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Posted: 11/18/2001 1:15:57 AM EDT
Ah, who can beat the British at saying what must be said, when it needs to be said? Look! [size=4]Yes, this is a victory[/size=4] THE Taliban regime in Afghanistan is crumbling fast. The cities of Mazar-i-Sharif, Kabul and Jalalabad have already fallen to the Northern Alliance. In the northern city of Kunduz, thousands of Taliban fighters are surrounded by opposition troops and bombarded by US warplanes: only the stronghold of Kandahar now remains in Taliban hands, and no one can predict for how long. The swiftness of the Taliban's defeat has proved wrong those critics who claimed, as they so often did during military action against Milosevic in Serbia, that victory was not possible without a protracted war and the loss of many military and civilian lives. In fact, as John Simpson observed in The Sunday Telegraph on October 7, the Taliban were always better at the routine infliction of terror upon fearful civilians than fighting in pitched battles. Nor could they hope to match the technological superiority of the West: "It's a fairly safe assumption that the Taliban will be a pushover. Whatever happens, the Americans have got the 21st century equivalent of the Gatling gun, and the Afghans have not." At the same time as Taliban fighters fled their positions last week, there were elections to a new 120-member parliament in Kosovo: the deposed Serbian president Milosevic now stands trial for war crimes at The Hague. [b]It is hard to avoid the conclusion that America's strategic use of air-power in short, sharp campaigns has been shown to work[/b]. Even as events in Afghanistan are still unravelling, it is clear that the central aims of the West's "war on terrorism" have already been greatly advanced. President Bush and the Prime Minister were determined to show that any regime which harboured "terrorism with a global reach" would suffer as a result, and they have succeeded. The Taliban have lost their seven-year grip on power in the last seven days, and their political fellow travellers in Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network have seen many of their key military bases destroyed, and members killed. One of the reported casualties was Muhammed Atef, bin Laden's right-hand man and military commander. Atef was widely thought to be the tactician behind the suicide bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, which killed 224 people and wounded 4,000 more. There was lamentably little US action after those attacks, and others. But if ever proof were needed that the murderous appetite of al-Qaeda was not sated, but quickened, by these successes, it was provided by the terrible events of September 11. The organisation's chillingly detailed plans for chemical and nuclear bombs, which were found last week in a hastily-abandoned Kabul safe house, revealed that even greater atrocities against Western civilians were on their way. The discovery confirmed that action against al-Qaeda was not a choice: it was a necessity. Now, the consequences of terrorism have finally been brought home to bin Laden himself: he is on the run, with his second-in-command dead and his own status that of an international pariah. [b]For, with the fate of the Taliban regime so clear, which other government would be willing to offer bin Laden refuge[/b]? - continued -
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 1:18:15 AM EDT
The suddenness with which Taliban control has collapsed is certainly a cause for celebration. Their political successors, however, give reason for caution. With predictable speed, the power vacuum in Kabul and elsewhere has been filled by the Northern Alliance, a loose association of minority Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. These tribal groupings have been welded together by their common hatred of the Taliban, but - as the chequered history of Afghanistan shows - it could take very little to spark a resumption of feuding. With the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Alliance lost its most experienced military leader; with that of Abdul Haq, it also lost a politician who was well-versed in dealings with the West. Last week, instead of professing his gratitude to America and Britain for their decisive role in routing the Taliban, the Alliance's defence minister, General Mohammed Quassim Fahim, was voicing his resentment at the arrival of British ground troops: "The British forces perhaps have an agreement with the UN but not with us," he said. "The Taliban, who were an obstacle to peace, have been eliminated. There is therefore no need for thousands of foreign troops." There is a coded warning in his use of the phrase "foreign troops": it is a reminder that Afghans will not easily tolerate the prolonged presence of any alien army on their soil, be that army composed of Russians or well-meaning UN peace-keepers. [u]There is only one thing which Afghans have traditionally pursued more vigorously than fighting each other, and that is fighting off a foreign invader[/u]. An element of that lesson is present even in the collapse of the Taliban regime. It was loathed by many ordinary Afghans not only for its rigid repression, but also because it depended for survival upon the might of an army of assorted Arab, Chechen and Pakistani volunteers. When captured by the Northern Alliance, such foreign volunteers are treated with a ferocity which far outweighs the treatment meted out to fellow-Afghans. The British and American governments have spoken frequently of the necessity of creating a "broad-based coalition government" in Kabul, which will successfully represent all the country's ethnic groups. Laura Bush and Cherie Blair are leading an international campaign for women's rights in Afghanistan. These are indeed worthy aims, and many forms of pressure can be put on Northern Alliance leaders to achieve them. Distribution of the massive Western aid package for Afghanistan, for example, can be made contingent on the willingness of local commanders to co-operate in providing food, shelter and protection of the basic rights of their citizens. But Afghanistan is not, and never has been, a fertile garden for democracy. Should the West attempt to impose its favoured "broad-based government" militarily, it is likely to meet the same fate as every other force which has attempted to impose its will on Afghanistan: bogged in a painful and bloody war of attrition. - continued -
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 1:18:50 AM EDT
[u]The harsh truth is that we did not enter the war to establish a liberal democracy in Afghanistan, or to defend women's rights: if that were the case, we would have taken military action long before September 11[/u]. We attacked the Taliban justifiably as an act of pure self-defence, to help prevent further al-Qaeda attacks upon the West. In that, and that alone, we can proudly claim to have succeeded. See article at: [url]http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/dt?ac=006589784759152&rtmo=V1PuPPFx&atmo=rrrrrrrq&pg=/01/11/18/dl01.html[/url] Eric The(Here,Here![u]That[/u]NeededToBeSaid!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 2:06:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2001 1:59:07 AM EDT by platform389]
When captured by the Northern Alliance, such foreign volunteers are treated with a ferocity which far outweighs the treatment meted out to fellow-Afghans.
