Amazon has whacked our affiliate account. Hosting Donations/Commitments $2063 of $1920 (Sept 13/18). In Hand $1466 (Lump sum payments minus paypal graft). Paypal Donation Link Here

Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

For discussion of religion and politics

Moderators: LawBeefaroni, $iljanus

Post Reply
User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:57 pm

stessier wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:British officer says shooting people like video games, film at 11.
That's not actually what he said. He said he was happy to get the front seat because he plays video games and can be useful with his thumbs. I'm not sure why that's such a big deal.
I am aware.

I was trying to phrase it in the worst possible way so that even in that miscontext we can get some perspective on how "awful" it was.

It's a shame he used the word "joy", but whatever.
Prince Harry wrote:It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful," Harry said.
Not the best choice of words, but not the end of the world as we know it.

The context is basically, I'm good at video games, the gunner's seat operates very similarly, I suspect/I am quite competent in that role.

The army uses video games to train soldiers for goodness sake. It was a dumb thing to say, but understandable and certainly not going to cause another 9/11. There are plenty of real reasons that the Taliban could use for recruitment reasons, and even if there weren't, they could make up shit that is way better than that. It's not like honesty is a Taliban trademark.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:59 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
El Guapo wrote: My point is that there are things happening every day in Afghanistan that I'd wager have way more negative PR effects, and that as such this is probably going to be a drop in the bucket long term.
True, but the very idea that this is a mere drop in the bucket says a lot about the state of our PR over there. And when it's that bad, it's not helpful to pile on with dumb Prince Harryisms. It's the combined weight of negative perceptions that drives recruiting or gets people to dress in Afghani police uniforms and gun down "fellow" soldiers. Can we stop it completely? Probably not, but it should never just be acceptable to fuel to the fire.
Burn some books by mistake and there are riots. How can you possibly argue that "we" need to behave better otherwise bad things will happen?

User avatar
stessier
Posts: 23819
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: SC

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by stessier » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:00 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
stessier wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:British officer says shooting people like video games, film at 11.
That's not actually what he said. He said he was happy to get the front seat because he plays video games and can be useful with his thumbs. I'm not sure why that's such a big deal.
I am aware.

I was trying to phrase it in the worst possible way so that even in that miscontext we can get some perspective on how "awful" it was.

It's a shame he used the word "joy", but whatever.
Prince Harry wrote:It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think I'm probably quite useful," Harry said.
Not the best choice of words, but not the end of the world as we know it.

The context is basically, I'm good at video games, the gunner's seat operates very similarly, I suspect/I am quite competent in that role.

The army uses video games to train soldiers for goodness sake. It was a dumb thing to say, but understandable and certainly not going to cause another 9/11. There are plenty of real reasons that the Taliban could use for recruitment reasons, and even if there weren't, they could make up shit that is way better than that. It's not like honesty is a Taliban trademark.
I think he said "joy" because the backseater doesn't get to do much. I would be frustrated beyond belief if someone was shooting at me and all I could do was point them out to the guy with the trigger.
I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities. - Vaarsuvius
Global Steam Wishmaslist Tracking
Running____2014: 1300.55 miles____2015: 2036.13 miles____2016: 1012.75 miles____2017: 1105.82 miles____2018: 1318.91 miles

User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 59978
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:05 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
LordMortis wrote:Screw youth. (unless your maturity level is truly low enough that you don't value human life, which I am sure is also possible) How else do you rationalize gunning down people and being shot at from a helicopter? The Taliban say it's because so many become "mentally unstable", I'd think it's as often as not, a coping mechanism to keep you sane when you've been socialized to value human life.
It could be a coping mechanism. I'm not sure it *has* to be rationalized, necessarily. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are completely aware and, maybe comfortable is not the right word, but "ok" with the fact that they shoot people as part of their job. I don't think that automatically makes them psychotic/sociopathic/insane.
I could be wrong, but given the way are raised in western societies, if you are an adult who understands what it means to take a faceless human life from a mile away firing into groups at a rate of ten not so accurate rounds a second, I'm thinking you either have issues or coping mechanisms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M230_chain_gun" target="_blank

Image

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:06 pm

Using the word "joy" just gives people ammo, which is why it's a shame. Even if I couldn't rationalize his words (I can, just as you've done) I. Don't. Care. And I'm not sure why anyone but newsies having a slow news day, would.

