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Polling update for first half of August – politicalbetting.com

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  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 38,632
    MaxPB said:

    Even the idiot Ghani had an escape plan by fleeing to Uzbekistan.

    Borat would be appalled!!!
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,221
    kle4 said:

    HYUFD said:

    Nick Cohen 'What a pathetic figure Biden cuts. He wanted to be Roosevelt and now he's Carter.'
    https://twitter.com/NickCohen4/status/1427293951199952898?s=20

    Though at least Carter has redeemed himself post presidency with his humanitarian work

    I don't think Biden will get 40 years post presidency.
    If he does, he’ll almost certainly be breaking records for oldest man in the world.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,378

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    As so often in life, if dealing with Biden's situation I wouldn't start from here, but he is where he is, and I think his speech has fairly hit the nail on the head, made the right acknowledgements that mistakes have been made, defended what can be defended and given the Afghans responsibility for their own country. I agree with what he has said. He made it clear that this should have happened years ago. That's right. And he made clear that staying could not solve the problem. That's right too.

    BTW I don't think Boris will lose any votes over getting out of Afghanistan. But there are millions of votes in 20,000,000 Afghans having a go at living in Europe/UK. (I suppose they don't have a couple of promising opening batsmen and a leg spinner do they?)

  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,861
    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 940
    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I don't think this analysis is quite correct, because Afghanistan had a strong secular tradition prior to 2001. I can only conclude that support for the regime was not particularly deep, and there was an elite who had built up money, were unable to fight the taliban, and hoped to flee instead; and that is what we are seeing at the airport.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    Yokes said:

    Afghanistan

    Firstly well done Saudi Arabia for reportedly being the first country to recognise the Taliban as the new legitimate government of Afghanistan. By your friends shall one know ye

    At last a bit of honesty from Ben Wallace regarding the chances of getting everyone out who the UK intended to get out, ie slim to none. As I mentioned last night both US citizens who would have been involved with the previous government and security apparatus as well as Afghans with the approval to get on a plane are still in the city and many are stuck because, not bloody surprisngly the taliban have set up roadblocks on the routes to KBL. One of those checkpoints is so close you can see it with the Mark 1 eyeball from the airport. If they move and get caught, there is every chance of a problem, one worse for Afghans than perhaps those carrying a US passport. In fact some reports suggest the Taliban are in the airport on the civilian side of the place (unconfirmed)

    The Taliban can make this really hard for the US if they want, simply by refusing to let anyone else out including US Citizens and the US can do fuck all about it. The US wont strike out to regain control of the city or indeed establish zones of control as assembly points (though they could so the latter if they really wanted to slug it out). This all bears the question, just exactly how many troops do you need at the airport? By the time all these apparent UK & US announced troop are on the ground the numbers will be around 8000+ including fragments of other forces. Not all of them are fighting units but plenty of them are, what are they going to be doing?

    This is going to be ugly. The Suez crisis is going to look like a walk in the park.

    Suez:
    Israel: 172 killed 817 wounded 1 captured
    United Kingdom: 16 killed 96 wounded
    France: 10 killed 33 wounded

    Kabul:
    US ?
    UK ?
    Denmark?
    Germany?
    Italy?
    Poland?
    others ?
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    Yes you do. This is what is necessary if you want to export the values of your civilisation around the world. Different ways you can do it of course, America has done it in several ways over the years. From massive armies in Japan and West Germany, to dictators propped up by the CIA in Latin America. Afghanistan was somewhere in between, nudging that way with perhaps 3,000 troops in place for further training, some air support and a diplomatic corps.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,219
    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    They had reached a stalemate. The Taliban could not be eradicated, but they certainly could not win, so long as 10,000 or so US soldiers, with their airpower, were there. For not particularly pressing reasons, Trump decided to cut and run, and Biden agreed.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,861
    Sean_F said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    They had reached a stalemate. The Taliban could not be eradicated, but they certainly could not win, so long as 10,000 or so US soldiers, with their airpower, were there. For not particularly pressing reasons, Trump decided to cut and run, and Biden agreed.
    It would have needed 50-60 years of additional occupation to bed in any real reforms to the Afghan state. I don't know if the US was up for that.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    edited August 16

    I know that everybody’s been very pessimistic about Afghanistan, but here’s maybe a glimmer of optimism. The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) says:

    - Taliban want to be a legitimate, recognised government this time, in order to ensure continued international aid, which the country is dependent upon.
    - In order to achieve this primary goal, they will not provide a safe haven for terrorists.

    Only one of the world’s research institutes, but let’s hope they’re right!

    (report on Sveriges Radio)

    Yes, this would fit with the sense and hints I've gradually picked up over the last couple of days, despite most of the media apparently already having decided, and immediately jumping to the conclusion that this is the 1990s Taliban II.

    There may be more repressive and liberal factions battling it out, but something different from that seems to be going on , so far.
    Let’s pray you’re right!

    How many of the old guard from the 1990s are still alive, let alone still at the forefront of operations? Logic says very few. The whole thing seems to be driven by very young people, who probably weren’t born, or certainly weren’t adults when the last Taliban government was in power.
  • stodgestodge Posts: 9,366
    HYUFD said:

    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    Plus Afghanistan means the Conservatives can go on national security, I doubt they will win but I like the Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and he is pro British and pro Brexit too.

    I am not particularly anti Trudeau, he is certainly better than Singh and the NDP and the BQ but he is taking a big risk and voters do not like being taken for granted, I certainly think there are no guarantees he will get the majority he wants
    The first two polls of the campaign are at odds but within the margin of error.

    Forum Research has the Conservatives ahead 31-28 while Mainstream Research has the Liberals ahead 33-30 but both have a 3% or greater MoE so it's a statistical tie.

    Both pollsters have the NDP on 19% - Forum then has Greens on 8%, Bloc Quebecois on 7% and the People's Party on 5%. Mainstreet has BQ on 6%, People's Party on 5% and Greens on 4%.

    Forum would be a swing of 1% to the Conservatives on October 2019, Mainstreet would be a swing of 2% to the Liberals.

    Both Conservatives and Liberals down a little on 2019, NDP up three points, People's Party up four points and both BQ and the Greens about the same.

    Very early days but it's correct to say Trudeau has taken a chance here - O'Toole has been Conservative leader for barely a year and the Forum Research poll is the best he's had. Apart from two tied polls, the Conservatives have trailed the Liberals in every poll in his tenure but that of course means nothing.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607
    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    Yes you do. This is what is necessary if you want to export the values of your civilisation around the world. Different ways you can do it of course, America has done it in several ways over the years. From massive armies in Japan and West Germany, to dictators propped up by the CIA in Latin America. Afghanistan was somewhere in between, nudging that way with perhaps 3,000 troops in place for further training, some air support and a diplomatic corps.
    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 4,836
    edited August 16
    On Saudi Arabia being the first to recognise them, that may be more interesting than it looks.

    The Saudi state hate islamist movements like the muslim brotherhood and IS they consider a genuine threat to their power, despite much of the inspiration for them also originally coming from their own religious tradition.

