Honestly, who really gives a damn about Afghanistan?

AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
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Sandusky Sailing Club
we would have had to lay waste to the whole city to get the fighters out, we walked away instead.
Remind me why the US had a right to invade Iraq again  ?? 

And .  

you are wrong - the US leveled Fallujah three times  . . 

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-vicious-battle-to-capture-fallujah-in-2004-was-a-close-fought-nightmare

you are less than half right . . 

] The second battle was the bloodiest battle of the entire Iraq War for American troops,[21] and is notable for being the first major engagement of the Iraq War fought solely against insurgents rather than the forces of the former Ba'athist Iraqi government, which was deposed in 2003. 

The third one was to drive out ISIS early 2014  

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
9,411
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Tasmania, Australia
Supposedly, there are squazillions of dollars worth of rare-earth elements in Afghanistan's dusty rocks. They could certainly end up rich, but that could easily be a mixed blessing.... even an outright curse.
Yeah - all those oil trillions worked out really well for the Saudis, hey?

Remind me again - just *which* country exported Wahabiism to the world? And *which* country had its citizens level the World Trade Towers?

Now if they'd stayed dirt poor, uneducated and HOME - would that have been likely?

FKT

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
9,411
2,951
Tasmania, Australia
Mohammed Bin Lyin said:
Muhammad Wahhab was an Islamic scholar the term Wahhabism is a western invention. To refute anything Muhammad Wahhab preached will mean you're refuting what $$Profit Mo preached it's not going to happen. There is nothing unislamic in what Wahhab preached.

100 years ago Islam was nearly dead oil money has revived it.
Go tell someone who cares. Get back to me after reading first Louis Burkhardt's account of travels in that region - IIRC that was in 1812 or thereabouts - and then Thesiger's accounts of travels in the Empty Quarter in the 50's.

I don't give a fuck about Islam or any other religion. I regard such 'crimes' as apostasy and blasphemy as crimes all right - crimes against humanity.

They want to believe & live a medieval life, great. Just don't try exporting it anywhere I am. I don't want to know and I'm most certainly not going to respect the beliefs.

FKT

 

Bus Driver

Cunning Linguist
I've seen some of our elected officials are criticizing the President over Afghanistan, loudly pointing out how this will lead to violence against women. While I agree the situation over there is horrible, and likely to get worse, I am left to wonder where was this concern when it was time to vote for the "Violence Against Women Act"? 172 Republicans voted AGAINST it. And, many of them are the ones who are now feigning concern.

Screen Shot 2021-08-17 at 7.18.26 AM.png

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,132
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Eastern NC
I've seen some of our elected officials are criticizing the President over Afghanistan, loudly pointing out how this will lead to violence against women. While I agree the situation over there is horrible, and likely to get worse, I am left to wonder where was this concern when it was time to vote for the "Violence Against Women Act"? 172 Republicans voted AGAINST it. And, many of them are the ones who are now feigning concern.

View attachment 457994
It's only bad when other people do it.... same as torture

- DSK

 

loneshark64

Super Anarchist
1,396
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Midcoast Maine
random. said:
The US is still doing shit at the airport, while reports I heard today was that the Taliban are attempting to keep law and order to allow the Americans to be able to GTFO.

That and the fact that there has been no street fighting or reports of be-headings smacks of some communication between the forces.

That is the only explanation.  They have cut a deal.
Tom Carper, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and an ally of the president's, said in a statement that the withdrawal of U.S. troops "should have been carefully planned to prevent violence and instability."

Yeah. Sure. We could have done something IN FUCKING AFGHANISTAN to prevent violence and instability.

Biden is gritting his teeth and getting us the f out.

 

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
27,375
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chum said:
You would have thought some of their local tribesman neighbors who had a basic understanding of the modem wold hold have stopped such nonsense. WTF? They’ve  had aircraft coming and going there for decades.
Desperation. It will not stop them from trying.

 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
33,426
2,467
Melbourne
Interesting perspective

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-08-17/afghan-taliban-evolved-since-20-years-ago/100379358

Farzana Kochai, one of only a handful of female members of the Afghan Parliament, woke up Sunday morning to the "shocking" news that the Taliban had entered Afghanistan's capital.


Key points:


  • The Taliban are "drastically" different from 20 years ago due to globalisation and the experiences they gained
  • They are still very conservative but may be more liberal than last time in a bid to retain power for longer
  • The group had promised freedom of speech, media and women's rights, as well as the protection of minorities would be upheld


Speaking to the ABC from Kabul on Monday, she said Taliban vehicles were patrolling the streets and militants had entered government buildings, the parliament and the presidential palace.