I put in a lot of effort attempting to see the other side of things. I put a lot of effort into trying to empathize with people here that have differing opinions on things than I do. I just can't summon the energy to even try on this one.

It's just such a non-event, imo of course.

User avatar
LawBeefaroni
Forum Moderator
Posts: 45201
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:08 pm
Location: Urbs in Horto, where we only use the old smilies

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:09 pm

GreenGoo wrote: Ok, Lawbeef, I can't believe you're taking this so seriously. Canadian officers say stupid shit all the time. Americans seem to have more than their fair share of stupid soldiers saying stupid shit on youtube.

...

That you think this somehow empowers the Taliban and causes great harm for "the cause" is bizarre, laughable and misguided.
When he says stupid things to global news outlets, and when every other soldier says stupid inflamatory shit on youtube, it potentially undermines the efforts other soldiers put in over there. At the very least, as the most famous soldier fighting over there, he should recognize that and keep his mouth shut. Instead he uses it as an opportunity to showcase his PS3 talents. It also seems very counter to his "take a life to save a life" rah-rah bravado.




And on a completely different level, probably best for another thread, what he said about killing other humans points to the increasing drone-ification of war. He's not just pressing buttons on a controller, he's sending explosive projectiles and metal fragments through peoples' bodies. But hey, it's like FIFA 2013. I have little doubt that he has more regard for the electronic Wayne Rooney on his TV screen than for any individual he's killed.
" Hey OP, listen to my advice alright." -Tha General
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." -Stigler's Law of Eponymy, discovered by Robert K. Merton

MYT

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20245
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by dbt1949 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:15 pm

This talk reminds of my stepson here a while back who asked me what my "body count" was from VietNam.
I just don't understand some people. Royals included.
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:29 pm

dbt1949 wrote:This talk reminds of my stepson here a while back who asked me what my "body count" was from VietNam.
I just don't understand some people. Royals included.
I don't disagree, but your bodycount was not accumulated from hundreds of yards in the air while you stared at a green lit hud the whole time.

If we want to have a talk about the seriousness of war and the sanctity of human life, we can do that. I am not cavalier about war. It scares the shit out of me and I am quite sure post traumatic stress disorder is a very real, very debilitating thing.

Am I surprised that a soldier made some comments that may be interpreted as dehumanizing his enemy? Um, no. We have all of human history to fall back on as evidence that this is a typical thing, and even if Harry's comments could be considered insensitive, that's all they are. Insensitive. Probably inappropriate given his rank and family. It's not like he was telling everyone how great it felt every time he popped a towelhead and saw them fly apart as the bullets from his cannon struck them.

I mean this in all honesty: If a Prince talking about how his skills at video games will help him do something useful (useful=kill the enemy) in the war is the worst (or even a significant) PR flub the west has to suffer, we are damn good at PR.

User avatar
LawBeefaroni
Forum Moderator
Posts: 45201
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:08 pm
Location: Urbs in Horto, where we only use the old smilies

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:34 pm

GreenGoo wrote: I mean this in all honesty: If a Prince talking about how his skills at video games will help him do something useful (useful=kill the enemy) in the war is the worst (or even a significant) PR flub the west has to suffer, we are damn good at PR.
Is getting a splinter the worst thing that could happen to you? No. So why don't you rub your hand along every rough, unsanded piece of split wood you see? Because you don't want a splinter.

