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.


47 thoughts on “Hague in Afghanistan

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    I hope you’re right, Craig, but I fear that unless it becomes US policy to withdraw, the UK will find itself in (in a post-Suez arm-lock) for the long haul. But if you think it’s a possibility…

  • lwtc247

    Only when the very last killer in herr mudjesties govt returns, will I believe statements of leaving are correct. Words, like out politicians are cheap.

  • Ishmael

    Are the English really there to prevent terrorism on home soil? if so whose soil are we talking about, are we paying to prevent attacks on the USA. Domestic Terrorism is a law enforcement issue in that chosen country. if they leave civil war may be

  • Craig

    Ishmael,

    I think you would have to be seriously deluded to believe that this reduces the possibilities of attack on home soil.

    My prediciton is that you will not see any admission of this from the coalition, or any major announcement of policy change. What you will see is a rush to redefine objectives then announce they have been met.

    I don’t think we will stay till the US leave – and with the collapse of the Euro I think you’ll see other NATO countries hoofing it pdq.

  • Parky

    they seem to be using David Beckham for PR purposes at the moment, one ill advised photo-op shows him aiming a machine gun and grining about it…

  • wendy

    beckhams presence indicates that its pr rather than any policy change in the making.

    considering the first phase of the military infrastructure is not to end til 2013 and new contracts are being negotiated would appear that the uk which has now placed uk troops under usa operational control will not be going anywhere soon.

    hague is a war hawk beholden to the israel lobby and fox et al are not so far behind.

    sorry but these are the same people who voted for war in iraq, have no regrets and justify it by comment of regime change (even though its against international law.

    similarly for afghanistan, the preposterous claim now a continuation of browns claims that afghansitan – (pakistan) is about our streets is of course nonsensical.

    sorry whereas blair concocted the lies to get into wars, the tories would have pursued them regardless… and hagues performance during the gaza war was a disgrace in his wholehearted support for the murderous israeli war machine.

  • ScouseBilly

    Wendy,

    It seems they f***ed up.

    They were unaware that Beckham would be there capturing the headlines.

    Why did you assume the visits of Hague and Beckham are linked?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    From a tent in the Oxfordshire countryside

    Why are we in Afghanistan?

    Naval people tell me it is because Afghanistan provides strategic access to the Caspian Sea region, which harbours about 20 percent of the world’s proven reserves and one-eighth of the planet’s gas reserves.

    But that could be an ‘Angrysober’ ‘truther’ moment, disguising the real truth.

    Do we want to establish a client regime and a new political framework within which we can exert hegemonic control?

    Only if we can get away with it – and we cannot. So what is left?

    Simples! Counter-insurgency ‘black warfare’ using drones, SAS/SBS hit squads and civilian thugs to target the militants wherever they lurk!

    We must prevent the spread of the Islamic Caliphate according to Sir Richard Dannatt. That means our army must be controlled by America – and lo and behold – it is!

    Why MUST we?

    Especially as Christian leaders are now becoming aggressive and confrontational in America and spreading to Britain, while Iran’s Islamic leaders are urging a more peaceable and conciliatory approach on the Muslim Taliban.

    It seems we could do best in Afghanistan with Muslim peacemakers instead of Christian soldiers.

  • Alfred

    Don’t you folks know anything? Canadians and Brits and all the other tributaries of Rome are in Afghanistan to help the US exercise control of the “pivot of World power” (TM, Zbzibneuzz ZZBrzrezzinzzzki).

    Look at the map: it’s the largest landmass, so the U.S. gotta have bases there, at least around the edges, or the U.S. ain’t the global hegemon, and if it ain’t the global hegemon, then Zbzibneuzz ZZBrzrezzinzzzki would no longer be able to go droning insanely on about geopolitical strategy, and global hegemony.

    What’s more, the Bush family’s stocks in companies that make very inefficient devices for killing people would go down in value. And quite likely your job would disappear too, since just about everyone I know in Britain works directly or indirectly for the military industrial complex.

  • Paul Johnston

    Does this mean Afghanistan is essentially a failed state or can it survive within a federal system.

  • ingo

    I agree with Craig and have said so before. Our ignorance of the Eickenberry rules, those we set governing the proportionality of etnic groups that serve in the Afghan army, is coming home to roost.

