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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from...ent/8909049.stm

 

I found this story extraordinary. Granted I have the advantage of having several friends who are actually Afghan/worked there since before the invasion, but the notion that killing aid workers is something new is bananas. It's a question I put to them back in 2005, whether post invasion reconstruction was seen as a military thing. They all responded instantly and unequivocally that the Taliban do not see anyone as a civilian. Nor do they see anyone who is not the Taliban/one of their dingbat religous friends as doing anything good.

 

My question really is to what extent we can rely on keeping a free democracy when our information sources seem so cheerfully ignorant of

a) Basic facts

b) Who the enemies of free democracy are

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I'm guessing this is about the 10 civilian doctors butchered there recently? I was going to post a thread about this myself, but was too seething with rage at the time.

 

If ever I needed another reason to support the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, this was it.

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In a lot of high streets in England one finds groups of well meaning beardies campaigning for an immediate withdrawal of troops in the name of Peace. Every time I see them I am minded to go over and ask what sort of Peace they want if it means surrendering Iraq and Afghan to these bastards (not that this is the worst thing they do). But I fear it would lead to me force-feeding some genuinely inoffensive person three of four kilos of pamphlets.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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My question really is to what extent we can rely on keeping a free democracy when our information sources seem so cheerfully ignorant of

a) Basic facts

b) Who the enemies of free democracy are

Quite. And if they're so wrong about something like this, you can be pretty sure that they're no better with anything else, either. But news is not really news any more - it's entertainment.

 

In a lot of high streets in England one finds groups of well meaning beardies campaigning for an immediate withdrawal of troops in the name of Peace. Every time I see them I am minded to go over and ask what sort of Peace they want if it means surrendering Iraq and Afghan to these bastards (not that this is the worst thing they do). But I fear it would lead to me force-feeding some genuinely inoffensive person three of four kilos of pamphlets.

Oh, absolutely. I once had an argument with one of these "pull out now" types over what kind of state we'll be leaving those countries in, but they aren't interested. Duty, apparently, is less important than getting our troops home now, because... err, because... well, because it's important. People are dying, etc. - quite shocking, in the middle of a counter-insurgency operation on two fronts, underfunded and underequipped.

 

I fail to see that there is any good reason for pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan now that we're there. All I see is cowardice and emotional arguments from those arguing in favour of an instant pull-out. Because leaving two seething messes full of anger and resentment in the Middle East won't ever come back to bite us in the arse. Oh, no.

This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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Oh, absolutely. I once had an argument with one of these "pull out now" types over what kind of state we'll be leaving those countries in, but they aren't interested. Duty, apparently, is less important than getting our troops home now, because... err, because... well, because it's important. People are dying, etc. - quite shocking, in the middle of a counter-insurgency operation on two fronts, underfunded and underequipped.

 

I fail to see that there is any good reason for pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan now that we're there. All I see is cowardice and emotional arguments from those arguing in favour of an instant pull-out. Because leaving two seething messes full of anger and resentment in the Middle East won't ever come back to bite us in the arse. Oh, no.

Pulling out should be the main concern now because; let's face it not even a miracle would bring stability to that region. They should create a strong autonomous govern that can face the insurgents by itself. In the end no matter what we do it's going to bite us on the arse, today's allies are tomorrow's enemies. It was that way with Russia and with the Afghans.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Fair point INSidious. I can totally understand someone thinking we shouldn't have gone in in the first place. Well, I couldn't agree less, but I can understand it. Coosing a course of masssive bloodshed and civil war because you're a pacifist? That's just mental.

 

Orogun, we've been over this before. It can't be impossible for the region to have peace any more than it was for Wales or Switzerland to have peace.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Kill off a few doctors, and suddenly public support which had ebbed to an all time low is renewed.

This farce will never end when the masses are so easily manipulated.

 

J.