When something isn't the worst possible outcome, it isn't automatically a desirable outcome.
" Hey OP, listen to my advice alright." -Tha General
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." -Stigler's Law of Eponymy, discovered by Robert K. Merton

MYT

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 31529
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:37 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
El Guapo wrote: My point is that there are things happening every day in Afghanistan that I'd wager have way more negative PR effects, and that as such this is probably going to be a drop in the bucket long term.
True, but the very idea that this is a mere drop in the bucket says a lot about the state of our PR over there. And when it's that bad, it's not helpful to pile on with dumb Prince Harryisms. It's the combined weight of negative perceptions that drives recruiting or gets people to dress in Afghani police uniforms and gun down "fellow" soldiers. Can we stop it completely? Probably not, but it should never just be acceptable to fuel to the fire.
I mean, we are fighting a war and killing a lot of Afghans. That's a substantial PR challenge in Afghanistan no matter how you slice it.

Not disagreeing that it's bad. I'd just say that my estimation that the war will turn out materially different because of this remark is about 0.1%.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:39 pm

When I get a splinter, I don't mention it, because...it's a splinter.

I certainly wouldn't expect it to be more than tabloid fodder about the wacky foibles of Prince Harry, because, well...it's a splinter.

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:22 pm

GG, I don't think it's the worst thing in the war. If a regular soldier said it, I'd just think "Kid probably needs a rest and a reminder."

When the Prince (who is basically only there to lend legitimacy to his weird family's weird political status) says it, I think "There's a privileged asshole who doesn't even know how to do Being-the-Prince right."
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 59978
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by LordMortis » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:30 pm

Holman wrote:GG, I don't think it's the worst thing in the war. If a regular soldier said it, I'd just think "Kid probably needs a rest and a reminder."

When the Prince (who is basically only there to lend legitimacy to his weird family's weird political status) says it, I think "There's a privileged asshole who doesn't even know how to do Being-the-Prince right."
If a prince is in a chopper being shot at, I don't think of him as exercising privilege. Even if an Apache has never been shot down.

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:39 pm

LordMortis wrote:
Holman wrote:GG, I don't think it's the worst thing in the war. If a regular soldier said it, I'd just think "Kid probably needs a rest and a reminder."

When the Prince (who is basically only there to lend legitimacy to his weird family's weird political status) says it, I think "There's a privileged asshole who doesn't even know how to do Being-the-Prince right."
If a prince is in a chopper being shot at, I don't think of him as exercising privilege. Even if an Apache has never been shot down.
Props to him for serving. But if he thinks "War is a kick-ass videogame" comments reflect well on his multiply privileged statuses, he is even dumber than past behavior suggests.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Combustible Lemur
Posts: 3605
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:17 pm
Location: houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Combustible Lemur » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:52 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
GreenGoo wrote: I mean this in all honesty: If a Prince talking about how his skills at video games will help him do something useful (useful=kill the enemy) in the war is the worst (or even a significant) PR flub the west has to suffer, we are damn good at PR.
Is getting a splinter the worst thing that could happen to you? No. So why don't you rub your hand along every rough, unsanded piece of split wood you see? Because you don't want a splinter.

When something isn't the worst possible outcome, it isn't automatically a desirable outcome.
Do enough carpentry, splinters, burns, cuts, and assholes are just a cost of business. Preferably, your chief of cultural resources doesn't have a flippant mouth and a penchant for sexy parties. Or maybe you do want that for interior moral.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
Is Scott home? thump thump thump Crash ......No.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:56 pm

Maybe he just takes after his great great uncle, Edward VIII.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:13 pm

Holman wrote:who is basically only there to lend legitimacy to his weird family's weird political status"
I think it's clear how you feel about the royal family, and because of it, they get no slack from you. That's fine. Doesn't make his actions particularly reprehensible, but ok.

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26872
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Online

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:40 pm

Who cares, we won't be there in another year anyway.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:17 pm

Rip wrote:Who cares, we won't be there in another year anyway.
That's remarkably close to the same logic Clinton used to shrug off questions about why Benghazi happened.

In any case, I'm not sure what being there or not being there has to do with anything. It's not like Al Qaeda recruitment was down before troops arrived on the ground in Afghanistan.

