Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

"Turncoat [??] Afghan soldier kills 3 British troopers"

by fairleft Tue Jul 13th, 2010 at 08:02:58 PM EST

"Turncoat Afghan soldier kills 3 British troopers"

That's the AP headline on Yahoo news at the moment. Hard. to. take. sometimes. So he's not a turncoat when he fights and kills for the US/UK occupation and its Karzai puppet, who was allowed to steal the last national election, but he is a turncoat when he joins the fighting majority trying to kick out the foreigners occupying a country, his country, for the fun and profit of those foreigners' corporations and politicians?

But the UK Guardian gets it worse:

Renegade Afghan kills three British soldiers
[subhead:] Murder of troops inside Helmand patrol base deals severe blow to government's Afghanistan exit strategy

Okay, yeah, I get it, 'renegade', so you can get in this connotation from dictionary.com:

3. of or like a renegade; traitorous.

And murder? . . .

How deep into propaganda do you need to be to call 'the other guys' murderers and your own side heroes and warriors? I didn't think that degree of servile delusion had reached Britain's Guardian, but there it is.

And how do the killings deal a "severe blow to government's Afghanistan exit strategy"?

You mean the British government didn't know that a great percentage of the native troops the US and UK have hired want the patriotic resistance, I mean the Taliban, to win, and almost all are just trying to stay alive and collect paychecks (and weapons)? Doesn't this incident provide a boost, actually, to a real, almost sane exit strategy, which is based on the fact that things are going to hell, all plans to crush the resistance have failed, so it's time to just leave?

At least the New York Times tells it straight:

Afghan Soldier Kills 3 British Soldiers

No editorializing, just another three ugly and meaningless deaths.

How badly do we dislike that hard truth? Not nearly enough, from what I see of a listless and barely antiwar movement.

As The World Turns. Is that soap opera still going? If so it has lasted longer than the Afgan War.

by shergald on Tue Jul 13th, 2010 at 11:04:03 PM EST
on the homefront. I don't blame the endless, practically unnoticed war just on the conformist media.

 Glory of Women

  You love us when we're heroes, home on leave,
  Or wounded in a mentionable place.
  You worship decorations; you believe
  That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace.
  You make us shells. You listen with delight,
  By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
  You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
  And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed.
  You can't believe that British troops 'retire'
  When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run,
  Trampling the terrible corpses--blind with blood.
  O German mother dreaming by the fire,
  While you are knitting socks to send your son
  His face is trodden deeper in the mud.

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)


by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 01:03:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
'German deaths in Afghanistan to rise'
Wed, 14 Jul 2010 05:35:06 GMT

The German foreign minister says his countrymen must brace themselves for more bad news from Afghanistan this summer due to a worsening of the security situation.

Guido Westerwelle said Tuesday that the public had to expect more "terrible news" from Afghanistan this summer, as a worsening of the security situation will lead to more military casualties. . . .

Violence in Afghanistan has risen rapidly in 2010, the deadliest year for foreign forces in Afghanistan to date since the 2001 US-led invasion.

Seven German soldiers were killed in April alone and some 350 foreign soldiers have lost their lives since January.

Surveys show that as many as 6 out of 10 Germans oppose their country's military presence in Afghanistan, where some 4,600 soldiers are stationed.


Is there no large-scale, effective resistance in Germany to this useless killing? How else are people using their free time?


by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 02:18:29 AM EST
... just another three ugly and meaningless deaths.

What do you mean "meaningless"?  If CA was being raped and occupied by cock-sucking bastards I'd love an opportunity to kill those mother-fuckers.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 07:30:25 AM EST
Well, for those soldiers, for their parents and friends, the deaths are ugly and meaningless.

But I agree, I think, with what you're getting at.


by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 10:38:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I noticed that. Less grotesquely than Twank, I too have suggested that people ask themselves how righteous they would feel if it were our own countries being occupied and it was our brother or sister doing the resisting.

Would we not praise those who killed the invader ? Would we not celebrate the cunning of the infiltrator who wormed their way amongst the opposing forces, killed those who stood alongside him and then got away unharmed ?

