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Federal

Oct 5, 2010

Abbott's real Afghan problem: his minister

The real Afghanistan problem for Tony Abbott lies with his Defence shadow, and a crumbling consensus on what we should be doing in Afghanistan.

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While Tony Abbott’s justification for not visiting Afghanistan is the sort of thing that would earn a Labor Opposition leader a week of contumely from shock jock and earnest op-ed writers, it’s a non-issue in the scheme of things. Indeed, there’s something to be said for not having the Prime Minister and the alternative prime minister flying into the same war zone on the same flight.

Nonetheless, the Coalition — or more accurately its Defence spokesman David Johnston — is not being particularly helpful on Afghanistan. There is clearly a difference between Abbott and his shadow minister, with Abbott this morning taking pains to emphasise the bipartisan nature of policy on Afghanistan, rather than endorsing Johnston’s view that the Government should be taking its advice from soldiers on the ground and significantly ramping up our Afghanistan presence, rather than listening to the ADF top brass.

Abbott is wise to do so, because public opinion on our involvement in Afghanistan is strongly opposed to it, and divisions between the major parties are only going to increase the likelihood that public opposition firms up into something more actively hostile to our role.

It’s tempting to see the Coalition as playing politics over our role but Johnston’s comments, after the controversy over a soldier’s email criticising the ADF after the firefight on August 24, might instead — or also — reflect an emerging dispute over the nature of our role in Afghanistan and differences between the Defence hierarchy and soldiers on the ground.

“People assume that because a Digger says something, it’s true, but it’s just one perspective,” Neil James of the Australia Defence Association told Crikey (the ADA has a detailed and very clear account of both the email controversy and the issues it raised). “And your perspective depends on what you think our operational missions should be. If you think our mission should be to secure Oruzgan province and destroy the Taliban, you’ll think we need much higher force levels. If you think our role is to mentor Afghan forces, then you’ll think the force level is about right or needs only a small increase.” (The ADA believes the mentoring force should be increased by about 150 troops).

James also says there’s a generational divide between the ADF hierarchy, who came up during the peaceful years of the 1980s and 1990s, and the current generation of servicemen who have extensive combat experience. “This is more than just a communications problem, which the ADF thinks it is. It’s a cultural problem.”

There’s a growing view — a twist on the much-mocked “good war” thesis — that we should end our role in Afghanistan because the West lost its opportunity to destroy the Taliban and establish a viable Afghan state when we launched the assault on Iraq. Charles Richardson articulated this view in Crikey last week. And yes, Julia Gillard, like Barack Obama and David Cameron and other leaders with forces on the ground in Afghanistan, has to make decisions about our future involvement in that country within the framework of the disastrous strategic blunder of Iraq, which has made a tough war in Afghanistan vastly more difficult. But like those who oppose the war outright, whether on the basis of reflexive anti-Americanism or for any other reason, that argument fails to acknowledge the reality that Australia is currently on the ground in Afghanistan and is playing a specific role that serves the broader strategic rationale for why we participated — correctly — in the removal of the Taliban in the first place, to ensure Afghanistan does not serve as a state sponsor of terrorism on a vast scale. There are no options for Australia’s role in Afghanistan free of serious consequences. The withdrawal of Australian troops would further reduce the already limited prospects for a stable Afghanistan.

Neither side of politics has been able to convincingly argue this strategic rationale to Australians. Perhaps that was an impossible task anyway — judging by the views of Americans and Britons, US and British leaders have been no more successful than John Howard, Kevin Rudd and now Julia Gillard is convincing people that we need to be in Afghanistan. But David Johnston’s efforts only serve to fragment what’s left of the major party consensus about how we fulfill our responsibilities in Afghanistan.

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187 comments

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187 thoughts on “Abbott’s real Afghan problem: his minister

  1. Pamela

    David Johnston is a gift to withdrawal. Let him rip I say. Let him run around picking up tales from every disaffected soldier and then pontificate. The Australian public will wake from their torpor eventually.
    The poor bastards fighting there must hate it and if they are gifted with intelligence, they will know that they are nothing more than a human sacrifice to our friendship with the yanks.
    Who needs such expensive and demanding friends?

  2. shepherdmarilyn

    We spend more time and money jailing the few thousand refugees who get here than we do trying to protect Afghans.

  3. kennethrobinson2

    Not a bad article, but no comment on the pending trial, of the three soldiers, trying to do the impossible.
    If they are going to fight to the rules of engagement drafted by outofdate leaders, and persecuted for the mistakes, then its a shameful day for Australia, as a Viet Vet, regretful as it is collateral damage does happen, people get hurt in stupid, unwinable, other peoples wars.

  4. John Bruce

    In response to KR2, I could not agree more. If the three are to be tried then we should also try every one of their senior commanders up to the CDF. It is war there facing an enemy that follows no rules and exploits every opportunity to put our highly exposed people offside – not that anyone would condone another My Lai. Further, I also do not know how an engagement with heavy weapons being deployed by the Taliban can go on for 4 hours without the allied forces bringing into play all its superior technology such as tagetting drones and heavy firepower. Primafacie, senior management stuffed up and could not or did not provide adequate support and another Australian life was lost.

  5. klewso

    It’s funny – there were “shortages” during the Howard administration too, not near as loudly “reported”, and not near the (“trendy”?) politicisation, from those “on the ground” either?

