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September 04, 2009

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J.S.

Dear Paul Flynn, The reason we're in Afghanistan is to push a pipeline through Kandahar and reduce dependence on oil going through Russian-owned pipelines to Europe. If M.P.s don't know that and are still harping on about "terrorism" on our streets as distinct from us bombing Afghan, Iraqis and Pakistanis,then it's sad. We should leave both countries and pay reparations for destroying them.

B. H.

I read your leader in the Saturday Independent today. Well said. I also saw you on Newsnight the other day when you did just as well. Super to see you in top form. Even J Paxman was silenced!


By the way we are running a fringe event at the Lib Dem Conference in Bournemouth at 6 pm On Sunday 20th Sep when Danny Kushlick and Francis Wilkinson will be speaking. It is a (vain) attempt to get the LDs to revise their ancient drugs policy and will concentrate on bringing supply under effective control. Mind you I don't expect you would want to come to a LD conference...

Keep it up and best wishes.

Paul Flynn

Thanks rwendland, The retreat from the advances in girls education is almost a secret. Girls schools have been closed in their hundreds but the NATO spokespeople still quote the maximum numbers achieved in about 2002 as the current totals. The news of the widespread Taliban infiltration is also rarely reported and the public have not been informed of the dire military situation even in the North. Blowing up our own oil and helicopters should give them a clue.

Paul Flynn

Thanks KayTie, changing your mind on an issue is no mean achievement. As always I am grateful for your comments. My beef with the Beeb is that they follow the newspapers' agenda. For once, this morning, I was thankful that they did.

B.A

Great piece in the Independent. After a continuous stream of waffle and subterfuge by the British and American governments it was a relief to realise that not all politicians are mad.

rwendland

Sometimes excellent BBC reporting gets little coverage. I was confused by the claims that the oil tankers were captured by Taliban, as this was 35 miles from the northern Tajikistan border, in the Northern Alliance heartland, who defeated the Taliban 8 years ago.

I put the "Taliban" label down to NATO spin initially, until I discovered a July 2009 BBC report that the Taliban had infiltrated this once-peaceful northern Kunduz province and had substantial control of the rural areas, raising a 10% religous tax and closing girls' schools. It would appear that now the Taliban have stopped the southern road supply route from Pakistan, it is now trying to block the northern road routes from Tajikistan. According to the Telegraph the tankers were bringing fuel from Tajikistan to NATO bases.

I'm wondering if the military situation is deteriorating much faster than generally reported.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8138722.stm

... "The Taliban come and take our 10% in exchange for resolving our disputes. People don't go to the government because the Taliban control the area," wheat farmer Mohammed Nabi said.

Several farmers went as far as providing me with the documentation and taxation papers to prove this claim.

The governor of Kunduz is open about the Afghan government's failure in his province.

"We don't have enough police to guard the people of our districts. The Taliban are well-resourced.

Kay Tie

"Regular readers of this blog have put up with incessant messages on the doomed Afghan mission. I live in hope that public opinion will shift substantially in the near future with evidence of the rigged election and the hopeless military situation where we blow up our own helicopters and oil supplies."

You changed my outlook on Afghanistan. In fact, it's an excellent example of why I don't bother getting my news from the BBC any more: their reporting is facile and follows the herd, whereas blogs by people who study a topic (and engage in the followup) cover the issue much better.

Paul Flynn

The Independent kindly published my article in their Saturday's edition. They also referred to it in their news items. The Today programme picked up the story in their review of the papers this morning.

Regular readers of this blog have put up with incessant messages on the doomed Afghan mission. I live in hope that public opinion will shift substantially in the near future with evidence of the rigged election and the hopeless military situation where we blow up our own helicopters and oil supplies.

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