Saturday, March 28, 2009

Restoring Faith

I'd love to know what it costs NPR to station Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Afghanistan. I heard her on the morning hourly news bulletin and then later this afternoon. Here's her report:
"Karzai told reporters that he welcomes the increased American focus on Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctuaries in Pakistan. Those sanctuaries have soured relations between Afghan and Pakistani officials. He also says the plan will help restore Afghans' faith in western efforts in their country (Karzai: 'It's exactly what Afghan people were hoping for and seeking, therefore it has our full support.') The strategy also calls for sending forces to provinces in southern and eastern Afghanistan to fight the growing Taliban threat. Meanwhile in the southern province of Helmand, Afghan and coalition forces killed 12 militants Friday night during a raid of their compound."
Good thing she's actually there and can verify what Karzai said, including that awesome, exclusive voice recording of Karzai himself speaking -wow! And it's amazing that she was able to scoot down to Helmand province to confirm that those twelve Friday night "kills" were actually "militants." I mean, seriously, if she weren't actually there, I might think that she was just reading this crap on Voice of America and Stars and Stripes.


Porter Melmoth said...

This is typical of the egotistical smugwumps at Naturally Putrid Radio: they're supposedly 'on the scene' but end up doing recitations of force-fed 'reports', and then, adding insult to injury, they imply that their yapping has 'interpreted' things for you, the listener.

I suppose that some dimbulbs at NPR took advantage of some study that said most Americans are internationally illiterate, or something, so the imperative is to condescend. I've never heard Phil Reeves or most BBC reporters come on like that. These Americanskis reveal their own shortcomings by their poor choices of approach.

And BFD that this half-baked Nelson has an Afghan name (that means she is of Afghan heritage, so she MUST be an expert!). An Afghan friend of mine has told me more about his country in five minutes than SSN has in, what, 10,000 minutes of irreplaceable airtime.

Anonymous said...

'It's exactly what Afghan people were hoping for and seeking, therefore it has our full support.' -- Hamid karzai

What did she expect him to say?

It's the dumbest thing I've ever heard?

Karzai is being marginalized (even more than he now is, if that is possible) and he knows it.

From the US standpoint & the Afghan standpoint, he has not worked out.

Obama just announced that he is sending in what amounts to a US "Governor" of Afghanistan (almost certainly to "replace" karzai -- not physically, of course, but in all other regards) .

We've seen this movie ("governor", thousands of additional troops to act as "advisers", etc), many times before and it always has a bad ending. Just ask the Russians.

Of course, NPR is not interviewing any former Russian veterans of the Afghan conflict. After all, what would they know about Afghanistan and our prospects to "win" there?

Anonymous said...

it's deju vu all over again.

Obama is making many of the same mistakes as Johnson made in Vietnam
These guys NEVER learn -- and other people's children pay the price of their delusional thinking.

According to Juan Cole.

Obama's Domino Theory:
"Obama described the same sort of domino effect [to describe Afghanistan] that Washington elites used to ascribe to international communism. In the updated, al-Qaida version, the Taliban might take Kunar Province, and then all of Afghanistan, and might again host al-Qaida, and might then threaten the shores of the United States. He even managed to add an analog to Cambodia to the scenario, saying, "The future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor, Pakistan," and warned, "Make no mistake: Al-Qaida and its extremist allies are a cancer that risks killing Pakistan from within."

This latter-day domino theory of al-Qaida takeovers in South Asia is just as implausible as its earlier iteration in Southeast Asia (ask Thailand or the Philippines). Most of the allegations are not true or are vastly exaggerated."
-- Obama's Domino Theory, by Juan Cole

Porter Melmoth said...

In power politics, a quagmire is more seductive than even a sex worker.

Anonymous said...

a quagmire is more seductive than even a sex worker."

And if you get lucky (like Eliot Spitzer) one can lead to the other.

Anonymous said...

Karzai is obviously more interested in maintaining his meager power than he is in his people.

"Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the United Nations warn. Critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease Islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in August."

Porter Melmoth said...

They don't call Karzai 'the Mayor of Casterbr-' I mean, 'the Mayor of Kabul' for nothin'.

Besides, with his brother, 'Poppyhead' Karzai doing big things in Dubai and London, Karzai Holdings Ltd. should have a great future.

Anonymous said...

Karzai served one purpose and one purpose only: to act as a prop for Bush at his 2002 State of the Union address.

He served that purpose well and now he's expendable.

He's of absolutely no use to the US cuz he can never leave the puppet theater (his office in kabul) and no one pays any attention to him (in Afghanistan OR here)

he might as well write a book (call it "Pinocchio" -- oops, no, that story's already taken) and/or hit the lecture circuit here in the US. At least that way he can make some money off his experience.