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Permission to EXECUTE!

Discussion in 'The Stump' started by Shadow Master, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Evening Kruska,
    I agree with you, something needs to be done one way or the other. I'll probably catch it for this but here goes;
    Just like Iraq, we went in, kicked -ss, and then stuck our hands in our pockets. Not enough troops in either country to keep the population under control after decades of Government abuse. Our Government decreased troop strength against Military advisement. I told my friend (referred to above) that it appeared to me that we needed to find the meanest "Local" son-of-a- _ itch, and put him in charge. Letting him know that ANY hint of transgressions outside their borders meant we'd be back and replace him as easily as we had his predecessor. All local Sheiks be advised also.
    Lay down a few ground rules; things like:
    You shall not beat your Women;
    Those poppy fields have to go;
    ALL children will be allowed to go to school;
    And the reminder; We Will Come Back!
    My Buddy was adamant that;
    progress was being made, (contrary to media reports); the People did want and welcomed us there; and the need to convince them they could, can and will have a Democratic country. Which they want but lack the self-esteem to believe after years of oppression.
     
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  2. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Biak, the problem is that you can't force Afghanistan to accept rules like that. If we lay down rules forcing our cultural values on the Afghans, locals will simply side with the Taliban, overthrow the government and we have to go through the whole damn mess again. The only way we are going to change this place is to persuade the people that our way is better than the Talibans way.

    Think about it this way, imagine another nation invaded the US, killed/locked up the leadership, put the biggest mafia/gang boss they could find in charge and left laying down a few ground rules:
    You will not teach creationism in schools
    You will not allow religious matters to influence the running of the nation
    You will not allow the general public to own firearms
    You will not descriminate against any ethnic group
    You will not descriminate against people based on sexual preferences

    There you have a range of ground rules which all seem reasonable to me but to many would be totally abhorrent (ranging from reasonable people objecting to the firearms thing to other things which are aimed squarely at bigot and idiots). How long do you think they would last? Sadly if we try to force our 'progressive' ideas onto the Afghan people they will resent it and oppose them, the only way to persuade them is to show them that our way is actually better. They won't accept everything but it's the best we can hope for and let's ask ourselves, would we be any different.

    Kruska, I don't think you can compare this to Germany in 1945, for one thing all of Europe share connections which make it easier to understand one another than it is for a poppy farmer living in a mud hut to understand representative democracy. The other thing is that we had won in Germany, there was a destinct group who could be identified and dealt with, a people who could at the very least tolerate the occupation and very little chance of the Nazis taking over again any time soon. A better metaphore would be the liberation of France, we are half way through, there are still a lot of Germans left but what you are saying is 'well, there are thousands of French over fighting age, we should pull out and leave them to sort this.' Tortuous metaphores I know but you can't compare Afghanistan to post war Germany, as much as anything, the war still isn't over here whatever we claim.

    I'm still amazed every day by the conditions the locals live in, the other day we escorted kids to school, they literally risked their lives for a couple of hours of education before going back to living in a mud hut, drinking water from what I would call a drain and digging fields with medieval tools. Now I've got wifi internet, a hot shower whenever I feel like it and god knows what else. Is it any wonder we don't understand one another?
     
  3. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Exactly Stefan - and with this present Kabul government it will never be over, because the majority of the Afghans do not support it.

    The Americans were in Vietnam for about 15 years - they never did change that government - end of story?

    The poppy farmer living in a mud hut is not the one who makes the big bucks - those are the ones residing in Kabul's government - and rice and crops just don't promise the same profit to them - So get rid of them, and enable the poppy guy to make a decent living by growing crops and he will automatically understand that "representative democracy" = āg̠ẖalaey ag̠ẖali iḳ-bāl-mand (agreeable-excelent fortunate & prosperous).

    And that is my point - change the government - or let's go home ;)

    I am trying to point out two choices - I am not simply saying - let's go.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  4. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Stefan,
    Your last paragraph if I read it right said exactly what I meant. No we can't impose our values on them but "ours and theirs" are not that different. Why should they have to risk so much to go to school? And the real telling story here is "They Do". They take the risk in direct disregard of the extremist which shows me how "alike" we are.
    I may be wrong but given the choice I believe the Afghan people will want to, if not 'emulate', then adapt the Western influence/culture (within constraints of the dominate religious beliefs there). The only "hold" the Taliban has over the people is fear and the threat of persecution. The promise of "protection" (from the Taliban), is curious in that the protection they offer is mainly from themselves, the Taliban. It is "their way or you die" if I'm not mistaken. I heard that the average poppy farmer makes around a $1,000 a year. What would it cost to provide say one province of farmers a monthly salary of $90 to $100, replace the poppy fields with another crop and slowly integrate a program of inclusion throughout the Country? The Marines did a pretty good job in Western Iraq of 'winning the hearts' of the locals and we need the same kind of 'outreach' program in Afghanistan.
    When I said we should find the toughest guy to lead I did not mean a Tyrant or Demagogue type, but one who dealt severely with factions such as the various 'war-lords' or sheiks. The culture of the Mideast has always been one of "Strength is Power" and the meanest, strongest SOB rules. We just need to be sure he is OUR SOB. :)
     
  5. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    We did that with Saddam and look what happenned there ;)

    But yeah, generally I agree. I do think that we have vastly different value sets however ultimately we all want the same thing, to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit and to improve the lot of our children. That's basically it.