"I had expected the Taliban to come to Kabul through a peace settlement or agreement but not like this and not this fast," she said.




"We can't say what will happen and how they will be. Time is needed."

Ms Kochai spoke with poise and calm, but elsewhere, scenes of chaos played out as thousands of Afghans rushed to the airport and border crossings or hid in fear of what a second Taliban rule could mean for their country, their families and their own lives.


Those old enough remembered the legacy of repression and violence, especially against women and minorities, that marred the country the last time the Taliban were in power 20 years ago.
Now they face a fearful wait to see if the Taliban have evolved as the country and the world changed around them.

And if their promises to preserve the rights of women and "forgive" their former enemies can be trusted.


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Farzana Kochai is now one of a handful of female members of the Afghan Parliament.(

Supplied

)



Ms Kochai said Kabul was currently in a “total power vacuum”, with neither the government nor the Taliban fully in charge.

"Let's see how they are flexible in regards to women and what they will do in regard to politicians and those who are against them," she said.

Afghan researcher and political analyst Irfan Yar said the Taliban had changed "drastically" due to globalisation and the experience they have gained.

"When they came to power initially they were just students from the madrasahs, they knew nothing, but within the last 20 or 24 years, they got involved in politics," he said, adding that gradually they learnt how to negotiate and cooperate with international allies.

"They are not as liberal as the Afghan government, they are still very conservative.


"But they realise that if they impose the same repressive regime, nobody is going to accept it, especially the international community."




To determine what may lay ahead for Afghanistan, it is crucial to look at how the Taliban were formed, how they ruled the country more than two decades ago, and the context in which they first took power.


The Taliban legacy




 



In the 1980s, international parties — including the United State's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its Pakistani counterpart the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — backed a coalition of loosely aligned "mujahideen", or Islamic fighters, against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

But as the Soviet-backed government fell, fighting continued between the Afghan warlords that took power.


 



In 1994, a group emerged from the Pashtun mujahideen in the south that came to be known as the Taliban.

Taliban is the Arabic word for students and used locally to refer to students of the Koran, which is written in Arabic.

The movement attracted popular support because the Taliban promised to stamp out corruption and bring stability and rule of law to a war-weary nation.

In 1996, the Taliban captured Kabul and proclaimed the establishment of an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

But the name Taliban has remained more widely recognised in reference to the group who were soon labelled a terrorist organisation and condemned by human rights groups and governments who had previously backed them against Russia.

Their austere version of sharia, or Islamic law, included public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations for those found guilty of theft.

Men were required to grow beards and women were stripped of their individual rights and required to be completely covered outside the home.

They banned television, music and cinema and disapproved of girls going to school.

The laws enforced by the Taliban may seem harsh elsewhere in the world, but many of these restrictions were already practised as part of Afghan tradition, culture and beliefs, particularly in rural areas where the militant group have held on to power, despite a US invasion in 2001.

But the Taliban are a predominantly Pashtun movement and Afghanistan has numerous ethnic groups.

In the larger cities where women and minorities have made many advances towards equal rights, hundreds of thousands have been trying to flee in fear of a return of these repressive laws and the repercussions they could face if they do not comply.


'There was bad, but there was good too'


Ms Kochai spoke to the ABC two months ago, before the rapid advances of the Taliban.

She said while many Afghans suffered under the Taliban's harsh laws, the first Taliban takeover more than 20 years ago was in many ways a welcome relief in the context of the Afghan war at that time.

)



She said she was just seven years old and described a war-torn country full of corruption and crime with warlords who would seize girls as young as 12 from their homes and give them to their soldiers as brides.


"Before the Taliban, people were so afraid. Women were not safe, daughters were not safe," she told the ABC.




"At that time we weren't thinking about our right to vote or our right to work or leave the house unaccompanied – all the people were thinking about was to feel safe inside their own houses and that was what the Taliban offered."

As children, she said they were treated very kindly by the Taliban.

Although her own parents were illiterate, she was educated thanks to a local Taliban leader who hired a former female teacher to give lessons to his own teenage daughters as well as local children.

"There was no corruption, there was no crime in all of society," she said.


"There was bad, but there was good too and we have to talk about that."






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Twenty years after the Taliban were driven from Kabul, most women still dress conservatively.(

Reuters: Omar Sobhani

)



In 2001, a US-led coalition ousted the Taliban after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US by Al Qaeda  — who were operating out of Taliban territory in Afghanistan — and established a new government in Kabul.

The Taliban regrouped as an insurgency and launched a decades-long campaign against the new Afghan government and foreign occupying forces.

Ms Kochai now awaits the fate of her country in Kabul after looking at its future through a different lens two months ago.

