Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kabul is the same

This is from Kabul;

i might be up to some potential solutions for afghanistan. I have isolated two pernicious malaises of the society. firstly I think sublimation is the key ingredient of the personal ethics and social conscious. by that I mean conveyancing every rational thought into a socially accepted or cultural quality dogma. I had my cultural shocks a few times when spoke of the naked truth. truth was taken as an insult. I experienced that truth was very much seen in the framework provided by Lenin, the great soviet revolutionary, "truth is a lie told so many times that it has become acceptable". let me recite an anecdote to elaborate the point,  the government banned Pakistani papers and I said in a gathering; " the ban was a breach of free expression. if we are advocating freedom then we should not crackdown on others right to freedom. otherwise it would only mean that the noble principle is used as a tool to conceal other intentions." this would seem as common sense statement. i faced a silence usually given to a retarded view not to insult the subject feelings. I was later told that Pakistani papers are insulting to Afghans and damages our national image, furthermore Pakistan is a hostile state and the gullible public should not be exposed to its thoughts. I am nothing if not adaptable and as a student of Darwin i changed. the next time i was to speak about the issue I sublimated my thoughts. "the ministry of interior seem to have a large number of Tajiks and Hazaras at the top and they are normally seen as hostile to Pakistan. the ministry should not have issued an outright ban but should have referred the matter to ministry of information and culture with an emphasise to limit the distribution of the paper.  an outright ban from a branch of armed forces might irritate the government of pakistan to impose limitation on millions of Afghans that still lives in Pakistan or at best give a reason for unsanctioned harassment but Pakistani police. The ministry of information is more relevant to the matter and run by liberal minded individuals. if the controlled measure was a limitation instead of of an outright ban from the ministry on certain type of content that the Pakistani papers can't avoid to carry then it would have seem that the issue was handled more fairly." that went down swimmingly. my intention is to sublimate some of my what would otherwise be regular thoughts tomorrow and see how it flies. this is a great skill for life.

the second is manlove, referred to all the kissing and hugging of the male. i personally deplore this, what seem to be at its facevalue a candid act. manlove appear to be a perspicuous tale of relationship that reminds us of simple times, while in reality the act degenerates the relationship of the man with children and women. consider this anecdote, i am sittting in a restaurant and a couple with a child walks in and sits at a table nearby. every several minutes a man or several walks in and hug and kisses this man while shaking thier head to the woman and child. in a few minutes the woman and child sinks to the background of the event.

same old same old stuff just a little trickier

Monday, July 23, 2012

the political class of Afghanistan connected with the 90s atrocities

The atrocities of the Afghan civil war in the 1990s are still recounted in whispers here — tales of horror born out of a scorched-earth ethnic and factional conflict in which civilians and captured combatants were frequently slaughtered en masse.  the belligerent were supported by regional and foreign countries. only in the city of Kabul according to one estimate sixty thousand civilians were killed and most of the city was destroyed. 

Stark evidence of such killings are held in the mass graves that still litter the Afghan countryside. One such site is outside Mazar-i-Sharif, in the north. The powerful men accused of responsibility for these deaths and tens of thousands of others — some said to be directly at their orders, others carried out by men in their chain of command — are named in the pages of a monumental 800-page report on human rights abuses in Afghanistan from the Soviet era in the ’80s to the fall of the Taliban in 2001, according to researchers and officials who helped compile the study over the past six years. 

Titled simply, “Conflict Mapping in Afghanistan Since 1978,” the study, prepared by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, details the locations and details of 180 mass graves of civilians or prisoners, many of the sites secret and none of them yet excavated properly. It compiles testimony from survivors and witnesses to the mass interments, and details other war crimes as well. 

The study was commissioned as part of a reconciliation and justice effort ordered by President Hamid Karzai in 2005, and it was completed this past December. Some of the world’s top experts in forensics and what is called transitional justice advised the commission on the report and provided training and advice for the 40 researchers who worked on it over a six-year period. 

According to Afghan rights advocates and Western officials, word that the report was near to being officially submitted to the president apparently prompted powerful former warlords, including the first vice president, Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, to demand that Mr. Karzai dismiss the commissioner responsible, Ahmad Nader Nadery. 

