King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: Mourning a monster.

January 26, 2015


The planes carrying World leaders home from the unity march in Paris in support of free expression last week, barely had the chance to touch the tarmac before those same World leaders began queuing to offer their heartfelt sympathy and condolences to a man who ruled a country in which criticism of the King is illegal, and who spent his final days overseeing the hideous flogging of Raif Badawi for exercising his right to free expression.

On the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, The British Prime Minister, David Cameron (so overcome with grief was he, that he flew especially to Saudi Arabia), said:

“He will be remembered for his long years of service to the Kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths.”

– Smilarly, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby praised Abdullah for his commitment to interfaith relations. This same – laughable, if it wasn’t so horribly tarred with the blood of many innocent people – sentiment was also echoed by former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said:

“I am very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
I am very sad indeed to hear of the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.“I knew him well and admired him greatly. Despite the turmoil of events in the region around him, he remained a stable and sound ally, was a patient and skilful moderniser of his country leading it step by step into the future. He was a staunch advocate of inter faith relations.”

– President Obama added to this feeling of great anguish and woe, insisting that he:

“….valued King Abdullah’s perspective and appreciated our genuine and warm friendship.”

At first I thought I was reading condolences for someone else, perhaps someone with a record of human rights victories championing the plight of the most oppressed in society, but no, it is definitely King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia they are talking about. A man they are convinced was a wonderful ‘moderniser’ for intervening in one or two court cases that would otherwise have highlighted his regime as one of the most brutal in history (call it a PR stunt, given that he’s never indicated a preference for human rights instead of religious supremacy). Indeed, Saudi Arabia is a country that scored the lowest marks from Freedom House rankings in 2014 of civil freedoms. A country that, despite the Prime Minister’s comment that the dead King will long be remembered for his ‘commitment to peace‘ is about to continue its flogging of blogger Raif Badawi for blasphemy (having an opinion that differed from the ruling elite in Saudi), and on average beheads around 80 people a year.

It is simply madness that any human being should lose their life, due to the religious beliefs of someone else. Talking to BBC News back in 2003, Muhammad Saad al-Beshi – a Saudi executioner – worryingly said:

“It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10 – as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute”.

– The power structure of Saudi Arabia & those it privileges relies heavily on convincing otherwise decent human beings, that brutally murdering other human beings, is part of a plan designed by an invisible being. It is simply a horror story. We as humans are permitted such a brief time on this Earth as it is, it is so sad that others believe they have the express right to decide whether we live or die, according to religious beliefs. It seems to me that if you are going to claim ownership over the life of someone else, you must first offer irrefutable proof for the existence of your God, and then the rest of us must freely accept that we are to be ruled according to His principles. Otherwise, you are simply a murderer.

The Prime Minister’s insistence that King Abdullah would be remembered for ‘strengthening understanding between faiths‘ and Blair’s insistence that Abdullah was ‘a staunch advocate of inter faith relations‘, along with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s defense of the flags lowering to half mast, is entirely negated by the fact that Abdullah’s Theocratic Monarchy expressively forbade public practice of any religion but Islam, insists that children born to Muslim parents must be considered Muslim themselves, and has a legal system – for non-Muslims as well as Muslims – based entirely on Islam. From the moment you are born, until the moment you die in Saudi Arabia, you are a possession of the religion of state. You have no liberty. You are owned by one royal family, and their religious beliefs. You must not utter words they disapprove of, nor live according to your own beliefs. You are chained. If you happen to be gay, female, or you simply don’t believe in the faith that the state insists that you must, your life is not yours, your beliefs are not yours, and you are banned from falling in love with someone that the religion of someone else disapproves of. If you attempt to break free from such a hideously oppressive cage, you are likely to be flogged or beheaded. This was a system upheld and perpetuated by King Abdullah. Indeed, here are a few more examples of the innocent victims of the idea that human rights and civil liberty matters little, when it clashes with preserving religious privilege and supremacy.

Amina bint Abdel Halim Nassar was beheaded by the Saudi state in 2011 for:

“…the practice of witchcraft and sorcery.”