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Fair point INSidious. I can totally understand someone thinking we shouldn't have gone in in the first place. Well, I couldn't agree less, but I can understand it. Coosing a course of masssive bloodshed and civil war because you're a pacifist? That's just mental.

 

Orogun, we've been over this before. It can't be impossible for the region to have peace any more than it was for Wales or Switzerland to have peace.

There is a great difference, the area is more fragmented, just a bunch of warlords trying to push their interests. Even if we are able to topple the current strong force we are just paving the way for the next one. We cannot hope to destroy all of the groups and even if they are willing to cooperate with the allies now, tomorrow their allegiance may change. So yes, we need to remain in the area but the final goal shouldn't be stabilization of an area that requires more warfare than we may be able to churn out. Instead we should be focusing on strengthening their government so that they may be able to maintain stability.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Kill off a few doctors, and suddenly public support which had ebbed to an all time low is renewed.

This farce will never end when the masses are so easily manipulated.

 

J.

 

It's nice to see what paranoia can achieve in the other direction. :lol:

 

Orogun, sorry I snapped at you. I agree that the answer is not just military. But nor is it just economic. It needs a political spark within the country that I don't see. But while that may seem unlikely it is far from impossible.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Kill off a few doctors, and suddenly public support which had ebbed to an all time low is renewed.

This farce will never end when the masses are so easily manipulated.

 

J.

 

It's nice to see what paranoia can achieve in the other direction. :lol:

 

Orogun, sorry I snapped at you. I agree that the answer is not just military. But nor is it just economic. It needs a political spark within the country that I don't see. But while that may seem unlikely it is far from impossible.

Your point was fair though and we have been over this before :lol:

Whilst politics factor in the ultimate solution I believe that the only viable and durable answer is to treat their condition as pre-fiefdom. Just a bunch of military powers spread out that need a stronger force to rein them in; it may not be the most humane solution or modern enough but in this fight we need to compromise and lower ourselves to their level on some points.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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Fair point INSidious. I can totally understand someone thinking we shouldn't have gone in in the first place. Well, I couldn't agree less, but I can understand it. Coosing a course of masssive bloodshed and civil war because you're a pacifist? That's just mental.

 

Orogun, we've been over this before. It can't be impossible for the region to have peace any more than it was for Wales or Switzerland to have peace.

There is a great difference, the area is more fragmented, just a bunch of warlords trying to push their interests. Even if we are able to topple the current strong force we are just paving the way for the next one. We cannot hope to destroy all of the groups and even if they are willing to cooperate with the allies now, tomorrow their allegiance may change. So yes, we need to remain in the area but the final goal shouldn't be stabilization of an area that requires more warfare than we may be able to churn out. Instead we should be focusing on strengthening their government so that they may be able to maintain stability.

Because pulling out will magically create a stable government in a hopelessly destabilised region. Yes, of course.

 

It took over thirty years in Northern Ireland. I have no illusions that either operation currently in progress will take anything less than half a century, but we're in this mess and we have a duty to clear it up. Not to mention that we will be saving trouble in the long term.

 

Walsingham: I'm not so much against the war as dubious about it. I have no doubt that toppling Saddam was a good idea; its execution, however, was mishandled, and I have to ask why we invaded Iraq and do nothing about Mugabe, or a dozen other despots. On Afghanistan, I'm not sure whether a resolution will be effective, but that's partly because I'm not sure a purely democratic system of government will be able to bind such a fragmented country together.

This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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I agree that we need to recognise there are distinct differences between our respective countries, and also that the 'nation' as such needs to be built before it can be rebuilt :thumbsup: .

 

But if I manfully resist the urge to wax on my favourite subject, we were discussing media behaviour...

 

What role do you think the media plays in the campaign? What role do you think they should play?

