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February 20, 2010

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It’s been too easy,” Cruyff said. Vergara “has not meddled in anything,” Cruyff added. “He is a businessman, not a soccer guy, so we don’t talk fútbol.

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G500, the founders of Stembreker, have detected a number of insights that you might have experienced in your market around politics. Do you recognize the following facts and frustrations?

Paul Flynn

Not sure I understand your point Hans Blisker. There are 600 MPs claiming more than I do on stationary. There are 528 MPs claiming more than I do on total expenses. Many of those claiming less are London MPs who expenses for daily living are far less than MP who live 140 miles from parliament. As I no longer claim for a second homes allowance, my expenses for this year will be even more favourable.

Of course the system was a rotten one that invited abuse. We are all responsible for taking more action to reform it.


HuwOS

Yes Paul, do you not consider it your responsibility to act as unpaid agent for a private company.

As Hans quite rightly points out, stating the facts of a situation is simply bragging and unrelated expenses can be brought into the argument for you to further the interests of a private company within parliament at any time.

Don't forget, we the electorate are only interested in how much you spend if we can complain about it, your are depriving newport of much needed fun.
Get a duckhouse, have your moat cleaned, go through too many toilet seats in a year, sheesh, some politicians have no sense of responsibility.

Hans Blisker

Re 'docmail'

You could of course push the point to the other MP's instead of bragging about your own costs - you are not just an individual, you have a collective responsibility.

I note overall you are 523rd - which means a lot of MP's are spending less than you!

Nothing 'breath-taking' about Docmail if you ask me, trying to promote their business in a way that saves the taxpayer (them included) some money.

Paul Flynn

There is no good outcome for the people of Afghanistan, Their fate is tied to their tribal groups. The best deal is unlikely to provide universal peace but a deal will be done. It'S better if it comes sooner rather than later after more futile deaths on all sides.

Ad

'True, NATO forces bring the Afghan army and all that entails, but it can be argued that while our forces remain in the country, we can keep pressure on them to clean up their act. Once we're gone, that opportunity is lost.'

You are still confusing the Afghan army and the Afghan police DG. You obviously don't know what you are talking about. I have just corrected you in my last post. It is not the Afghan ARMY that needs to clean up its act, it is the Afghan POLICE and the Afghan GOVERNMENT.

'As for the Taliban not bringing rape and extortion - I don't know what else you'd call what they do to women?'

I'd call it what it is, oppression and abuse. Whilst I find this despicable it is not limited to the Taliban at all. It is naive to expect NATOs war to bring help for Afghan women. In fact the Afghan heroine Malalai Joya described how it is having the opposite effect, the abuses and oppression have continued even in the absence of the Taliban. Why do countries like Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia treat women so horribly? What about the examples of honour killings in Britain?

I wouldn't call what the Taliban does rape and extortion because the Taliban do not do these things. It is the Afghan police who are responsible for these crimes.

DG

True, NATO forces bring the Afghan army and all that entails, but it can be argued that while our forces remain in the country, we can keep pressure on them to clean up their act. Once we're gone, that opportunity is lost.

As for the Taliban not bringing rape and extortion - I don't know what else you'd call what they do to women?

Ad

'Personally, I think I'd rather risk friendly fire than exist as a piece of property under the Taliban or hand my teenage boy over to the Afghan soldiers, but I acknowledge that's an easy thing to say from a comfortable British armchair.'

It makes no sense to say you would 'rather risk friendly fire than hand over your children to the Afghan army'. It is NATO and to some extent their partners the Afghan army who are taking territory and bringing with them the Afghan government and police. It is the Afghan police who were responsible for the extortion and rape.

The alternative is the Taliban whose 'cowardly oppression of women' is not restricted to them in Afghanistan. At least they bring some semblance of law and order and they don't go in for extortion and rape.

'Ad, I'm curious - if NATO stopped failing in those two important areas, would you then support the occupation?'

If NATO hadn't failed in those two important areas there wouldn't be a war. Continuing the occupation means continuing the war so I do not support the occupation.

DG

I don't think any faction in the conflict can claim any moral high ground on the treatment of innocents. The Taliban have their cowardly oppression of women; the disgusting practices of the "Afghan Army" have been highlighted by Paul on this site, and foreign forces can be careless with their targetting.

Personally, I think I'd rather risk friendly fire than exist as a piece of property under the Taliban or hand my teenage boy over to the Afghan soldiers, but I acknowledge that's an easy thing to say from a comfortable British armchair.