  6. zut alors

    Two questions:

    1. Is Afghanistan a safer place and does it have an improved quality of life than just under a decade ago?
    2. ditto Iraq?

    If the answers are in the negative, why are we still there?

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    So KR if Afghan soldiers murdered 5 Aussie kids in their beds you would say that was fine?

    Get a grip.

  8. heavylambs

    I’m indifferent to Abbott’s presence/non-presence in Afghanistan.

    What I want to know is what the hell is he doing going to a Tory conference! Is this at public expense,or is it paid for by his party and its membership?

  9. Michael Rynn

    What a stupid unquestioned echoing of the conventional wisdom. Of course Mr Keanes would not be allowed in print, if he did not parrot the conventional views of the Patriotic US ally, such is the constraints on the official conventional media here, even at Crikey. Instead of reflex anti Americanisms, what we get fed every day is a long entrained reflex Americanism, which is very deeply engrained into Mr Keanes and all his journalist peers, who along with our main politicians do not want to offend the powers and media that nurture them and supposedly keep them safe. Crikey also does not take risks of offending. Who would not want to be labelled supporters of a organistation labelled as terrorists, instead of being the anti-ccupation force.

    I find nothing nice about the Taliban, except to say, what kind of environment must they live in that makes their way of life a survival adaptation. What happens in Afghanistan should not be at the determination of US, Russia or Australia. The US was and still is the worlds biggest sponsor of terrorism, conflict , weapons sales, coups, military bases, which has helped to launch Al Queda and backed Osama bin Laden. The CIA has always supposedly aimed to serve US imperial interests, despite appearences of gross incompetence with consequences of blowback. The interests of Afghanistans people have never been considered except for propaganda purposes. After all, why should we care? The evidence of our immigration policies says we do not care, and tells the real truth about how we feel.

  10. Justin

    Interesting article, but I have an issue with “Indeed, there’s something to be said for not having the Prime Minister and the alternative prime minister flying into the same war zone on the same flight.”

    Tony Abbot isn’t the PM in waiting, Wayne Swan is. Having Gilliard and Abbot’s plane crash with loss of all life doesn’t mean the country is leaderless, it means Swan is PM and Bishop is Opposition Leader.

    Abbot isn’t the alternative Prime Minister, the election is over.

    Apart from that, I felt a lot more informed after reading this than before. I appreciate that. I’m now wading through the ADA’s information that was linked to. How on earth do they expect us to keep banging on without a clue in the world if they insist on being calm, rational and informative???

  11. Stevo the Working Twistie

    Abbot is the “alternative prime minister” in the event he wins an election, or otherwise manages to secure a majority in the House. In the event of a plane crash or an IED incident involving the PM, then Wayne Swan is the alternate PM. While this doesn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzies, it doesn’t preclude the PM and the Opposition Leader from sharing a plane, or a war zone.

    That said, in the interests of not furthering the misery of the Afghan people, I’m pleased Mr Abbot chose not to go.

  12. Pamela

    Only yesterday UNHCR chief Antonio Guterres stated that
    “Afghan refugees are dispersed across 69 other countries – a third of all states in the world… I do not believe there is any group of refugees as systematically undesired, stigmatized and discriminated against.”

    Bombing the bejasus out of Afghanistan seems to have not improved this situation… time for something new perhaps.

  13. Holden Back

    Perhaps we should organise a bike race in Afghanistan . . . .

  14. Justin

    Michael Rynn, there is little to say against what you’ve said. America’s wholesale abandonment of Afganistan after Russia withdrew led to the wholesale collapse of the shaky government there and the Taliban moved into the vacuum. Why? A Policy Shift. ie., Russia isn’t there anymore, so we don’t care about you. Similiar things could be said about Iraq, and the condition that region was left in after the Iran/Iraq (Russia/USA) war there, during which the west (UK, France, USA), helped Iraq make WMDs. They didn’t make them from mutated swamp grass!

  15. Richard Wilson

    The reason the military (I mean those poor devils doing the fighting who are not fully under mind control) is hacked off is that there appears to be no strategy to win this war. But outcomes are not the point of any modern war in my view. What is the point is governments spending as much taxpayer’s money as possible or borrowing it to spend on military equipment and contractors in the course of protecting pipelines, ensuring that neither the Russians nor the Chinese get any greater foothold in Central Asia or South America and, in the case of Afghanistan, poppy production is protected.

    Now eventually the public get so sick of this caper that the parasites have to move to a new host. And we know which those will be because the MSM propaganda machine has already written the foreword – Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Qatar and possibly Iran.

    The problem as I see it for all NATO participants and their affiliates (e.g. Australia), is that NATO policy in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else for that matter looks more like a strategy to ensure as much blowback as possible. The only reason I could see for this would be that by ensuring that the target local populous has no choice but to a man, to fight back and kill as many NATO soldiers as possible,(irrespective of the schools, hospitals and bridges being built), they can be painted in the Western media as terrorists, ingrates or both who hate our freedom. This thereby ensures an increasingly mind numb and gullible public sign up to this charade for the maximum period possible.

    Of course you cannot pull this off without the unfaltering compliance of the MSM which daily presents these wars to us as a matter of fact rather than the matter of considerable contention which I believe they are to a very large number of Australians.

    Incidentally there are more “mercs” in Afghanistan and Iraq than regular soldiers and eventually these guys will get tired of being killed, even for three times the enlisted man’s pay, as people in these countries forget their rivalries and come together to rid their land of the invaders.

