Hague in Afghanistan 47

There has been a welcome lack of triumphalism from the Tory visit to Afghanistan and, unless I have missed it, a welcome lack of posing in body armour and camouflage gear. The talk has been of speeding up the training of the Afghan National Army so we can leave. This is of course a figleaf – the Afghan National Army is an anti-Pashtun alliance with US weapons, and will never be able to control the country. But the pragmatic desire to get out of there, whatever the excuse, is welcome.

I have been much heartened to see Bill Patey very close with the delegation, as UK Ambassador to Afghanistan. Bill’s predecessor, Sherard Cowper Coles, famously advocated that we should remain in military occupation for decades more to try to improve Afghanistan. I can guarantee that Bill will have no such crazed notions.

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47 thoughts on “Hague in Afghanistan

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  • Alfred


    Re: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” and accusations of racism seems the penultimate.

    Nowadays, patriotism seems often to be regarded as tantamount to racism and equal in presumed villainy.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    ‘Are you sure you’re not making that mistake of thinking that Iran’s leaders have no hardheaded geostrategic ideas of their own but produce tenth-rate propaganda…’

    No! Iran’s leaders are focused on the Afghanistan people sold out by rubles and dollars that subsidised criminals to fight Communism and later on power structures of the “Panjshiri Mafia” that elevated the persona of Massoud to national hero status.

    The remnants of Massoud’s criminal enterprises now seek absolution from their crimes against humanity by attaching themselves to their manufactured saint.

    Meanwhile the strategy is rewritten to broker deals with the Taliban by MI6 and allow them to use drug trafficking money to rearm in the hope of implosion that will allow the puppet regime to gain strength and further a master plan of regional dominance already weakened by Karzai’s refusing to play ball.

    Meanwhile our technical boys, frustrated by sheer lack of numbers are blown to pieces by more sophisticated IED’s. No wonder our top bomb disposal officer in Afghanistan has resigned over the welfare of his men – fucking chaos – instead of destroying the monster we created our anesthetised politicians are sheeple to secret intelligence services dictate.

    UN Secretary General for Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura has recognised Iran’s role in hosting several million Afghans in the past years, stated that the Islamic Republic has incurred “huge costs” in its efforts to bring stability in Afghanistan and “the UN is well aware of this.”

  • angrysoba

    “What the fuck are you talking about. Why don’t you answer the question. How can you discuss the war in Afghanistan as a matter of geostrategic imperative when you insist we’re there because they attacked us on 9/11. Your reponse makes entirely clear the insincerity of your rejection of the argument that 9/11 was a false flag attack to justify a war of aggression.”

    Well, I’m not really sure why I should answer your question given that you…

    a) didn’t answer any of my questions about your dubious views on immigration in the BNP thread.

    b) have brought up a topic that has its very own thread and is not supposed to be discussed here as you’ve been told many a time and yet continue to ignore. (Honestly, some people and their obsessions, eh? *eyeroll*)

    But as you ask, there is no contradiction in talking about the geostrategic location of Afghanistan. It wasn’t me who brought it up, I was responding to a point about that. The abysmal logic that leads you to conclude from that that 9/11 must therefore be an inside job – and further, that I must believe that too – is, well, abysmal but par for the course in the grasping logic of the Truthers.


    It seems to me that there were two issues involved in the invasion of Afghanistan. One, to break up “al-Qaeda’s” bases there and remove the barbaric Taliban from power (and I’m sorry to those “exoticists” who think the Taliban were libertarian rebels against the New World Order, they weren’t!) and the second was to create some form of stability there. If such stability had happened then perhaps we may well have ended up seeing a few pipelines going across the country and I am in the minority who thinks that would have actually been a good thing.

    But, it didn’t happen and now the occupation force has drifted from one form of mission creep to the next.

  • angrysoba

    Mark, Massoud was also one of the Iranians men in Afghanistan.

    I agree that his legend has been inflated. He too was a killer after all but I don’t understand the point you are making.

  • angrysoba

    By the way, Alfred, this is one of my favourite videos of Bzrezinski.

    The “radical” group We Are Change asks him what he got up to at the Bilderberg group and his answer is highly amusing.