User avatar
Zarathud
Posts: 13346
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:29 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:29 pm

Hey, killing peasants is just royal tradition.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." - Albert Einstein
"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal. - Nixon
"I don't stand by anything." - Trump
“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” - John Stuart Mill, Inaugural Address Delivered to the University of St Andrews, 2/1/1867

User avatar
Rip
Posts: 26872
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:34 pm
Location: Cajun Country!
Contact:
Rip’s avatar
Online

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Rip » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Rip wrote:Who cares, we won't be there in another year anyway.
That's remarkably close to the same logic Clinton used to shrug off questions about why Benghazi happened.

In any case, I'm not sure what being there or not being there has to do with anything. It's not like Al Qaeda recruitment was down before troops arrived on the ground in Afghanistan.

Looks isolationist, smells isolationist, perhaps you should taste it.

User avatar
GreenGoo
Posts: 39183
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 10:46 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:03 pm

I have no idea what you're getting at.

In any case, in theory you're in Afghanistan for publicly legit reasons.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:12 am

Despite concluding negotiations with the U.S. and Karzai getting a clear sign from the from the council of elders that they want him to sign the agreement, he's being intransigent:
President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan E. Rice, imposed an ultimatum on President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Monday, telling him to stop his delay in signing a security agreement or potentially face the complete and final pullout of U.S. troops by the end of 2014, according to U.S. and Afghan officials.

But while Karzai was said to have assured her he would sign the deal at some point, he gave no time frame for it. And over dinner at the presidential palace in Kabul, he later insisted on difficult new conditions as well, including the release of all inmates at the U.S. prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, adding to the perception of a crisis between the two nations, officials from both countries said.
...
The meeting comes a day after Karzai rejected a recommendation from his own handpicked assembly of Afghan leadership figures, a loya jirga, that by year’s end he should sign the bilateral security agreement, which would allow for an extended U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai told the loya jirga he wanted to wait to sign it until after the Afghan presidential elections in April, while continuing to negotiate with the Americans.

In response, the White House summary said, “Ambassador Rice stressed that we have concluded negotiations and that deferring the signature of the agreement until after next year’s elections is not viable, as it would not provide the United States and NATO allies the clarity necessary to plan for a potential post-2014 military presence.”
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33140
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:38 pm

I think most Americans stopped paying attention to Afghanistan long ago, and would be perfectly content to cut them loose at the end of next year. Or tomorrow, better still.

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33140
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:50 pm

The most unpopular war in US history. Or at least since Americans have been polled about their opinions.
A mere 17 percent of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, according to a new poll, making it by one measure the most unpopular war in U.S. history.

The new low in support, in a CNN poll out Monday, comes after 52 percent of Americans supported the war in a 2008 CNN poll, and just 46 percent opposed it. By 2013, opposition had mushroomed to 82 percent, according to the poll. Though comparing public opinion across the decades is difficult, the support falls short of previous CNN polling on the Iraq War, and opposition to the Vietnam War next eclipsed 60 percent in Gallup polling.
At least 17% support makes it more popular than Congress. :doh:

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:20 am

Oddly, the Taliban doesn't like the idea of elections, mounting an attack on the HQ this weekend.
Taliban fighters unleashed a barrage of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades at the headquarters of Afghanistan’s election commission on Saturday, a week before Afghans are to vote for a new president in an election that the Taliban has vowed to disrupt. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Afghan officials and witnesses said the attack began shortly before 1 p.m. when at least three militants entered a building overlooking the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission, a grassy compound of low-slung buildings on the eastern edge of Kabul.

Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the militants had not managed to get beyond the building from where they launched the attack. They were quickly holed up inside, surrounded by regular police officers and elite paramilitary commandos. The building was some distance from the election commission’s compound, he said.
...
The Taliban quickly took credit for the assault on the election commission, presenting it as the latest move in their bid to violently derail the coming election. The insurgents’ threats against the election have proven credible in recent days – Saturday’s attack was their third in Kabul this week, adding to the tension in a city where, until recently, the Taliban appeared to have had trouble mounting successful attacks.

Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesman for the insurgents, said on Twitter that “a number of martyrdom seekers have entered fake elections’ main headquarters.”