    Saudi Arabia these days preach a moderated version of wahhabite islam compared to 10 years ago, and the experience of IS, as does Imran Khan compared to the Pakistani Taliban. Those two may turn out to be very significant facts.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,861
    Foxy said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    Yes you do. This is what is necessary if you want to export the values of your civilisation around the world. Different ways you can do it of course, America has done it in several ways over the years. From massive armies in Japan and West Germany, to dictators propped up by the CIA in Latin America. Afghanistan was somewhere in between, nudging that way with perhaps 3,000 troops in place for further training, some air support and a diplomatic corps.
    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?
    Half decent cricket team.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 15,483
    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    It is a heck of a gamble.
    But the reward for success significant. There have been 5 Provincial elections during the pandemic. In each one the largest Party has been returned with a majority.
    Different Parties, different pandemic statuses. 4 more years is not to be sniffed at. Particularly with a majority.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    MaxPB said:

    Sean_F said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    They had reached a stalemate. The Taliban could not be eradicated, but they certainly could not win, so long as 10,000 or so US soldiers, with their airpower, were there. For not particularly pressing reasons, Trump decided to cut and run, and Biden agreed.
    It would have needed 50-60 years of additional occupation to bed in any real reforms to the Afghan state. I don't know if the US was up for that.
    We tend to think of human history as being one of clashing civilisations. And of course in part that’s true. But there’s also a theme at least as prevalent but millennia older, of civilisation defending the gates from the barbarians.

    Seems to me that right now the post industrial civilisation of the West has barely been as vulnerable to both threats simultaneously.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,512
    Yokes said:

    Afghanistan

    Firstly well done Saudi Arabia for reportedly being the first country to recognise the Taliban as the new legitimate government of Afghanistan. By your friends shall one know ye

    At last a bit of honesty from Ben Wallace regarding the chances of getting everyone out who the UK intended to get out, ie slim to none. As I mentioned last night both US citizens who would have been involved with the previous government and security apparatus as well as Afghans with the approval to get on a plane are still in the city and many are stuck because, not bloody surprisngly the taliban have set up roadblocks on the routes to KBL. One of those checkpoints is so close you can see it with the Mark 1 eyeball from the airport. If they move and get caught, there is every chance of a problem, one worse for Afghans than perhaps those carrying a US passport. In fact some reports suggest the Taliban are in the airport on the civilian side of the place (unconfirmed)

    The Taliban can make this really hard for the US if they want, simply by refusing to let anyone else out including US Citizens and the US can do fuck all about it. The US wont strike out to regain control of the city or indeed establish zones of control as assembly points (though they could so the latter if they really wanted to slug it out). This all bears the question, just exactly how many troops do you need at the airport? By the time all these apparent UK & US announced troop are on the ground the numbers will be around 8000+ including fragments of other forces. Not all of them are fighting units but plenty of them are, what are they going to be doing?





    Of course the Taliban are Sunni like the Saudis, Shia Iran are more wary of them. By contrast the Iranians are very supportive of the now Shia dominated Iraqi government which replaced the Sunni Saddam. Similarly in Syria Shia Iran backs fellow Assad as he is from the historically Shia Alawi group while Syria has long funded and supported the FSA and other Sunni rebels against him.

    In Yemen too in the civil war the Iranians back the mainly Shia Houthis against the Saudi backed government.

    In the Middle East and beyond most of the conflicts are driven by Saudi and Iran, Sunni v Shia in a sort of latter day echo of the 16th and 17th century religious wars in Europe between Catholics and Protestants
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 17,898
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    No it can't, but it can stay there at least until all the bloody US and UK citizens are out of the country plus all of the people who qualify for aslyum/citizenship because they worked for us in the last 20 years. Even the idiot Ghani had an escape plan by fleeing to Uzbekistan. Now we've got thousands of people in danger of execution, probable huge capture of US military equipment and mega sums paid to the Taliban in ransom fees to avoid the executions.

    It's a complete fucking shambles.
    Yes, I agree with you on that point.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 38,755
    The Taliban have captured a merry-go-round.

    https://twitter.com/mediavenir/status/1427363057848705024
  • TazTaz Posts: 2,476
    MaxPB said:

    Foxy said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    Yes you do. This is what is necessary if you want to export the values of your civilisation around the world. Different ways you can do it of course, America has done it in several ways over the years. From massive armies in Japan and West Germany, to dictators propped up by the CIA in Latin America. Afghanistan was somewhere in between, nudging that way with perhaps 3,000 troops in place for further training, some air support and a diplomatic corps.
    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?
    Half decent cricket team.
    Cracking test match, great finish yesterday. Kemar Roach held out.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 55,699

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
  • TazTaz Posts: 2,476
    HYUFD said:

    Yokes said:

    Afghanistan

    Firstly well done Saudi Arabia for reportedly being the first country to recognise the Taliban as the new legitimate government of Afghanistan. By your friends shall one know ye

    At last a bit of honesty from Ben Wallace regarding the chances of getting everyone out who the UK intended to get out, ie slim to none. As I mentioned last night both US citizens who would have been involved with the previous government and security apparatus as well as Afghans with the approval to get on a plane are still in the city and many are stuck because, not bloody surprisngly the taliban have set up roadblocks on the routes to KBL. One of those checkpoints is so close you can see it with the Mark 1 eyeball from the airport. If they move and get caught, there is every chance of a problem, one worse for Afghans than perhaps those carrying a US passport. In fact some reports suggest the Taliban are in the airport on the civilian side of the place (unconfirmed)

    The Taliban can make this really hard for the US if they want, simply by refusing to let anyone else out including US Citizens and the US can do fuck all about it. The US wont strike out to regain control of the city or indeed establish zones of control as assembly points (though they could so the latter if they really wanted to slug it out). This all bears the question, just exactly how many troops do you need at the airport? By the time all these apparent UK & US announced troop are on the ground the numbers will be around 8000+ including fragments of other forces. Not all of them are fighting units but plenty of them are, what are they going to be doing?





    Of course the Taliban are Sunni like the Saudis, Shia Iran are more wary of them. By contrast the Iranians are very supportive of the now Shia dominated Iraqi government which replaced the Sunni Saddam. Similarly in Syria Shia Iran backs fellow Assad as he is from the historically Shia Alawi group while Syria has long funded and supported the FSA and other Sunni rebels against him.

    In Yemen too in the civil war the Iranians back the mainly Shia Houthis against the Saudi backed government.

    In the Middle East and beyond most of the conflicts are driven by Saudi and Iran, Sunni v Shia in a sort of latter day echo of the 16th and 17th century religious wars in Europe between Catholics and Protestants
    Sunni v Shia - I got you Babe.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,512
    edited August 16
    stodge said:

    HYUFD said:

    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    Plus Afghanistan means the Conservatives can go on national security, I doubt they will win but I like the Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and he is pro British and pro Brexit too.

    I am not particularly anti Trudeau, he is certainly better than Singh and the NDP and the BQ but he is taking a big risk and voters do not like being taken for granted, I certainly think there are no guarantees he will get the majority he wants
    The first two polls of the campaign are at odds but within the margin of error.

    Forum Research has the Conservatives ahead 31-28 while Mainstream Research has the Liberals ahead 33-30 but both have a 3% or greater MoE so it's a statistical tie.

    Both pollsters have the NDP on 19% - Forum then has Greens on 8%, Bloc Quebecois on 7% and the People's Party on 5%. Mainstreet has BQ on 6%, People's Party on 5% and Greens on 4%.

    Forum would be a swing of 1% to the Conservatives on October 2019, Mainstreet would be a swing of 2% to the Liberals.

    Both Conservatives and Liberals down a little on 2019, NDP up three points, People's Party up four points and both BQ and the Greens about the same.