– In the 21st century, a life, filled with memories, loves, passions, childhood friends, family…. so violently cut short for the ridiculous offence of ‘sorcery‘. There was no outpouring of grief from massively disingenuous political elite of Western nations, for her.

Also in 2011, 45 year old Mansor Almaribe – an Australian man with back problems – was sentenced to 500 lashes on the back, for blasphemy. His crime? Praying with fellow Shi’ites in a country run by Sunni extremists. After intervention from the Australian government, the great Saudi ‘reformer’ managed to get the sentence down from 500 lashes, to 75 lashes and a year in jail.

In 2005, Muhammad Al-Harbi was sentenced to 750 lashes for teaching children about other religions. For daring to teach children to think for themselves, that they are entitled to believe something other than what the state demands, the state violently tortured Al-Harbi and threw him in prison.

In 2014, Loujain al-Hathloul, and Maysa al-Amoudi were leading a campaign to allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia when authorities arrested them on ‘terror’ charges. In fact, terror charges are a new weapon of the religious supremacists in Saudi Arabia. So dedicated to ‘progress’ was the late Royal thug, that in 2014 a royal decree includes violent punishment for:

“… calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based”

– Atheism is now classed as terrorism in Saudi Arabia. The leader of the family that believes it has the inherent right to chain every last citizen – and their short lives, with much promise and hope – to their sociopathic dictates based solely on their personal religious beliefs, is the same leader that both Blair & Welby insist did so much for inter-faith relations. Further reducing the comments of Western leaders to at best an insincere round of grovelling, is the knowledge that whilst they insist Abdullah did much for inter-faith relations, in Saudi Arabia all faiths other than the one he personally believed in are largely prohibited, and questioning the fundamentals of – a very insecure – faith, apparently gives the King the right to violently harm other human beings. Saudi Arabia’s Monarchy is not content with owning your sex life, you love life, your words, it also requires you submit your own mind to their religious cage.

In 2007, the General Court of Qatif sentenced a woman to 90 lashes, for “illegal mingling” with a man who – with his friends – then raped her. She had the courage to speak out about the attack, and so the court more than doubled her sentence to 200 lashes, for, and I quote:

“….her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”

Similarly, In 2009, a 23 year old Saudi woman was hideously raped by a gang of rapists. She was then arrested and sentenced – yes, she was sentenced – to a year in prison and 100 lashes by more men, more abusers, for ‘committing adultery‘ and seeking an abortion. The White House issued no statement over this, instead, they sent their condolences upon the death of the King of a land that seeks to further harm victims of rape. The perpetuation of a religious settlement that is misogynistic by its very nature, requires the complete oppression of women for its survival.

As with misogyny, homophobia is never too far behind when it comes to religious power structures. The ironically named ‘Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice‘ sentenced a man to 450 lashes for Tweeting in the hope of meeting other gay men a couple of years ago. He was also sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2007, two men were sentenced to 7000 lashes each, for being homosexual. We cannot imagine the fear that gay men and women must face every day in Saudi Arabia. Sexuality discrimination in Saudi Arabia is not surprising, given the utterly repulsive nature of just what Saudi Arabia teaches children about sexuality. One simple paragraph from the Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies: 2007-2008 offers a prime example of just why politically religious folk should never be allowed power over the apparatus of a State, nor over the lives of its inhabitants especially its children, in an enlightened World. The barbaric nature of their law:

“Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes…. It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins…. The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage…. Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place.”

– Last week, Downing Street, The White House, and other World leaders abandoned the lives of so many who have suffered, continue to suffer as you read this, and will suffer at the hands of religious thugs in Saudi Arabia in the future, and instead those leaders chose to send heartfelt condolences upon the death of the victims’ chief abuser; a misogynistic, homophobic, violent, abusive, religious supremacist who terrorised so many, and who worked hard to ensure civil liberties and human rights never got a foot in the door of Saudi Arabia. His reign should be viewed as a warning of the kind of hideous human rights abuses – that begin with the psychological abuse of children via religious indoctrination – that inevitably occurs when the religious are permitted power. The World should not mourn the death of such a monster.

