Daily Archives: June 10, 2010


Strange Events

You will note that this morning’s piece on Afghanistan was posted at 4am. That is because I was awoken by what sounded like somebody rattling the back door. There was however nothing to be seen.

Then at 10.22pm this evening, Nadira received a phone call on her mobile from a witheld number. A heavily accented man asked “if her husband was the writer”. She asked who it was, and he gave his name as Osman. She noticed that another man was whispering, telling the first man what to reply.

“Osman” then started asking repeatedly “Is your husband at home?” Nadira said that I did not take phone calls from people at that time of night, and suggested that “Osman” should email. “Osman” said that I was going to write something for him, and again started asking if I was at home. Nadira told him to email, and he then started swearing and repeating “Your husband owes us £30,000”.

This is all very disconcerting. I don’t know any “Osman”, and to the best of my knowledge neither I not any organisation with which I am connected has any outstanding debts to anybody. Why phone so late of night, who was “Osman” and who was the man whispering his instructions? Most disconcerting of all, why phone Nadira and where did he get her number?

If I did not have a family I would laugh this off, but the approach to Nadira and the questioning of whether I am at home is alarming. Probably that is the object of the exercise.

View with comments

UNESCO Shame

I am truly sorry to say it, but UNESCO really is an appalling organisation. Good article here by Liberal Vision.

http://www.liberal-vision.org/2010/06/07/shameful-un-need-reprimanding-by-the-coalition/

The links to Global Witness are well worth following up, too. I have a lot of time for Global Witness.

UNESCO have put millions of UN money into “reconstruction” of Tamerlane monumental architecture in Uzbekistan. Astonishingly, the process often involves demolition of the original remains being “reconstructed”. The entire purpose of these Disneyland reconstructions is to host Karimov regime spectaculars featuring singing soldiers and massed ranks of dancers celebrating the cotton harvest.

UNESCO seems devoid of moral sense – indeed any sense. I remember, as an internationalist, being appalled when Thatcher withdrew Britain from UNESCO for a while. But she was right.

View with comments

Afghanistan: Heading Into Disaster

I seem unable to switch on a news channel nowadays without seeing a caption announcing the death of another poor young British soldier in Afghanistan. NATO has in June so far lost and average of precisely 3 soldiers killed every day, with a multiple of that injured.

Two events yesterday highlighted the deterioration in the NATO position. A Blackhawk helicopter was taken down, indicating that the Afghan resistance have regained access to effective missiles, while a 50 truck supply convoy was attacked and destroyed in Pakistan – not in Waziristan, but just outside Islamabad. That is perhaps the most significant news of all.

Afghans themselves are of course suffering much more than NATO,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/10/afghanistan-kandahar-wedding-party-explosion

All of this to maintain in power the fraudster Karzai and the gang of heroin warlords who make up his government, and promote the “Northern Alliance” tribes who comprise the laughably named “Afghan National Army” against the Pashtuns.

By my calculation, this month Afghanistan overtakes Vietnam as the United States’ longest running war. I haven’t seen that referenced anywhere, so grateful for views on that. The international consequences of this war are still more disastrous, while there is no reason to believe it will be militarily more succesful. The attempt to impose by brute military force an alien ideology on the Afghan people, is doomed to failure.

View with comments