Ad, I'm curious - if NATO stopped failing in those two important areas, would you then support the occupation?

Ad

One of the arguements that has been used to prolong various occupations has been: 'It will be worse if we leave'.

I don't think such an indefinitely continuing occupation is feasible, especially the way NATO have been going about things. The almost total failure to bring about much needed redevelopment and the implementation of a corrupt and widely resented government are NATOs biggest failures.

These failures are two of the main factors driving the insurgency. The problem is that there is a lack of sufficient urgency to fix these important problems. The focus looks like it will continue to be one of counter-insurgency. The political and military leaders are still locked into a 'war on terror' mentality, and when you hear of innocent families being blown up you have to ask how this can be justified and how anyone could support this occupation.

HuwOS

I suspect you are quite right on that DG.

But at least we won't be actively killing them.

DG

I don't know Huw - you make good points, but I suspect the second our troops are out of there, there'll be no political will or incentive to make any kind of reparations to the people who've been hurt by the conflict.

HuwOS

DG there was no justifiable cause to go to war with Afghanistan but there was legal cover, the UN security council authorised it, that makes the invasion legal, for what that's worth, in the same way that the lack of UN security council authorisation made the Iraq war illegal.
But of course legal and moral don't always coincide and there is no doubt that our actions in relation to Afghanistan were deeply immoral and wrong.

We have indeed made lots of promises to the Afghan people, promises we never should have made, promises that were simply false.
The US, UK et al. are all now in agreement that any solution in Afghanistan is going to involve the Taliban, our approved Afghan leadership reached that conclusion a lot longer ago and their attempts to negotiate with them were often stymied by US intransigence.

There is of course a difference when we finally admit that it will be our course of action, firstly, we up the troops and the level of killing to try to soften up the people we intend to negotiate with and to give the impression that we have some kind of control of the country, before we get down to the negotiated solution that we have already acknowledged will have to happen.

So the situation is, that we are there now, we have already acknowledged that the only resolve will be negotiation and we already know that any agreement will require the Taliban to be at least a part of government and that all our forces withdraw.
What people need to ask themselves then is why must more people die for this surge whose only apparent purpose is so that we can pretend that we did not leave until we got what we wanted, even though it quite clearly is not what we wanted and even less what we pretended we wanted and certainly not what we promised people when we invaded.

Calling for our troops to be withdrawn now, is quite probably the most considerate, loyal not to mention the most decent thing that anyone who cares for the life or health of the troops or who cares for the lives or health of Afghan civilians can do.
That is how things stand now, and unsurprisingly represents no change whatsoever from how things have stood since we first decided to go in with the US on their policy of lashing out for the sake of it at the most vulnerable target after the events of 11th September 2001.

DG

Can't comment on whether we should have gone in to Afghanistan in the first place (not being an international lawyer), but for better or worse, we're there now - and we made a lot of promises to the Afghan people that I think we really should try to keep. The BBC has an interesting take on how best to measure success there that seems based on good outcomes for the population

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8524137.stm

HuwOS

"people who think they are superior to me as they have had a better education" - dave

I have no idea what level of education you have dave and you have no idea about mine, so your statement can only be false.
Assuming that you are not simply deliberately telling falsehoods the presumption will have to be that you have been deluded by your own imaginings.

Kay Tie

"thats a snob in my eyes "

You can call it what you like, dave. I've told you already, you need to acquire some reasoning ability in order to have an adult debate. If you want to call that ability "education" and sneer at anyone who dares question you then you need to look at yourself, not others.

dave

ad it only took 6 days for the dutch to surrender to the nazi's and give up the jewish people.
it didnt help their prince bernhard was a nazi collaberating with hitler.
they dont have a record for staying in the fight.

the withdrawal i thought was down to the christian democrats coalition with labour collapsing.not public opinion.
labour have pulled out of the coalition otherwise the dutch would have stayed in afghanistan.

i dont want to convert anyone to my beliefs and wont hi-jack pauls sight with my beliefs.
i would just like to write my view and not be attacked by people who think they are superior to me as they have had a better education.
thats a snob in my eyes
huw and kaytie are prime examples of this.


Kay Tie

"there's no rational arguements with both of you, just stupid childish comments."

