February 23, 2004


We shouldn’t have waged war on the Taliban, according to the psychopathically peaceful. We should have been friendly. We should have sent aid.

Well, we are. And this happens:

An Australian pilot was killed when a lone attacker sprayed a US company's helicopter with gunfire as it prepared to take off from a southern Afghan village.

Four foreigners and an Afghan interpreter yesterday flew in the helicopter to inspect the construction of a health clinic in the village of Thaloqan, about 64km south-west of the provincial capital, Kandahar.

The group was about to leave when a man armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle attacked the helicopter and then fled, said Khalid Pashtoon, spokesman for governor of the Kandahar province.

Opponents of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq invariably characterised those wars as being against entire populations. They weren’t. They were against tyrannies -- now reduced, in Afghanistan’s case, to isolated brutes firing on people seeking to rebuild that nation.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 23, 2004 12:13 PM

Who was against fighting the Taliban?

Posted by: Homer Paxton at February 23, 2004 at 01:08 PM

HM! I wonder if the new-fangled interweb could help us to find who opposed fighting the Taliban, Homer? Let's see what I find in Google...







I'd post more, but all the cutting and pasting it would require would tire me out.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 23, 2004 at 01:37 PM

Ah, but Tim, you're forgetting this incident took place after our illegal imperialist-colonialist racist sexist, etc. war took place and is the rational response of oppressed peoples to...um... elitism? Look, if we had sent aid to the Taliban, like we did to Iran recently, they surely would have responded by increasing liberty and freedom. Just like Iran did. (They had an election or something right?)

Posted by: dorkafork at February 23, 2004 at 02:31 PM

It is a mistake to lump opponents of the punitive mission and nation building in Afghanistan in the same boat as opponenets of the Iraq-attack.

The first engagement was a war of necessity, based on true premises. The latter was a war of choice, based on false premises.

Many supported the first whilst opposing the second. In fact, many feel that the second has detracted from efforts in the first.

$300 billion will be spent on capturing Hussein, who had nothing to do with 911. Only a fraction of that has been spent chasing fundamental terrorists, whilst Bin Laden, prime suspect in 911, remains at large.

Posted by: Jack Strocchi at February 23, 2004 at 03:41 PM

I mourn the loss of a fellow Adelaidian - one who risked his life to help others. In some ways this offsets that other unspeakable twit from Adelaide who was dumb enough to join the killers of the innocent.

Posted by: Rob at February 23, 2004 at 03:42 PM

Nobody else said the word "Iraq", Jack. And don'tcha come around no more. [/dork]

Posted by: Dylan at February 23, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Except Tim. Goddamnit.

Posted by: Dylan at February 23, 2004 at 03:51 PM

I can't imagine how people can STILL claim that Iraq is distracting us from the terrorists. Where is Al Qaeda fighting us right now, Jack?


Who did Saddam fund generously?


What is the greatest threat to fanatical Islamic fascism that creates terrorism in the Middle East?


There are some of our "allies", even, that are far worse than Saddam was in regards to supporting terror, but I can't imagine an invasion and regime change in Saudia Arabia being more effective or less costly in terms of human life than the one in Iraq. Thankfully, Bush is willing to piss off our "allies", and they take that seriously.

But finally, I would agree that it is wrong to lump all opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afganistan together. Can someone show me where that was done in this thread?

Posted by: Sortelli at February 23, 2004 at 04:01 PM

Eh, and before someone forces me into a Morky semantics discussion, besides "Opponents of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq invariably characterised those wars as being against entire populations." That doesn't say ALL opponents, but if you squint and nitpick you can interpret it that way.

Dangit, Dylan. Why didn't you post faster? :)

Posted by: Sortelli at February 23, 2004 at 04:05 PM

The terrorists who were responsible for the attacks on 9/11, in Bali, and in many other countries around the freakin' globe (Google is your friend here) are not confined to ONE country or even ONE group.

This is why this war is unique. We don't have ONE country or even ONE group to target. We have many countries and many groups. They all want to achieve the same thing:

Overthrow our non-Islamic governments and establish a radical Islamic one. Heck, these groups want to overthrow governments that are Islamic *now*. It's the wrong type of Islamic for them.

How people can continue to insist that we should have stayed away from Iraq because there was no connection to the Taliban .. I don't understand. Haven't any of you been reading and researching on your own? Look at the websites many of the DIFFERENTLY NAMED groups have created. See a common thread or theme? See a connection? You need a series of pictures showing Saddam and the Taliban doing the 'happy dance' together after 9/11 to see the connection?!

We have to attack not only the people who do the actual fighting, but their backers as well. These backers are to be found in various countries, even the US. In some cases we target individuals and not the entire country. In other cases, targeting the individual *means* targeting the entire country, as was the case in Iraq.

If you are living in a country where you are free to vote and worship however you want, you must realize your freedom to do this was bought with someone's (lots of someone's) blood. It will be costly, in terms of lives and money, to keep our countries from being annexed as part of the next global caliphate.

I am very thankful there are countries around the globe taking part in the coalition to stop these nutz. It's because of brave men and women from the coalition countries that our freedoms will be preserved. I think we take our freedoms too much for granted. We think they can be preserved without resorting to war. History shows us otherwise.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 23, 2004 at 08:44 PM


Andrew Russell, the SAS Sergeant who was killed in Afghanistan, was also originally from Adelaide. It's a good city, no one would judge it negatively because of one moron.

Posted by: gaz at February 23, 2004 at 08:55 PM

amerstralia is evil and must be punished for imposing its imperialisticgreatsataninspired ideas! sanitation? never! anesthesia? we will beat it with our shoes! immunizations? we will cut off your mustacheios!

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 23, 2004 at 10:40 PM

Did that poseur Jack Strocchi seriously use the word 'whilst'?

Augh, he used it twice - the horror! Certainly a trigger-word for pantywaist-dom, and a term that should never comprise a full 1.9% of one's word usage (as it does in his comment.)

Posted by: kelty at February 24, 2004 at 01:55 AM

Interestingly, ABC overnight radio, has the pilot simply ferrying workers to a road site. Not a health clinic site . The implication being that he was involved in commercial activities, devoid of any humanitarian aspect.

Posted by: jafa at February 24, 2004 at 03:55 AM

Hey, Dorkafork,

I know you were being sarcastic, but we did send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, necessarily through the Taliban, in the late '90s. This was turned by the antiwar left (Michael Moore, or was it Ted Rall?) into another cudgel to beat us with: You can't go to war! You supported these people! Look at all the money you sent them!

Posted by: JPS at February 24, 2004 at 04:01 AM

JPS, that is incorrect. Aid was not sent through the Taliban. They did not see a single cent. Here and here are some details. Kinda pathetic that Michael Moore managed to turn this into "We gave money to the Taliban", especially since I got those 2 links from the Bowling for Columbine website.

Posted by: dorkafork at February 24, 2004 at 06:23 AM

What is inhumane about commercial activities, to pick up on the ABC's sleight of hand pointed out by Jafa. After all, that would mean, capital is being invested and, therefore, opening up opportunities for Afghanistanis.
Face it, which would you prefer, somoen offering a chance to do well or some `humanitarian' opening up a day care centre.

Posted by: d at February 24, 2004 at 09:49 AM