    Very early days but it's correct to say Trudeau has taken a chance here - O'Toole has been Conservative leader for barely a year and the Forum Research poll is the best he's had. Apart from two tied polls, the Conservatives have trailed the Liberals in every poll in his tenure but that of course means nothing.
    Plus, unlike Scheer, who represented a seat in ultra conservative Saskatchewan, O'Toole represents a seat in marginal rich Ontario.

    If he gets a swing in his own province even bigger than that the Forum Research poll shows the Conservatives could make clear gains and Trudeau would have no chance of a majority or even holding what he had
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,219

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Actually that is rubbish. I am not in favour of these interventions and think we should stop interfering in other countries but, having gone in there and fought the war and being responsible for its current state for better or worse, the US Army could very easily have continued to prop up the Afghan Government for as long as was needed - forever if necessary. They had troops in Western Europe for 4 decades. Indeed they have troops in Central European countries right now. They have been part of decades long missions to other countries around the world just like the British and the French, both of whom currently have troops in countries like Mali and Chad.

    US losses in Afghanistan last year totalled less than one man a month. Since 2017 they lost have lost more serving troops in training accidents than in Afghanistan - more in fact than they have lost in combat in total anywhere in the world.

    This situation is entirely of the US making and was entirely avoidable. Whether or not Biden was 'just following Trump's plan' is immaterial. He is President now and should have had the balls and the intelligence to realise that both Afghanistan and the rest of the world was far safer with Western troops in the country than they are now with them running away.
    Very well said. Neither the US nor any other ally was taking more than minor casualties. A lot of people have now been thrown under the bus for frivolous reasons, by both Trump and Biden.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,576
    Leon said:

    Heathener said:

    Words fail me on Afghanistan.

    And unlike most other stories over the past few months this one will really bite with loyal Boris supporters. The Mail and Telegraph are up in arms and the question is being asked about why all 'our boys' died in vain out there, let alone the utter betrayal of the Afghan peoples.

    Whatever your views on our involvement twenty years ago, this is an absolutely disgraceful episode in western foreign policy, a defeat of epic proportions.

    I suspect most "loyal Boris supporters" will not in fact give a damn about events in Afghanistan, unless we accept large numbers of Afghani refugees; it's a country far away from here that few would be able to locate on a map.

    But I agree it's a disgraceful episode of western foreign policy. What made the west think that it could transpose its norms and values into Afghani culture through a combination of military force and bribery, and get buy-in from the locals, including the Afghani army?

    Mercifully, and at least in the short-term, the Taliban 'revolution' seems to have been relatively peaceful. We haven't read of large numbers of casualties, apart from the disorder at the airport. This does seem to indicate that Taliban rule is not unpopular with a lot of Afghanis, perhaps even a majority. There's not a lot we can do about that, however much we don't approve.
    You are sadly deluded. The Taliban really are Islamic Nazis, like ISIS. That’s their USP. Their DNA. Radical, brutal Islam of the most mediaeval variety. What’s more, the most evangelical of them will now feel even more emboldened: we beat Imperial Britain, the USSR and now the USA. We cannot lose, Allah is with us!

    The most extreme within their movement will now assume moral command. Within a few months they will be stoning women and exporting terror, all over again. They are scorpions who have no other weapon than the stinger
    All that is true.

    But Afghanistan didn't export terror in 2001, they were merely a convenient place (along with the tribal areas of Pakistan) for Jihadis to hide.

    Islamic terror happened because the House of Saud was willing to bankroll extremists around the world, because that enabled them to stay in power in Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda weren't Afghanis or Pakistanis terrorists. Nor were they funded by the Taliban.

    They were Saudi citizens, and their money ultimately came from the Saudi Government.

    The Taliban in control of Afghanistan do not fund Mosques in the West. Saudi Arabia does (or has done).

    The Taliban have no money and a barely functional state. Could they host terrorist training camps? Sure, of course they could. But so can Yemen, Pakistan and Syria. And those places are a hell of a lot easier to get to than rural Afghanistan.

    Biden fucked up, and his Presidency will be indelibly stained by this failure.

    Obama, by contrast, was in power when ISIS surged in Iraq - controlling two thirds of the country at one point. And America stood up and put that back down again.

    But don't overestimate Afghanistan's ability to export terror. Other than opium, it's exports are negligible. It needs to import $6bn of food, oil and other basic commodities just to keep its people alive. Its total exports - other than opium - are just $676m. (Or rather less than a day's worth of Saudi oil production.)

    You want to fuck the Taliban? Legalise opiates, and ensure that demand is met via synthetic opiates from Pfizer and the like. It would cut Afghanistan's exports back to negligible levels.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,219
    Foxy said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Why not?
    The thing is if you're going to do colonialism then you really need to do it for 70-100 years and essentially outlive the conservative generations who want to live under Taliban rule.
    Yes you do. This is what is necessary if you want to export the values of your civilisation around the world. Different ways you can do it of course, America has done it in several ways over the years. From massive armies in Japan and West Germany, to dictators propped up by the CIA in Latin America. Afghanistan was somewhere in between, nudging that way with perhaps 3,000 troops in place for further training, some air support and a diplomatic corps.
    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?
    The British rarely sought to change world views. The funny thing is that a man like John Nicholson would have quite easily fit into the Taliban.
  • GIN1138GIN1138 Posts: 18,358
    edited August 16
    stodge said:

    HYUFD said:

    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    Plus Afghanistan means the Conservatives can go on national security, I doubt they will win but I like the Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and he is pro British and pro Brexit too.

    I am not particularly anti Trudeau, he is certainly better than Singh and the NDP and the BQ but he is taking a big risk and voters do not like being taken for granted, I certainly think there are no guarantees he will get the majority he wants
    The first two polls of the campaign are at odds but within the margin of error.

    Forum Research has the Conservatives ahead 31-28 while Mainstream Research has the Liberals ahead 33-30 but both have a 3% or greater MoE so it's a statistical tie.

    Both pollsters have the NDP on 19% - Forum then has Greens on 8%, Bloc Quebecois on 7% and the People's Party on 5%. Mainstreet has BQ on 6%, People's Party on 5% and Greens on 4%.

    Forum would be a swing of 1% to the Conservatives on October 2019, Mainstreet would be a swing of 2% to the Liberals.

    Both Conservatives and Liberals down a little on 2019, NDP up three points, People's Party up four points and both BQ and the Greens about the same.

    Very early days but it's correct to say Trudeau has taken a chance here - O'Toole has been Conservative leader for barely a year and the Forum Research poll is the best he's had. Apart from two tied polls, the Conservatives have trailed the Liberals in every poll in his tenure but that of course means nothing.
    WOW! Pretty close! Maybe he knows something we don't but it seems like a very dicey decision by Trudeau to call this election two years ahead of time and before Covid has really settled down with the polls already very close?
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,443
    Foxy said:

    I know that everybody’s been very pessimistic about Afghanistan, but here’s maybe a glimmer of optimism. The Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) says:

    - Taliban want to be a legitimate, recognised government this time, in order to ensure continued international aid, which the country is dependent upon.
    - In order to achieve this primary goal, they will not provide a safe haven for terrorists.

    Only one of the world’s research institutes, but let’s hope they’re right!

