Remind me why were in Afghanistan again?

#1
Before we go any further, I'm not a pinko liberal or somesuch. I wholeheartedly support our forces out there and I intend no criticism at all, but I thought one of our stated aims was to free people from the ideological excesses of the Taliban?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/31/hamid-karzai-afghanistan-law

Hamid Karzai has been accused of trying to win votes in Afghanistan's presidential election by backing a law the UN says legalises rape within marriage and bans wives from stepping outside their homes without their husbands' permission.

The Afghan president signed the law earlier this month, despite condemnation by human rights activists and some MPs that it flouts the constitution's equal rights provisions.

The final document has not been published, but the law is believed to contain articles that rule women cannot leave the house without their husbands' permission, that they can only seek work, education or visit the doctor with their husbands' permission, and that they cannot refuse their husband sex.

A briefing document prepared by the United Nations Development Fund for Women also warns that the law grants custody of children to fathers and grandfathers only.

Senator Humaira Namati, a member of the upper house of the Afghan parliament, said the law was "worse than during the Taliban". "Anyone who spoke out was accused of being against Islam," she said.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I believe we went there at the behest of the septics to help them smash the people who were turning the country into a terrorist save-haven. We went in to kill those responsible for exporting violence to the West. We went in to give a massive show of force to anyone else considering such action.

The message to other nations was quite clear: Allow your country to be used to export terrorism to the West and we'll smash your country and take it over, we'll institute regime change from the ground up, taking you out in the process. To the terrorist organisations: No country or place can harbour you, no international laws or resolutions can protect you, and no mountains or people can hide you from vengeance.

Equal rights for women, freedom from oppression, citizens living in peace and prosperity? I bit of pink, fluffyness, a bit of spin. A nice result if shock and awe engendered it. The softly speaking voice of the person with the big stick.

Just my humble opinion of course.
 
#3
And they wonder why people have a feeling in their tummy that it's it a bit like the dark ages over there.

On the other hand there are a dozen other countries where women are oppressed (supported by law) in such a ghastly manner, and we haven't invaded them yet. And most of them either have no oil/pipelines or guns as big as we do (because we sold them).
 
#4
Rumplestiltskin posted some interesting stuff on Pashtunwali in the Military History forum (I think). Sobering to realise that being a second class citizen under Sharia law was a step up for Afghan women.

Kind of gives the lie to the idea that we're there to promote democracy.
 
#5
We did the same thing to Iraq , and oh looky , the Shi'a slammed Women's rights straight back to the 9th Century there too.

The Mayor of Kabul must be in worse trouble than previously thought. Except the erosion of Womens rights post-Taliban has accelerated dramatically, all he's doing is making beastly behaviour legal.

While you'd expect this in the back end of the country ,it's the formalised repression that will now spread to the educated and cities which is a concern. I can actually see this creating an insurmountable problem for ISAF/NATO when it comes to CIMIC and NGO type welfare and rebuilding programmes.

Karzai isn't interested in a bright new future, he just wants to hold on to power at any cost. While he may have stated he wanted to be head of a post-feudal society , and presents himself as such round begging bowl time, he'd be just as happy being Warlord No.1 in an anarchic feudal sh*thole , as long as the money kept rolling in.

Start isolating this clown.
 
#6
milsum said:
On the other hand there are a dozen other countries where women are oppressed (supported by law) in such a ghastly manner, and we haven't invaded them yet. And most of them either have no oil/pipelines or guns as big as we do (because we sold them).
As Biped said the initial invasion wasn't about exporting western values.
 
#7
March_Hare said:
milsum said:
On the other hand there are a dozen other countries where women are oppressed (supported by law) in such a ghastly manner, and we haven't invaded them yet. And most of them either have no oil/pipelines or guns as big as we do (because we sold them).
As Biped said the initial invasion wasn't about exporting western values.
Of course it wasn't and still isn't about exporting western values!
 
#8
A thought provoking title.

Why?

Simply because Bliar imagined that it would enhance his standing on the world's stage; and curry favour with the semi-literate, intellectually inadequate - Bush. Forget all the spun cr*p about 'world terrorism': 'drug production'; 'oppression of women', and other 'spin doctor produced' so-called reasons'.

The decision flew into the face of history (Bliar did not 'do' history - he wasn't in it - he is now!).

The whole, entire and truthful reason, is the desire and boastful pride of a third rate, not very clever, unprincipled, poorly educated (Fettes and Oxford (how?!), pop-star wannabee- oik who defied every law of common-sense to become prime minister of this sad nation.

Added to his 'war-crime' of having invaded a sovereign nation (Iraq), I truly believe, that until his successor appeared, he was the worst ever prime minister of this country. He is, in my opinion, ensconed in second place - until the 'Iraq War Enquiry' reports - he may then re-claim first place.
 
#10
;
PartTimePongo said:
Karzai isn't interested in a bright new future, he just wants to hold on to power at any cost. While he may have stated he wanted to be head of a post-feudal society , and presents himself as such round begging bowl time, he'd be just as happy being Warlord No.1 in an anarchic feudal sh*thole , as long as the money kept rolling in.

