Category Archives: Afghanistan

Wahhabi Ideology is the Root of Islamic Extremism

Nur Yalman, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title runs Islam, Extremism & Hypocrisy” … highlighting emphasis is that of th Editor, Thuppahi

Suicide attacks in beloved Barcelona. We are once again left aghast at the cruelty of an entire group of malevolent people. These evil acts should have no place in civilized existence. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? What is to be done? First of all we must note that these murders are part of a “Death Cult” associated with the profound radicalism deriving from an unusual Wahhabi version of Islam.

 

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, american imperialism, arab regimes, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, disparagement, foreign policy, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, LTTE, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, world events & processes

Accidental SAS Kills and the Remorse of Andrew Hastie

Ellen Whinnett, in The Weekend Advertiser, 10 December 2016, …see & listen to http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-features/in-depth/the-untold-story-of-andrew-hasties-tragic-sas-mission-in-afghanistan/news-story/4711aefcf3e78930daa27b9030d9617c

The then 30-year-old was a captain with the SAS and, as troop commander, had called the Apache helicopters to take out two Taliban members loitering with a pair of donkeys about 1200m away. The Australians had intercepted communications from the pair organising an attack on the Black Hawk helicopters due to pick up this group of seven Aussie soldiers, who were visiting a remote police post in Taliban territory.Across the valley, two other figures with donkeys were gathering firewood, but Hastie didn’t pay them much attention. They were clearly civilians, and were hundreds of metres away from both the police post and the Taliban pair.

ANDREW HASTIE: WHY I HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT TRAGIC SAS MISSION

Liberal MP and former SAS captain Andrew Hastie has spoken out about his experiences in Afghanistan

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Eureka!! Ancient 7th Century BC Buddhist Monastery in Afghanistan

In Daily Mail,

A Chinese company digging an unexploited copper mine in Afghanistan has unearthed ancient statues of Buddha in a sprawling 2,600-year-old Buddhist monastery. Archaeologists are rushing to salvage what they can from a major 7th century B.C. religious site along the famed Silk Road connecting Asia and the Middle East. The ruins, including the monastery and domed shrines known as ‘stupas,’ will likely be largely destroyed once work at the mine begins.

The ruins were discovered as labourers excavated the site on behalf of the Chinese government-backed China Metallurgical Group Corp, which wants to develop the world’s second largest copper mine, lying beneath the ruins.
Afghan 11Historic find: Mes Aynak’s religious sites and copper deposits have been bound together for centuries – ‘mes’ means ‘copper’ in the local Dari language

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Filed under Afghanistan, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, life stories, pilgrimages, religiosity, the imaginary and the real, transport and communications, unusual people, world events & processes

Where Mind-Space subsumes Battle-Space: ISIS and Al-Qaida Terrain

Peter Leahy, courtesy of The Australian,  31 May 2016, where the title is “We need a political plan on the war on terror” and where there are 28 comments so far

An increasing range of reports suggest that Iraqi and Syrian forces and their respective coalition partners are closing in on Islamic State and its caliphate and that it will soon be ejected from the territory it has occupied for the past few years. The destruction of the caliphate will not be easy, nor will it signal victory in the so-called war on terror. The caliphate may go but the ideology behind it will remain. Victory against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will be only a small gain in a much larger, more extensive and lengthy war. Nor will it do much to calm the maelstrom enveloping the broader Middle East.

JIHADISTS 22 JIHADISTS

Modern military theorists tell us that we have entered the era of Fourth Generation War. In this type of war, the state has lost its monopoly on war and violence and conflicts are between cultures, not states. In addition, the legitimacy of states is challenged, wars are undeclared, the rules of war are dispensed with and the battle of ideas is more important than the battle for territory. Sound familiar? Continue reading

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An Impending Merger of ISIS and al-Qaeda

Bruce Hoffman, courtesy of Foreign Affairs, where the title is The Coming ISIS–al Qaeda Merger. It’s Time to Take the Threat Seriously”

BRUCE HOFFMAN

“You are pitiful, isolated individuals! You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!”

Thus in 1917 Leon Trotsky consigned the Mensheviks, the non-Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party, to perennial insignificance—a fate from which they never recovered. Only five years ago, al Qaeda’s downfall appeared similarly imminent. Its founder and leader was dead. A succession of key lieutenants had been eliminated. And the region was transformed by the Arab Spring. Civil protest, it seemed, had achieved what terrorism had manifestly failed to deliver—and al Qaeda was the biggest loser. As John O. Brennan, then deputy national security advisor for Homeland Security and Counter  terrorism and assistant to the president, told an audience gathered at a DC think tank in April 2012, “For the first time since this fight began, we can look ahead and envision a world in which the al Qaeda core is simply no longer relevant.” Less than a month later, on the first anniversary of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s killing, U.S. President Barack Obama proudly proclaimed that, “The goal that I set—to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild—is now within our reach.” Continue reading

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Lessons from Napoleon’s Army for Today’s Military

Fred Reed, courtesy of the unZ Review, 3 March 2016 … http://www.unz.com/freed/reviving-napoleons-army/ .. where the title is “Reviving Napoleon’s Army – “Cry havoc, and Let Slip the Frogs of Yore”

It is curious how little military men know about war. You would think they would think about it more. Yet, oddly, they regularly misjudge practically everything concerning the dismal trade. Their errors are not the sort that inevitably must occur in a contest, as when a quarterback doesn’t pick up a blitz. They are fundamental misappreciations of war itself. The foregoing sounds both arrogant and improbable, like saying that dentists do not understand teeth. Actually it is neither.

The reasons are several. First, the military attracts certain kinds of men—authoritarian, hierarchical, conformist—who are not imaginative and do not think independently. Second, the appeal of the military is visceral, emotional, hormonal. Neither of these things is true of dentists. ww one SEE https://www.google.com.au/search?tbm=isch&q=trench+warfare+photos+World+war+I&gws_rd=cr,ssl&ei=uRnhVoLBDcjujwOc_K3wAg#tbs=simg%3Am00&tbnid=Bf7qrmahwyhL2M%3A&docid=zJIqjHIqZHvxTM&tbm=isch&imgrc=JIqheGROOQLZvM%3A

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Lessons from Sri Lanka for the Humanitarian Crisis swamping Middle East and Europe?

Jehan Perera, in The Daily News, 21 October 2015, where the title is “Sri Lankan experience to mitigate world humanitarian crisis “

These past two months Sri Lanka figured significantly in the deliberations that took place on important topics in Geneva, which is one of the key venues for gatherings of the United Nations. In September the country took a central place in the deliberations of the UN Human Rights Council where it co-sponsored a resolution on itself that called for truth, accountability and justice in relation to its past conduct of the war against the LTTE.

humanitarian efforts

In October last week Sri Lanka again got attention at the final consultation of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Geneva which brought together nearly one thousand humanitarian workers from all parts of the globe. One indication of the country’s visibility was the role played by Sri Lankan media personality Chevaan Daniel who obtained the official position of master of ceremonies for the duration of the three day consultation on account of the Maharaja group of companies’ humanitarian work and hence became a part of the WHS Secretariat that guided the consultation to a successful conclusion. Continue reading

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