    Then you can just bet we will have to once more face “conscription” in Australia. It will probably be a lottery but nevertheless it will be back on again as we wander around the world doing the US’s bidding, fighting no win – no outcome wars to serve the military industrial complex and their masters the global financial elite. I agree with Carroll Quigley, the powers that be should just come out and tell everybody this is what they are signing on to rather than attempt to “spin” us into the stratosphere.

    Sadly, we will continue to import as much potential homeland risk as possible by bringing the same very angry war refugees whose dispossession we have been a party to, to Australia which they must surely see us as the reason for their dispossession, no matter whether we are training troops in Oruzgan, building bridges somewhere else or fighting the Taliban in Kandahar.

    Ah, but any retaliation on our home soil of course gives the government greater justification for increasing the level of restriction on our basic human rights in the name of protecting us from potential homeland attacks.

    Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin:
    “The man who trades liberty for security does not deserve no will he ever receive either!”

    Remember to smile for the camera!

  16. Rod Hagen

    Nah, Bernard. The “alternative PM” currently is actually Wayne Swan.

    Still, now they know that Abbott is too tired to visit Afghanistan I guess it might slow the refugee flow out of the place a bit!

  17. zut alors

    Prior to this we were unaware Tony Abbott tires so easily and is prone to jetlag (apparently inhibits his brain, according to reports). In view of the amount of international travel he’d be required to do as Prime Minister it’s become clear he’s not physically capable of performing efficiently in fulfilling such a role.

    On the other hand Gillard looks as bright as a button and 100% alert.

  18. harrybelbarry

    HoldenBack , like the bike race idea. Would get Mr. Abbott on the ground talking to the “Locals ” and he gets to ride his bike too. Will donate a USA flag and pole for his bike. Start race in Iraq through Pipastan and finish in Iran.

  19. Charles Richardson

    Bernard, you say “The withdrawal of Australian troops would further reduce the already limited prospects for a stable Afghanistan.” But why do you think this? Where is the evidence that the foreign troops are improving things, rather than making them worse?

  20. GocomSys

    Why gives a damn what Blabbott and his cronies say or do?

  21. GocomSys

    Sorry should have said ‘who gives a damn’ or ‘why give a damn’ , couldn’t get it out fast enough! I just don’t give a damn!

  22. DoMeSlowlyMrKeating

    Funnily enough George, Tony and Johnny maybe should have had a slumber party and watched Rambo III before they decided to invade Afghanistan. I have put the quote down below, the relevance to the US current situation is uncanny. Who would have thought that in 1988 Hollywood would have such insight?

    Mousa: This is Afghanistan… Alexander the Great try to conquer this country… then Genghis Khan, then the British. Now Russia. But Afghan people fight hard, they never be defeated. Ancient enemy make prayer about these people… you wish to hear?

    Rambo: Um-hum.

    Mousa: Very good. It says, ‘May God deliver us from the venom of the Cobra, teeth of the tiger, and the vengeance of the Afghan.’ Understand what this means?

    Rambo: That you guys don’t take any shit?

    Mousa: Yes… something like this.

  23. leone

    ‘The alternative ptime minister’??? Please Bernard, stop copying lines from Warren Truss (who has no idea) and learn to think straight. Wayne Swan is the alternative prime minister until the Labor Party decides otherwise. Abbott is just some sad, tired little guy who lost an election.

  24. Syd Walker

    If it can be shown that the atrocities oif 9-11 could not possibly have been carried out by Islamic extremists co-ordinated in Afghanstan, the rationale for the initial invasion and subsequent occupation falls apart.

    Why is it that you – and every other mainstream media journalist in Australia – fails to look at compelling evidence to that effect?

    Is that the price of admission to the paid commentariat?

    There’s a newish short video on Youtube – “Scientists, U.S. Military Officers and Actors & Artists for 9/11 Truth”

    I won’t give the link, because it usually means getting stuck in the moderation queue.

    In it, actor Daniel Sunjata points out that support for the Afghan War in the USA is down as low as 38% on the latest poll. He asks whether those 38% are aware of the evidence about 9-11 presented at his joint media conference – and if not (looking at the media), he asks: “Will you tell them”?

    Will you, Bernard?

  25. harrybelbarry

    With Tony’s medical problem , he could not sleep rough with the troops in a camper bed. After loosing the unlooserable election , he had a meeting with the Pope. After that , you may have noticed his funny walk, he is soo tight and angry that he has not been to the toilet in weeks. Tory parties will help loosen him up and learn how to hack phone calls, at the Tax payers expense.

  26. harrybelbarry

    SYD , the Islamic extremists are good, they made Building 7 fall down without a plane ? and in a nice speed of gravity. Never believed the 9/11 thing when i saw the 1st tower drop and the aerial on top fell straight down. Very good demo job. their is a movie with 2 french brothers filming a newby fire fighter who was stationed and looked after the towers. they were filming for weeks before and on the day of 9/11. Worth a look.

  27. Syd Walker

    @harrybelbarry

    How about the FACT that the BBC reported the collapse of Building 7 half an hour BEFORE it happened!!!

    The BBC claimed that was a ‘mistake’. LOL.

    One might imagine there’s a story in it for someone in the Canberra commentariat? Apparently not.