I'm prepared to engage in rational discourse with anyone. But "rational" means avoiding fallacies, and the one you're proposing (which I mocked) is that I must accept what you say if I can't prove you wrong. My inability to prove something wrong does not make it so. Just as I can say I ate eggs for breakfast, and you can't disprove it, doesn't mean I did actually have eggs for breakfast.

If you want to get taken seriously you need to study logic and then put together a rational argument that is more than unjustified assertions.

Ad

dave, public opinion in Holland and Britain is overwhelmingly critical of continuing participation in this war. We are not talking about a few ‘whingers’ or a couple of ‘lefty pc brigade softies’. You are just plain wrong.

‘You both think you know it all and anyone that has a different view is nuts.
there's no rational arguements with both of you, just stupid childish comments.

you both act like wannabe intellectual snobs.’

Read it again dave, read the thread again. Do you see what you did there? Somebody coined the phrase daveisms.

HuwOS

"my point was huw they are there and as said above know where the enemy are "

According to you, 9/11 was an inside job.
That would make the people who arranged it the enemy, not the Taliban or any of the other Afghans.

Your position makes no sense on any level.

dave

you both think you know it all and anyone that has a different view is nuts.
there's no rational arguements with both of you, just stupid childish comments.

you both act like wannabe intellectual snobs.

what are you doing on the site anyway kaytie,your a tory.

dont tell me where to take my views ad.
do you own this site?

ad ,i havent been abusive and am intitled to my views. i respect your point of view and other bloggers but as i said if you dont agree fine.

i dont read the sun but it looks like you do.quoting the sun's threads.

kaytie are you the same transexual that rants on the argus blogg?

Ad

You think 911 was a set up, that the whole basis for the invasion was a false one, yet your argument amounts to 'Those whinging Dutch should grow a pair and stop whinging'.

'the only people moaning are the pc lefties who would be consientious objectors and wouldnt fight if they were called upon to protect this country.'

Its been enlightening as usual Dave. Please take your drivel elsewhere. Here you go:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/

Kay Tie

"911 was an inside job .dont call my sanity into question,prove its not true or agree to disagree."

The Moon is made of cheese. Don't call my sanity into question. Prove it's not true or agree to disagree (oh, and don't go citing astronauts walking on the moon as proof it's not: we all know the moonlandings were faked).

dave

911 was an inside job .dont call my sanity into question,prove its not true or agree to disagree.the truth will come out and history will be re written.

"Neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan war should have been started in the first place.
There was no legal, or for that matter moral justification for either".

i totally agree huw but we are there and instead of whinging about this we should be supporting them.

the control of oil and natural resourses are the reasons politicians have used terrorism to justify these wars and their actions.

politicians formed,trained,funded and gave intelligence to the taliban,mujahideen and taliban. remember the cold war huw.they wanted the russians to fail in afghanistan.

they formed this hornets nest.

we are a fighting race and all soldiers join to fight in wars and get medals for their bravery not sit on base.
this is a romantic veiw that most boys grow up with when the reality is death and destruction.

when i grew up we read war books/comics,watched war films,played with action man and ran around the street shooting toy guns at each other playing war. we were conditioned to think this way.we all wanted to be soldiers as kids.

todays soldiers have grown up playing war video games like doom,medal of honor,mag,call of duty etc
they are the "generation kill"

go online and play mag,call of duty and you fill find soldiers playing these games.
they play war games before battle and listen to war music like drowning pool's "let the bodies hit the floor" in battle.

my point was huw they are there and as said above know where the enemy are but politicians wont let them do their job and wont equipt them properly.

the only reason most of the coalition backed america was they didnt want to upset them and lose political ties.

The Netherlands has between 1,500 to 1,700 soldiers in Afghanistan and has lost 12 soldiers last i read.
making the statement "They have paid the price in blood and treasure in the same way that we, the Americans and Canadians have done" is a bit strong.one of the deaths was a suicide.

you wont find many soldiers that dont want to be in iraq/afghanistan and you wont find many whinging about the wars.
the only people moaning are the pc lefties who would be consientious objectors and wouldnt fight if they were called upon to protect this country.

Patrick

"we are a fighting race and our soldiers dont join for the uniform or benefits,they join to fight."

That statement dave is exactly why we should only ever employ their services when our nation is actually engaged in a genuine war.

"politicians are the reason iraq and afghanistan have been impossible to win."

This concept of 'winning' is at best misguided and at worst infantile.

If anybody knows how to win a war in Afghanistan then they are wasted in their current job. They should at the very least be a defence minister.