Speaking to the ABC back then, she had stressed the need to reach a peace deal with the Taliban while there was still time to negotiate concessions to protect human rights, international relations and modernisation.


'No-one can change Islamic rules'




8f48ab3ed345746239b0ffc66bdaec63




Suhail Shaheen is a member of Taliban's negotiation team.(

Reuters: Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool

)



Suhail Shaheen, spokesman for the Taliban's Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, told the ABC that the group has evolved and gained experience over time.

Speaking to the ABC before the recent takeover of Kabul and other major cities, he said under a new Taliban government, freedom of speech, media and women's rights, as well as the protection of minorities, would be upheld.

But he also emphasised that previous laws and punishments that were based on Islamic law would remain.


"No-one in the Islamic world, anyone calling himself Muslim, can change the Islamic rules," he said.




"Some legislation made by man can be changed, but not the rules made by God."

Exactly what would change and what would remain the same would be decided by religious scholars, he said.


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International support has helped increase education levels for women.(

The World Bank Photo Collection / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

)



Ms Kochai said now that women have rejoined society, participating in education, the economy and politics, it would be difficult to take that away.

"I don't think they could challenge women's position in society now," she said.

The safety concerns of the 90s no longer exist, so there is no excuse to lock women away in the home, she added.

But undoubtedly, there will be strict rules imposed on women's dress and their involvement in society. 

"We can make these concessions – it’s a small price for the bloodshed to stop," she said, referring to the 40 years of war that could end if a peaceful resolution is reached between all sides.

"After we have security we can discuss these things, but for now this should not be a red line."


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Farzana Kochai represents the Kochi nomadic tribes of Afghanistan.(

Supplied

)




How did the Taliban take control so fast?


Since they regrouped as an insurgency soon after their defeat in 2001, the Taliban have slowly chipped away, regaining territory village by village.

By the time the Trump administration announced plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban already held large swathes of the country, but the cities remained in government hands.

As the last foreign troops withdrew, what had been a long slow fight to take back Afghanistan became a sprint for the Taliban, as city after city fell at a speed that exceeded everyone's expectations.

In many areas, government forces surrendered without a fight, while some militia groups fought for weeks before either fleeing or laying down their weapons.

 
Afghan researcher Mr Yar said it was like a snowball effect. As they took the district centres, they captured more weapons and vehicles, drew more recruits and strengthened their position.

He said as the morale of government forces withered, it became easier to negotiate the surrender of other military commanders.

Corruption within the Afghan administration had meant that many soldiers had not been paid for months and they felt as if their own government didn't have their backs, Mr Yar said.

The announcement from the Biden administration that it was up to the Afghan government to defend itself left government troops feeling abandoned and many surrendered en masse to the Taliban, he added.

 
Now that they have taken control, Mr Yar said he believes the next move will be for the Taliban to work with what remains of the former government.

"They have no technical teams. They are just guerrilla fighters, they don't know how to run an administration," he said.

"If the Taliban do a power-sharing mechanism, the people who are in the administration, they will remain the same, there will be less chaos.


"It will be easier to control everything … and to earn the people's trust."




But the nation still faces a humanitarian crisis, mass migration and the aftermath of 40 years of war.

"The only thing they can offer now is peace, however, under very strict circumstances, so at some cost," he said.



 
 

badlatitude

Super Anarchist
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CNN and MSNBC are no better this morning. From a Marine who served in Afghanistan


Man, I picked a good day to mostly stay off this site today. 

The number of bad takes by people who couldn't find Afghanistan on a map were coming fast and thick, and simultaneously ignoring the actual experts, ie those of us who survived by understanding Afghanistan is NOT the west 


"We trained the army for 20 years!" 

The average ANA service time was measured in weeks and months before they'd disappear, not years. 

Very few "veterans" in the ANA, and those who did exist were often reassigned to be VIP guards or other non-infantry roles 


"They had planes and helicopters!" 

Most of them are decades old, lacking crucial maintenance, and trained crews to repair them. There was talk of the ANA getting maintained in Qatar, but that's obviously not a viable strategy. 


"We should've trained them better!" 

We taught them to read and write, drive, talk on comms, AND how to fight. Largely, they ignored our lessons, preferring to look "manly" on Liveleak vs being combat effective. 

Plus it turns out they weren't getting paid by the Afghan govt. 

"But the govt has fallen!" 

For most people outside of Kabul and Kandahar, life doesn't change much. They're a tribal people, the Imam is their "leader", and his words ARE the law. 

There is no patriotism in Afghanistan as we know it, their loyalty is to their village and Imam. 


"We should've trained women to fight!" 