At a meeting on Dec. 21, including Mr. Karzai and other top officials, Marshal Fahim argued that dismissing Mr. Nadery would actually be too mild a punishment. “We should just shoot 30 holes in his face,” he said, according to one of those present. He later apologized to other officials for the remark, saying it was not meant in earnest.  Mr. Karzai did remove Mr. Nadery. 

The figures accused in the report of playing some role in mass killings include some of the most powerful figures in Afghanistan’s government and ethnic factions, including the Northern Alliance that fought the Taliban in 2001. 

Among them are First Vice President Fahim, a Tajik from the Jamiat Islami Party, and Second Vice President Karim Khalili, a Hazara leader from the Wahdat Party; Gen. Atta Mohammed Noor, a Tajik from the Jamiat Islami Party and now the governor of the important northern province of Balkh, of which Mazar-i-Sharif is capital; and Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former Uzbek warlord from the Jumbush Party who holds the honorary title of chief of staff to the supreme commander of the Afghan Armed Forces, among many others. 

Those men gave no response to verbal and written requests for comment about their naming in the report. 

In all, the researchers said, more than 500 Afghans are named in the report as responsible for mass killings, including the country’s revered national martyr, Ahmed Shah Massoud, one of the last militia leaders to hold out against the Taliban sweep to power and who was assassinated by Al Qaeda just before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

In all, 13 mass graves have been identified in the Mazar-i-Sharif area, including one detailed by human rights workers in the Dasht-e-Leili desert in the neighboring Jawjzan Province, believed to contain 2,000 Taliban prisoners slaughtered by General Dostum’s forces. 

The volatility of the accusations was on full display in April, when a well-established but small political bloc, the Afghanistan Solidarity Party, held a demonstration against what it said were war criminals in government. “For us there is no difference between the Taliban and these war criminals,” said Hafizullah Rasikh, a party spokesman. “They are like twin brothers.” Parliament responded with a declaration accusing the party of treason and demanding its disbandment. 

The American Embassy here has been another source of objection to the mass-graves report. American officials say releasing the report would be a bad idea, at least until after Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential election — which is also when the NATO combat withdrawal should be complete. “I have to tell you frankly on the mapping thing, when I first learned about it, it scared me,” said a senior American official, speaking on condition of anonymity as a matter of embassy policy. “There will be a time for it, but I’m not persuaded this is the time.” 
“It’s going to reopen all the old wounds,” the official said, noting that several men who were bitter rivals during the civil war were at least nominally working together in the government now. 

Of the 180 graves documented in the report, only one has so far been exhumed forensically because the Afghan authorities lack the facilities to carry out DNA testing and the sort of scientific identification of remains that was done systematically in Bosnia. 

That one was a grave on the grounds of the Interior Ministry in Kabul, according to M. Ashraf Bakhteyari, head of the Forensic Science Organization, a foreign-trained group that carried out the exhumation. Mr. Bakhteyari said he was ordered by the Interior Ministry not to divulge who the victims were. “It is classified information,” he said. 

He is frank, though, about the prospects for investigating the rest of Afghanistan’s mass graves. “It is impossible to prosecute those who are responsible for the mass graves,” Mr. Bakhteyari said. “Neither the international community nor the Afghan government have the will to do that.” 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Is Europe Saying No to Austerity?

By mainstream media accounts, the presidential election in France and parliamentary elections in Greece on May 6 were overwhelming verdicts against "austerity" measures being implemented in Europe.  

I don't know what Hollande is talking about when he raises his voice against Austerity. First off, austerity was never really tried. Not really.

In France for example, according to Eurostat, annual expenditures have actually increased from €1.095 trillion to €1.118 trillion in 2011. In fact spending has increased every single year for the past decade. The debt there increased too from €1.932 trillion €1.987 trillion last year, just as it did every year before.

Real "austere". The French spent more, and they borrowed more.

The deficit in France did decrease by about €34 billion in 2011, but that was largely because of a €56.6 billion surge in tax revenues. Again, there were no spending cuts. Zero.

