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April 11, 2010

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The next allied offensive will take place in Kandahar, set for June. Kandahar is the second city and Taliban heartland.

How will NATO get rid of the Taliban in an area where the Taliban are well liked?

Remove the Taliban and win hearts and minds too? Sounds like an implausable approach.

This war is wrecking Afghanistan. Why are British troops there?

'A poll sponsored by the US army showed that 94% of Kandahar residents support negotiating with the Taliban, rather than military confrontation and 85 percent regard the Taliban as "our Afghan brothers'.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=51089


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It seems to me a crazy idea to take up helicopter gunships and send in the special forces to 'fix' Afghan drug dealers.

Someone tell me:

Where is the justice?

Where is the sense?

Allow me to simplify:

Kill them all

Colonial minded bullshit John. Disgusting and bloody.

John

I detect a certain moral high ground in the accusation that most of the Afghan army/government are on drugs.

yet surely the same can be applied to our parliament don't most of them frequent the alcohol pushers in the Commons bar. A truly dangerous and despicable drug compared to Cannabis at least if we are to go on the pronouncements of the Governments own chief scientist who declared that cannabis is safer than both alcohol and tobacco.

I'm sure if we tested most of our sqaddies many would be found to have the drug alcohol in their system.

It seems to me that we in a subtle way discriminate and degenerate users of illegal drugs as though by using them they are somehow less than us who stick to alcohol and tobacco. Our hypocrisy around drugs is so blatent yet so few see it through there pint of real ale or glass of chardonnay.

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Here is an alternative take on Britain's Helmand mission. I have to admit it is funny.

http://aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/UK-has-underground-airport-in-Helmand.html

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A story from today.

Civilian casualties and President Karzai again being strongly critical of NATO.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/04/13/2870898.htm?section=justin

Shooting a bus! 2 dead and 18 injured. I guess if it happened in England people might actually be outraged. Impose this on the poorest country in the world then the electorate of Britain are not interested?

Actually Afghanistan is officially the second poorest country after Niger. But given that its economy is now over 50% based on the drugs trade, one wonders what good will come from NATO efforts to wipe this economy out.

Simple logic says that this is a disgusting, colonial minded outrage.

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It is indeed odd how much of a non-issue Britain's involvement in Afghanistan is for this general election. The war will continue throughout the forthcoming campaigns and no party is talking about it. Quite a contrast with the American presidential election where Obama made it one of his central themes.

I agree Tony that it has a lot to do with Britain being seen as 'punching above its weight'. I think also that British companies having status as some of the world's premier arms dealers is significant.

Tony

..so remind me which party is advocating a withdrawal from this mess? Ah , none of them ? So while we fritter away billions on a war we have the unedifying prospect of having to cut the services that people do care about in favour of 'punching above our weight' on the world stage. Interesting set of priorities ..

Paul Flynn

Thanks for that link, Ad. It included this rare printed assertion that Karzai's brother involvement in drugs.

"The New York Times recently revealed that Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai's brother, has long been on the CIA payroll, in addition to his probable shady dealings in drugs. But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as U.S. and NATO forces have long supported warlords, commanders, and illegal militias with a record of human rights abuses and involvement in narcotics. A former CIA officer said that "Virtually every significant Afghan figure has had brushes with the drug trade." According to a New York University report, General Nazri Mahmad, a warlord who "control[s] a significant portion of the province's lucrative opium industry," has the contract to provide security for the German Provincial Reconstruction Team."

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'A British-backed paramilitary unit is hunting down Afghan drug lords as part of a new strategy against the drug trade. Four helicopters have already been provided by Britain for airborne assault missions.'

Supposedly the aim is to damage the funding which the Taliban gets from protecting or taxing the drugs trade.

But this review of a UN report says that targetting the drugs trade is a waste of time:
'the report estimates that only 10-15% of Taliban funding is drawn from drugs and 85% comes from "nonopium sources."'

The Taliban is said to receive only about 4% of the total revenue generated by opium. '75% is captured by government officials, the police, local and regional power brokers and traffickers.'

http://www.fpif.org/articles/un_report_misleading_on_afghanistans_drug_problem

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