    (report on Sveriges Radio)

    I think that they will quite happily stick to an internal agenda for a while, and have a "leave us alone, we'll leave you alone" policy. Pretty tough on the non-Taliban Afghanis, and I wouldn't count on its lasting.
    Sounds about right to me (though who knows). They don't seem totally irrational, merely extremely fundamentalist. They can do pretty much what they like in the country now, why spoil it by foreign adventures? For now.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 55,699

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 13,831
    O/T

    Just got back from Lords. £20 was an amazing bargain to see one of the best test sides. England = useless.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 4,836
    edited August 16
    Sean_F said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Actually that is rubbish. I am not in favour of these interventions and think we should stop interfering in other countries but, having gone in there and fought the war and being responsible for its current state for better or worse, the US Army could very easily have continued to prop up the Afghan Government for as long as was needed - forever if necessary. They had troops in Western Europe for 4 decades. Indeed they have troops in Central European countries right now. They have been part of decades long missions to other countries around the world just like the British and the French, both of whom currently have troops in countries like Mali and Chad.

    US losses in Afghanistan last year totalled less than one man a month. Since 2017 they lost have lost more serving troops in training accidents than in Afghanistan - more in fact than they have lost in combat in total anywhere in the world.

    This situation is entirely of the US making and was entirely avoidable. Whether or not Biden was 'just following Trump's plan' is immaterial. He is President now and should have had the balls and the intelligence to realise that both Afghanistan and the rest of the world was far safer with Western troops in the country than they are now with them running away.
    Very well said. Neither the US nor any other ally was taking more than minor casualties. A lot of people have now been thrown under the bus for frivolous reasons, by both Trump and Biden.
    The reason is simply the America First ideology, which Trump expounded so clearly in his very first speech. No more foreign wars unless strategically essential, as Roosevelt thought right up to 1941, and the minimum of international consultation on military matters.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,016
    A point not often mentioned in UK coverage: Pretty much every Democratic 2020 presidential candidate backed a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    In debates there was v little between the candidates on the issue. It reflected their reading of voters: that the US wanted out.


    https://twitter.com/benrileysmith/status/1427371800942546945?s=20
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,743
    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    Did our spooks even know the Americans were about to cut and run? So much for the special relationship.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -

    Interesting differences between East and West Midlands. I thought the Tories were quite strong in the WM, but not on those figures. Aren't there quite a few marginals there?

    And London near as bad as Scotland for the Tories? Disparaging the metropolitan elite ain't a great look there.
  • ChelyabinskChelyabinsk Posts: 371
    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Boris Johnson net approval Scotland -58
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607
    edited August 16

    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    Did our spooks even know the Americans were about to cut and run? So much for the special relationship.
    I don't think they did. It looks like not only did the Americans leave the Afghans in the lurch, but also us, the French, Germans, Aussies etc.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -

    The folly of subsamples.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 13,061

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    I doubt if he did believe that. But his stance is surely valid, the US Army cannot prop up an Afghan government forever.
    Actually that is rubbish. I am not in favour of these interventions and think we should stop interfering in other countries but, having gone in there and fought the war and being responsible for its current state for better or worse, the US Army could very easily have continued to prop up the Afghan Government for as long as was needed - forever if necessary. They had troops in Western Europe for 4 decades. Indeed they have troops in Central European countries right now. They have been part of decades long missions to other countries around the world just like the British and the French, both of whom currently have troops in countries like Mali and Chad.

    US losses in Afghanistan last year totalled less than one man a month. Since 2017 they lost have lost more serving troops in training accidents than in Afghanistan - more in fact than they have lost in combat in total anywhere in the world.

    This situation is entirely of the US making and was entirely avoidable. Whether or not Biden was 'just following Trump's plan' is immaterial. He is President now and should have had the balls and the intelligence to realise that both Afghanistan and the rest of the world was far safer with Western troops in the country than they are now with them running away.
    +1
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,016

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Countries that have been independent for seven decades own their own homophobic laws - whoever wrote them in the first place.....
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 46,315
    Foxy said:

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -

    Interesting differences between East and West Midlands. I thought the Tories were quite strong in the WM, but not on those figures. Aren't there quite a few marginals there?

    And London near as bad as Scotland for the Tories? Disparaging the metropolitan elite ain't a great look there.
    Are those sub samples
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
    Except the Wehrmacht were stopped!
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 24,566

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Utter bullshit. The reason most of those countries have anti-gay laws is because they are muslim not because they were once ruled by the British.
  • londonpubmanlondonpubman Posts: 1,273

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Boris Johnson net approval Scotland -58

    In 2071 you will still be posting this sort of stuff about UK including Scotland prime minister
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 20,890
    Leon said:

    Heathener said:

    Words fail me on Afghanistan.

    And unlike most other stories over the past few months this one will really bite with loyal Boris supporters. The Mail and Telegraph are up in arms and the question is being asked about why all 'our boys' died in vain out there, let alone the utter betrayal of the Afghan peoples.

    Whatever your views on our involvement twenty years ago, this is an absolutely disgraceful episode in western foreign policy, a defeat of epic proportions.

    I suspect most "loyal Boris supporters" will not in fact give a damn about events in Afghanistan, unless we accept large numbers of Afghani refugees; it's a country far away from here that few would be able to locate on a map.

    But I agree it's a disgraceful episode of western foreign policy. What made the west think that it could transpose its norms and values into Afghani culture through a combination of military force and bribery, and get buy-in from the locals, including the Afghani army?

    Mercifully, and at least in the short-term, the Taliban 'revolution' seems to have been relatively peaceful. We haven't read of large numbers of casualties, apart from the disorder at the airport. This does seem to indicate that Taliban rule is not unpopular with a lot of Afghanis, perhaps even a majority. There's not a lot we can do about that, however much we don't approve.
    You are sadly deluded. The Taliban really are Islamic Nazis, like ISIS. That’s their USP. Their DNA. Radical, brutal Islam of the most mediaeval variety. What’s more, the most evangelical of them will now feel even more emboldened: we beat Imperial Britain, the USSR and now the USA. We cannot lose, Allah is with us!

    The most extreme within their movement will now assume moral command. Within a few months they will be stoning women and exporting terror, all over again. They are scorpions who have no other weapon than the stinger
    They are already hunting down women journalists, who have gone into hiding. We will not hear of the reality of what will,happen because journalists will leave, the world will get bored and anyway how will anyone manage to talk to any women since they will all be hidden behind veils in their homes.

    The horror will exist but will be hidden.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,512

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Boris Johnson net approval Scotland -58

    Irrelevant, even if the Tories lost all of their remaining 6 seats in Scotland Boris would still have a UK Tory majority of 68
  • FlatlanderFlatlander Posts: 1,694

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    'Cos they thought they might lose. And half the army didn't actually exist.

    What I want to know is why all those running to the airport were male. Do those trying to flee not care about their wives and female relatives?
  • RobDRobD Posts: 55,699

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
    I doubt people want to be subject to reprisals from them. My point remains however, I’ve not seen any evidence of popular support.
  • ChameleonChameleon Posts: 3,328

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    Here's a prediction. Biden will not be harmed politically (domestically) by this, in fact he may even get a boost. And within a few short weeks Trump will be back claiming credit for the withdrawal.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 38,632

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Utter bullshit. The reason most of those countries have anti-gay laws is because they are muslim not because they were once ruled by the British.
    Until recently, India (Hindu majority, natch) had an article 370 of its penile code - "Carnal intercourse against the order of nature".
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    R&W

    “Between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, who do you think best embodies the following characteristics:”

    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%

    Cares about people like me:
    Starmer 32%
    Johnson 29%
    DK 38%

    Has a better foreign policy strategy:
    Johnson 34%
    Starmer 24%
    DK 42%
    (Note: the fieldwork was before the Kabul crisis.)
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,512
    edited August 16
    GIN1138 said:

    stodge said:

    HYUFD said:

    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    Plus Afghanistan means the Conservatives can go on national security, I doubt they will win but I like the Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and he is pro British and pro Brexit too.