My thoughts on Iraq and the Left Part II

August 6, 2011

This was originally part of the blog entry from yesterday, but it ended up all being too long. So here is Part II.

On the point of Blair being a liar, the issue over the 45 minute claim still haunts his Prime Ministerial career today. It all comes down to Andrew Gilligan. Conventional wisdom has it that the media should be questioned. Though apparently when a story involves the government, people tend to believe the media to be infallible and the government to be corrupt and shady. I on the other hand, find myself in a deep sense of unease at anything the media says, and especially around conventional wisdom. The fact is, people have chosen to believe Andrew Gilligan above anyone who disagrees with him, despite Gilligan lying to a Commons Select Committee, and changing his story numerous times. Why do we take his word as reliable? I would suggest it is because we like to believe our politicians are deeply corrupt. I am anti-Blair for a lot of reasons; his “modernisation” of the Labour Party was actually nothing more than a total capitulation to the financial sector, with grave consequences. Yet on this, I don’t think he maliciously lied. I think the JIC intelligence was false, and the 45 minute claim wasn’t considered important. In fact, so unimportant was it, that Blair didn’t actually mention it once. He didn’t mention it in Parliament. He didn’t claim it as fact. It was raised, I believe, twice in debates in Parliament, in passing. It was not the claim that the Government staked the entire war on. The removal of Saddam was absolutely right and necessary. Anyone who claims otherwise, does not understand the horrific nature of his rule. Comparing him to the Syrian issue at the moment, is irresponsible and ignorant. Saddam was not just another Middle Eastern dictator. He was one of the cruelest and most vicious dictators of the 20th Century. Up there with Hitler and Stalin.

The Left – including me – tends to question the motives of the media. Though there seems to be complacency in this urge to question the media, when the media seem to be revealing something about the government. We tend to believe the media and decide the government is lying. We of course have no proof, or evidence. Similarly, with the “sexed up dossier” we just assume Andrew Gilligan’s report on BBC radio, in which he claimed Downing Street deliberately sexed up the military capability of Iraq to justify war, was absolutely correct. Since, he has offered no support for this claim, it seems a little odd that we’d just take it as fact. Though we do, because we like to believe, for some odd reason, that our Prime Ministers are lying, scheming, murdering psychopaths. And yet, as pointed out earlier, Gilligan changed his story numerous times. Originally he had claimed that Alistair Campbell inserted the 45 minute claim. Then, in front of the Hutton Inquiry, Gilligan said:

“The only context in which my source mentioned Campbell was in the context of the transformation of the dossier.

“The allegation was made that the 45-minute claim was inserted against ‘our [the JIC] wishes’. But it is not a specific claim with a specific person’s name tied to it.”

– In his articles even today, he names Campbell as responsible, but under oath he refuses to use a name, because lying to Parliament isn’t exactly going to go down to well. The Tory MP Sir John Stanley of the Hutton Inquiry picked up on this, telling Gilligan:

“You are now making a dramatically, totally, totally different allegation. You have led this whole committee, and the wider public, up the garden path in a most staggering way.”

On being questioned further, into why he suggested the Government had lied, or that Campbell had placed the 45 minute claim into the dossier, despite him having no evidence, and despite Dr David Kelly not actually putting Campbell and 45 minute claim in the same sentence during any of their three meetings (three according to Gilligan, four according to David Kelly, lasting 45 minutes according to Gilligan, 90 minutes according to Kelly), Gilligan retracted the comment he’d made on the Today Program, that the Government probably knew the 45 minute claim was false before they put it in the dossier:

“It wasn’t my intention to give the impression the Government had lied.”

– How is it that an entire generation has clutched onto this man’s incredibly weak interpretation of investigative journalism, as being precisely factual? If anything, Gilligan is guilty of doing what he accuses the government of; lying, and “sexing up” evidence. There is no consistency in his story, there is no consistency between how he thinks the meetings between he and Dr David Kelly went, and how Dr David Kelly thought they went. That is probably why MPs branded Gilligan an “unsatisfactory witness“.