Mr. Mujahid, who often offers inflated accounts of Taliban attacks, described what by now has become a familiar insurgent tactic in Afghanistan: He said a car bomb was used to breach the commission’s defenses, and gunmen then rushed inside.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:14 am

Afghans Vote in Strong Numbers Despite Dangers

Good for them! Not what many people expected.
Braving cold, rain and Taliban attacks, Afghans gathered in such long lines at polling places that voting hours were extended nationwide so they could cast their ballots to choose the successor to President Hamid Karzai on Saturday.

Rather than the widespread disruption that the Taliban had promised in recent months, the thing most on display was determination, as Afghans turned out in higher numbers than expected, including in some places where votes were scarce in the 2009 election. There was no heavy barrage of attacks, though fears of potential violence did keep roughly one in eight polling centers closed nationwide.

For the first time, Afghans were voting on what appeared to be an open field of candidates, after Mr. Karzai's dozen years in power. Accordingly, no one expected a quick result from the vote on Saturday: the top three candidates were expected to closely divide up the vote, and a runoff election seemed certain. That election would likely be held no sooner than May 28, continuing Mr. Karzai’s time in office for another two months at least. Even partial official results were not expected for a week.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33140
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:20 pm

Now comes the big question of whether the votes will be tallied fairly.

They/we need this to go into the "win" column. If they can't even pull off a real election after 13 years of occupation and three quarters of a trillion American dollars, then it's hard to point to any kind of achievement at all.
Last edited by Kraken on Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:36 pm

Here is your ballot list. Abdullah Abdullah was the runoff competitor last time. I imagine he's the reform candidate against Karzai's national security adviser, Zalmai Rassoul.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:38 pm

According to the NYT,
The leading candidates going into the vote were Ashraf Ghani, 64, a technocrat and former official in Mr. Karzai’s government; Abdullah Abdullah, 53, a former foreign minister who was the second biggest vote-getter against Mr. Karzai in the 2009 election; and Zalmay Rassoul, 70, another former foreign minister.
From Isgrimnur's list:
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH: Having gained 31 percent of the vote as runner-up to Karzai in the disputed 2009 elections, Abdullah has an advantage in name recognition and political organization. He was a close aide to the late Ahmad Shah Masood, the Northern Alliance rebel commander famed for his resistance to Soviet occupation and the Taliban. Abdullah has a strong following among ethnic Tajiks in Afghanistan's north, but his perceived weak support among Pashtuns — Afghanistan's largest ethnic group at 42 percent — could keep him from gaining a majority of votes, even though he is half-Pashtun.

ZALMAI RASSOUL: A former foreign minister, Rassoul has been national security adviser to the government and is seen as close to Karzai. He could end up being a consensus candidate among many political factions. A Pashtun like Karzai, he has a medical degree and is fluent in five languages, including French, English and Italian. He lived in Italy for many years with Afghanistan's deposed King Zahir Shah, who died in Kabul in 2007.

ASHRAF GHANI AHMADZAI: Ghani is a former finance minister who ran in the 2009 presidential elections but received just 3 percent of the vote. A well-known academic with a reputation as a somewhat temperamental technocrat, Ghani chairs a commission in charge of transitioning responsibility for security from the U.S.-led coalition to Afghan forces. Ghani also worked at the World Bank.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
El Guapo
Posts: 31529
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 4:01 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by El Guapo » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:17 am

I like saying Abdullah Abdullah, so I would vote for him.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:20 am

Looks like it's a two-horse race:
Former World Bank executive Ashraf Ghani and opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah appeared to be the two front-runners in Afghanistan's presidential election, sidelining a candidate viewed as President Hamid Karzai's favorite, according to partial results tallied by news organizations and one candidate.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:24 pm

El Guapo wrote:I like saying Abdullah Abdullah, so I would vote for him.
Apparently he's our guy, and he's the front-runner.
Abdullah Abdullah, a longtime opponent of President Hamid Karzai and an ardent supporter of the United States, emerged Saturday as the clear front-runner in Afghanistan’s presidential election and could become the first non-Pashtun to lead the country in more than three centuries.