    I am not particularly anti Trudeau, he is certainly better than Singh and the NDP and the BQ but he is taking a big risk and voters do not like being taken for granted, I certainly think there are no guarantees he will get the majority he wants
    The first two polls of the campaign are at odds but within the margin of error.

    Forum Research has the Conservatives ahead 31-28 while Mainstream Research has the Liberals ahead 33-30 but both have a 3% or greater MoE so it's a statistical tie.

    Both pollsters have the NDP on 19% - Forum then has Greens on 8%, Bloc Quebecois on 7% and the People's Party on 5%. Mainstreet has BQ on 6%, People's Party on 5% and Greens on 4%.

    Forum would be a swing of 1% to the Conservatives on October 2019, Mainstreet would be a swing of 2% to the Liberals.

    Both Conservatives and Liberals down a little on 2019, NDP up three points, People's Party up four points and both BQ and the Greens about the same.

    Very early days but it's correct to say Trudeau has taken a chance here - O'Toole has been Conservative leader for barely a year and the Forum Research poll is the best he's had. Apart from two tied polls, the Conservatives have trailed the Liberals in every poll in his tenure but that of course means nothing.
    WOW! Pretty close! Maybe he knows something we don't but it seems like a very dicey decision by Trudeau to call this election two years ahead of time and before Covid has really settled down with the polls already very close?
    Forum figures up and would give Conservatives 140 MPs, Liberals 126, NDP 42 and BQ 26 if translated into seats.
    https://poll.forumresearch.com/data/02212956-3d15-49b5-af56-8b4426b7c8a6Federal Election Poll - Aug 15th 2021.pdf

    So O'Toole could become Canadian PM on those numbers unless Trudeau could do a deal with the NDP and Greens to stay in power
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,468
    rcs1000 said:

    Leon said:

    Heathener said:

    Words fail me on Afghanistan.

    And unlike most other stories over the past few months this one will really bite with loyal Boris supporters. The Mail and Telegraph are up in arms and the question is being asked about why all 'our boys' died in vain out there, let alone the utter betrayal of the Afghan peoples.

    Whatever your views on our involvement twenty years ago, this is an absolutely disgraceful episode in western foreign policy, a defeat of epic proportions.

    I suspect most "loyal Boris supporters" will not in fact give a damn about events in Afghanistan, unless we accept large numbers of Afghani refugees; it's a country far away from here that few would be able to locate on a map.

    But I agree it's a disgraceful episode of western foreign policy. What made the west think that it could transpose its norms and values into Afghani culture through a combination of military force and bribery, and get buy-in from the locals, including the Afghani army?

    Mercifully, and at least in the short-term, the Taliban 'revolution' seems to have been relatively peaceful. We haven't read of large numbers of casualties, apart from the disorder at the airport. This does seem to indicate that Taliban rule is not unpopular with a lot of Afghanis, perhaps even a majority. There's not a lot we can do about that, however much we don't approve.
    You are sadly deluded. The Taliban really are Islamic Nazis, like ISIS. That’s their USP. Their DNA. Radical, brutal Islam of the most mediaeval variety. What’s more, the most evangelical of them will now feel even more emboldened: we beat Imperial Britain, the USSR and now the USA. We cannot lose, Allah is with us!

    The most extreme within their movement will now assume moral command. Within a few months they will be stoning women and exporting terror, all over again. They are scorpions who have no other weapon than the stinger
    All that is true.

    But Afghanistan didn't export terror in 2001, they were merely a convenient place (along with the tribal areas of Pakistan) for Jihadis to hide.

    Islamic terror happened because the House of Saud was willing to bankroll extremists around the world, because that enabled them to stay in power in Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda weren't Afghanis or Pakistanis terrorists. Nor were they funded by the Taliban.

    They were Saudi citizens, and their money ultimately came from the Saudi Government.

    The Taliban in control of Afghanistan do not fund Mosques in the West. Saudi Arabia does (or has done).

    The Taliban have no money and a barely functional state. Could they host terrorist training camps? Sure, of course they could. But so can Yemen, Pakistan and Syria. And those places are a hell of a lot easier to get to than rural Afghanistan.

    Biden fucked up, and his Presidency will be indelibly stained by this failure.

    Obama, by contrast, was in power when ISIS surged in Iraq - controlling two thirds of the country at one point. And America stood up and put that back down again.

    But don't overestimate Afghanistan's ability to export terror. Other than opium, it's exports are negligible. It needs to import $6bn of food, oil and other basic commodities just to keep its people alive. Its total exports - other than opium - are just $676m. (Or rather less than a day's worth of Saudi oil production.)

    You want to fuck the Taliban? Legalise opiates, and ensure that demand is met via synthetic opiates from Pfizer and the like. It would cut Afghanistan's exports back to negligible levels.
    Would fuck with organised crime too.
  • GIN1138GIN1138 Posts: 18,358

    R&W


    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%


    LOL! Bizarre question?
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 15,483

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -

    I, for one, am sceptical to the point of total disbelief at that 61-38 split in the NE.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    I suspect that their answer will be that they need a lot more money spending on themselves.

    Plus medals all round.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    Chameleon said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
    Whether he wanted it or not, politically a c10k permanent mission wasn't an option after Trump had already instigated the almost complete drawdown of US troops in January.
  • TimTTimT Posts: 4,731
    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
    I doubt people want to be subject to reprisals from them. My point remains however, I’ve not seen any evidence of popular support.
    @another_richard I'd hazard a guess that a very large part of the problem is that the vast majority of the Afghan society does not feel they have any agency. And their choice, if they feel they have any choice at all, is probably seen as between corrupt incompetency and the Taliban. Asking people to fight for corrupt incompetency is something of a tall order, even if they have a full sense of agency.

    But you are right, imo, in stating that this should never have been our business. I have some sympathy with Cyclefree's view that, to the extent that we created or prolonged a problem, we have created some obligations. But I do find if hard to come up with reasons why any more British mothers or father, or sons or daughters, should hear that their sons or daughters, or parents, have died in Afghanistan.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    Did our spooks even know the Americans were about to cut and run? So much for the special relationship.
    I don't think they did. It looks like not only did the Americans leave the Afghans in the lurch, but also us, the French, Germans, Aussies etc.
    But Biden's leadership means that the USA is once again part of the world community, respects other countries, values its allies, blah and blah.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Boris Johnson net approval Scotland -58

    In 2071 you will still be posting this sort of stuff about UK including Scotland prime minister
    Are you happy having such an unpopular leader in the second largest member of the Union?
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    TimT said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
    I doubt people want to be subject to reprisals from them. My point remains however, I’ve not seen any evidence of popular support.
    @another_richard I'd hazard a guess that a very large part of the problem is that the vast majority of the Afghan society does not feel they have any agency. And their choice, if they feel they have any choice at all, is probably seen as between corrupt incompetency and the Taliban. Asking people to fight for corrupt incompetency is something of a tall order, even if they have a full sense of agency.