Yet incoming socialist president François Hollande claimed after his victory over Nicolas Sarkozy that he would bring an end to this mythical austerity: "We will bring back Europe on a track for jobs, growth and the future… We're no longer doomed to austerity."

This is just a willful, purposeful distortion. What Europe needs is competitiveness and entrepreneurship not the socialist rhetoric of Job and Growth. what socialists mean by job is paying people wages for doing little and growth is maintaining institutions that are not productive. 

sooner or later Europe will realise that the current lifestyle could not be maintained if they are not competitive. small and medium size businesses should be encouraged. entrepreneurship and hardwork should not be penalised by burdensome taxations. social welfare should be reformed and the public attitude toward claiming benefits needs to be changed. curbing welfare fraud is central to achieve this aim. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Support in U.S. for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds

After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats in recent months as increasing numbers of Americans say that the United States should not be involved in the fighting there, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed — 69 percent – think that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. That number is a significant increase from just four months ago, when 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the decade-old conflict.
  There were even sharper increases when respondents were asked for their impressions on the state of the war. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,’’ compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November 2011.  

Friday, February 03, 2012

election politics behind the early withdrawal

The early withdrawal of US and French troops from Afghanistan is contributing to the claim Taliban are making. there argument has been the west lacks a coherent and comprehensive value system. the values such as human rights are just hoax and has no real impact on Afghan lives. which has proven true, the establishment of democracy and human rights costing Westerners hundereds of bilions of dollars have not made Afghanistan a more just place than any other least developed country. yet another blow is the withdrawal of US troops before the schedule to the credibility of any moderation in Afghan society. this is marked as another  betrayal of  Afghans especially those attempting harder. This hurried withdrawal will not give the Western world the isolationist peace of mind it craves, not just because abandoning these people to the Islamist butchers will weigh heavily on its conscience. I would imagine the situation in 2012 and especially in 2013 could go from bad to worst. 

The decision is above all based on election tactics, President Barack Obama's solution to leave troops there, just not in combat roles, until 2014 is also something of an insurance policy if Afghanistan descends into chaos. But the timing of the US and French withdrawals from combat is less than ideal. It is no coincidence that the retreat comes as presidential elections loom in both countries.
In France, the death of four French soldiers last week has made the war a hot campaign issue, while in the US Mr Obama has been under heavy pressure for more troop cuts. Political considerations are finally taking centre stage in the conflict. Politics can be this simple, even if some of the politicians at the State Department and the Western liberals refuse to accept this. 
The tragedy is that they have little to do with stability in Afghanistan. I am also disappointed that even the final policies before the withdrawal does not indicate an understanding of Afghanistan. Democracy and human rights will fail in a society that has survived without these attributes for 3000 years. Re-educating the population requires parallel values, not a view of the world that sees in every non-Muslim an 'enemy of the true God'. the US current policy is to make peace with the most extremest of these people and continue to impose democracy by funding Karzai government. Taliban and Karzai are key problems of instability in Afghanistan yet we don't understand how to deal with each. tolerance of the corruption spearheaded by President Hamid Karzai have allowed the Taliban to return to power. replacing Karzai with a stronger leadership that is not born out of consensus and can tackle corruption should be one of the options. the west should not be negotiating with Taliban not only because the group is against equal rights and education for girls and women but for pragmatical reasons. we should have learned from the history that we can not make friends with fanatics, they are unreliable and prone to erratic outburst of violence. The US plans to release five Guantánamo prisoners to make friends with taliban and aid the negotiations Washington has been engaged in for weeks with the Taliban. The goal is an agreement that will placate Karzai's government and the guerrillas. I don't think the west doesn't realise they can't be making friend with fanatics they couldn't find any human way to deal with but had to lock them up in secret prison and subject them to torture for a decade. this only means one thing and that is that the west is not interested any longer in stability in Afghanistan but a way out.  the contents of a confidential Nato report were made public according to which the Taliban are sure they will be able to reconquer the country. Nato is playing down the significance of the document, but it could be that Washington's negotiations are simply aimed at preventing the Taliban from capturing major cities after 2013 and when western troops are in the country and also to reduce the number of casualties.