Is Afghan Insurgency is Becoming an Insurrection

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jumpinjarhead, Oct 9, 2009.

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  1. One British commentator in a liberal UK-based organization, FreeDemocracy believes recent events in Afghanistan suggest the "insurgency" is shifting to a more acute 'insurrection" in the sense that it is now not only the Taliban seeking to overthrow the Karzai government and eject the NATO forces but a much broader amalgam that also includes tribal, religious and other constitutencies.

  2. he would come up with this wouldn't he? The source says it all
  3. This is the meat of the above essay; the rest is just waffle.

    TBH, I'd assumed that the Nuristan assault was a Hekmatyar job, but apparently there is a specifically Nuristani group (or rather, a Nuristani franchise of the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba):[tt_news]=482

    That said, SWJ is now saying:

    Nuristan's always been slightly different- for a start, the locals were only converted from paganism to Islam, by force, in the 1890s- so saying 'this wasn't a Taliban job' isn't really saying much. Haqqani and Hekmatyar have the East sewn up, and have always stood slightly at an angle from the Quetta and -more relevantly- Peshawar shuras. There's little new in this article to worry about.
  4. As usual, valuable insights RS. I was just curious, when did Islam have any major advance in terms of new "converts" absent the sword?
  5. Thanks, JJH.

    I'd say, off the top of my head:

    1) The Ottomans in Anatolia & the Balkans (lower taxation can be quite persuasive to a hard-pressed peasantry)

    2) Pakistan/India: spread by Sufis who the local Hindus, accustomed to mysticism, found quite appealing.
  6. As our wayward youth so quaintly say here, "You're the Man!" :D

    Can you hazard a guess as to what percentage these 2 instances represent of the total of Islamic "evangelism?"
  7. Nobody has yet demonstrated that the insurgency in Afghanistan has been uniquely Taleban.

    There has been, from the very beginning, significant evidence to suggest that the insurgency is being conducted by local tribesmen for a variety of different reasons other than an attempt to re-install a Taleban government.

    This, however, has been completely drowned out by media over-simplification and political mendacity to equate the insurgency as purely a part of the global jihaad.

    Afghanistan is in the throes of a vicious civil war with NATO forces providing support to one of the warring factions lead by the Major of Kabul.
  8. Depends on how you want to define 'converts' in relation to current practitioners.

    Take an individual born and bred in the UK, but Muslim through parentage and ethnic origin. Do we count him as being 'converted at the tip of a sword' or one who practises it by choice?
  9. Sounds similar to Bosnia....would explain why Hairplugs (VP Biden) is wanting to go and bomb them for 30,000 feet, seeing how successful that conflict was ;-)
  10. Sorry-I was imprecise. I was referring to those "major" extensions of Islam over history rather than by accretion through inheritance and the like.
  11. Let's be optimistic. :wink: We've got:

    1) The Panjshiris
    2) The Farsiwans (Herat &c)
    3) The Uzbeks
    4) The Hazaras
    5) The 'pro-Kabul' Pashtuns- a section of the Durranis? Karzai's immediate family? Fcuk knows, but they're probably our wobbliest and most attention-worthy element.

    Anecdote: I had a very unproductive meeting a couple of years ago in the Afghan embassy with one of Karzai's minions- a Popalzai Durrani, and presumably one of Karzai's kin. He spent a large proprtion of our limited time together grumbling about a framed portrait of Massoud someone in the next office had installed in the hallway. Moral: even in Princes' Gate, we're working with more than one faction.

    JJH, I'm really no expert and wouldn't be able to even begin hazarding a guess. I would just say don't presume Islam was spread primarily by the sword. In the early days, the Caliphs weren't too bothered about making converts, contrary to centuries-old assumptions; it depleted their tax base.

    Islam's spread can be attributed to a number of reasons; local proto-nationalism (eg Bosnia); distaste for Byzantine Orthodoxy buttressed at spearpoint (eg Syria, Egypt or Palestine); or even simple social climbing.

    And that's just looking at the 'negative motivations'- as a coherent worldview, or civilisation, Islam (as is practised, as opposed to its monolithic representation in tabloid journalism) can be very appealing. Anecdote 2: I spent a week's hols in the Fez medina last month, during Ramadan. Even my girlfriend, once she'd acclimatised to the lack of Muscadet, began to be seduced by the courtly hospitality, near-beatific calm and- hippyish though it sounds- tangible spirituality that life in a Muslim country can have.

    Now imagine living for generations in a world whose rhythm is shaped by the call to prayer, where the schools, hospitals, universities, are Muslim waqfs and the key to social advancement is taking the shahada.

    It could be argued that it was only the growth of mercantile capitalism that ensured the survival of Christianity in much of the Balkans.
  12. Ah! But be careful. What value does that have other than an academic argument?

    Many Serbs and Croats, following on from ctauch, claimed that the Muslims of Bosnia were simply converted Slavs - ie Serbs and Croats - and thus were ineligible for political equality as an ethnic group.

    Academically it's a sound argument regarding ethnic origin, but has no relevence in determining current political considerations.
  13. You need more than wink at me young man! :)

    Just to demonstrate how naive, misguided and myopic the media (collectively) have been and how mendacious the politicians have proven to be, the world-renown hard-hitting in-depth-political publication known as National Geographic (?) described how one Pashtun sub-tribe was 'at war' with another Pashtun sub-tribe who had decided to ally themselves with the US military in their area. By default, this also meant that one tribe was 'at war' with the US. Each tribe simply trying to obtain maximum advantage over one-another whatever the prevailing situation.

    If the superficial National Geographic can see it and report it in December 2004, where does that leave all the clever analysis and policy????

    I thought it was just that the Ottomans were more interested in taxation than conversion. Those that convert were a necessary 'middle class' selfishly seeking advantage.
  14. VP Biden was/is very much 'in the pocket' of one of the Balkan warring factions. His comments in that field were as objective as a Partizan supporter shouting from the terraces.

    I'm not sure the same applies to Afghanistan where he is probably kept ignorant (deliberately) of the realities thus preventing him from coherent and sound comment.
  15. Oh, absolutely. I meant much later on- the Balkan Christian Enlightenment 'Counter-Reformation', or perhaps 'Reconquista':

    Trade-->Wealth-->Schools/Printing Presses-->Enlightenment-->Nationalism-->Eastern Question [-->Whitecity's livelihood :D ]