    But you are right, imo, in stating that this should never have been our business. I have some sympathy with Cyclefree's view that, to the extent that we created or prolonged a problem, we have created some obligations. But I do find if hard to come up with reasons why any more British mothers or father, or sons or daughters, should hear that their sons or daughters, or parents, have died in Afghanistan.
    Is it also unfair to point out that the argument that by "creating" the problem means we have created obligations is one that has committed British foreign policy to impossible missions over a third of the globe for more than a century? It could even be argued that part of the reason we were in Afghanistan in the first place was out of a sense of responsibility/guilt for things we did in the 19th century. The Americans are more hard headed about this sort of thing.
  • TazTaz Posts: 2,476
    dixiedean said:

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Conservatives’ strongest areas:
    Eastern 62%
    East Midlands 58%
    North West 45%
    South East 42%
    South West 42%
    North East 38%
    Wales 38%
    Yorkshire & Humber 35%
    West Midlands 32%
    London 26%
    Scotland 24%

    Labour’s strongest areas:
    North East 61%
    West Midlands 54%
    Wales 49%
    London 47%
    Yorkshire & Humber 45%
    North West 42%
    East Midlands 28%
    South West 28%
    South East 24%
    Eastern 23%
    Scotland 18%

    Lib Dems’ strongest areas:
    South East 21%
    South West 16%
    London 15%
    East Midlands 12%
    Eastern 10%
    North West 6%
    Yorkshire & Humber 5%
    West Midlands 3%
    North East -
    Scotland -
    Wales -

    I, for one, am sceptical to the point of total disbelief at that 61-38 split in the NE.
    Same here. That just does not ring true.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,301
    edited August 16
    GIN1138 said:

    R&W


    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%


    LOL! Bizarre question?
    Not so bizarre when you look at the appearance and behaviour of Boris Johnson. He looks obese, prematurely aged and unwell. He behaves like a poorly brought-up primary school child.

    Folk go on about Biden’s dementia, but is Johnson not about the same? He seems to struggle with elementary tasks.
  • QuincelQuincel Posts: 3,791
    Cracking example here of truth being stranger than fiction.

    Some people spot that Johnson's watch in a photo of him observing a minute's silence for the Plymouth shooter's victims is nearly 15 minutes after the minute's silence was meant to be held. Did he forget and fake it for the press photo? Well, judging by other photos of him where the time is almost certainly not faked and his watch is visible: No. He just has his watch set 10-15 minutes fast and has done for at least a few weeks now.

    https://twitter.com/SpotMonkey/status/1427289471020683267
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,512

    Redfield & Wilton Strategies

    Boris Johnson net approval Scotland -58

    In 2071 you will still be posting this sort of stuff about UK including Scotland prime minister
    Are you happy having such an unpopular leader in the second largest member of the Union?
    Why does it matter? In 2014 Scots voted in a once in a generation referendum when they had a Tory government to keep their general elections decided by the UK as a whole not just them.

    So tough, the only figures that matter are Boris' UK approval ratings, not his Scottish ones
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,576

    rcs1000 said:

    Leon said:

    Heathener said:

    Words fail me on Afghanistan.

    And unlike most other stories over the past few months this one will really bite with loyal Boris supporters. The Mail and Telegraph are up in arms and the question is being asked about why all 'our boys' died in vain out there, let alone the utter betrayal of the Afghan peoples.

    Whatever your views on our involvement twenty years ago, this is an absolutely disgraceful episode in western foreign policy, a defeat of epic proportions.

    I suspect most "loyal Boris supporters" will not in fact give a damn about events in Afghanistan, unless we accept large numbers of Afghani refugees; it's a country far away from here that few would be able to locate on a map.

    But I agree it's a disgraceful episode of western foreign policy. What made the west think that it could transpose its norms and values into Afghani culture through a combination of military force and bribery, and get buy-in from the locals, including the Afghani army?

    Mercifully, and at least in the short-term, the Taliban 'revolution' seems to have been relatively peaceful. We haven't read of large numbers of casualties, apart from the disorder at the airport. This does seem to indicate that Taliban rule is not unpopular with a lot of Afghanis, perhaps even a majority. There's not a lot we can do about that, however much we don't approve.
    You are sadly deluded. The Taliban really are Islamic Nazis, like ISIS. That’s their USP. Their DNA. Radical, brutal Islam of the most mediaeval variety. What’s more, the most evangelical of them will now feel even more emboldened: we beat Imperial Britain, the USSR and now the USA. We cannot lose, Allah is with us!

    The most extreme within their movement will now assume moral command. Within a few months they will be stoning women and exporting terror, all over again. They are scorpions who have no other weapon than the stinger
    All that is true.

    But Afghanistan didn't export terror in 2001, they were merely a convenient place (along with the tribal areas of Pakistan) for Jihadis to hide.

    Islamic terror happened because the House of Saud was willing to bankroll extremists around the world, because that enabled them to stay in power in Saudi Arabia. The 9/11 attacks and Al Qaeda weren't Afghanis or Pakistanis terrorists. Nor were they funded by the Taliban.

    They were Saudi citizens, and their money ultimately came from the Saudi Government.

    The Taliban in control of Afghanistan do not fund Mosques in the West. Saudi Arabia does (or has done).

    The Taliban have no money and a barely functional state. Could they host terrorist training camps? Sure, of course they could. But so can Yemen, Pakistan and Syria. And those places are a hell of a lot easier to get to than rural Afghanistan.

    Biden fucked up, and his Presidency will be indelibly stained by this failure.

    Obama, by contrast, was in power when ISIS surged in Iraq - controlling two thirds of the country at one point. And America stood up and put that back down again.

    But don't overestimate Afghanistan's ability to export terror. Other than opium, it's exports are negligible. It needs to import $6bn of food, oil and other basic commodities just to keep its people alive. Its total exports - other than opium - are just $676m. (Or rather less than a day's worth of Saudi oil production.)

    You want to fuck the Taliban? Legalise opiates, and ensure that demand is met via synthetic opiates from Pfizer and the like. It would cut Afghanistan's exports back to negligible levels.
    Would fuck with organised crime too.
    Another excellent reason to do it.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    Quincel said:

    Cracking example here of truth being stranger than fiction.

    Some people spot that Johnson's watch in a photo of him observing a minute's silence for the Plymouth shooter's victims is nearly 15 minutes after the minute's silence was meant to be held. Did he forget and fake it for the press photo? Well, judging by other photos of him where the time is almost certainly not faked and his watch is visible: No. He just has his watch set 10-15 minutes fast and has done for at least a few weeks now.

    https://twitter.com/SpotMonkey/status/1427289471020683267

    Some people do this deliberately.
  • ChelyabinskChelyabinsk Posts: 371
    rcs1000 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Utter bullshit. The reason most of those countries have anti-gay laws is because they are muslim not because they were once ruled by the British.
    The BBC article is pretty appalling - that's not to say that the British were always perfect colonial administrators - but it's just plain deluded to think that (were in not for British rule), Africa and Asia would be hotbeds of homosexual tolerance.
    Welcome to modern academia. "377 and the Unnatural Afterlife of British Colonialism in Asia", by Douglas E. Sanders, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia:

    An Arab-American has written: "The Middle East has a long history of tolerance of homosexuality – it was European colonizers who introduced anti-gay laws to the region, and it is those laws that tyrants enforce for political gain." Western homophobia was exported to the Arab world, according to another author: "What passes in present-day Saudi Arabia, for example, as sexual conservatism is due more to Victorian Puritanism than to Islamic Mores... Originally, Islam did not have the same harsh Biblical judgment about homosexuality as Christianity."
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,576

    R&W

    “Between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, who do you think best embodies the following characteristics:”

    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%

    Cares about people like me:
    Starmer 32%
    Johnson 29%
    DK 38%

    Has a better foreign policy strategy:
    Johnson 34%
    Starmer 24%
    DK 42%
    (Note: the fieldwork was before the Kabul crisis.)