Gilligan then claimed the original source that the government used, for the 45 minute claim was wrong. Again, he had no evidence. He claimed the original source had been mistaken between the deployment time for weapons, and the deployment time for a Chemical and Biological missile. The problem is, the JIC rejected this as being ludicrous, because the original source for them had never once mentioned the word missile and only ever mentioned weapons. It would seem that Gilligan is making it up as he goes along, and those who believe him seem to be hailing him as a lone journalist taking on the big bad corrupt government. No one seems to be questioning him.

If we take Susan Watts testimony before the Hutton Inquiry, she claimed that she too had spoken to Dr David Kelly, as a reporter for the BBC. She had taken notes, and made a recording. When asked about Kelly’s statement that Alaistair Campbell had “sexed up” the dossier, she said that Dr Kelly’s comments on Campbell were no more than a glib statement” and “gossipy aside” for which there was no evidence whatsoever. Kelly was just guessing. A passing comment. She came forward after Kelly had killed himself. It’s a shame she didn’t present this before, to take the pressure off of Dr Kelly. It might have saved his life. In fact, if Gilligan hadn’t have emailed the Foreign Affairs Committee, to reveal that Dr Kelly was Susan Watt’s source (thus breaking the Journalist code of protecting the source), Kelly may still be alive today. Both Watts and Gilligan piled the pressure on Dr David Kelly. They sold him out.

The Hutton Inquiry told that Campbell had made notes on the Dossier, though not to deceive anyone, and that the Joint Intelligence Committee had agreed and consented to the final draft before it was published.

The Butler Inquiry concluded that the 45 minute claim was based on bad intelligence – which it certainly was. But, it also concluded that the government did not know it was bad intelligence before the dossier was published, as Gilligan had claimed.

To this day, Gilligan cannot be trusted to present an accurate story in his articles. In January this year, he wrote an article on the case of Ashraf Miah, a man convicted of child molestation. In his article, he names a certain Mosque as the place that Miah met his victims:

The court heard that Miah also taught at the hardline East London Mosque, controlled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, which also believes in turning the UK into a sharia state, though by different methods. The mosque has hosted many hate, extremist and terrorist preachers, including Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda spiritual leader. Some of the victims were introduced to Miah via the mosque.

– The problem is, this is nonsense. The Telegraph, in which the story was published issued the following statement, five months later:

Our report “Extremist leader jailed for child abuse” (Jan 20) wrongly said that some of the victims of Ashraf Miah, described in a court report as a former teacher at the East London Mosque, were introduced via the Mosque. We are happy to confirm that the Mosque has no record of him ever having taught there and that there was no suggestion at trial of his victims having been introduced to him there.

The article he wrote was on his Telegraph blog. It has since been taken down, but a copy can be found here.
Now, that being said, and given that the article is still available to view, with his name attached to it, which he wrote, one wonders why after the Telegraph corrected the blatant lie, he tried to suggest he didn’t actually write it:

It is untrue to claim, as the mosque and its echoes in the blogosphere often do, including in its latest statement, that the Daily Telegraph has corrected any story I wrote about it: the correction was to a news-in-brief item (six months ago!) written by someone else. And if that 50-word piece, in all the tens of thousands of words we’ve written about the East London Mosque, is the only fault they’ve been able to find, I think we’re doing pretty well.

– As you can see from the link, it isn’t a 50 word news in brief, and the Daily Telegraph DID correct a story he wrote. He lied twice, about the same thing.

Private Eye found that Gilligan had been leaving comments on his own blog articles, under different names. I am not entirely sure how this man can be considered respectable and credible?

Back to the dossier. The general head of the Joint Intelligence Committee at the time, Sir John Scarlett approved the foreword to the September Dossier. He clearly didn’t have any reason to think it “sexed up”. He also vigorously denies being pressured to “sex up” the wording. He says there was no deliberate attempt to mislead, but admits he perhaps should have mentioned that the 45 minute claim related to weapons on the battlefield rather than missiles. It would be helpful if Gilligan provided evidence, rather than metaphorically standing in a crowd of his supporters and shouting “And and and Blair ate a baby!!!” to their thunderous boo’s and chants of “hang him!! War criminal!! Baby eater!!!

