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Afghanistan, summer 2003: the Taliban are back.
Hit and run attacks organised by the Taliban occur almost every day; and the U.S., for all their techno superiority, can it seems do little about it. They have failed to track down Hafiz Rahim, a Taliban commander who has ambushed and killed U.S. soldiers scores of times from {WSB and Hakim Bey exegetes please note} his REDOUBT in the [Kandahar] MOUNTAINS.

Experts say the resistance movement is now four times as strong as the one that opposed Soviet invaders in the 1980s. It has plenty of cash since the Taliban looted $110m from the central bank before fleeing Kabul. And it is backed by the most powerful force in the country: clerics and religious students.
The movement is now thought so dangerous that US intelligence officials are secretly negotiating to give Talilban leaders a place in government provided they get rid of Mullah Omar as supreme leader, chuck out foreign Arab fighters and agree to work with exiles returning from the US and UK.

Syed Saleem Shahzad quoted in The Week

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Is this necessarily and imminently also the future of Iraq?
A necessary compromise with the forces of religious intolerance?
In Baghdad, alcohol sellers have already been shot and killed, and women forced to don the veil. . .
Educated women and non-fanatical skilled workers (e.g., teachers, doctors, journalists, etc; & i.e. PRECISELY the people a reconstructed Iraq is MOST in need of) are already preparring to flee Iraq

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To me – and I can't be alone in this – it was PRECISELY when the war “ended” that, to me, the most pressing need emerged for an embedded press/media presence. NOW would be precisely the time surely to have blanket coverage.
But have we got it?
Have we hell!! (One predictably excellent John Sweeney documentary aside). No fucking ratings winning or award winning flipping "shock and awe" shots in THIS is there now?
{Calm down, calm down!}
Instead we have Alastair Campbell SO NIFTILY steering everyone's gaze away into narrow cul de sacs of footnote and xerox and he said she said.
I just can't believe, for instance, that they believe a simple brusque "apology" {and which, let us not forget, HAD TO BE FORCED OUT OF THEM MONTHS LATER} suffices for the fact they downloaded that out of date thesis off the Web and served it up to us as was. What degree of CONTEMPT for the populus does that show? What does it betray about the far wider question of HOW THE PROCESS was being conducted in private, and unaccountably, for months on end?
I could care less they apologise for that one 'blip'. Far more disturbing is the fact that THIS WAS THE WAY THINGS WERE BEING CONDUCTED.
But no one seems to be pursuing this.

Which, this is just ONE of the real questions which have NOTHING to do with Alastair Campbell’s fucking ego which it looks like we will be waiting till the twelfth of nevermind for a REAL answer to. . .

posted by Ian 7/09/2003 12:01:00 PM

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