 

I feel they are torn between the notion of impartiality and an implicit need to defend the values which enable them to exist in the first place. But being workshy bastards they don't make a firm decision on that balance.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10983494

 

More killings. Including a pregnant widow. Because clearly in their world God is more offended by a woman being impregnated than being murdered by thugs without trial.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I agree that we need to recognise there are distinct differences between our respective countries, and also that the 'nation' as such needs to be built before it can be rebuilt :thumbsup: .

 

But if I manfully resist the urge to wax on my favourite subject, we were discussing media behaviour...

 

What role do you think the media plays in the campaign? What role do you think they should play?

 

I feel they are torn between the notion of impartiality and an implicit need to defend the values which enable them to exist in the first place. But being workshy bastards they don't make a firm decision on that balance.

There is little room for impartiality when there is atrocities like these committed.When the best you can do to a balanced report is say that not everyone is like the Taliban or that not everyone participates on their atrocities, you realize the extent of control that the Taliban has over the area and why interference is necessary.

The media itself i'm a little on the fence; I don't know if it's because there aren't as many reporters on the area, or the military wants to keep a lid on thing, or the companies agree that the war doesn't equal ratings, but there aren't as many news as I would like. This a war that is being called "The secret war", maybe it's just here on the US but the subject has fallen off anyone's radar, it takes a scandal to remind everyone that we are still at war.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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I always compare this isue with the attitude of my godfather who was a naval officer in WW2 and a BBC foreign correspondent later in life. In his era there was considerable barracking by correspondents, but always oriented on the same purpose - victory.

 

I know that WW2 was the 'good' war, but sometimes I wonder if it would be seen as so good if the media hadn't got behind it. I say this being personally convinced it was. But if there had been a wikileaks at the time we'd have heard of allies shooting prisoners of war, bombing victims, etc etc. Would we have had the stomach to continue fighting through the mincing machine of Cassino, Caen, Nijmegen?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I always compare this isue with the attitude of my godfather who was a naval officer in WW2 and a BBC foreign correspondent later in life. In his era there was considerable barracking by correspondents, but always oriented on the same purpose - victory.

 

I know that WW2 was the 'good' war, but sometimes I wonder if it would be seen as so good if the media hadn't got behind it. I say this being personally convinced it was. But if there had been a wikileaks at the time we'd have heard of allies shooting prisoners of war, bombing victims, etc etc. Would we have had the stomach to continue fighting through the mincing machine of Cassino, Caen, Nijmegen?

 

So you`re basically saying that (jsut our) ends justify the means in a thread about talibani unacceptable means towards their end? :sorcerer:

 

I find this killings a crime and condemable but I don`t allow for their use in lowering our standard of behaviour. Its not ok to stoop to the oposition level just because theyre there. Especially cos we have an option not to and are allegedly superior by allways pursuing that option.

 

The west doesnt get this conflict and thats why we`re doomed to fail. That fact beautifully demonstrated in this thread where people compare the war there with a nation state total war like WW2 or NI or Wales insurgency. We`re simply unable to grasp it and still try to force round peggs into square holes. We flap around with words "enemies of democracy" and the like where people there are still in tribal era. Short of a cultural genocide ove 2-3 generations we wont achieved our high flying goals or even come close to them. That had to be obvious even before the invasion.

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Firstly it's very sad that people reject the notion of democracy in Afghanistan. Both the Hazar and Pashtun ethnic groups practice a from of fluid and fascinating local democracy at the village level, and have done for centuries. The problem they have now and they had during the second British administration is that we try to impose democracy at a granularity which has as much meaning at the village level as the EU does to the average British town. It's a source of a quick buck, but attracts no loyalty.

 

To my mind the British strategic aim for the country is eminently consistent with local aspirations. We just don't want the Afghans to be pushed around by a parasitical body like AlQ or the Taliban, and teh locals don't like being pushed around. However, at the national level the greedy snoutmonkeys are pimping themselves out with furious endeavour.

 

The solution, if the above is correct, is to devolve power. The problem is that military science adores the concentration of force not its dissipation.

 

I need to give this more thought.