    The Pashtuns will never accept Tajik and Uzbek dominance in the army and police, it is a receipe for disaster, not just in Helmand but everywhere in southern Afghanistan. The EU has also lifted its arms embargo, plenty of heroin money has been converted to hardware and NATO is sooner or later the little piggy in the middle.

    America is looking to establishing super bases on the Border with Iran, for future control purposes.

    Zbiegnievs daft geostrategic’s are still guiding the actions of the US, In Pakistan their struggle is undermined by Israels interference in the Kashmir dispute and its training of Indian pilots, a good excuse to have people nearby should they be required for a cross border action.

    By the end of the year, maybe earlier, the US will be ready to confront Iran, well not directly, I’m sure israel will oblige, whilst watching pakistan closley and China even closer. This will stop some 17-20% of China oil and it will not sit by and watch what happens.

    So, it is important that the Lib Dems keep a distinctive distance from the cordialities of the friends of Israel. There is no need to go and sing the same tune condemning Iran, whatever vague Hague is told to say.

    We know he is in their pockets and that hsi first action condemning Irans nuclear programme as a priority, rather than addfressing the Afghan war as such, was designed to show the Lib dems who is making foreign policy in the Conservative party and that they’d better sign up to the same tune.

    They must not! cause the time will come when they will regret it.

  • MJ

    “Does this mean Afghanistan is essentially a failed state”

    It is essentially an occupied state. It has been coveted and fought over by colonial powers for centuries for its strategic significance and its opium. During a brief respite in the mid-20th century when it was left to its own devices it did fine.

  • Ron

    @Paul Johnston

    “Does this mean Afghanistan is essentially a failed state or can it survive within a federal system.”

    What a fucking stupid question. Twat!

    Sorry for this being just abusive, but how qtupid do you have to be to post something like that?

  • Heat reader

    Big mistake to send Beckham.

    If you really want the Afghans to lose the will to live, send pouting Posh.

    It works for me.

  • anno

    I remember hitch-hiking through Yugoslavia in the 1970s and Mrs T pretending that it was a far away, unknown land in the 1980s. I travelled to Pakistan in the 2000s and I expect this government to pretend it is a far away, unknown land with a civil war raging in the 2010s. The Tories may not pose triumphally like Brown and Blair, but they are trouble-makers and hand-washers extra-ordinaire. Do you remember when Maggie flew to Paris to have a cup of tea with Milosevic? Soon we will see Cameron flying to Dubai to have a cup of tea with Dostum.

    The LibDems are keeping their fingers and toes crossed, hoping it’s not going to end in tears. Everybody knows that they are the broomstick holding up the scarecrow of the bastard Tory party. Do you remember when Mrs Thatcher said that if you wanted something, you had to pay for it. Well. a brave new dawn of bank borrowing will bring in the Eco-energy transformation, then they’ll whack up the interest rates. You think your’e getting something free from the sun, and you’ll end up paying expensively in interest to the banks.

    The car always gets there faster if the children bounce up and down in the seats. The coalition will be more effective if the cheer-leaders keep shouting Hurra Hurra.

  • Paul Johnston

    Just wondering if Afghanistan has become like Yugoslavia in as much as the internal conflict between Pashtoon and the Uzbek/Tajik communities means they can come together to under one nation. We see all over the world nation states with different groupings and sometimes they seem to hold together (Belgium) and sometimes they don’t i.e.FYR.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Paul, that’s often because consistent actions by the USA and her allies deliberately divide (and rule) – the old British Empire maxim, effective for many, many decades in the various ‘pink’ patches of the globe.

  • wendy

    “It seems they f***ed up.

    They were unaware that Beckham would be there capturing the headlines.

    Why did you assume the visits of Hague and Beckham are linked?”

    i presumed it to be the case since that is how our govt works. it helps in their thinking to have an ‘icon’ supporting the war effort whilst they are there to sell their message to the public .. the dual approach.

  • angrysoba

    Mark Golding, surely a better parody on my name would be Angrysobber. It’s a better pisstake.

    You’re welcome!

    “Naval people tell me it is because Afghanistan provides strategic access to the Caspian Sea region, which harbours about 20 percent of the world’s proven reserves and one-eighth of the planet’s gas reserves.”

