Friday, December 12, 2008

Confrontation With Islam in Afghanistan & Pakistan

Supplying Kabul along a road that invites ambush. [Al Jazeera video on YouTube.]

This video [Al Jazeera video on YouTube] about one small group of "Taliban" fighters implies that the Taliban are highly "fragmented" (my phrase and one that makes them sound weak) or, to put it differently, "networked" (my phrase and one that implies great resilience). If this video accurately represents the structure of the Taliban, reaching any agreement will be highly complicated.

Here is a grim military backgrounder about local Afghan conditions. [Journeymanpictures video on YouTube.] Note the extremely intrusive behavior by a squad of Australian soldiers in a remote village simply because an Afghan was seen using a cell phone. How would your teenager react to this type of behavior by police whenever he or she touched a cell phone? Winning hearts and minds??? Watch the whole video, including the part where the NATO general makes a distinction between "good" and "bad" Taliban. In the comparison that follows of the Australian and American approaches to the conflict, we also see a distinction between "good" and "bad" NATO soldiers.

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