Wednesday, 26 December 2007

From Kabul To Kosovo

If a British UN official and an Irish EU official have been “talking to the Taliban”, then there is no change to report. The people called “tribal elders” when, for whatever reason, we need their help are exactly the same individuals who are called “the Taliban” when, for whatever reason, we want to keep them out of the way.

Why are we in Afghanistan? What for? It has nothing to do with the heroin trade (not remotely the reason why we went in, of course), since we now grow opium poppies instead of oil seed rape in the fields of Oxfordshire. For medical use. Of course.

For that matter, we are about to recognise a nest of heroin-trafficking Wahhabi (or Taliban, if you will) as a sovereign state in Europe, to be welcomed into NATO and the EU sooner rather than later.


  1. Someone's been out for his Hitchens fix!

    We're in Afghanistan because we're part of NATO and therefore part of that groupthink. We blundered in after 9/11 because America wanted to whack someone and the Taliban were really politically incorrect and didn't let women go to school and things. Presumably it's also got something to do with the CIA and drugs or something. (I can't quite work out the oil one though, the last James Bond film but two notwithstanding.)

    I suppose it's possible that we're also helping Gen Musharraf in his undeclared civil war between the Pakistani Army and elements of the Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI), which created the Taliban in the first place.

    The important thing about Afghanistan is that now that we're there we have to win and be seen to have won. The effect of a retreat on national morale would be utterly catastrophic. (On the other hand it would almost certainly spell the end for Gordon Brown, one way or another.)

  2. Win what, exactly? What would constitute winning, and why?

    If the troops there and in Iraq simply brought themselves home, then it would indeed bring down the entire Political Class, which is one of the many reasons why they would be cheered through the streets as heroes.

  3. They certainly wouldn't be cheered through the streets as heroes. More likely would be a Vietnam-type moral death-spiral. Brown would be replaced by Cameron in three years' time and the whole "managed decline" would continue on its inevitablist course.

  4. Winning means depriving the Taliban of any means by which it might re-establish its regime in Afghanistan. I'm not entirely sure that this is a good idea, given the alternatives, but anyway, there it is. It's also perfectly achievable.

  5. The moral death-spiral sia lready well under way,. We need as many people as possible sworn to uphold our liberties under the Crown, and not sworn to obey the government of the day, in this country in order to do just that.

    Simply by bringing themselves back here, they would sweep away the Political Class, to universal adulation beyond that Class.

    There is no conceivable Afghan government which could not be branded "the Taliban" by any Western power that wanted rid of it. Even now, Pashtun local leaders, in particular, never know whether they are going to be revered "tribal elders" or reviled "Taliban".