    In nine years I have not received a single satisfactory reply from any paid Australian journalist about this. I’ve talked directly to a few. They get twitchy and clam up. Is that a story or what?

    Anyone doubting the official story of 9-11 is bogus, Google “Building What” and follow the links.

    It’s more than time to cut the lies and end this appalling war, which is based on a foul ‘blood libel’ against Muslims.

    There’s a majority against the Afghan War in every major occupying nation. It’s really a war against us all – not just Afghanistan, the target range de jour.

    Essential to this war machine is a dishonest mass media. I think we can assume the media is stacked with spooks. But I doubt they’re a majority. The honest majority should get organised without further delay and start telling the truth. There’s safety in numbers.

    It may be crucial to our long-term survival as free people.

  28. freecountry

    Is the Afghanistan operation a role, or a mission? The difference is, a mission may in some circumstances be worth fighting and killing for, risking violent death far from home, or criminal charges for the effects of returning fire at those who would kill you. A role is not worth any of those things. There’s an American saying which, I think, came into common usage after Vietnam. Q: What makes a good loser? A: Plenty of practice.

  29. Venise Alstergren

    The reason the clockwork puppet declined Julia’s invitation to visit the troops has gotta be ‘Because he’s going to the UK via the Vatican’ or is this his second home?

  30. Venise Alstergren

    FREEC: There is an equally true saying-and my grandmother was always saying it-A winner is so because he gets plenty of practice.

  31. Catching up

    Mr. Abbott has better things to do. The need to be lauded and loved is his first priority. Once again Mr. Abbott shows little political insight or judgement. Why give the excuse he gave. Surely, it would have not been difficult to find another reason not to go to see the troops. He has once again put his foot in his mouth, talking before thinking. Yet, he is being honest in stating his needs come first, as they always do.

    “because he did not want to turn up “jetlagged” to the British Conservative Party conference,” ” I thought it was important to do this trip justice. I didn’t want to get here in a jet lagged condition so I’m in a position to make the most of this opportunity.”

    What opportunity?
    What is in it for Australia?
    Why is it more important than seeing the troops?
    Is he after a job with the Conservatives?

    If Mr. Abbott is going to Britain to attend a conservative do, why are we picking up the tab? Surely, it is only in his benefit, not Australia’s for him to attend Conservative Party event where he is to be lauded as a hero. He has made it very clear that attending the British Conservative Party conference is the reason for his trip. It should be seen as party business and paid for by the parties involved. As for Afghanistan, I believe that Mr. Abbott sees votes in disagreeing with the government. Bipartisan is ended as far as Afghanistan is concerned.

  32. freecountry

    Syd Walker, if 9/11 was a “inside job” or “fundraiser”, don’t you think it would have been just as effective to hit symbolic targets, like Disneyland or the Statue of Liberty, rather than potentially exacerbating – as many believed for a while that it had – the recession? In fact it didn’t cause a longer downturn, but the fact that this has been disputed even in retrospect, signals that the effects would have been very unpredictable to any American patriots planning a big military and intelligence expansion. Such an expansion depends, of course, on American economic strength to fund it. Why risk serious economic damage, when a symbolic target would work just as well? This is just one of many reasons I cannot take the “inside job” theories seriously. But as I watched the towers collapsing on the TV screen that night, I knew we would not have to wait long for the “inside job” theories to hit the bestseller stands.

  33. John james

    Oh, the Loopy Left are out in force here!
    Picking up where the Iranian President left off, sparking a walk out from the UN of just about every democratic nation’s representatives, as he suggested 9/11 was the result of clandestine US Government planning , a government in the hands of the Zionists ( of course ! The Jews run everything, didn’t you know!! ), the bloggers here continue to advance their bizarre Left conspiracy theories.
    It would be funny, but for the fact that it constitutes a snapshot of evidence for the Left’s not so funny association with Islamism and the jihadists ( and any other despot or thug assaulting the Unites States and the West. )
    The controversy about support for Australian forces didn’t just come from a few disaffected soldiers on the ground, but from senior officers like Jim Molan, who led Australia’s counter insurgency effort in Iraq.
    He alludes to a recent ambush of Australian forces, in which a young Australian commando, with a pregnant wife at home, was killed, and about which there is a strong view amongst the soldiers involved, that had the ambushed Australian commandos had proper tactical and air cover, the much larger Taliban force would have left the battlefield with either their arms raised in surrender, or in body bags, not, as is the case, being able to withdraw, to ambush Australians in future.
    Abbott should press Gillard. Lets have a real debate!
    Gillard and Labor hate them. They’ll probably set up another committee.

  34. Syd Walker

    @freecountry

    Regarding the choice of targets and timing of 9-11, better direct your inquiries to the perpetrators. I have some theories but that all they are.

    9-11 should not, however, be a highly speculative matter of opinion. It is a matter of easily verifiable facts. I repeat, a good place to start is to Google “Building What”. Checkout the “Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth website as well – now supported by more than 1,300 verified architectural and engineering professionals. Read what they have to say.

    You don’t need to know everything about how, why and by whom a crime was done to be able to debunk a flawed hypothesis. The official 9-11 story is precisely that – an easily falsiable hypotheis/fable, most of it foisted on the public in the first day or two via a few major mass media organisations, at a time when the public’s sense of shock was greatest and rational defenses lowered.

