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The Arab Spring and "the War on Terror"


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Bit of a PR disaster this for the US and Biden/Trump. Talibans decked out in US army gear raising their flag mocking the historic pic from Ivo Jima

talibaniwo jima

 

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13 minutes ago, sne said:

Bit of a PR disaster this for the US and Biden/Trump. Talibans decked out in US army gear raising their flag mocking the historic pic from Ivo Jima

talibaniwo jima

 

I have to say, that is pretty epic trolling. 

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Old documentary may have been posted in here before, if you haven't seen it 👀

 

"This Is What Winning Looks Like" is a disturbing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security forces as well as the reduced role of US Marines due to the troop withdrawal.

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Good to see the BBC trolling the Taliban by getting a Muslim looking woman to interview them all whilst not wearing a headscarf .

If you hadn’t already guessed or needed reminding these Taliban leaders are **** mental , I’m just hoping Bidens plan involves leaving a giant wooden horse behind when the US complete their run away routine 

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On 19/08/2021 at 00:22, Awol said:

Wouldn't be surprised to wake up tomorrow and find the 82nd Airborne has dropped on Bagram to secure a defensible airhead. 

Sorry for self quote, but looks increasingly like this was the original plan. 

When this is over the real story will come out, but it seems like the only opportunity to turn this around and get everyone out on a sensible timeline was quashed by Biden. 

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On 18/08/2021 at 14:59, blandy said:

Still, when you've got some Labour clowns (the usual brain dead suspects) calling for the UK to pay the Taliban damages

Just for the sake of accuracy, no-one called for the Taliban to be paid damages. Burgon (who I assume you're referring to) said we need to make sure reparations go directly to the Afghan people (i.e. making sure it doesn't go to the Taliban)

You can listen for yourself here 

When things get misrepresented in the media, it's important to set the record straight. Otherwise, no-one is ever able to make a nuanced point without it being easily distorted and then repeated by those who accept it without question.

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It's very easy to say, but how do you get money directly to the people without it being siphoned off by the people who run the country? We've not managed it in decades in other countries, how are we going to do it in Afghanistan?

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Just now, Davkaus said:

It's very easy to say, but how do you get money directly to the people without it being siphoned off by the people who run the country? We've not managed it in decades in other countries, how are we going to do it in Afghanistan?

Dunno, all I was doing was clarifying what was said. The claim was "calling for the UK to pay the Taliban damages" which isn't correct.

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2 minutes ago, Davkaus said:

It's very easy to say, but how do you get money directly to the people without it being siphoned off by the people who run the country? We've not managed it in decades in other countries, how are we going to do it in Afghanistan?

There are charities that do direct cash-transfer programs (they are highly rated by GiveWell as one of the single most cost-effective forms of charity as well).

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37 minutes ago, Davkaus said:

It's very easy to say, but how do you get money directly to the people without it being siphoned off by the people who run the country? We've not managed it in decades in other countries, how are we going to do it in Afghanistan?

This is the point. Even without the Taliban in power, they managed to syphon off a chunk of all the aid and so on sent there by the rest of the World. Now they are the actual government in control of the country it's not inconceivable that they won't end up getting a much larger chunk/pretty much all of any money or resources sent there.

The other thing, of course is the notion or "reparations". Since the invasion of Afghanistan 20 years or so ago, there's been a massive improvement in the infrastructure put in place - Schools, hospitals, water, electricity, transport and so on. That the Taliban will destroy much of that is no reason to give them more money.

"oh, but we don't mean give the actual Taliban money, no, we mean give the money to, er, like, some other people to use it in a country controlled by the Taliban, who of course being thoroughly upstanding folks wouldn't dream of appropriating it".

Sending "reparations" to Afghanistan would be basically funding the Taliban, now, as appealing as the notion of helping the ordinary people/assuaging guilt by remotely coughing up might be.

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The starting point for this discussion is 'are we going to send aid to Afghanistan, either directly or through the UN or other bodies'. I assume the answer is 'yes' - if we decide not to do that, to withdraw funding from any program that benefits Afganistan, that would seem to be fairly directly in contradiction to the moralising rhetoric of Parliament last week - so the discussion then becomes how that is done.

The unhelpful thing Burgon does is frame this as 'reparations'. This implies guilt and restitution, which then means another round of relitigating the origins of the war. The better word is 'aid', which is what we are actually talking about.

The next question is 'is it possible to provide aid directly to the Afghan population, rather than their government', and I don't know the answer to that question. My prior would be that it is possible to do so in principle, but I don't know if it is possible in reality. In sub-Saharan Africa, even subsistence farmers tend to have mobile phones, and mobile phones are the way they handle most monetary transactions. As a result, charities like givedirectly.org (https://www.givewell.org/charities/give-directly) are able to send money directly to some of the poorest people on the planet. I cannot say whether an approach like this is possible in Afghanistan, because I don't know how widely used mobile payment systems are, but there is no problem with the principle.

Of course you can then say 'well the Taliban might just appropriate that money, through fair means (taxes) or foul (just taking people's money). But this is a danger with any government, it's just a friction in giving aid. Another alternative of course is providing non-financial assistance to people in Afghanistan (stuff like deworming pills and mosquito nets in a sub-Saharan African context, again I don't know to what extent those specific items would be useful in Afghanistan, but that kind of thing).

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49 minutes ago, HanoiVillan said:

The unhelpful thing Burgon does is frame this as 'reparations'. This implies guilt and restitution,

That's one of the two unhelpful things, you're right. The other is to propose it as a course of action specifically related to the US  troops and various western diplomats running away, under the Trump surrender agreement and Biden's decision.

When a Politician such as Burgeon, talks about "we should..." I take it generally to mean "the British Government should..."

Now obviously, having run away - closing the embassy etc. I'm entirely unsure how "we - the Government " might control or co-ordinate or help any aid organisations in country, let alone actually directly provide "Aid/Reparations". It's one thing to be welcomed by a place that needs help, but it's another thing entirely when some stone-age religionists in control of the country actively don't want you there.

 

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