    Of course, We Are Change are apparently immune to irony and triumphantly post these videos on their website.

  • Alfred


    So, as I understand your comment, you see 9/11 as just a fortunate “catalyzing event”, as hoped for by the neocons, to justify invasion of Afghanistan and sundry other military ventures.

    You raise some issue about immigration. I don’t know what you are talking about, but if you wish to restate it, I’ll respond to it. But don’t refer me to some long-dead thread: I have better things to do with what remains of my one and only life than to try figuring out what you may have meant when you may have asked a question in some now forgotten discussion.

    I looked at the Bzrezinski clip you referred to. Our impressions of the man are greatly at odds.

    To me, he comes across as extraodinarily and defensively arrogant: a man with a spitting contempt for his youthful audience.

    What kind of a school can Columbia be? Universities are supposed top instill a capacity for rational discourse?

    Bzrezinski treats the questioners with contempt. No doubt they are ignorant, but it is to cure ignorance, not to despise it, that a university should exist.

  • angrysoba

    “So, as I understand your comment, you see 9/11 as just a fortunate “catalyzing event”, as hoped for by the neocons, to justify invasion of Afghanistan and sundry other military ventures.”

    Well, then your reading comprehension and/or understanding is pretty poor. I never actually said any of that at all. If you want to continue this discussion it will benefit you from responding to what I actually say rather than your strawman positions you set out.

    And I don’t care to talk about immigration with you again on this thread. It was predicted by Richard Robinson that you would depart the BNP voting tree thread after a few of us responded to your posts on race/intelligence and immigration and indeed you did decide to leave and haven’t returned to it since.

    You can play dumb all you want and, to be fair, you’re a natural at it.

    I’m not actually interested in continuing any discussion with you anyway as you have proven to be disingenuous at best but let me leave you with another video. This one is more entertaining than the Brzezinski one and features Stephen Colbert. Please DO watch to the end, it is good.


  • Alfred


    Your good at lies and insults: necessary tools, no doubt, for a shill.

    Glad to know this will be our last exchange, I don’t enjoy being lied about.

  • glenn

    Angrysoba: I was just flicking through the biker forums and noticed that this sort of comment is by no means uncommon:

    —-start quote

    Some makes are noticeably worse than others, and Kawasaki in my experience some of the worst. Honda probably the best of the Jap makes but still not the quality you should expect baring in mind the price we pay for our pleasures.

    —-end quote

    Notice the use of the abbreviated “Jap” in there? The guy who wrote it was not being racist in any sense. No more than the term “Brit” to describe a British person is racist.

    I don’t know if you’re overly sensitive to that particular term, but you should note that some phrases are not meant as an affront to the latest PC approved terminology by most people.

    Up in the valleys, they use the term “darkie” still to describe our those with darker skin. It’s not meant as an unkind reference. Fact of the matter is they rarely see such a person in those parts, and do not know it might cause offense.

    Don’t you think it might be jumping the gun to assume one is a regular clan meeting attendee, is using racial slurs and so on, because they used the term “Jap” ?

    Jeez, you should hear what I have to put up with for being Welsh! Every British person knows exactly what I’m talking about too.

  • Alfred

    Being rather dim, no doubt, it was not until seeing Glenn’s remark that it occurred to me what Angrysoba was talking about in his seeming bizarre reference to the KKK.

    But now that I am enlightened, I still believe that Angrysoba’s reference to the KKK was bizarre and offensive. Furthermore, I feel no contrition for using the term Jap with reference to Japanese convicted of war crimes during WWII.

    It was precisely because the term Jap was applied to a mighty, terrible and thus much hated foe that it acquired a derogatory connotation.

    It is surely entirely appropriate, therefore, to apply the term Jap to those who were deemed to be criminally responsible for the Japanese aggression and the atrocities committed by the Japanese during the war.

    Had it occurred to me, I would likely have referred to sundry “Huns and Japs” hanged by the sanctimonious allies after WWII, rather than “Nazis and Japs.” But there would have been no slur intended or, I think, by a reasonable person perceived, against Germans and Japanese who were not deemed war criminals.

