Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

How Many More

Four more of our soldiers killed in Afghanistan although to watch the news you would think it was just the first woman to die there, Cpl Sarah Bryant, the three young men are barely mentioned.

How many more of our armed forces must lose their lives before governments recall that the might of the old Soviet Union, hardly known for their kid gloves, could not defeat by force the Taliban and were thrown back, bowed and bloodied.

Why are our people so quiet about this carnage, why are there not demonstrations daily demanding an end to it? It’s beyond me. Afghanistan may well be a training ground for terrorists but if and I doubt it, Afghanistan were denied them they would find somewhere else. They cannot launch an attack from there upon us so why are we there without even a Sadham to focus on? Could it be that I seem to recall we want to build pipelines across the country?

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8 thoughts on “How Many More

  1. alamanach on said:

    “How many more of our armed forces must lose their lives before governments recall that the might of the old Soviet Union, hardly known for their kid gloves, could not defeat by force the Taliban and were thrown back, bowed and bloodied.”

    It’s funny you would frame it that way, because I just wrote a post on this very issue. If force is not an effective means of dealing with the Taliban, then what do you propose?

    Also, I have to challenge your assertion that terrorists could not launch a strike from Afghanistan. About seven years ago, 19 members of a terrorist organization headquartered in Afghanistan launched a major, and highly successful, terrorist attack. It made headline news at the time; if you Google it you should be able to find something.

    Come to think of it, there was another notable attack just last week. It kicked off a chain of events that prompted both the post of mine that I’ve mentioned, and the battle that killed Cpl Bryant.

  2. Hi alamanach
    My point is that the Taliban cannot launch an attack ‘directly’ upon ‘the West’ from Afghanistan, they do not have any means of delivery. Agreed? They can plan an attack from there it is true but they can also plan from Pakistan, Boston or Birmingham. We should not forget either, that no matter what we think of them, to the Taliban we are invaders in their land.

    The West is seen by them and many others as an ungodly power and control seeking profit motivated destroyer of different cultures. If we are honest with ourselves we will see that there is at least some truth in that perception. We should look and keep that which is truly good in our way of life and change that which does not advance humanity to a higher level. In so doing we ourselves would also benefit.

  3. alamanach on said:

    I can agree with that as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. The Taliban are not the result of our own flaws, and attending to our own flaws (as healthy an exercise as that is) will not make the Taliban go away. Even if we were to become perfect, they would still have to be dealt with. They have refused to negotiate (http://www.thestar.com/News/article/259681), and you have suggested that use of force is not a solution. So what do you propose?

  4. ‘The Taliban are not the result of our own flaws’

    Arn’t they? Maybe, maybe not but we are attempting to impose our version of democracy on that country along with our values. Democracy cannot be imposed it can only develop, with assistance if requested.

    The Taliban fighters have refused to negotiate while 50-60,000 foreign troops are in their country which implies that negotiation is possible. “Karzai insisted that reliable communication channels are opening up.” http://www.thestar.com/Article/259704 in a link from the newspaper that you quoted.

    A belief or an idea cannot be defeated by force particularly if a part of that belief is that on death you go straight to a heaven as a martyr. The Soviets couldn’t do it in Afghanistan, the US couldn’t do it in Vietnam. Negotiation must be a part of the answer and without I hope, seeming facetious we elect leaders to find ways. The trouble is they tend to call for force first and think after.

  5. alamanach on said:

    Well, if you can get the Taliban to talk– or even to just stop blowing people up– I’ll be your number 1 fan. Nobody else has been able to reason with these guys. It doesn’t help that, as you point out, their beliefs include death being a reward.

    An idea cannot be defeated by physical force, but a man can be. My own thoughts on this are developed in an essay I posted here: http://alamanach.com/2008/06/20/the-sword-is-mightier-than-the-pen/ , if you are interested.

    Oh, and no, they are not the result of our own flaws. The Taliban are the result of Islam’s flaws. (It’s a bit vain to think that everything would be our fault, isn’t it?)

  6. I don’t think I said anywhere that ‘everything is our fault’ but we have to acknowledge our part or progress is impossible.

    Personally I’m not hung up on any religion but Islam is a peace loving belief but it does include that an attack on one Muslim is an attack on all Muslims. Seems fair enough to me, it’s same principle underpinning NATO.

  7. alamanach on said:

    “Islam… does include that an attack on one Muslim is an attack on all Muslims. Seems fair enough to me, it’s same principle underpinning NATO.”

    That would make the Taliban, somewhat ironically, an enemy of all Islam. Can you see the paradox in that? Can you see how base and depraved their ideology is? The ethics of their own religion condemns them.

  8. Hmm! I can see how their ideology is removed from Islam in much the same way that another religion has. I’m thinking of one that teaches ‘love your enemies, turn the other cheek, do good to those that hate you, love your neighbour as yourself’ and then over the centuries kills millions of people in the name of that relgion.

    I think that drifts over into another topic for another day though don’t you.

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