We then have a host of half-arsed journalism, trying to roll out a conspiracy, that actually just isn’t there. For example, Jane Merrick writing for the Independent says:

Of the 45-minute claim in the dossier, he said: “I didn’t focus on it a great deal at the time… I mentioned it without any great emphasis and I mentioned it, I think, in reasonably sensible terms.” Yet in evidence to the Hutton inquiry in 2003, Mr Blair said: “There was absolutely no reason for us to doubt that intelligence at all” – suggesting it did carry great emphasis in Downing Street.

– What? How on Earth does “There was absolutely no reason for us to doubt that intelligence at all” suggest that the 45 minute claim carried great emphasis in Downing Street? Jane Merrick appears to be trying to find and point out a conspiracy that doesn’t exist. It suggests to me that the major failure in Downing Street, was that they glanced over such dodgy and weak intelligence, and just presumed it was accurate. It seems they took no notice of it. If they had, why wouldn’t they just omit it, because it’s pretty obvious it’d come back and bite them at some point in the future. These are not stupid people, there was a wealth of intelligence surrounding Blair. I cannot imagine they’d all sat in a room and decided to insert false, and incredibly damaging ‘evidence’. With the WMD claim, I cannot believe the Blair Administration decided to claim Iraq had WMDs, if they actually knew Iraq didn’t. They were not stupid people, surely one of them might have raised the issue of the fact that they’d go to Iraq and not find any? Surely they’d maybe plant something? It seems a huge leap to say Blair lied to take the Country to war, and then just didn’t bother covering that lie up. It is one of those conspiracy theories (along with the 9/11 inside job nonsense). I just cannot bring myself to agree with. Nor can I accept that Blair lied over Weapons of Mass Destruction; I think he genuinely believed Iraq was developing WMDs, especially given the evasive nature of Saddam’s regime in his dealing with Blix’s team of inspectors, who all concluded interestingly, that Saddam was not cooperating fully with the inspection team, as he had been instructed to do. The UN seemed to wish to issue resolution after resolution without having to act when he disobeyed. It isn’t a stretch to suggest he was hiding something, especially given that he had used chemical and biological weapons in the past. It is the equivalent of asking your friend where your bike is, he saying “I don’t know“, you asking if you can search his house, he saying “yes……but not the shed. You can’t look in the shed. “. It isn’t a great leap to come to a decision that perhaps he’s hiding something in that shed.

To sum up the last two blog entries, I ask myself one question. Has the Left abandoned its international ally, for the sake of the endless pursuit of Anti-Americanism? I am coming to the unnerving conclusion, that yes, the Left has become far too Nationalistic and Anti-American. The anti-war Left demands peace, shows pictures of dead soldiers and Iraqis, demands the end to war, so they can simply cover their faces and pretend the horror of what happens when you leave a man like Saddam in power just isn’t happening. They don’t hold photos of dead Germans during WWII and ask for an apology from the Churchill family. It seems war is only “legal” if the enemy might attack your country. Suddenly Nationhood is brought into the moral question. If they kill their own people, allow mass rape and torture, invade lands around them, support terrorism, then whomever says “enough is enough” is apparently guilty of war crimes. Yet when we leave these bastards alone, we end up with Rwanda. The anti-war Left does not march on London, with signs showing dead children, when a genocide like Rwanda takes place. They stay quiet and consume in silence. Their righteous bullshit condemns them. They are the war criminals.

The Afghanistan problem and the anti-war Left

July 30, 2011

There is an inclination on the Left (especially the Student Left) to be manically, and irrationally anti-war. There is no room for movement. They will call for Blair to be tried for War Crimes (here is a wonderfully simplistic sight, that calls Blair a monster). They will show the bodies of innocent people killed in Iraq or Afghanistan and demand Blair and Bush be hung for crimes against humanity, yet oddly they don’t wish to draw the same conclusion with Churchill, or Roosevelt; allied bombers are responsible for far more civilian deaths during World War II. Therefore, they are absolutely irrational, selective, and living in a dream World. They are patently anti-war. A man could be stabbing you, and they’d insist on “understanding” the differences, culturally, between the two of you, and then working on a diplomatic solution. Their determination to continue irrationally, and hijack the Left Wing, so that it encompasses anti-war into its way of thinking, is a veritable insult to those of us on the Left who are far more practical and logical, taking each conflict that arises as requiring different solutions, and that sometimes, war is the only way.