    Bear in mind the official 9-11 inquiry (much like the Warren Commission a generation before), assumed the guilt of the accused and was asked only to provide more detail on how Al Qaida (Less Harvey Oswald) did the crime and the policy ‘implications’. It did not start afresh, like a normal inquiry. It only looked at one possible culprit, specified in advance.

    That’s not justice. It’s an absurdity.

    On 9-11, or so we’re told by the US Government reports, THREE gigantic tower blocks collapse in the own footprint at near free-fall velocity as a result of fire. Those tower blocks had steel frames and were concrete constructions. The smallest, WTC7, was 47 stories in height.

    If that’s what happened, it’s the ONLY day in history when any steel framed concrete towerblock has collapsed through fire. Some skycrapers have blazed for more than a day until only the shell is left, but the shells are designed to stand.

    On 9-11, we’re told, three such structures did fall without controlled demolition. Yet it’s clear that controlled demolition is what actually happened.

    In that case, there’s no way that ‘Al Qaida’ could have pulled it off. Such a crime required access to the three towers for days if not weeks in advance. The leaseholder must surely have known. At minimum, he should be questioned by investigators.

    The leasheolder of WTC1, 2 and 7 is a man called Larry Silverstein. Larry is not a Muslim. But he does happen to have some powerful Australian associates. In the 1990s, he was on the board of Westfield America, which also held the lease on the concourse at ground level in WTC1 and WTC2.

  35. Universal Man

    This is not about anti americanism,those people over there are the same as us under the thumb.
    What it is called is anti american governmentism but even that isnt right because it isnt all american government thats in on it. This is about someone who is in control from behind the scenes. Someone that has controlled governments for a long long time. You can call them freemasons,Ivy league,golden dawn,illuminati,spearshakers,whatever. They are just criminals.
    When the people in america tried to escape control back in the begining they already had these barstards in their midst to sabotage it with a two party system, a corruption of democracy from the start. Then it was our turn. Both nations being too naive to see through it. They need to go through these governments like a dose of salts & get rid of them.

    As for Iraq & Afghanistan we have been interfereing in their countries for a long time stiring the pot,taking their resources. They just wanted another korea or vietnam. A war they could not win without nuclear weapons & mass murder. If they did use nuclear weapons they wouldnt be able to access the resources. Not to mention stripping heaps of money from their own countries to line their own pockets. They had no chance of winning these wars & never intended to. All they have achieved is mass migration & guess who is going to pay for it ? Us!
    They should get out now so the people that are leaving there can go home. Not sit there trying to save face, another stupidity. They blew up the WTC to start this shit & they should be put on trial & sent to Guantanimo Bay. The stupidity of trying to train people who have been at war for thousands of years none stop & who will never give up & who one day could be pointing a gun at us.

  36. Universal Man

    It was the american government that gave saddam hussein chemical weapons. They have just admitted to infecting tens of thousands of south americans with horrible diseases. Osama Bin Laden brought down the soviet union. The WTC was a Global institution & this war on terror got global backing because of it. Disneyland & the statue of liberty would have only upset America & got some backing. The Banks run a thirty year financial cycle to catch millions of people in a mortgage trap. Our Government put an embargo on russia in the seventies to collapse the wool industry putting millions of australians in the poor house & they knew what they were doing. They bought shares in oil & plastics, did the deed to replace wool fibre & other industries with plastic fibres. They sold out australia & they are still doing it. Russia bought two thirds of our wool. Most of the wool growers lost all their holdings & their children were herded like sheep into the capital cities looking for work that never came for twenty five years. No housing, no work & no money. Living in housing commission slums like Mt Druitt & Fortitude Valley. Does anyone still want to stick up for them,this is both sides of the pariament kids, Labour & Liberal.
    White Australia Pollicy ,both sides kids. Don`t tell me they arent capable of it ,thats how they make their crust.

  37. Jan Forrester

    1. Like most wars this one will not be won on a battlefield. Nothing to do with the intelligence and commitment of soldiers. Or otherwise of our politicians.
    2. Manylower and middle class Afghans are already planning exit strategies.
    3. There is a remarkable cycling of money in Afghanistan, reported key officials leaving the country with bagfulls of US dollars.
    4. The Afghani currency has appreciated 5-6c against the US dollar in the last several months, there is a local boom on which is good for some.
    5. The Taliban are not the only ‘anti-government’ force; there are others out there in the pay of the Pakistani ISI. Iran is supporting the sunni Taliban….the friend of my friend is my enemy etc. (The US and allies were also funding these warlord guys, and still are as they have leveraged themselves into legitimacy establishing logistics and security companies.
    6. We have a small number of troops in one province fighting a war; yet we deny Afghanistan is a dangerous place and are sending back asylum-seekers, (shia Hazaras whom the Taliban think are heretics).
    7. What are the strategic overriders, Richard Wilson outlined a few: Afghanistan is in the middle of Central Asia with a great ring road and a great fibre optic cable following it (thanks China and Iran); even the US were dealing the the Taliban over oil pipelines. As Russian looks east to China as an oil market and China looks everywhere Central Asia ripens for some.
    8. It is a mess: who can tell which way it will go? Eventually, we distant foreigners will go. Surrounding countries are already discussing future strategies, as they must. Pakistan still feels AF is its backyard…….