    Kruska, sorry, I missunderstood. I agree that something needs doing about the current government, however with luck it will evolve rather than requiring a forced takeover. Isn't it interesting though that the anti-poppy activity is very quiet and Karzais brother makes millions from opium? Then again, as the leaflet we got given said, 'corruption is an accepted way of life, live with it and work around it.' It is shocking to us but the locals don't seem all that fussed most of the time. Maybe they are more like us than we think and have given up on their politicians already!
     
  6. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Stefan,

    well Wali is not making millions but billions - the best part it that he heads the province since he heads the provinical council in Kandahar. He uses Talibans to secure his harvest and sales routes - he uses Taliban and other obscure warlord folks to continue his land grabbings and robbings.

    He forwards to evict endangered folks from Talban and warlords, -making use of ANA and mostly ANP units from areas threatened by Talibans (thus reducing the ANP image even further) and the Taliban in return use Wali's land grabbings to inflict unrest on the surrounding population.

    Even worse when it comes to his scheme in reagrds to the "controll" of water wells - which as you know is real dynamite in contra to corruption.

    On top he swears at and threatens reporters and official western inquierers - and Bro Karsai - in the meantime vows to tackle corruption.

    Oh boy this is Vietnam and President Diem & Co. at it's best

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  7. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    True enough, sadly the Taliban killed the best hope for peace on 09/10.

    It seems strange though to me that the locals prefer the corruption of the ANA and ANP who set up illegal tolls and shoot at their kids, to us who build schools and defend them. It certainly shows how proud these people are.
     
  8. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    Hang in there Stefan!
    It has been so ingrained into the culture, IMHO, that it will take a long time for them to believe that things can change. I notice that a lot of "Western wear" is visible there, as in Iran and other places. That shows me, and again I may be reading too much into this, that the "people" want more than they've had in the past. Look at it this way, living the way they have always known is much easier than changing to an entirely different (foreign to them), lifestyle. We become accustomed to our way of life and even a small change can be a daunting challenge. It wouldn't surprise me if asked, most would have no idea what the lettering is on the "NIKE" shirts or what sport the team name on the hat is. But if answered honestly I would bet they want to live in the same manner as where the items come from. Possibly a small way for them to 'rebel' in a subtle way. I'm not there, never have been, but doubt they prefer the corruption, just afraid to confront it. Terrified more so than scared.
    Stay Safe!
     
  9. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Stefan;
    Yes - fully agree - the worst that happened so far in this mess.

    You really think so:confused:? - those locals know that if they don't pay their dues to them buggers - they are in for s#it. Come on Stefan "Protection Money" is and has been their custom for centuries.

    I don't know about your latest impressions - but the "retreat" of the US Forces from Iraq is causing a huge unrest at present from them pacified locals -many of them are already "tying up" again with the respective "guaranters of safety".

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  10. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    Kruska, you missunderstand, I have seen locals paying tolls and at the same time telling the ANA where IEDs are placed along their patrol routes, where they might find stuff and so on. They chat to them like old friends and generally are quite positive about them. On the other hand in the same areas locals refuse to talk to our troops full stop. In some places our status as 'invaders' versus that of the ANA as 'locals' (to some extent anyhow) is all too obvious.

    Incidentally I'm not talking about protection money in these cases, these are opportunists trying to make a couple of quid when they can. They aren't going to beat anyone, just not let them to use the road. The ANA may be corrupt but thanks to mentoring teams they are rarely fully fledged gangsters (unlike the ANP).
     
  11. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Hello Stefan,

    okay I got you - however in RCN it is not so. They really dispise the ANA not to mention the ANP. Most of the Tajik locals are buying their peace and passage rights. Usually they will come up to us to ask for help and to "resolve" the neverending issue of confiscated trading items.
    On the other hand most of the Usbeks are just as criminal minded as the ANP and usually cooperate together towards the Tajik's.

    Unforunatley the ANA keeps out of it and calls us again to handle matters, since about one year ago now, some police stations and regional ANP post commands have been filling their ranks with Tajik's who in turn gang together against ANA and Usbeks.

    Oh well - we have really diverted the original thread haven't we :D - I believe it started of about US health care programs?

    Take care and regards
    Kruska
     
  12. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    It was pretty rubbish to start with, at least it has become an interesting discussion, however OT it may be.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that breaking up Afghanistan along tribal lines a century ago may have been the solution. We (the British) tried splitting the pashtuns up, look what that did! Most Afghans don't seem to think of themselves as Afghan anyhow. We aren't re-building a nation, we are helping to create one.
     
  13. Kruska

    Kruska Member

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    Oh yes indeed - you are dead right on that one :)
    Oh and please don't forget - Afghan New Year is coming - 21st - and all the Tali will return from their Wintercamps in Pakistan - so keep your head down next week onward.

    Regards
    Kruska
     

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