Category Archives: Taliban

Sherlock Holmes & Churchill: Their Lessons on Afghanistan

David Von Drehle, in Washington Post, 8 August 2021, with this title … “Sherlock holmes & Winston Churchill: Cautionary tales on Afghanistan”

   

I learned of a place called Afghanistan as many Americans used to do: by reading one of the most famous opening chapters in literary history. I was 11 years old, and my new book introduced a young English doctor. Sent to an outpost of the Empire, he was hurried ahead to the front lines of a persistent war. He united with his assigned unit in Kandahar, and nearly died in combat when his shoulder was shattered by a bullet. Recuperating back in London, seeking an affordable apartment, he met a potential roommate — a strange fellow among whose first words to him were:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Thus Dr. Watson met Sherlock Holmes.

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An Afghan Soccer Star who sought the Skies ….

BBC News Item, c. 21 August 2021c with this title “Zaki Anwari: Afghan footballer falls to death from US plane in Kabul”

Afghan authorities have confirmed that a young footballer fell to his death after trying to stow away on a US military plane leaving Kabul airport. Zaki Anwari, 19, had played for Afghanistan’s national youth team. Further details of when he died have not been disclosed.

Since the Taliban’s recapture of Afghanistan, thousands of people have scrambled to Kabul’s airport as Western countries rush to evacuate their citizens and Afghan colleagues. Images emerged on Monday showing hundreds of people running alongside a US air force plane as it moved down a runway. Some people were seen clinging to its side.

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Taliban’s Rise as Major Setback for India: A Lament exposing Power-Plays in Asia

  Sunil Sharan in New Delhi, 22 August 2021 where his chosen title is “The Lonesomeness of Defeat” **

Afghanistan has been a debacle for the Americans, but no less so for the Indians. The great generals of the modern era, the Guderians, the Rommels, the MacArthurs, and Without doubt the greatest of them all, Napoleon, always saw things clearly. They recognized Victory to be victory and defeat to be defeat and did not confuse between the two. A superb German army opened two fronts in World War II, which led to its downfall. The Americans did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, meeting humiliation in both places.

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USA’s Bungling-Programmes in Afghanistan

“Double Eagle’s” Serial Commentary 

ONE

Even as the Vice-President with Obama, Biden was opposed to keeping US troops in Afghanistan. When Obama supported the Army’s request for a troop surge in 2009, VP Biden strongly opposed it. It is also known that most Americans did not want their soldiers and airmen to remain in that country after Bin Laden was taken out.

Biden made the announcement in May this year, that he will pull out all US troops by the end of August. His desire was to complete the withdrawal before Sep 2021 (the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the USA).

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Taliban Ban? No More Music in Afghanistan?

ONE = A Celebrated Afghan School Fears the Taliban Will Stop the Music

“The Afghanistan National Institute of Music became …”

Item in NY Times [whihc demands payment for access !]

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USA Falls on Its Own Sword in Afghanistan

A friend in the Antipodes whom I shall call “A Modern Anzac” has provided a long-term appraisal of Western intervention in Afghanistan which questions the interpretation from Clive Williams as well as those voiced by former PM, John Howard, and by Greg Sheridan and others in The Australian newspaper [i]  In doing so, I have imposed by own highlighting…. Michael Roberts 

 A Modern Anzac

A = Frontal Challenge One

This kind of narrative belongs to a 1800s mindset of military thinking: it is outmoded and irrelevant to the 21st Century.

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Horror and Terror in Kabul: Pictorials

No words  required!!

   

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Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

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Allahu Akbar! Missing Dimensions in Contemporary Reportage

Michael Roberts

I recently watched a good part of Stephen Sackur’s dialogue with a French lady politician [whose name I have forgotten]. Sackur pursued his usual hard-line aggressive and bullying mode of questioning – posing vigorous criticisms of the French government’s position on secularism and its hostility to the carving out of sacred domains by French Muslim peoples.  The implicit suggestion[1] was that the British system’s tolerance of religious sensibilities was a better line of policy.[2]

Muslim protests … and the selfie proudly posted by the Islamic terrorist who was responsible for the killings in Nice in October 2020

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Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

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