  38. harrybelbarry

    Free country , the owner of the run down , out of date , and loosing tenants to newer offices with broadband etc etc, twin towers, insured them for US $6 Billion . The towers were built to stand up to aircraft hitting the towers and most of the fuel exploded outside and it proven that temps were not hot enough and didn’t melt the steel. All towers (3 ) fell at the speed of gravity , meaning nothing was slowing it down, all 100 + floors and fell on top of its self. Did you see the footage of the pentagon , 16 foot hole in the building and no marks of the wings ?? No photos of aircraft from hundreds of cameras ?? Bush family member was in charge of security at the towers?

  39. Space Kidette

    @Harrybelbarry,

    Glad I am not the only one who could not find the plane in the pentagon either – finally realise I am not going barmy.

  40. freecountry

    Space Kidette, if you start at American Airlines Flight 77 in wikipedia, it has a lot of links to evidence of what happened to the Pentagon. Wikipedia is not, in itself, an authoritative source, but it is a useful bibliography of links to other sources. There will always be apparent anomalies – what can I say, I was brought up on eyewitness stories of the Angel of Mons from 1914. That’s just life, it’s chaotic, there are always unanswered questions, some details that come out in the wash later, and some that never do. Nevertheless, in this case the official story is the correct one.

  41. zut alors

    Harrybel, Syd, Freecountry,

    I’ve read those links regarding Sept 11 (I REFUSE to call it 9/11) and have an open mind to the proposition but, if it was an “inside job,” two immediate questions arise:

    1. why did Al Qaeda claim responsibility? Surely it was in Bin Laden’s interest to expose the Americans for their shameful self-inflicted horror? He would’ve been tempted to claim the glory for such destruction but he would’ve inflicted mighty political/societal destruction if he’d pointed the finger back at the guilty Americans.

    2. why would US perpetrators take an incredible risk knowing they may well be caught out? It doesn’t make sense that Afghanistan was that monumentally import to the USA – it wouldn’t warrant such a gamble.

  42. zut alors

    I forgot to add that Bush Junior’s reaction when told of the initial WTC attacks was extraordinary. He sat in a schoolroom listening to a story being read, with a strange lost expression in his eyes, for several minutes. That’s always impressed me as bizarre human behaviour, let alone for the president of the country under siege.

  43. guytaur

    @zut alors and freecountry

    For those reasons this is why the conspiracy theories are considered wacky. So wacky not even Hollywood has come up with a good plot based on those. Nothing of the order of Oliver Stone and his JFK conspiracy movie.
    zut alors your point one is in fact the reason for the President of Iran making the same comments at the UN.
    It is no wonder most walked out on him.

  44. freecountry

    Zut Alors,

    You’re right, the nickname “911” indulges bin Laden’s clever psychological warfare in choosing a date which matched the emergency phone number in the US. I’ve always been surprised that the media fell for it, so that Americans now picture the WTC whenever they place a call for emergency services.

    I think Bush just needed some time to rally his thoughts. I doubt if he was still listening to the schoolkids after he received the news.

    Guytaur,

    When Ahmedinejad made his speech giving credence to those theories, I thought Obama should have stayed in his seat during the walkout. He could then have replied calmly that New York is, among other things, the world capital for psychotherapy, and that although one normally makes an appointment, he could make a few phone calls and organise some help at short notice for the president of Iran. No shame in needing a little help, etc.

  45. Acidic Muse

    @Syd

    Creating and perpetuating conspiracy theories is a national passion in the United States of Amnesia – let’s not forget almost half the population also worship an imaginary sky faerie they believe created the world circa 6 thousand years ago. Is it really so surprising 911 conspiracy theories gained so much traction when 20% of the population also think Obama is a “moo-slum

    In the early 90’s you had 15 million people regularly listening to Art Bell espousing various conspiracy theories on his Coast Coast radio program – he had a lot of them believing Alien Lizard people were running the US government amongst other things

    @Space

    I know someone who has actually seen the gas station CCTV footage of the plane hitting the pentagon that the Bush Admin never released to the general public.

    It definitely happened, hon

    Personally I think it was a real mistake not to release that footage but the Shrub admin’s rationalisation was that given the constant repetition of footage of the twin towers falling had already carved a huge scar in the national psyche – subjecting Joe Public to the same kind of exposure to a successful strike at the heart of American’s military industrial complex was just not an option.

    Of course, it’s also in their interests to have all kinds of wacky conspiracy theories circulating because pointing to them is an excellent way of undermining more rational arguments against the USA’s National Security leviathan

    I love Toxic Tony’s resorting to a Bushism to explain his Jet Lag lie. He mis-spoke .. just like he did when he lost his rag on 4 Corners on Monday night ..lol

    The Toxic Templar continues to seriously misunderestimate the Australian public’s intelligence

  46. Syd Walker

    @zut alors

    Why did Al Qaeda claim responsibility?

    Not sure what you mean. The first interview Bin Laden gave after the attacks specifically denied responsibility and pointed the blame back towards the USA and its ‘allies’. Later in 2001, the infamous video allegedly discovered in southern Afghanistan showed someone, looking distinctively different from the man himself, bragging about the attacks.

    Since then, Bin Laden has cropped up in video messages and audio tapes with tedious regularity, especially before US elections. He was at it again recently, banging on about the floods in Pakistan.

    Do you assume these tapes are genuine?

    Khalid Sheik Mohammed, we’re told, confessed. But we’re also told he was waterboarded repeatedly. Do you believe his ‘confession’?