    It might be argued that the Huns and Japs hanged as war criminals were, in fact, no worse than the worst of the Allies, and that it is, therefore, hypocritical to single them out for derogatory comment. However, first, I implied a degree of Allied hypocrisy by referring to the sanctimony of the Allied prosecution of enemy war criminals (perhaps this is what raised Angrysoba’s ire). But it is nevertheless the case, that the Hunnish and Jappish war criminals were responsible for atrocious crimes against humanity and deserved both punishment and ignominy.

  • Alfred

    Although I have just asserted the propriety of using the term Jap, with whatever derogatory implication that term may have, in reference to Japanese war criminals, I believe Glenn is entirely correct in arguing that Jap is as a reasonable an abbreviation for Japanese as Brit is for British and that it has no necessary pejorative connotation.

    We all have the right, as Humpty Dumpty put it, to have words mean whatever we want them to mean, neither more nor less. It is the context that normally indicates whether a word has an intended racist, sexist or otherwise insulting or demeaning signification.

    To insist that certain words can never be used without condemnation is simply to engage in a manipulative, bullying form of political correctness the seeks to compel others to adopt one’s own, quite likely absurd or impoverished, vocabulary. Moreover, such political correctness seeks, what is impossible, to fix the meaning of words for all time.

    For example, “Canuck” was originally a derogatory term applied in New England to Quebecers who crossed the border to find work. However, as the word is now widely employed in Canada it is simply a two-syllable alternative to the four-syllable word “Canadian”.

    The acceptability of “Canuck” among Canadians was confirmed many years ago by its adoption as the name of Vancouver’s NHL hockey team.

    In North America, many boys or mens sports teams from Junior league hockey to big league baseball are call “Braves.” It is not surprising, therefore, that many girls teams called themselves “Squaws.”

    However, in recent years it was contended that “Squaw” in the Algonquin language was the native equivalent of the English “cunt,” applied only to the totality of the female personality in a derogatory sense (as in the advertising execs. 3KC, referring to a television spot featuring two housewives in a kitchen — for which explanation I am indebted to my late friend of 50 years, Postman Patel). So what was a team of settler schoolgirl hockey enthusiasts to do? Most, I believe changed their team name in embarrassment and got back to the real issue of winning the next game.

  • Suahyl Saadi

    Language is indeed a fascinating, malleable thing, the text is always unstable, as Derrida used to say. Folk tales exemplify this process very well. And as some of us writers have demonstrated, I hope! I’ve already alluded to the many ‘Grape Lanes’ across England – from ‘Grope’, these were lovers’ lanes. And much more explicit ones, too. The Victorians altered the names.

    And so, the Perso-Turkish Sufi folk-wisdom character, the ‘wise idiot’, Nasiredin Hodja, becomes the Sicilian ‘Giufa’, or ‘Guha’. Giufa beleives that ‘words can only mean, what they mean’.

    Here are two (one in the next posting) links, one, to an essay on the subject and the other, to a sort of Calvino-esque story of Giufa, set in Sicily.


  • glenn

    Here’s an example of the use of both “Brit” and “Jap” in the same sentence, and I’m quite sure the author was not intending racist undertones:



    South Wales Seaside Run

    The 22nd VMC S.Wales Section Run takes place tomorrow Sunday , 23rd May at 10:00 am . The Run starts off at the Oystercatcher Pub on the Penarth side of Cardiff Bay and routes through Penarth , Barry Island ,Vale of Glamorgan to Porthcawl and back later in the afternoon to the start . There is a good mix of Vintage , Classic Brits and Classic Japs .

    The Run usually attracts 70 machines and this could be bettered this year with such fine weather forecast .


    Should that really be construed as a racist statement? Of course not. We should be careful before assuming offence when none at all was intended, and we needlessly make unwelcome assumptions (and in turn perhaps cause offence ourselves – although in this case, I’m sure Alfred is more than capable of taking it 😉

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Very well put, Glenn. That’s an excellent example. I compeletely agree about the language police. In fairness, it likely that Angrysoba’s comment on the matter was made on the very background of those earlier discourses at which you hint. In other words, it wasn’t just out of the blue.

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