Sunday, May 1, 2011

Andrei Really, is that so?

Anthony Hubbard in the Sunday Star Times on the New Governor General: Afghanistan torture haunts next governor-general. You think?

Afghanistan is the site of a particularly nasty war. And for better or for worse our Military are trying to bring some sort of civilization to that sad region. Of course the place was hardly the Garden of Eden before Western involvement, nor before the Soviet involvement that preceded that.

And let us not forget the reason why we are there and that is Afghanistan exported its pathology, in particular it was the origin of an attack on the United States which left nearly 3000 dead in streets of New York, Washington and the fields of Pennsylvania.

I'm against torture of course, and I am also against the death of infants through abuse. Just last week another baby died of head injuries in Starship hospital, This is not an event that took place in a far off war zone but in our own backyard. An event so common now that most of us barely noticed.

I wish John Key and Jerry Mateparae could fix things so babies in New Zealand could sleep safely in their cradles, its a hard problem - no?

But one that it is reasonable to look to them to try and resolve.

Holding them accountable for uncivilized behavior in Afghanistan by Afghanis is probably too much of a burden to lay upon their shoulders.

9 comment(s):

Psycho Milt said...

After we remove all the irrelevancies you've piled up here, we're still left with the fact that govt and military officials have broken the law and are trying to pretend otherwise.

Andrei said...

I'm unsure what law you believe to have been broken PM?

I'm also unsure as to what you think should be done with those who come up against our soldiers and surrender.

We can't just kill them all out of hand and we are not running our own detention camps, nor are the Americans, Brits, Canadians, Australians, Germans, French, Poles or Turks etc so we can't hand them over to them.

So where to from here?

The irrelevancies of course make up the point of this post, being of course, that we live in an imperfect world and that our leaders have only limited abilities when it comes to "putting it right" as the old ads used to say.

Psycho Milt said...

If the govt signs an agreement promising not to hand prisoners over to people who will torture them, it's breaking the law if it then hands over prisoners to people who are going to torture them. And if you think that's not law, recall that we hanged a bunch of Jerries and Jappos for breaking that law. If there is no applicable law, I guess we just murdered those "war criminals" as a matter of expediency.

I agree there's no way we or any of the other Western participants in this ongoing clusterfuck can "put Afghanistan right" - but that sounds like an excellent reason for not participating further.

Or we could just do what the Brits do and not hand over prisoners to the Americans or Afghans - but of course that would cost money and effort, which we're trying to avoid. We're in this for combat training for the SAS, not to actually help anybody.

Andrei said...

Oh my PM, do you think if 9/11 had gone unanswered there would be no more terrorism.

The war is about stopping Afghanistan from being used as a launching pad for atrocities in Western cities.

And in that lovely country they didn't let little girls go to school - and beat them in public if they left the house without an approved male relative. Indeed my friend that still holds in parts of the country where the bad guys hold rule.

It's called war PM and wars are shitty - bad things happen to people.

And if things are not going well perhaps its time to be more ruthless and stop appeasing western bleeding heart libbies

Psycho Milt said...

9/11 was nearly a decade ago, Andrei. The war against Afghanistan launched in response to it was a failure - the perpetrators escaped, ie we lost.

Since then we've been at war indecisively with the Taleban, who are certainly bad mother******s but whether they're worse than our excellent friends and customers the govt of Saudi Arabia is up for grabs. I'm not seeing a clear and present danger that requires us to go to war with either one, but it seems to me the Saudis are currently much more credible as sponsors of terrorism in Western countries.

ZenTiger said...

I'd suggest that this issue has to be more than just whether we are handing over captured fighters to the Afghan government (such as it is), because if the people raising these allegations have credible proof that they are torturing prisoners of war, then rather than making this a political excuse to demand withdrawing forces from the war, they should be demanding charges to be brought against them, and put them on trial for war crimes.

Perhaps doing it as the same time they demand the Taleban are put on trial for their war crimes would be a good idea.

Which could happen about the same time Obama is put on trial for going to war against Libya without congressional approval.


Andrei said...

9/11 was nearly a decade ago, Andrei. The war against Afghanistan launched in response to it was a failure - the perpetrators escaped, ie we lost.

You think?

How many terrorist attacks did Osama bin Laden mount in the nineties?

How many has he managed to pull off since 2001?

We fight them over there or we fight them at home - I prefer over there

Anonymous said...


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Andrei said...

There you go LRO, illustrating my point.

Dwight D. Eisenhower served two terms as President of the United States. And he did not achieve the universal beating of swords into plowshares.

Just the converse in fact, the cold war was heating up during his tenure.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.