If you read Tariq Ali of the Stop The War group, he seems to completely exonerate Pakistan of any wrong doing, and put all blame for any problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan, at the door of America. It thus perpetuates the myth that religious evil persisting on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the support for that evil from the Pakistan ISI is somehow a problem we should “understand” at the very best, and just ignore at the very worst.

One must wonder if they think the lack of force used against the Interahamwe in Rwanda, was the right course of action, given that it was peaceful yet resulted in a genocide.

I absolutely support the war in Afghanistan. I think it’s a long term war, against an enemy that is relentless, and happy to use their own bodies to kill anyone who does not follow their religious doctrine. Had I been Prime Minister in 2001 after 9/11, i’d have made the same decision as Blair. Had I been Prime Minister in 2003, when all the intelligence was pointing to Saddam having WMDs, and the fact that he’d been obstructing Weapons inspectors, and had already broken well over 10 UN Resolutions, I’d have gone into Iraq too. People who will use religion as a justification for declaring war (which they did on 9/11/2001) should be hunted down on every corner of the Globe, and eliminated. We should not be taking their cultural ideals into consideration. Believe whatever you wish, but when your belief is enshrined in violence, your belief deserves to be wiped off the face of the planet. Believe in Fascism if you wish, but the moment you try to spread your vile system using violence, then it becomes a problem.

The attack against the World Trade Centre was not an attack against American aggression. Islamic terrorism had been growing for years. Those who support its doctrines do indeed wish their reading of Islam to become the accepted norm. This is evident with the killing of Ahmed Shah Massoud on September 9th 2001. Massoud was a great man by anyones definition. He fought the Soviets, helping to drive them out of Afghanistan, and then continued to fight the Taliban, and staunchly attacking their interpretation of the Koran. He was assassinated by radical Muslims two days before the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t kill him because he was American; he wasn’t. They killed him because he posed a threat to their perverted and dangerous doctrine.

After taking control of much of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban installed the most vicious and violent form of Shariah law that any Islamic nation has ever had to endure. For Massoud’s part in trying to destroy the Taliban regime, he was nominated in 2002 for a Nobel Peace Prize, and has a National Day named after him, in his honour. Can you imagine living in a country that was essentially free and modernising rapidly, to a Country that suddenly banned education, sports, and leaving the house without a male chaperon for all women? Can you imagine suddenly become a Country that forced all men to have a fist sized beard on their chin on pain of public torture if disobeyed? Where suddenly you could be put to death for owning a TV or sending a Christmas Card. A Country in which a woman would be publicly executed if she had been seen by a Male doctor, no matter how sick she was? That was not Afghanistan prior to 1996. But it was Afghanistan in 1996-2001? All this whilst they funded and trained extremists carrying out bombing missions against US Embassies.

According to a UN Report, most civilian deaths in Afghanistan since 2001, have been caused by the Taliban insurgency. They are also focussing their attacks on unarmed Aid workers. 76% of civilian deaths in 2009, according to the UN Report have been caused by the Taliban. They do not care who they kill. They want control of a country, for religious ideological reasons. Here are a group that helped carry out attacks on US embassies, harboured terrorists, helped to fund and plan 9/11, assassinated an opposition leader, refused to allow women the right to leave the house alone, carried out extreme torture and execution on a daily basis, and who would kill you and I, and I don’t think It’d be a leap to say they’d most certainly use chemical or biological weapons against the West or any anti-Islamic fundamentalist group, if they had the capability; all of this and the anti war left do not see it as sufficient to intervene? By that same reasoning, should we have left Milošević alone?