The days of set piece battles between consenting armies of uniformed soldiers are pretty much over. Insurgencies and independence struggles are the larger part of our future wars where we had best get used to the idea that we are not wanted by the populations in those places who will resist us in any way they can.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 08:56:53 AM EST
And even in the days, the most of those soldiers were not all that consenting. They were trained and in uniform, but first they were conscripted under at least the threat of jail.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 02:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this war resembles Soviet occupation despite the West had all necessary ingredients for quick success, international legitimacy, no state (except usual suspects aka rogue elements in Pakistan's ISI) provides support to resistance movement etc. What went wrong and when? The problem is with strategy of "defeating" Taliban militarily. Taliban should be defeated only by Afghans, if they don't want or cannot no foreign force can do the dirty work for them. Yes, Bush thought nation building in Afghanistan is less important than neocon dreams of world dominance. Obama could withdraw troops in the very beginning of his term but his election time rhetorics did not suggest that. I thought he would be hard on Pakistan "to give up" Osama Bin Laden, find his death or capture (the latter is 0.00001% chance) as a convenient reason to draw the line on the war. Unfortunately he was dallying with [un]fake elections, good governance, then belated nation building. The train meanwhile seems gone and Taliban is on the upside.

Still everything will depend on Obama's handling of Pakistan to secure Bin Ladin, endless line of Al-Qaeda N3's (which Pakistan supplied in abundance) won't suffice as a reason to end the unending war, I feel.

As for cheap Western propaganda there is nothing new or browse raising in their handling of soldiers' deaths. Most people in the world feel pity for distinguished journalists on CNN, BBC and other outlets of less prominence when they have to lie, deceive in the light of the day with unblinking eyes. The most blatant lie or cover up I noticed in last 24 hours was a murky story of Iranian scientist kidnapped by CIA in Saudi Arabia. Now we have Aljazeera, RT, Asianewschannel and many other news providers which quickly unmask Western attempts of cover up.

by FarEasterner on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 09:35:40 AM EST
rogue elements in Pakistan's ISI

please define "rogue" in this context. Secret services the world over feel they have to anticipate their government's desires to some extent. And they end up with so much license that they invariably substitute their won view of their nation's needs for that of the government of the day. Being secret, there is no real oversight, so who, domestically, can stop them ?

ISI have had a consistent view of Afghanistan as its own backyard for at least 30 years, probably longer. ISI also considers itself as Pakistan's vanguard engaged in long term war with India. It will not tolerate any interference in its pursuit of those aims, internal or external.

This is true of every secret service in the world. They do not serve their domestic government so much as they serve an idea of their country that may, or may not, be directly related to how the rest of that population sees it. After all, people who believe a bit too much are often more than a little deranged about their delusions.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 10:30:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
this "rogue" euphemism should be defined by Western establishment (and first of all Hillary) which refuses (stoically) to recognize Pakistan state as a state sponsor of terrorism (the same with Saudi Arabia and other such colorful Western allies).
by FarEasterner on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 11:32:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like you say, Pakistan's support for 'the Afghanistan Taliban' is one of the keys to understanding why 'the Taliban' won't be defeated. But like Helen sez, certainly it's the ISI mainstream and not rogue elements that sees that 'the Taliban' is the 'Pashtun nationalist' group in Afghanistan, and, to maintain dominant (after the Americans leave) Pakistani influence over Afghanistan and stability with Pakistan's own Pashtun, Pakistan and its ISI will stay on good terms with Afghanistan's Taliban.

For the West, the only bright spot is that 'Taliban' has shown itself to be a flexible term, and so there is a rational strategy that might work out okay: make the best deal you can with the best real 'Taliban' you can. But we're talking about military-industrial complexes (American, British, and Israeli) and their need for enemies and endless fear and war, so rational might not happen.


by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 10:53:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More and more this war resembles Soviet occupation despite the West had all necessary ingredients for quick success, international legitimacy, no state (except usual suspects aka rogue elements in Pakistan's ISI) provides support to resistance movement etc.

But one element that was lacking for establishing control was - according to Machiavelli's little manual for statecraft - an established state. See in a feudal setting with military power spread out it is easy to be invited to become the king, but as soon as you are, the warlords will start scheming against you instead. Now the west did - still according to Machiavelli - a right move in installing a puppet, but the purpose for a puppet is to mercilessly oppress the population. Then you replace them - Machiavelli recommends public hanging for the former puppet - and try to establish control by re-establishing some - not all - of former privileges. And without control the west has not been able to claim victory.

Of course, the diligent reader will now ask why the west failed to establish control in Iraq, that had a centralised state. Well, Machiavelli recommends using that state by killing the former king (check) and his closest lieutenants (check) then installing some new lieutenants and promoting some from the old hierarchy to establish control over the state apparatus. I do not think he ever mentions firing the state apparatus.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 02:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afghanistan got along fairly well for long periods of times as a decentralized mess of 'warlords' or 'traditional local leaders' or whatever (and then, actually, got along even better as a quasi-Soviet state). In a way, the main thing the West has done is escalation, technological advancement to a Western level of death, of the age-old (and usually minor) border skirmishes between the diverse ethnicities there. Progress! ;-(

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Wed Jul 14th, 2010 at 04:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]