Start isolating this clown.
Seconded, and the international community is trying to do just that; US and UK want a Prime Minister/Chief of Staff appointment with a bit more balls about him to take control, eliminating Karzai sends the wrong message, so he'd stay as President but just as a figure head.

It's important we finish what we started, can you imagine the apocalyptic vortex of genocide that would be created if we left the ANA to fend for themselves? We owe it to every drop of blood spilt.

To name everything that needs doing would take forever, and I'm just a lowly observor, but for me the main points are as follows:
More Arabic countries need involvement and consultation in order to get the region (partly) on side.
The $800 million dollars that the US spent on locating and destroying drugs last year would be better spent on investing in alternative crop growing for Afghan farmers.
Pakistan needs to be told to get a bloody grip and allow the 'flood' of US troops primed for the surge in Afghan to instead be diverted into western pakistan and the Afghan border, home to many sheltering terrorists.

These are just my opinions, interesting to gauge other suggestions/opinions (?)
 
#12
In simple terms we are there to deny the space as a training and staging post for terrorists who wish to attack targets in the west but whose ultimate aim is to induce disengagement by the west (think US) from the region so the corrupt regimes in the region fall like dominoes and the second caliphate can be reestablished from Cordoba to Kashmir.

Just my take boiled into one sentence.

Edited to second (or third) the opinion that Karzai has drifted beyond being an asset. Anyone else have Ngo Dinh Diem spring to mind?
 
#13
Biped said:
I believe we went there at the behest of the septics to help them smash the people who were turning the country into a terrorist save-haven. We went in to kill those responsible for exporting violence to the West. We went in to give a massive show of force to anyone else considering such action.

The message to other nations was quite clear: Allow your country to be used to export terrorism to the West and we'll smash your country and take it over, we'll institute regime change from the ground up, taking you out in the process. To the terrorist organisations: No country or place can harbour you, no international laws or resolutions can protect you, and no mountains or people can hide you from vengeance.

Equal rights for women, freedom from oppression, citizens living in peace and prosperity? I bit of pink, fluffyness, a bit of spin. A nice result if shock and awe engendered it. The softly speaking voice of the person with the big stick.

Just my humble opinion of course.
To attack the West effectively would need nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The most likely by far is biological. The technological infrastructure to carry out the development of any of these weapons simply doesn't exist in Afghanistan. You can't carry genetic modifications on a virus in a cave in the middle of nowhere. For a start, Fedex doesn't deliver there and the internet connections are terrible.

If there's one place in the world we'd want to concentrate terrorists in, it's Afghanistan. There's nowhere safer to put them.

The most likely place in the world to find militant Muslims preparing weapons of mass destruction is probably Leeds, or Bradford, or London.

We've just smashed up Iraq. The cost so far is about one and a half trillion dollars and the bills will still be coming in when George Bush's body is a'mouldering in his grave. How many more countries do you think we can afford to invade before China declares us bankrupt? What century are you living in, anyway?

As for exporting violence, oh boy, is the West an expert on that. Remember how the US dropped more bombs on Cambodia than were dropped on Germany, and nobody even knew about it? Remember how the West overthrew the first democratic government in Iran and replaced it with the Shah's bloody dictatorship? The West has not one shred of moral authority to invade any other country.

But, for you, that's all pink fluffiness I suppose. Go ahead and play cowboys and indians around the rocks to your heart's content. Just don't pretend for one second that any of it is doing your country the slightest amount of good or offering it even a sliver of protection.
 
#14
Hard to believe now but Afghanistan wasn't always that way.

Saw some footage of Afghan in the 70's - women walked unveiled, trams and trolley buses ran, students gathered, Western tourists walked about freely.

25 years of civil war sadly put an end to all that.
 
A

ALVIN

Guest
#16
1. To satisfy Gordens ego. 2. For Gorden to satisfy his political masters ego in the United States. ---- :D puppet boy!
 
#18
The Balkans, Iraq,Afghanistan all attacked and bombed to keep Dick Cheynes reconstruction companies in work...and oodles of taxpayers money!

Democracy in the shiteholes of Islam? Forget it.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Good question - I would love to hear from someone in authority, a) Why we're there. b) What we're trying to achieve. c) How what we're doing will achieve this.

I suported the initial intervention for the reason of turning the bad guys upside down but I don't understand how we can take on the Taliban and the poppy growers simultaneously with any hope of success which is what we now seem hellbent on doing. At the moment it looks as though we're going to have a militant Afghanistan and a deeply septic Pakistan with no hope of an acceptable solution. All we seem to have done since 2002 is to remove Iran's two biggest foreign policy problems whilst pursuing a campaign which is bogging us down and threatening our core alliance structure.
 
#20
You're there to bleed into the sand until MI6 or HMG sell you out, and discreetly sign a political settlement that gives the warlords you have been fighting at least 50% of what they want.

Needless to say Britain will not profit in any way.

If you were injured expect a half life on derisory state benefits.

If you were killed your dependents can expect even less.

Some of you can share a cell in HMP.

A few of you will complete your time as sadder and wiser men.....
 

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