The problem on the Western Side, was that a lot of Muslims believed that whilst Terrorism was wrong, they felt a sense of “brotherhood” with Muslims in Afghanistan, and therefore felt it was a battle between the West and Islam. Which is a ridiculous argument. The Crusades are long dead. I am an Atheist, not a Christian. I couldn’t care less what religion a man in a desert in Afghanistan chooses to adhere to. The fact that Turkey supplied troops to the war against the Taliban also suggests this wasn’t a war on Islam.

There is another attack, that seems to have no actual end, or point to it. “Yeah, but America funded the Taliban in the 80s against the Soviets!”.
Absolutely. It was the wrong thing to do. The US created a Monster. I absolutely do not support the Reagan administration in pretty much anything it did. It funded Right winged terrorists throughout Latin America in an attempt to spread American Capitalism. But that was the Reagan Administration. The Foreign landscape was entirely different, and just because they created the monster for short sighted reasons, doesn’t mean that they should wash their hands of that monster 20 years later.

Afghanistan needs to be a fully functioning State. That is absolutely impossible with a Taliban presence. A Taliban presence means terrorism, which means mass instability across the region, and presents a worry for Pakistan with it’s Nuclear capability. A functioning State of Afghanistan, progression both economically and politically can only take shape without the Taliban.

The issue Afghanistan clearly has now, is Karzai isn’t exactly Mr Clean himself. In 2009, of the 66 polling sites in Kandahar, 100% of the vote came out in favour of Karzai. In the Zherai Awal Camp, 2,100 people are eligible to cast a vote for the Afghan President. Of those 2100………… 2300 apparently voted according to the polling report, and everyone of them voted for Karzai. Karzai’s opponent, Abdullah Abdullah refused to carry on the election, citing his lack of faith in the Government’s ability to allow a fair and free election. He has since started the Campaign for Change and Hope in Afghanistan, as a new Party for Democratic reform. The fact that that Campaign from Abdullah Abdullah is allowed to exist, a party for Democratic reform, shows that Afghanistan has come far, and is much better off, and certainly now on a decent path, which it would not have been on had the Taliban still been in control. In early 2001, Abdullah Abdullah travelled to Europe to ask for financial aid, to help Afghanistani people affected by the cruelty of the Taliban regime, he said without the aid of Pakistan and Bin Laden’s group, the Taliban would be history.

Karzai is currently offering to negotiate peace with the Taliban. The problem with that is, the Taliban do not want stability, or a functioning democratic state. They are not fighting to keep America out. That is simply a clever propaganda tactic. They are fighting to control Afghanistan and force a harsh environment where Shariah is the law of the land, and terrorism can be supported.

I think the objective is pretty clear. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are absolutely linked. The link extends to the stability of Afghanistan. The link extends to Pakistan and its Nuclear program. To build a free and democratic Afghanistan that isn’t ruled by oppressive gangsters supporting terrorism, and to ensure that particular group do not develop Nuclear capability, we must stay the course in Afghanistan and ensure its State becomes strong and capable of self defence. To allow the Taliban the opportunity to retake Afghanistan, would only lead to another 9/11 and another failed State that requires further intervention. Do it now, or try to do it again and again and again every few years.

We also have to win the propaganda war. There are doubtless section of Western Muslim community who actually believe that the Taliban are the defenders of Islam and the heroes fighting Western imperialism. Do they oppose Abdullah Abdullah? Do they oppose democratic change? Does the anti-war Left believe the only legitimate option for Afghanistan was an oppressive Taliban regime who would gladly light the fuse that blew up the West? To let that kind of Fascism persist, in my opinion, is a great evil. To turn a blind eye to it, as we did with Rwanda, is a great evil. It must be confronted.

It does not help the US’s case, that individual soldiers seem to believe they are above the law, and somehow manage to get acquitted for awful crimes. In my eyes the war is justified, but it has to be fought on the standards of the outcome it wishes to achieve; the rule of law, and stability. To forgo the judicial process for individual US soldiers who have committed crimes in Afghanistan, only adds fuel to the fire of mistrust and the entire anti-war left start to suspect the entire war effort as having sinister undertones. It doesn’t take long on the Stop The War Coalition website to come across an article mentioning oil; another argument I always find horrifically simplistic.

