They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Friday, June 16, 2006

Afghanistan: Killing 'The Spoilers'

db: The plucky NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer made it clear yesterday that Nato rules of engagement in Afghanistan would be 'robust' - and that any Taliban, War Lords or Drug Lords or 'whatever' [aka 'the spoilers'] who seek to stand in NATO's way will be dealt with accordingly. Right on cue AP reports today that 40 'spoilers' have been killed in eastern Afghanistan.

Plucky Sec. Gen. said yesterday:
"The Taliban are simply testing Canadian public opinion, Dutch public opinion, U.K. public opinion, Australian public opinion," ....

...."I can tell you, they'll not achieve their goals, because on the basis of the operational plan on which Canadian and other forces are going in, on the basis of the robust rules of engagement, they'll feel the consequences if they try to spoil the process."

"The message to the spoilers, be it Taliban, be it drug lords, be it warlords, whatever, will be a very stern and strong message: You will not get in our way. You will be dealt with very robustly if necessary."
Of course, I suppose it goes without saying, that when you've got troops in a war zone - whatever the nature of the 'war', whether the necessary type - such as WW2 - or ones like Iraq or Afghanistan - which are more 'wars of choice' brought about by political forces that don't always make their real goals known to those outside 'the circle of trust' [we voters] - the fact of the matter is you cannot have troops coming under fire without the ability to fight back. However they came to be sent to places where they don't belong.

Given that a lot of afghans have a violent dislike for foreigners based, understandably, on hundreds of years of imperial meddling in their affairs - and have yet to see any tangible benefits from the 'puppet' regime in Kabul - the danger seems to be that the opposition referred to above by the plucky Sec. Gen. with the crazy name is likely to be wide and sustained. The danger to UK and other troops unfortunate enough to be sent there has already been demonstrated. However, in terms of blood, it is the 'spoilers' who are likely to get slaughtered in their thousands. Not to mention their families, who may be unlucky enough to occupy attacked 'sanctuary or safe haven areas' [see comments by US Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley Link].

In days gone by one remembers that there was a freedom loving bunch of folks out there in Afghanistan - very fond of bareback riding and US supplied Stingers - who were known as the Afghan mujahidin. As we all know these are the guys credited with defeating the Soviet occupation - and by some the defeat of the Soviet empire itself. In plucky NATO Sec. Gen's description of the forces which make up the 'enemy' aka 'the spoilers' above he does not mention this group. It's all evil AQ,Taliban, War Lords, Drug Lords etc. It's as though, Orwell like, the Afghan mujahidin never existed.

If they do still exist, are we killing them too? Because it would seem that to do so would be against the spirit of the Bonn agreement [see below] which is even now referenced as 'an important' agreement in the latest UNSC Resolution 1623 (2005) - see below. . The copy I viewed was sourced from the US State Dept web site - and clearly that document refers to the Afghan mujahidin as "heroes of jihad and champions of peace, stability and reconstruction of their beloved homeland, Afghanistan."

If we are not going to be killing 'the heroes of jihad'perhaps someone should mention this to the plucky Nato Sec. Gen. - so that he may amend his 'robust' rules of engagement accordingly.

Resolution 1623 (2005) Excerpt
Adopted by the Security Council at its 5260th meeting, on
13 September 2005


... Recognizing that the responsibility for providing security and law and order throughout the country resides with the Afghans themselves and welcoming the cooperation of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force,

Recalling the importance of the Bonn Agreement and the Berlin Declaration, in particular annex 1 of the Bonn Agreement which, inter alia, provides for the progressive expansion of the International Security Assistance Force to other urban centres and other areas beyond Kabul...

Afghan Bonn Agreement Excerpt
[Source: [US Department of State]

The participants in the UN Talks on Afghanistan,

In the presence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan,

Determined to end the tragic conflict in Afghanistan and promote national reconciliation, lasting peace, stability and respect for human rights in the country,

Reaffirming the independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan,

Acknowledging the right of the people of Afghanistan to freely determine their own political future in accordance with the principles of Islam, democracy, pluralism and social justice,

Expressing their appreciation to the Afghan mujahidin who, over the years, have defended the independence, territorial integrity and national unity of the country and have played a major role in the struggle against terrorism and oppression, and whose sacrifice has now made them both heroes of jihad and champions of peace, stability and reconstruction of their beloved homeland, Afghanistan. db