joining the invaders. The Soviets left for the same reason the British and everyone else left. There was no point in staying. Once the Canadian military has milked Afghanistan for all the benefits it can get (Combat hardened soldiers, new tanks, new air transports, new helicopters, new drones, new recruits eager for combat, new …), we’ll leave too.

  24. Tree said on January 3rd, 2009 at 6:31am #


  25. Hue Longer said on January 3rd, 2009 at 7:21am #


    I’m trying to see what you said as perhaps role-playing an ignorant racist…but am having trouble. Please justify your comment “another good news is, nobody rapes afghan women; they r so damn ugly and wear so much clothes, it’s just not worth it”. The thought of looking down at women from any race or culture as “ugly” inspires anger in me without the reference to raping them and I also find the women of Afghanistan to be beautiful.

  26. bozh said on January 3rd, 2009 at 8:57am #

    i owe u an apology. from time to time i get a stupidity attack.
    i was really puting my words in the mouths of criminals from nato lands.
    i was also joking. and, yes, i’v read that afghan women r beatiful. and, yes, no woman is ugly. and i broke my own rule not use labels.
    afaghan women r also maltreated by own men and religion. thnx for letting me know ab how u felt.
    even so, before getting mad, it is advisable to have a person who may or may not have offended to ask for further elaboration.

  27. kalidas said on January 3rd, 2009 at 9:27am #

    Ugly, however, is apt for the Taliban.
    Zappa said it best…

    What’s the ugliest part of your (Taliban) body?
    Some say your nose,
    some say your toes,
    but I think it’s your mind..

  28. Hue Longer said on January 3rd, 2009 at 3:41pm #


    To answer last first, I did give benefit of the doubt but it doesn’t change the feelings the words inspire when the context of those words are unclear…it’s why I bothered to bring it up.

    My assumption was you were role playing (as I said) but the the character of nato criminal wasn’t consistent throughout your post…I often use this device, but it’s one that doesn’t do well in writing if things are too casual and without reference to who’s talking when(we can’t hear your voice change).
    First last, you don’t owe me an apology.

    Cheers Mate