    None of the 19 alleged hijackers confessed. They were cinders… or so we were told on the day. In fact, according to various reports, some carried by the BBC at the time, several ‘hijackers’ turned out to be alive afterwards, living elsewhere and bemused to see their photos smattered over the headlines as the guys responsible for 9-11. Perhaps they’d had their identiities stolen? It does happen.

    Questions on the motives of the perpetrators are best addressed to the perpetrators. I was not one of them. I can speculate, but that’s all it would be.

    Western countries are quite civilized for the most part. We have procedures to deal with crime that evolved over the centuries: things like inquests, trials and inquiries.

    Unfortunately,in the excitement of the chase, these processes can be forgotten. In such cases, we can be trickeed into relying on trial by media, sometimes without even realising that’s what’s happened.

    That occured back in November 1963, when the US Government set up a Commission to investigate the murder of President Kennedy. Its terms of reference were not to find out who killed JFK. It was tasked with finding out how Lee Harvey Oswald killed him… a rather different brief. In that case, it was not until the late 1970s, towards the end of the Carter administration, that a genuine congressional invesigation established ‘probable conspiracy’ in relation to the President’s murder. Many people don’t even know that.

    Similarly, the only official invesigations into 9-11 have assumed the conclusion: ‘Al Qaida’ dunnit.

    I recommend the books of David Ray Griffin on this topic. He was rather late to come on board as a 9-11 scpetic, but has been prolific ever since. His later book, incidentally, is about the Obama Administration’s efforts to disrupt the 9-11 ‘truth movement’. It’s called ‘Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory’ and focusses on the work of Cass Sunstein.

    Anyone for COINTELPRO?

  47. zut alors

    Freecountry,

    Actually I refuse to call it 9/11 because it’s a stupid system of writing a date – back to front! To my knowledge it is only done in the USA, the rest of the planet knows the day comes first then the month then the year. As the French say, ‘les pauvres Americans’…

  48. Acidic Muse

    @Free Country

    I agree with you that despite the Bush Admins passive complicity in allowing it to happen due to criminal negligence, the 911 conspiracy theories are complete bunkum

    Nonetheless, you go several bridges too far trying to defend Shrubs gormlessly moronic initial response to having the news whispered in his ear. That footage captures almost perfectly just how ill equipped he was for the job – without Dick Cheney’s hand up his ass moving his lips, Shrub was always useless as tits on a Billy Goat…um..Song

  49. Sancho

    I would dispute the claims that our “Diggers” (not WW1 anymore, journos) are sick of the fighting and can’t wait to come home. Many may be bored to death, but this is what they trained for. A deployment is exactly what many ADF recruits want, so I’d be careful about ascribing to them some sort of war-is-hell pathos.

    As for 9/11, I think it’s hard to argue that the Bush administration didn’t know it was coming, and let it go ahead for political gain, but the idea that they orchestrated the attack in league with Israel and the MSM is just tinfoil hat crazy. What did Bush and his mates ever do that suggests a cabal of brilliant masterminds able to execute and conceal a conspiracy of that magnitude?

  50. Last Chance Cafe

    Well well well now…..we enter a new era of self “sacrifice”when a journo commits VE on such a passionate issue, so one may decrease so others may increase….i don’t think it gets much better and the bond just keeps getting thicker and thicker….yea, I hate him..LoL!!!

  51. Last Chance Cafe

    @Syd

    You ” invesigate”well..who can’t spoll?..?

  52. Sancho

    Can I get my comment moderated, or what?

  53. idyot

    it’s ok now, it’s down is n’t it?

  54. Acidic Muse

    @Syd

    David Ray Griffin is a lifelong religious kook whose embraced everything from Christian fundamentalism to perpetuating conspiracies about Jewish bankers running the world to teaching Eastern philosophy in community colleges .. lol

    Have you spent much time in the USA?

    I think a lot of Australia’s fail to realise there is a very lucrative conspiracy theory industry over there. People like Alex Jones and Glen Beck aren’t journalists .. they are professional clowns catering to a substantial niche market that lives on the edge of hysteria. The only difference between Beck and Jones is that Beck’s “act”is vaguely ideologically cogent enough to get Murdoch’s sponsorship.

    One of Alex Jones best rants ever claimed it was Space Aliens …Not God … who destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah!

    God Bless Amuricah for turning insanity into an art form .. lol

  55. Venise Alstergren

    Today’s Herald Sun excelled itself. They had an editorial condemning Tony Abbott for failing to accept Julia Gillard’s invitation to talk to the troops.

    On the same double page spread was Andrew Bolt’s rabid contribution to the art of politics-carefully disseminated for his unquestioning readers. He strongly supported Tony Abbott’s lack of presence in Afghanistan, on the grounds that Australia could ill-afford to lose the leader of the opposition. Which it would if terrorists knew his whereabouts.

    He mentioned nothing about the risks that our Prime Minister was taking! Tony Abbott, Australia’s very own contribution to bubonic plague.

  56. Syd Walker

    Either an event is physically possible, or it isn’t. The laws of physics help out here.

    The collapse of three steel-framed concrete skyscrapers at virtual freefall velocity is not possible, absent controlled demolition.