 

~~

 

I feel this angle of the debate is still on topic, because the merits or otherwise of the campaign reflect on the media behaviour. The bigger question is whether journalists can make careers from assisting Afghanistan, or merely by sniping at it.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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I always compare this isue with the attitude of my godfather who was a naval officer in WW2 and a BBC foreign correspondent later in life. In his era there was considerable barracking by correspondents, but always oriented on the same purpose - victory.

 

I know that WW2 was the 'good' war, but sometimes I wonder if it would be seen as so good if the media hadn't got behind it. I say this being personally convinced it was. But if there had been a wikileaks at the time we'd have heard of allies shooting prisoners of war, bombing victims, etc etc. Would we have had the stomach to continue fighting through the mincing machine of Cassino, Caen, Nijmegen?

 

You can't really compare WWII to the wars of today. Minds, perception, culture and access to knowledge has changed rapidly since then. It is like comparing Waterloo with WWII, good heavens! the civilians can listen to the radio! :sorcerer:

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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Um... obviously there's a lot to be gained by comparing WW2 with Waterloo... it's kind of the point in learning about Waterloo at staff college.

 

It's not the similarities which interest me as understanding what precisely has changed, and if it's something we should accept or reject.

 

My central thesis is that while force should not be viewed as a fun part of international relations it is an inescapable part of them. And if the western concept of democracy cannot employ force effectively to protect itself then it is defunct as a political system.

 

Before you object I should say I have met many people who suggest we do not need to worry about force in any terms but wholly defensive, and I would argue this is wishful thinking or pure arrogance. This isn't the 19th century, when our enemies were armed with broadswords and leather shields. Of a coherent antidemocratic movement were able to mobilise in several key areas it would be able to leverage that power to isolate and pick apart the democratic nations one by one just as fascism did in the 1930s. And just as fascism was able to ride roughshod over many nations in the '40s before economic and social mobilisation could occur, we would face the same only ten times faster due to advances in weapons technology.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Wals, have you ever read any of Modesitt Jnrs sci-fi where he tends to pose questions of the use of force and the ethics of it?

He does tend to pose the same questions answered from several sides in different books.

 

Altough he can tend to slam the economic questions in as well..

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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If there's a few good blasterbanquets, then I'm game. :ermm:

 

I'm more Gen Rupert Smith-ish.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Kill off a few doctors, and suddenly public support which had ebbed to an all time low is renewed.

This farce will never end when the masses are so easily manipulated.

 

J.

 

It's nice to see what paranoia can achieve in the other direction. :teehee:

 

So what's next? Iran? North-Korea? How much do you think the American taxpayer's wallet can take?

 

Do you even care?

 

A few doctors, some pregnant woman.. sad indeed, but this is about more than just a few individuals.

The masses tend to miss the bigger picture when faced with individual tragedies. You don't justify a

prolongation of a full-scale multi-national invasion with pictures of an ugly shoebomber, or a dead doctor.

The blind masses tend to think and act just like you do when Fox-news hit them with drive-bys like these

from time to time.

 

Time to wisen up and think a bit further.. eh?

 

J.

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Time to wisen up and think a bit further.. eh?

 

So your alternative, my faux-wise adolescent friend is to assert that every threat we are told about is a lie? What a cosy world you live in, where nothing ever actually threatens us! Or perhaps you believe that ONLY our own side ever threatens us, in which case I hope you find your paranoia comforting.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Time to wisen up and think a bit further.. eh?

 

So your alternative, my faux-wise adolescent friend is to assert that every threat we are told about is a lie? What a cosy world you live in, where nothing ever actually threatens us! Or perhaps you believe that ONLY our own side ever threatens us, in which case I hope you find your paranoia comforting.

Trust me doc., the epitome of paranoia is when you divide the whole world into two segments; axis and allies, and

intimidate every ally by stating that you're either with us, or with the terrorists.

 

That's paranoia.

 

J.

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