    If the LibDems went for a leader with the initials D.K., they'd be in with a really good shout.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 17,898

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Utter bullshit. The reason most of those countries have anti-gay laws is because they are muslim not because they were once ruled by the British.
    Until recently, India (Hindu majority, natch) had an article 370 of its penile code - "Carnal intercourse against the order of nature".
    Er... penal code shirley?
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    alex_ said:

    Chameleon said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
    Whether he wanted it or not, politically a c10k permanent mission wasn't an option after Trump had already instigated the almost complete drawdown of US troops in January.
    Why not?
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607
    Cyclefree said:

    Leon said:

    Heathener said:

    Words fail me on Afghanistan.

    And unlike most other stories over the past few months this one will really bite with loyal Boris supporters. The Mail and Telegraph are up in arms and the question is being asked about why all 'our boys' died in vain out there, let alone the utter betrayal of the Afghan peoples.

    Whatever your views on our involvement twenty years ago, this is an absolutely disgraceful episode in western foreign policy, a defeat of epic proportions.

    I suspect most "loyal Boris supporters" will not in fact give a damn about events in Afghanistan, unless we accept large numbers of Afghani refugees; it's a country far away from here that few would be able to locate on a map.

    But I agree it's a disgraceful episode of western foreign policy. What made the west think that it could transpose its norms and values into Afghani culture through a combination of military force and bribery, and get buy-in from the locals, including the Afghani army?

    Mercifully, and at least in the short-term, the Taliban 'revolution' seems to have been relatively peaceful. We haven't read of large numbers of casualties, apart from the disorder at the airport. This does seem to indicate that Taliban rule is not unpopular with a lot of Afghanis, perhaps even a majority. There's not a lot we can do about that, however much we don't approve.
    You are sadly deluded. The Taliban really are Islamic Nazis, like ISIS. That’s their USP. Their DNA. Radical, brutal Islam of the most mediaeval variety. What’s more, the most evangelical of them will now feel even more emboldened: we beat Imperial Britain, the USSR and now the USA. We cannot lose, Allah is with us!

    The most extreme within their movement will now assume moral command. Within a few months they will be stoning women and exporting terror, all over again. They are scorpions who have no other weapon than the stinger
    They are already hunting down women journalists, who have gone into hiding. We will not hear of the reality of what will,happen because journalists will leave, the world will get bored and anyway how will anyone manage to talk to any women since they will all be hidden behind veils in their homes.

    The horror will exist but will be hidden.
    Well, onething has changed since 2001, the prevalence of smartphones and Internet. Those women cannot be isolated in the way they were by the first Taliban regime. That goes for both information in and out. The word has changed, and it is much harder to keep secrets.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,873
    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the option may very well be living under the Taliban or not living. I don't think there is any evidence yet that this is what the majority of the Afghan people wanted. I'm more than happy to be corrected on the matter though.
    You'd think that the Taliban were the Wehrmacht with beards the way you regard them as militarily unstoppable.
    I doubt people want to be subject to reprisals from them. My point remains however, I’ve not seen any evidence of popular support.
    You're in denial, you have to accept the reality.

    Like it or not many Afghans wanted the Taliban and many more thought the alternatives were worse.

    What there wasn't was many Afghans who were willing to fight the Taliban.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910

    rcs1000 said:

    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    We occupied the areas that now constitute Pakistan for 150 years. How effectively did we change their world view?

    The British rarely sought to change world views.
    The BBC tells me that we created homophobia in much of Africa and Asia in less than a century..
    Utter bullshit. The reason most of those countries have anti-gay laws is because they are muslim not because they were once ruled by the British.
    The BBC article is pretty appalling - that's not to say that the British were always perfect colonial administrators - but it's just plain deluded to think that (were in not for British rule), Africa and Asia would be hotbeds of homosexual tolerance.
    Welcome to modern academia. "377 and the Unnatural Afterlife of British Colonialism in Asia", by Douglas E. Sanders, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia:

    An Arab-American has written: "The Middle East has a long history of tolerance of homosexuality – it was European colonizers who introduced anti-gay laws to the region, and it is those laws that tyrants enforce for political gain." Western homophobia was exported to the Arab world, according to another author: "What passes in present-day Saudi Arabia, for example, as sexual conservatism is due more to Victorian Puritanism than to Islamic Mores... Originally, Islam did not have the same harsh Biblical judgment about homosexuality as Christianity."
    Religions change. People invent things in religious texts that aren't there to pursue the agendas they want to pursue. 'Twas ever thus. Once Islam led the world in enlightened thought and scientific advancement when Christian Europe was stuck in the dark ages. The idea that they were somehow influenced by backwards Christianity is bonkers.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,743

    GIN1138 said:

    R&W


    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%


    LOL! Bizarre question?
    Not so bizarre when you look at the appearance and behaviour of Boris Johnson. He looks obese, prematurely aged and unwell. He behaves like a poorly brought-up primary school child.

    Folk go on about Biden’s dementia, but is Johnson not about the same? He seems to struggle with elementary tasks.
    Boris is 57. Does he look prematurely aged or just older than Blair or Cameron when they were in office?

    I'd agree Boris might be showing a touch of the long Covids, but even without that, he is no spring chicken.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,016
    Worth a read:

    For all the good that UK military and aid personnel did over 20 years in Afghanistan – and they certainly did quite a lot – there will also be many ugly truths to confront. One of the most unpalatable may not emerge very easily. The fact is that for two decades UK national leaders pretended, to themselves as much as to everyone else, that they were enacting a national strategy for Afghanistan. In reality, they were operating little more than the UK’s tactics within a US strategy over which they had next to no influence.

    https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/afghanistan-and-uks-illusion-strategy
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 46,315

    R&W

    “Between Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer, who do you think best embodies the following characteristics:”

    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%

    Cares about people like me:
    Starmer 32%
    Johnson 29%
    DK 38%

    Has a better foreign policy strategy:
    Johnson 34%
    Starmer 24%
    DK 42%
    (Note: the fieldwork was before the Kabul crisis.)


    And for balance and the important issues

    Better PM

    Boris 41% (-2)
    Starmer 29% (-3)

    Build a strong economy

    Boris 44%
    Starmer 30%

    Stands up for UK

    Boris 42%
    Starmer 31%

    Knows how to get things done

    Boris 41%
    Starmer 27%

    Works with foreign leaders

    Boris 41%
    Starmer 34%

    Can tackle covid pandemic

    Boris 40%
    Starmer 26%
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    moonshine said:

    alex_ said:

    Chameleon said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
    Whether he wanted it or not, politically a c10k permanent mission wasn't an option after Trump had already instigated the almost complete drawdown of US troops in January.
    Why not?
    The US public wouldn't accept it. Hence "politically". The US public don't want to be in Afghanistan. They don't in general care what happens there. There are dozens of regimes around the world with similar or worse records on human rights. They don't want to get involved in those either.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    They’ve completely blown Afghanistan. They were blind to the outbreak of Covid in Wuhan for 5 months. And they’ve got no answers to the questions posed by the tic tac ufo’s.

    I start to wonder what the CIA and MI6 are for. Are they now just a bunch of pen pushers clocking in and out?
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 46,315

    GIN1138 said:

    R&W


    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%


    LOL! Bizarre question?
    Not so bizarre when you look at the appearance and behaviour of Boris Johnson. He looks obese, prematurely aged and unwell. He behaves like a poorly brought-up primary school child.