I had a recent conversation with a serving squaddie whose words were "we all know where the Taliban are , we should just nuke them."

'Winning' in tabloid speech would no doubt involve murdering countless more innocent mothers and babies in a conflict that has as much chance of success as the extracting of urine from a rocking horse.

It's pointless to repeat Huw's excellent above post regarding the invalidity of both conflicts.

We should all be ashamed of our involvement in this US led pantomine.

HuwOS

dave you align yourself with very dark histories when you rail against politicians being the cause of noble soldiers losing wars.
Soldiers and armies are tools, governments are the cause of and the only people who can stop wars, short of soldiers thinking for themselves and refusing to participate (as the honourable and courageous Joe Glenton, amongst some others, eventually did).

Neither the Iraq nor the Afghanistan war should have been started in the first place.
There was no legal, or for that matter moral justification for either.
You also cannot by invasion change the manners or mores of a country, nor can you impose by force equal rights or democratic institutions. Even less so when none of those aims were the reasons for the invasions.
British soldiers were sent into these wars on lies and falsehoods(albeit tissue thin ones), anyone who pretends to care about the life and health of people who have sworn service to this country needs to be calling for their withdrawal and not railing against those who are.
Many of the allied nations in Afghanistan are not there because of support for the war or the invasion but simply to stay on the right side of the viciously aggressive rogue that the US is. That is the reason they have refused to send large numbers and refused to fight, they are willing to do only as much as is needed to keep themselves from being blackened, besmirched and even possibly targeted by the aggressors.
The soviets put a lot more resources into and had far more intention of creating a country with equal rights between men and women albeit with no more intention of having genuine democracy than either Britain or the US have in that country and lost badly, not to mention deservedly.

Ad would seem to have pretty solid point when he points out the contradiction between you proclaiming the absurd belief that 9/11 was an inside job while also being in favour of the resulting wars.
The Afghan campaign has cost the lives of roughly 3,000 Afghans for each year that it has been going on (every year the equivalent of a 9/11), that figure including the elderly, the sick, women and children.
It is one of the deepest shames and blots on this country in modern times and support of such a wrong is shameful for the individual expressing it and all those who are tainted by it.
As taxpayers, each and every one of us is of course responsible for supporting it, in the same way as those who finance terrorism are just as guilty of being terrorists as those who give the orders or carry out the actions.
But that is not the end of the story, we can still oppose and someday when the history books expose the full shamefulness and deceit, the illegality and the sheer evil of the actions of ourselves and our allies we can hope that they also record that people did not lay supine but that the quiet murmur of discontent eventually led to resounding roars which toppled the perpetrators and brought them finally to justice.
Only then can people of this country justifiably hold their heads up and proclaim the triumph of their dearly held principles of fairness, democracy and of course justice.
Until then macho posturing and whining about the lack of support for these crimes from others displays a shallowness of thought, heart and soul that should be an embarrassment if only those behaving so had the wherewithal for some effective introspection.

Ad

Pointless bellowing from Dave. Last week you where saying that 911 was an inside job. Now you are beating your chest and bemoaning the lack of balls to fight the war that was the result of 911.

dave

when will you learn obama is a puppet.

he has done the opposite of everything he said he would do before he was elected.

most americans who supported obama before he was elected have come to realise his promises never materialise.

Obama the personality cult is being seen for what he really is. a fake politician

dave

"the dutch have come to their senses"
the truth is they have no balls like most of the coalitions armed forces.

uk forces understand and except casualties and go that extra mile other armed forces cant and wont do.
thats why we win battles and wars.

we are a fighting race and our soldiers dont join for the uniform or benefits,they join to fight.

politicians are the reason iraq and afghanistan have been impossible to win.

who's allowing corrupt people run the country?
whos's not building but occupying?
who wanted the taliban eradicated now wants to negotiate with them?
who wants ground cleared then gives it back to the enemy?
i could go on and on.

if they werent going to let the forces command operations and give them the tools to do the job they shouldnt have sent them to war.
its like tying a fighters hands behind his back and hoping he will win.

the pc brigade cant and wont lead our forces to victory but they will try and by doing so will kill many of our soldiers.

why do we train our forces for war and then let people who couldnt even fire a gun or know what its like in battle lead them and control their every move?

our soldiers arent losers and wont lose this war. politicians will lose this war by withdrawing our troops and not allowing our forces to do what they do best.

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