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July 29, 2008

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Huw O'Sullivan

Sorry to be picky but the original mission to Afghanistan was supposedly for the reasons you state, to topple the government and rob Osama of his safe haven.
The first is illegitimate no matter what, but the second was simply a lie.

The US chose to paint the Taleban as supportive of Osama in relation to the terrorist atrocities in the states in september 2001.
Lest people forget, the US determined that Osama Bin Laden was in Afghanistan and demanded that he be handed over to them.
The government of that country quite rightly refused to do so, (exactly the same as every European country would have been bound by law to do) without any evidence or any discussion of what if any kind of due process would follow.
The Taliban did offer to arrange for him to be handed over to a more neutral and less lethal country where he could stand trial if there was evidence, although it is possible that they would not have been able to lay hands on him themselves.

The ridiculous situation in Afghanistan, now supplying over 93% of the worlds opiates, is not one of mismanaged but benign interference.
The US which were going to attack someone were encouraged and helped to attack Afghanistan for no decent purpose whatsoever. People simply had little interest or liking for the country or its government.

The current claimed justification to consolidate gains in government and girl's education are of course the same claims the USSR made back in the 80's.
Although to be fair, the USSR made much more serious gains for women than the current oppressors have.
It is therefore the rather pointless exercise of erecting magnificient fanciful castles on foundations of sand.
These things, such as democracy and equality, freedom from fear, torture etc can never be imposed on a people by aggressor nations.
NATO forces will no more be accepted than soviet forces before them.
Even if we manage to get a shadow of these things running, they will collapse the second we leave.

There are decent men and women in every organisation, even amongst soldiers and politicians, but when the root and core of something is rotten, their actions or intentions cannot prevent the entirety of the events they are involved in from being rotten.
There is no good, no decency that can come about in Afghanistan as a result of giving the US someone to take revenge on, nothing right or honourable that can come about from having helped them to do so.

I disliked and dislike the Taliban immensely but Afghanistan was in such a horrible position they were actually the better of the two options, the warlords or the taleban. Pretending the choice is something else is either deluding oneself or attempting to delude others.

What Aghanistan most needed for some kind of normality to return was a period of peace, what the West has done has prevented that from coming about and it is my belief that in so doing we have not advanced human rights or the equal rights of women there, I believe we have put them back 50 years.
Because we will get bored and tired with the constant fighting that being an occupying force brings and when we do eventually withdraw whether it is tomorrow or in a century, then the civil war will continue until one group with some kind of unifying theory or belief system wins.
The Taleban in other words or some group very like them.
Then peacetime Afghan society can grow and with that will come the improvements in human rights and equality that we claim to want for them.
It cannot happen until we stop imposing our choices of corrupt leadership and the old strong men whilst pretending we are offering democracy and hope.

paulflynn

Valleylad, earlier this year I suggested an entirely new Government of talented Labour MPs.


It was Gordon Prentice who was my choice as the new PM. I tried to persuade him to run for deputy party leader. He refused. I believe he would have done well.

paulflynn

Certainly Huw, the original mission to Afghanistan aimed to topple the Governmwnt and rob Osama of his safe haven. Getting rid of drugs was a minor aim.

The Government has gone, Osama has a new safe haven (Pakistan?), drugs are a disaster. Our justification is to consolidate the democratic gains in Government and girls' education, etc. That is the aim now and we are badly losing the hearts and minds argument.

valleylad

Gordon P. for PM, Gordon B. back as chancellor and sack the rest of the cabinet :) Actually, whilst unimpressed by Brown as PM (probably too many hopes were raised when we got rid of the slimy war criminal), I have a lot more time for him than for any other minister. The suggestion that harriet halfbrain or the man of straw have any greater use that asking "would you like fries with that" is frankly risible.

Huw O'Sullivan

I should of course have said that in the previous two days blogs there was nothing to make me react negatively.

Huw O'Sullivan

The previous two days had nothing to make me react about Paul, although I was delighted that you also have time for your family along with the MPing and blogging etc etc.

But while we agree that Afghanistan has been a disaster we obviously disagree on one important point.
You say "The West is fighting a war to bring democracy and freedom of speech to Afghanistan".
It is not and it never has been, America got hit on 11/9/2001, Afghanistan was a gimme for them.
No one liked the Taliban, Afghanistan was relatively unimportant to the rest of the world and the US was going to strike at someone and so not unsurprisingly the UN threw Afghanistan to them.
It was mostly I suppose in the hope that it would appease the US, but as we all know, appeasement never works and it led in a hop skip and a jump to the rather more important oil rich Iraq.
Individuals in various countries, who deliberately blinker themselves may imagine that the west is in Afghanistan to do nice things for the people.
But the simple fact of the matter is the west is in Afghanistan because the US wanted to hurt someone, anyone and the rest of the world did not have the guts to not go along with it.
Once in of course then theres a pretence of all kinds of ideals, while putting the only people worse than the Taliban back in positions of power, the warlords presided over by president Karzai or more realistically titled, mayor of Kabul.

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