    Folk go on about Biden’s dementia, but is Johnson not about the same? He seems to struggle with elementary tasks.
    Seems to out poll Starmer on the important issues
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    moonshine said:

    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    They’ve completely blown Afghanistan. They were blind to the outbreak of Covid in Wuhan for 5 months. And they’ve got no answers to the questions posed by the tic tac ufo’s.

    I start to wonder what the CIA and MI6 are for. Are they now just a bunch of pen pushers clocking in and out?
    If only they'd managed to get a mole into Alpha Centauri.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    alex_ said:

    Chameleon said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
    Whether he wanted it or not, politically a c10k permanent mission wasn't an option after Trump had already instigated the almost complete drawdown of US troops in January.
    Why not?
    The US public wouldn't accept it. Hence "politically". The US public don't want to be in Afghanistan. They don't in general care what happens there. There are dozens of regimes around the world with similar or worse records on human rights. They don't want to get involved in those either.
    “Martha? I know we always vote Democrat. But I just won’t stand for it any longer, this training and security mission in Afghanistan”.

    Said no voter ever.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 6,910
    edited August 16
    moonshine said:

    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    alex_ said:

    Chameleon said:

    RobD said:

    Far too much of the commentary is about the West's fault or responsibility and how Biden, Trump or {insert politician you don't like} has screwed up.

    This is the wrong way of looking at things.

    In fact its a very 'colonialist' way of looking at things.

    In reality the people with agency, the people making the decisions were the Afghans.

    And they have made their choice and that is the Taliban.

    Now that might hurt - its painful to accept that the Afghans did not want western values and that the efforts made have been wasted - but we cannot deny it.

    You might have a point, had the Taliban won a free and fair election. But they didn't, and I doubt the average Afghani had much input in the matter.
    But you're just going in a circle back to the original problem.

    If the Taliban weren't wanted why has there been sod all opposition to them ?

    If the government was accepted - your free and fair election line - then why was nobody willing to fight for it ?
    Because the US was outright saying that 'we're almost certain you'll fail and lose to the Taliban in 6-9 months, the choice laid out wasn't Taliban vs Democracy, it was Taliban vs Death. However this is far from the end, already there are rumours of the Uzbek warlords (who say that senior Govt. officials stood down their troops) are readying their men. It's a big mess that is only going to get worse, and all could have been averted with a relatively limited (sub-10k) permanent mission. The AnA felt deserted because they were deserted.
    Whether he wanted it or not, politically a c10k permanent mission wasn't an option after Trump had already instigated the almost complete drawdown of US troops in January.
    Why not?
    The US public wouldn't accept it. Hence "politically". The US public don't want to be in Afghanistan. They don't in general care what happens there. There are dozens of regimes around the world with similar or worse records on human rights. They don't want to get involved in those either.
    “Martha? I know we always vote Democrat. But I just won’t stand for it any longer, this training and security mission in Afghanistan”.

    Said no voter ever.
    They've been on a "training and security" mission in Afghanistan for 20 years. And all the polling says they'd had enough and wanted out. The point about Trump's draw down is he'd made it irreversible. If he'd left Biden with 10-15k troops there it might have been an option. But he'd left 2.5k. US presidents can't deploy troops in secret. A fourfold increase in commitment would have got all the questions asked all over again. Why are we here? What are we achieving? What are the realistic chances of success? What is the exit strategy?
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,831
    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    Foxy said:

    MaxPB said:

    Biden blaming the Afghanistan leaders and their army for not standing up to the Taliban

    He is not convincing to be honest

    Pretty damning, isn't he?

    Might not be wrong, but I am a bit surprised as to how blunt he's being.
    He's got a point though.
    Has he? What fool would fight for Afghanistan? How many Afghan people believed in the government and its aims? What proportion even bought into the idea of a secular nation?

    If you can't get the people to believe in the nation they are supposed to be fighting for they won't fight. So it came to pass. It was almost twitter FBPE foolishness on steroids as the liberal idiots spoke to the tiny section of liberal Afghan people in Kabul and they each convinced each other that the wider population in a deeply conservative and Islamist nation was actually on board with the idea of building a secular nation. It never was and I doubt it ever will be.

    Biden is a fool if he truly believed that the Afghan army would ever stand up to the Taliban.
    Maybe he did, maybe he didn't.

    But the western diplomatic and intelligence services seemed to think they would.

    Because if they didn't then why have we been funding the Afghan army ?
    The most striking thing is the intelligence failures. It seems our much vaunted secret services knew very little of how likely the Afghan Army were to collapse and how a lot of tribal warlords of the old Northern Alliance were quite happy to flip sides. Some real questions to be answered by our spooks.
    They’ve completely blown Afghanistan. They were blind to the outbreak of Covid in Wuhan for 5 months. And they’ve got no answers to the questions posed by the tic tac ufo’s.

    I start to wonder what the CIA and MI6 are for. Are they now just a bunch of pen pushers clocking in and out?
    If only they'd managed to get a mole into Alpha Centauri.
    Leon and I have plugged the tic tac ufo as other worldly, because of the extreme unlikelihood that Russia or China could have developed anti gravity tech without us knowing. Seems to me our intelligence agencies are clueless about most everything so perhaps we were wrong.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 13,831
    stodge said:

    HYUFD said:

    GIN1138 said:

    Anyone think Justin Trudeau could be heading for a fall next months snap Canadian election?

    A couple of weeks of bad Covid news in the middle of a needless general election. Seems risky?

    Plus Afghanistan means the Conservatives can go on national security, I doubt they will win but I like the Conservative leader Erin O'Toole and he is pro British and pro Brexit too.

    I am not particularly anti Trudeau, he is certainly better than Singh and the NDP and the BQ but he is taking a big risk and voters do not like being taken for granted, I certainly think there are no guarantees he will get the majority he wants
    The first two polls of the campaign are at odds but within the margin of error.

    Forum Research has the Conservatives ahead 31-28 while Mainstream Research has the Liberals ahead 33-30 but both have a 3% or greater MoE so it's a statistical tie.

    Both pollsters have the NDP on 19% - Forum then has Greens on 8%, Bloc Quebecois on 7% and the People's Party on 5%. Mainstreet has BQ on 6%, People's Party on 5% and Greens on 4%.

    Forum would be a swing of 1% to the Conservatives on October 2019, Mainstreet would be a swing of 2% to the Liberals.

    Both Conservatives and Liberals down a little on 2019, NDP up three points, People's Party up four points and both BQ and the Greens about the same.

    Very early days but it's correct to say Trudeau has taken a chance here - O'Toole has been Conservative leader for barely a year and the Forum Research poll is the best he's had. Apart from two tied polls, the Conservatives have trailed the Liberals in every poll in his tenure but that of course means nothing.
    Those polls are pretty bad for the Liberals compared to the previous ones which led Trudeau to call the election.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 27,607

    GIN1138 said:

    R&W


    Is in good physical and mental health
    Starmer 37%
    Johnson 27%
    DK 36%


    LOL! Bizarre question?
    Not so bizarre when you look at the appearance and behaviour of Boris Johnson. He looks obese, prematurely aged and unwell. He behaves like a poorly brought-up primary school child.

    Folk go on about Biden’s dementia, but is Johnson not about the same? He seems to struggle with elementary tasks.
    He looks like he copies his idols drinking habits rather better than Churchill's oratory, principles or literary skills
This discussion has been closed.