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July 12, 2009


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Sorry, still not understanding - who will we do a deal with? And how can we ensure it'll be kept?

Paul Flynn

Yes we do DG. The only way we can do that is by doing a 'deal# from a position of strength. The alternative is for us to run out when forced to - like the French from Dien Bien Phu, the Americans from Saigon and the Russians from Kabul


I don't claim to be very knowledged in either foreign affairs or military strategy, but having stirred up this stuff, don't we have a moral obligation to stay put and do our best to protect the people from both the Taliban AND the corrupt regime we helped create?

Paul Flynn

Thank you KayTie and Adam. The image of this foul practise of Bachabasi has haunted me. I raised it three times today. First at topical questions, in an EDM and at a private meeting tonight.

A Tory MP Tobias Ellwood asked what happens when the bullets stop flying. Karzai's police move in. I will print the Hansard reports tomorrow.


The rate of casualties is indeed disturbing, and it is unfortunately only the beginning of a long summer campaign as the Prime Minister has been telling us.

The second item is very troubling. It underlines the deep corruption that characterises the Karzai regime, with the Police in fact terrorising the people and extorting money. On the dreadful practice of ‘bachabazi‘, a similar story is recounted in Ahmed Rashid’s book ‘Taliban’. In a typical action during the Taliban’s rise to power in the lawless 90s, they rescued a boy from some petty warlords who were squabbling over who would get to rape the child. It is hardly surprising that these people would prefer the Taliban’s brand of justice, to one that brings extortion and rape. It was the aim of eliminating practices such as these which spurred on the Taliban to takeover Afghanistan in the first place

‘The aim is to impose Afghan government control over most of the province in time for an August 20 presidential poll.’

This is what our soldiers are dying for? Were is the honour in upholding this regime?

The other justification is the one of national security. It is very telling that David Milliband did not even attempt to expand on these claims when you challenged him, Paul. He couldn‘t do it because this supposed justification is nothing but empty rubbish. British and NATO soldiers are dying for nothing. Until the political leadership responsible begin to grasp the fact that they need to start listening to some of the critics and independent experts, their inadequate and simplistic approach will bring no improvement.

Paul, I join the others in saying well done for asking the questions that must be answered and trying to talk some sense into those who need to hear it.

Kay Tie

I Googled "bacha bazi" (you spelled it slightly wrong). Revolting - I almost lost my lunch. Worse still were the hits in Google that seemed to be to sites that need flagging to the IWF. I didn't visit them: I am sure I would have thrown up.

Disgusting that this practice goes on, and disgusting that we sending our soldiers to prop up this "cultural" behaviour. I never thought I'd see the silver lining in the Taleban cloud.

Kay Tie

What horror for the Afghan people. Brutal totalitarianism whichever way it goes. The Taliban have no respect for "the people" either.

What can one do? Stand aside - as we have done in the past - and let such suffering continue. Or interfere and make it worse?

I read Rory Stewart's book on his walk through Afghanistan. Heart breaking stuff.

Paul Flynn

The new Speaker is rightly keen on brief questions. I did not includethe bit that the elder in the 'liberated' village who said that if the Afghan Police returned he would join the Taleban.

I later got a question in to Gordon Brown on Karzai's human rights record. The answer was not bad. More tomorrow


Watching Defence Questions - enjoyed your contribution -for a second Aisworth stumbled,so then you are asked to temper your criticism of the Kabul regime -brushing the truth aside again with of course no right of reply for you!

So a worthless debate -the mechanisms are totally impotent -the questions feeble the responses flannel with no hits made on vulnerable Ministers. Yet more evidence of the need for root and branch reform of all our Parliamentary procedures. By contrast Andrew Neil on the Politics Show caused real grief to the minister put up to trot out the line.

Quentin Daviies got away with murder -he should have been roasted alive for the procuremnt shambles!
Ainsworth holds the fort solidly -nothing landed on him -yet another disappointing Parliamentary occasion.

As I write Brown has taken out his onion wringing his hands and weeping over the fallen -following this comes the usual lists of new triumphs . It would be amusing if he were not sacrificing young lives. Whatever does Brown know of military matters anyway?Everyone knows he has cut the Defence budget to the bone.


Just a quick one -the latest casualties seem to have woken up the Opposition to the helicopter scandal that everyone has been ignoring and may shake bipartisan support for the conflict according to today's Telegraph. What's the betting that when challenged Nualbour lobby fodder will rally round the flag (not the Union Flag of course but the Red Flag of party loyalty)? Obama's supportive comments are clearly not helpful in the circumstances.

The problem remains of course is that he Tories are in principle asking for more troops and more war rather than challenging the whole ludicrous and murky expedition -only Clegg has called time on the mission.

The best way to turn public opinion does seem to be exposure of the rotten character and wholesale corruption of the Afghan regime -knocking on the head the good old 'world made safe for democracy' pitch.

Paul Flynn

Many thanks JW. Agree fully. This is a Tory diversionary tactic to deflect opinion from their own complicity in creating the present quagmire.


truly shocking

J. McCarthy

Well done Paul for voiceing an opinion shared by the majority of British people. These young soldiers lives are being squandered in Afghanistan for the arrogance of our leading labour and tory politicians along with the service brass in order to strut the world stage. Older politicians like Healey Benn and Heath who fought as soldiers in real wars would not have any truck with the spin and lies of military intervention and was weaning the UK off its long and tragic post colonial illusion of still being a world power. The UK spends as much as China on defence in order to 'punch above its weight.'Pathetic!

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