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Here's hoping that guy from New Jersey who "volunteered" to fight after his mother was rescued from WTC gets in on some of this action...[IMG]http://www.theunholytrinity.org/cracks_smileys/contrib/aahmed/biggrin.gif[/IMG]
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 11:19:40 AM EDT
Personally I don't think this war is over yet. The Taliban have fled to the mountians, where they are comfortable fighting. Hell, the Soviets controlled Kabul and they still lost. Guerilla fighting is what they are good at, so don't be surprised if this war drags on. Another thing, I thought we weren't in the business of nation building? I remember Bush and a lot of people here say that we aren't going to create a new government there, yet that is exactly what they are doing now. =
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 4:23:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By libertyof76: Personally I don't think this war is over yet. The Taliban have fled to the mountians, where they are comfortable fighting. Hell, the Soviets controlled Kabul and they still lost. Guerilla fighting is what they are good at, so don't be surprised if this war drags on.
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Yet another person repeating that inaccuracy. In TRUTH, the Soviets had the war won until we started supplying the Mujahadeen. Also, there are several key differences between the Soviet situation and ours: 1)the Soviets were seeking to control the country. We don't need to do that. 2)the Soviets were fighting an on-the-ground war which established them as "the invader" in the psyche of the common people. We are letting the Afghans fight their own ground battles. 3)the population supported the Mujahadeen. They do not support Al Quaida and the non-Afghani Taliban members. In fact, they are killing each other. 4)the Soviets lacked the technology we have that can find even individual people in the mountains. So, in sum, your assessment lacks a grounding in the reality of the current situation in Afghanistan.
Another thing, I thought we weren't in the business of nation building? I remember Bush and a lot of people here say that we aren't going to create a new government there, yet that is exactly what they are doing now. =
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No, it is not. We are not nation building, we are nation DESTROYING. We will leave it to the UN to rebuild the political structure.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 4:44:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RikWriter: Yet another person repeating that inaccuracy. In TRUTH, the Soviets had the war won until we started supplying the Mujahadeen. Also, there are several key differences between the Soviet situation and ours: 1)the Soviets were seeking to control the country. We don't need to do that.
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maybe not "control" the whole country, but we are setting up a gov't for us
2)the Soviets were fighting an on-the-ground war which established them as "the invader" in the psyche of the common people. We are letting the Afghans fight their own ground battles.
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True. But we did help the Northern Aliance, just like we helped the mujahardeen. And look what happened to the mujahardeen. They turned on us.
3)the population supported the Mujahadeen. They do not support Al Quaida and the non-Afghani Taliban members. In fact, they are killing each other.
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True.
4)the Soviets lacked the technology we have that can find even individual people in the mountains.
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Technology isn't always the answer, and it can't crush the will of the Taliban
So, in sum, your assessment lacks a grounding in the reality of the current situation in Afghanistan. No, it is not. We are not nation building, we are nation DESTROYING. We will leave it to the UN to rebuild the political structure.
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But we are major contributors of the UN, and we ARE going to have a hand in a post-Taliban gov't. Let me see if I can dig up some Bush quotes on this.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 4:45:49 PM EDT
I believe we are only intentionally destroying about 50,000 shit-heads out of what 25,000,000 people ??
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 5:13:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By libertyof76: maybe not "control" the whole country, but we are setting up a gov't for us
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No, we are not. We are destroying a government. The UN will help the other factions set up a government.
True. But we did help the Northern Aliance, just like we helped the mujahardeen. And look what happened to the mujahardeen. They turned on us.
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If they do, we will deal with them too. They would be damned stupid to do so, given what they've just seen, however.
Technology isn't always the answer, and it can't crush the will of the Taliban
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The will of the Taliban is crushed already. Evidence is them killing each other.
But we are major contributors of the UN, and we ARE going to have a hand in a post-Taliban gov't. Let me see if I can dig up some Bush quotes on this.
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Don't bother. US TROOPS will not be on the ground peacekeeping for a nation building effort. We will certainly have some say in how the nation is built, but that is only right.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 5:42:48 PM EDT
The difference between the Mujhadeen and the Taliban is that the Mujhadeen had the support of the people. When they were in the mountains, people brought them food. The Taliban have no such support and will merely starve in the mountains. They can have the mountains as far as I'm concerned.
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 5:49:39 PM EDT
I want to know where that woman got off to who dumped the six Towel-i-Benders who showed up to beat her for some "offence." She's probably still running around loose with that pistol hidden under her burkha, waiting for the next round of fun and games. ------- So, has she got a sister?
Link Posted: 11/18/2001 8:54:49 PM EDT
Sure she has sisters.... but there is a reason they keep a bag on her head[;)]
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