The biggest disadvantage the Taliban have, is the collective memory of a rather annoyed population who remember the dark days of 1996-2001. Rory Stewart, an expert on Afghanistan, write:

The Hazara, Tajik and Uzbek populations are wealthier, more established and more powerful than they were in 1996 and would strongly resist any attempt by the Taliban to occupy their areas. The Afghan national army is reasonably effective. Pakistan is not in a position to support the Taliban as it did before. It would require far fewer international troops and planes than we have today to make it very difficult for the Taliban to gather a conventional army as they did in 1996 and drive tanks and artillery up the main road to Kabul.

– With this in mind, there are now projects in Afghanistan that are community led rather than foreign aid led, to build a stable Country. But whilst these are small steps in the right direction, the shady Karzai regime has taken two steps back. The reason the Executive branch of the new Afghanistan Government has powers beyond that of the US President or the UK Prime Minister, is because strong leadership is needed in the first years following its foundation. In an era where the Taliban are winning the propaganda war, a weak executive and a strong Parliament could be potentially disastrous. Karzai needed to act decisively, and honestly. The quite obvious election corruption by the Karzai regime was one massive reason the executive branch of this new State could be endangered, but beyond that, he is calling for Taliban fighters to stop the violence and back to new government. For me, this simply tells the Taliban that they can’t be defeated, that the Karzai government and their allies in the UK and US are too tired to fight any longer and are willing to accept compromise. Progress in human rights, and the rebuilding of the State is under threat, with the apparent desire to appease the Taliban. As Karzai attempted to negotiate with the Taliban, they killed his brother, and other top ranking officials. The US is not helping matters, as Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary said the US would engage in political talks with the Taliban by the end of the year. Shortly after Karzai revealed that the US and Afghanistan was in “PEACE” talks with the Taliban, announcing to the press that the talks were “going well”, four suicide bombers attacked a police station next to the Afghan Finance Ministry. The Taliban admitted they carried out the attacks. I must concur with Col Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, when he said:

“The only possibility that (peace) could happen is if they as a movement are defeated and there’s no prospect of that happening in the near future.”

These are not people to be appeased, they do not want to be part of a democratic process. They don’t want to give people a choice on whether they’re wanted in power or not, they want absolute power, and rule by fear, torture and murder. They are a threat to their own people, and they are a threat to the World. And until we discover the true nature of the Pakistani ISI and their links to the Taliban, we may be a long way from defeating them, though it’s a necessity. On the subject of Pakistan, they must be treated with suspicion and watched carefully. According to a report by Matt Waldman of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University;

Directly or indirectly the ISI appears to exert significant influence on the strategic decisionmaking and field operations of the Taliban; and has even greater sway over Haqqani
insurgents. According to both Taliban and Haqqani commanders, it controls the most violent
insurgent units, some of which appear to be based in Pakistan

– With this sort of accusation, it is less surprising that Osama Bin Laden was found next to a military compound in Pakistan. I would feel almost certain in saying he was being protected by the ISI, and more than that; I’d say that Mullah Omar, the Taliban Leader, is also hiding in Pakistan under the protection of the ISI. Mullah Omar is a man who has said he will hunt and kill Americans like dogs. In fact, captured Taliban insurgent Muhammad Hanif made that exact confession. Hanif admitted that Mullah Omar is in the Pakistani city of Quetta. Obviously Pakistan have denied this, yet the US (who insist their relationship with Pakistan is strong and based on mutual trust) seem to think there might be some truth in it, given that the Wikileak earlier this year showed that the US diplomatic community believe the ISI to be a terrorist organisation.

There is no choice for the West. We either stay the course, regardless of how long it takes, and ensure this vile Fascist form of Islam is not allowed to take control of Afghanistan or any other Country, or we allow them to keep stabbing us, and just hope that one day they will suddenly understand that we have our differences, and they retract the knife despite having caused irreparable damage. I am not entirely sure what the anti-war Left propose we should do with the problem of Afghanistan.

That is why I fully support the war, and a continued campaign in Afghanistan.