The Afghani people never would've recognized a military force comprised of women regardless of their effectiveness. The Afghan govt would actively sabotage them, and it would embolden the Taliban that we were corrupting the country. 


"We should've evacuated refugees sooner!" 

You can't start an evacuation of a nation's citizens until the govt allows it. We've learned that Ghani refused, which isn't surprising, given what it would've resulted in: his death at the hands of the Taliban. 


I can keep going, but the fact is there were 3 options: 

1) we left in May, fewer refugees get out, Taliban retake Afghanistan in days 

2) We leave now, packing 800 refugees into a C17 made for 100, meaning more refugees survive, Taliban take the country. 

3) 200k more US troops. 


2500 US troops since January didn't "hold the Taliban", because there were no engagements. It wasn't a deterrent, because most of those forces were transpo and support, not infantry. 

It would take 50-75x that much to actually secure the country. 150-200k infantry forces. 

And let's just say for giggles, the US takes the country back. 

Then what? We put in another puppet govt that the Taliban can buy off while they're rebuilding in Pakistan? 

Train another force that the corrupt govt won't pay so they can be bribed to surrender immediately? 

Or the alternative, Afghanistan becomes a "US protectorate", mimicking the Philippines for the next 50 years. 

But that ignores the rub: The Afghani people, unlike the Philippines, Koreans, Tawainese- didn't ask for democracy. 

we just showed up 
 

 

Swimsailor

Super Anarchist
4,079
1,541
UT
CNN and MSNBC are no better this morning. From a Marine who served in Afghanistan


Man, I picked a good day to mostly stay off this site today. 

The number of bad takes by people who couldn't find Afghanistan on a map were coming fast and thick, and simultaneously ignoring the actual experts, ie those of us who survived by understanding Afghanistan is NOT the west 


"We trained the army for 20 years!" 

The average ANA service time was measured in weeks and months before they'd disappear, not years. 

Very few "veterans" in the ANA, and those who did exist were often reassigned to be VIP guards or other non-infantry roles 


"They had planes and helicopters!" 

Most of them are decades old, lacking crucial maintenance, and trained crews to repair them. There was talk of the ANA getting maintained in Qatar, but that's obviously not a viable strategy. 


"We should've trained them better!" 

We taught them to read and write, drive, talk on comms, AND how to fight. Largely, they ignored our lessons, preferring to look "manly" on Liveleak vs being combat effective. 

Plus it turns out they weren't getting paid by the Afghan govt. 

"But the govt has fallen!" 

For most people outside of Kabul and Kandahar, life doesn't change much. They're a tribal people, the Imam is their "leader", and his words ARE the law. 

There is no patriotism in Afghanistan as we know it, their loyalty is to their village and Imam. 


"We should've trained women to fight!" 

The Afghani people never would've recognized a military force comprised of women regardless of their effectiveness. The Afghan govt would actively sabotage them, and it would embolden the Taliban that we were corrupting the country. 


"We should've evacuated refugees sooner!" 

You can't start an evacuation of a nation's citizens until the govt allows it. We've learned that Ghani refused, which isn't surprising, given what it would've resulted in: his death at the hands of the Taliban. 


I can keep going, but the fact is there were 3 options: 

1) we left in May, fewer refugees get out, Taliban retake Afghanistan in days 

2) We leave now, packing 800 refugees into a C17 made for 100, meaning more refugees survive, Taliban take the country. 

3) 200k more US troops. 


2500 US troops since January didn't "hold the Taliban", because there were no engagements. It wasn't a deterrent, because most of those forces were transpo and support, not infantry. 

It would take 50-75x that much to actually secure the country. 150-200k infantry forces. 

And let's just say for giggles, the US takes the country back. 

Then what? We put in another puppet govt that the Taliban can buy off while they're rebuilding in Pakistan? 

Train another force that the corrupt govt won't pay so they can be bribed to surrender immediately? 

Or the alternative, Afghanistan becomes a "US protectorate", mimicking the Philippines for the next 50 years. 

But that ignores the rub: The Afghani people, unlike the Philippines, Koreans, Tawainese- didn't ask for democracy. 

we just showed up 
 
This explanation satisfies me.  Moving on.

 

tommays

Super Anarchist
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43
Northport
My son is a DSS agent and finished his Kabul tour in June and the never ending IED explosions made for a stressful year for everyone involved  

 

AJ Oliver

Super Anarchist
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Sandusky Sailing Club
Koreans, . . .  didn't ask for democracy.    we just showed up 
The Koreans at least achieved a decent democracy IN SPITE OF THE US, who foisted upon them corrupt authoritarian collaborator thugs like Rhee. 

When will y'all begin to grasp that the US only very rarely supports democratic reforms around the world ??? 

 
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