In preliminary results released Saturday, Mr. Abdullah, an ethnic Tajik from the north, won 45 percent of the vote, not enough to avoid a runoff with the leading Pashtun candidate, Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank economist and Karzai adviser, who won 32 percent. But Afghan government officials say Mr. Abdullah is on the verge of forging alliances with at least two of the Pashtun runners-up to gain their support, and possibly the presidency, in the next round.

Either of the top two candidates would represent a significant break with the years of deteriorating relations the United States has had with Afghanistan under Mr. Karzai, and a shift toward greater bilateral cooperation. Each candidate has said, for instance, that he would sign a security agreement with the United States allowing American forces to remain in the country past 2014, which Mr. Karzai negotiated but refused to sign.
Pashtuns are the ethnic/regional group from which the Taliban draws most of its support.

This is much better news than I expect to hear out of Afghanistan these days. Presumably we can derail it with a full-on pivot to Iraq or something, just for old times' sake.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33140
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:33 pm

Good news out of Afghanistan today. For those who haven't been playing along at home: The election that was hailed as a victory for nation-building fell apart over widespread fraud. As of last week Abdullah, who probably won, was threatening to form a shadow government that would have split the country along ethnic lines and probably led to civil war (as if the Taliban insurgency wasn't already a civil war). It looked like the whole thing was about to fall apart.

Yesterday John Kerry convinced both candidates to abide by a complete UN-sponsored recount and, whatever the result, form a unity government.

It's a sorry state of affairs when "Yay! The country's (probably) not going to disintegrate (yet)!" counts as good news, but you take what you can get.

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20245
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by dbt1949 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:13 pm

At this point I don't care if everybody in Iraq and Afghanistan turn into itty bitty countries like Yugoslavia did. Maybe they can get along better inside their little fortresses.
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

User avatar
Holman
Posts: 19835
Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2004 8:00 pm
Location: Approximately Wissahickon

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Holman » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:45 am

American Major General Reported Killed in Afghanistan
A United States Army major general was killed on Tuesday by an Afghan soldier, shot at close range at a military training academy on the outskirts of Kabul, an official of the American-led coalition and Afghan media reported Tuesday. The officer was the highest-ranking member of the American military to die in hostilities in the Afghanistan war.

The coalition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and would not release the name of the major general, said an unspecified number of other service members of the American-led coalition and Afghan soldiers, including a senior Afghan commander were also shot. Their conditions were not known.
The details aren't out, but it seems that the general was assassinated by a Afghan soldier.

What a terrible mess these wars have been.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:51 pm

Your winner is Ashraf Ghani, after a contentious recount and a power sharing deal. Kerry will not attend tomorrow's inauguration.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Isgrimnur
Posts: 57950
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:
Isgrimnur’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:51 pm

And there is your security deal:
Afghanistan's new government and the United States have signed a long-delayed security agreement that will allow about 12,000 foreign soldiers to remain in Afghanistan when the international combat mission ends December 31.

National security adviser Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham signed the deal in a televised ceremony in Kabul , a day after Ashraf Ghani took over as Afghanistan's president.
...
Under Tuesday's agreement, approximately 10,000 U.S. troops and 2,000 NATO forces will stay in Afghanistan after 2014.
Silver - 3k

People who are wrong often get mad at people who are right. (I have surprisingly never been shot.) (h/t Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar)

User avatar
Kraken
Posts: 33140
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:59 pm
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Contact:
Kraken’s avatar
Offline

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by Kraken » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:15 pm

Another year of combat.
President Obama signed a classified order in recent weeks authorizing a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures US troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.

Obama’s order allows US forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military, and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision.

The new authorization also allows US jets, bombers, and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions.
What's next year make it, 14 years of fighting?

User avatar
dbt1949
Posts: 20245
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:34 am
Location: Hogeye Arkansas

Re: Win, Lose, or Draw in Afghanistan?

Post by dbt1949 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:45 pm

They just declared the war over in Afghanistan. How can that be if we still have thousand of troops fighting over there?
Ye Olde Farte
Double Ought Forty
aka dbt1949

Post Reply