    Yes, but access requires stability of which there is none. Presumbably you would be FOR stabilization in Afghanistan and even FOR pipelines across the country given that Afghanistan is pretty cash-strapped right now or does the nihilist in you win out and you’d prefer the rustic exotic charms of absolute penury for the Third World?

    Now, some cynical folk like to believe that the NATO ISAF mission is designed to DEstabilize the country (and Pakistan too) to prevent pipelines traversing the territory from the Caspian to China.

    But whoever came up with that idea seems to have forgotten about a bloody big country called Kazakhstan (maybe they thought Sasha Baron-Cohen simply made up the country) which has a pretty much perfect geography for offering a route between Turkmenistan and China. In fact, it is so perfect that that is indeed what it’s being used for.

    So, good question, “What are we doing in Afghanistan?” because it certainly isn’t going to be used for trans-Afghan pipelines any time soon.

    “Especially as Christian leaders are now becoming aggressive and confrontational in America and spreading to Britain, while Iran’s Islamic leaders are urging a more peaceable and conciliatory approach on the Muslim Taliban.”

    What? Haven’t Iran and the Taliban been at daggers drawn a number of times now and did Taliban treat the Iranian diplomats in Mazar-e-Sharif with fraternal kindness?

    Is their man in Afghanistan, Ishmael Khan really very much better than the despicable Dostum or Gulbuddin Hekmatyar?

    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 in the knowledge that it is believe by the tenderheaded first-rate useful idiots of the West?

    Just Asking Questions…

  • anno

    Psalm 150.2

    All ye dissatisfied voters who did well under Mrs Thatcher and New Labour, but whose consciences have were bothered enough by the extremes of their policies to expel them when they went too far; all ye small governments and big governments; all ye reining back right-wingers and progressive left; all ye war on terror extremists and ye see no evil global traders; Praise your god, the Market, who’s currently scratching his stupid head as to why anybody thought he had any answers. Praise him and glorify him forever and what the fuck are you going to believe in now he is dead?

    Are you going to panic blindly and jump onto Obama’s Avatar epic notion of the New World Order? Or are you going to realise that economic theories based on interest have led us to all of the money being stolen by the bankers, and all of the world’s resources being channelled into attacking the Muslim countries? In these wars, unspeakable things have and are being done to Muslims. Are you going to continue to worship the Market? Are you going to join Obama’s New World Order? Or, are you going to come to your senses and listen to the common sense light of Islam, which they want to extinguish by their tongues or their technology? What is so difficult about worshipping God and trying to follow the commands of God?

  • Alfred

    Angry,

    Re: Just asking questions

    I have a question of my own.

    You fail to mention that “they attacked us on 9/11” as so often parroted in Canada.

    Could that be because I’m right in saying that we’re in Afghanistan for Zbzigz Zbzrezinski’s geostrategical hegemonistical reasons, i.e., we are engaged in an illegal war of aggression – a crime for which the Western powers so santimoniously hanged sundry Nazis and Japs.

  • angrysoba

    “a crime for which the Western powers so santimoniously hanged sundry Nazis and Japs.”

    You’re not at a Klan meeting now Alfred. Kindly take off the hood and please refrain from using your racial slurs.

  • torn

    Craig

    I wonder what you make of the new defence secretary’s comments on Afghanistan, an ally, in his interview with the Times:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7134622.ece

    “We are not in Afghanistan for the sake of the education policy in a broken 13th-century country.”

    I can’t help wondering how this ignorant and jingoistic statement sits with the Lib Dems’ view of themselves as a “progressive” party.

  • Paul Johnston

    Re Suhayl Saadi

    Yes I’m not unaware of the causes just wondered if people think a tipping point has been reached. The borders imposed by colonial powers seem to be a mixture of ignorance and often malice (not sure if malice is the right word) more divide and conquer. You only have to look at the Soviet policy in the Caucasus with Ossetians in two different Republics or the Fergana Valley! The external borders of Afghanistan were set up not by the Afghans, you only have to look at the Wakhan corridor to see that.

    Paul

  • Alfred

    Angy,

    “You’re not at a Klan meeting now Alfred. Kindly take off the hood and please refrain from using your racial slurs.”

    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.

  • Parky

    “You’re not at a Klan meeting now Alfred. Kindly take off the hood and please refrain from using your racial slurs.”

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

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