    The offical narrative of events denies controlled demolition took place (presumably, it would also demolish the case against ‘Al Qaida’, as no outside group of ‘Islamic fanatics’ could have had the necessary access to the three buildings for many days in advance)

    The what-ifs, yes-buts, how about X/Y/Zs etc are all beside the point. We have been asked to believe the impossible. Consequently, we have been asked to believe a lie. Only a thorough, genuine inquiry can firmly establish the truth. Such an inquiry has been blocked until now. Why?

    In similar fashion, there has been no inquest into the 7/7/2005 bombing attacks in London – and no public inquiry either – despite a chorus of little-reported public demands and appeals from victims’ relatives. Why not?

    Why the deliberate obstruction of due process in both cases? Whose interests does it serve? Afghanis? Iraqis? Muslims in general? People in general?

    To highlight the absurdity of the official narrative of the buildings’ collapse on 9-11, I’ve written a brief parody on my blog entitled: “If 9-11 came to the Eiffel Tower”.

    We are, in effect, being expected to believe that the Eiffel Tower was reduced to a blob on the ground after 10 seconds – as a result of fuel fire?!!

    If Al Qaida can bring down the steel-frame of the Eiffel Tower in its own footprint in 10 seconds – using only fire and extremist malice – we should indeed be very scared of these guys. They clearly have supernatural powers.

  57. Venise Alstergren

    Although I’m reluctant to consider conspiracies, I would make the point that throughout history armies have pulled a stunt aimed at themselves knowing the other side will cop the blame. I think it comes under covert ops.

  58. Syd Walker

    @Acidic Muse

    You seem to be an expert on David Ray Griffin, who you describe as a “lifelong religious kook”.

    Is that a term you apply to everyone who isn’t an atheist? If not, what is it about Griffin that occasions such contempt?

    Which of his many works on process theology have you read, I wonder? Are you familiar with Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy, on which is is partly-based?

    You ask: “Have you spent much time in the USA?”

    Yes.

    Re: Alex Jones and Glen Beck… what is your point here? Did I mention their names? What do those gentlemen have to do with me? If you don’t like their views, feel free to let them know.

    It seems you can’t reply with intellectual honesty to the points I raise, so you throw in red herrings and silliness.

    The truth about 9-11 is not a joking matter. It is still used to rationalise the War in Afghanistan. We have seen our civil liberties shredded in the name of defeating ‘Al Qaida’. The ‘intelligence’ budget has gone through the roof – in this country and in the USA, Britain etc. Military expenditure has soared. Millions of refugees. Hundreds of thousands dead.

    Is it too much to suggest (otherwise) intelligent people look seriously at the issue of what truly took place that day? Especially now more than 1,300 qualified architects and engineers have called for a new, genuine inquiry…

    I’ll wager $10 you’ve never read a paragraph written by David Ray Griffin on any topic.

    If I’m wrong, please give me the reference and I’ll donate accordingly to a local charity. All I need is the reference and a cogent reason why you think it justifies calling him a “religious kook”.

  59. Venise Alstergren

    SYD WALKER: Does this count?

    “”David Ray Griffin (born 1939) is an American retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology. Along with John B. Cobb, Jr., he founded the Center …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ray_Griffin – Cached – Similar””

  60. Venise Alstergren

    MODERATOR: Have I sinned by including the origin of the quote, as above? If so, I apologise to you, and to Wikipedia.

  61. Ron

    Bernard,
    I have a request, not related to the content of the report, but rather to the wording; well in reality, just one word in the report.

    Why is it that we are seeing a growing use of the damnable term ‘firefight’ in reports on armed conflicts around the world? Is it just because some people think that it is fashionable to slavishly follow everthing that Americans do and say?

    In Australia we have bush fires (not wild fires), with fire fighters that fight the fires.

    We also have soldiers that engage in gun battles with our enemies; not ‘firefights!!!.

    These terms have aways been part of the Australian vernacular, and we should fight to preserve our language and culture, not sit by as it is inexorably supplanted by American jargon.

    Bernard your use of our language is commendable, please let’s keep it just that; our language!

  62. Sancho

    If Al Qaida can bring down the steel-frame of the Eiffel Tower…we should indeed be very scared of these guys. They clearly have supernatural powers.

    You’ve probably noticed that the Right’s fear of Islamic extremists is out of all proportion to the real threat. The Murdoch media, for example, are running with the idea that the entire west is poised to fall beneath the feet of…some people from developing countries armed with WW2 carbines and fertiliser bombs.

    Western conservatives seem to credit Muslim terrorists with godlike powers of destruction. And then they get angry at Lefties for not being scared enough.

  63. freecountry

    Syd Walker: “The what-ifs, yes-buts, how about X/Y/Zs etc are all beside the point.”

    Your entire case is made up of nothing but what-ifs, yes-buts, and how about X/Y/Zs. There’s nothing else in it. Now you want to have it both ways.

  64. Veronica

    OK, the conspiracy theorists have had their say and now I’m going to inject some rational thought into this debate. As usual the mainstream media has completely ignored the substantive issues of the Afghan war to talk about the process of whether the Opposition Leader was/should have been invited to meet the troops. Commendations to Bernard Keane for moving the debate beyond that banal rubbish.

    I used to believe that we were wrong to join the US in invading Afghanistan all those years ago – I went to antiwar protests and so on. However the fact remains that Afghanistan was the training base for terrorists who have operated around the world. Terrorist cells operated there that posed a threat not just to the US, but to any country the terrorists chose to target. With adequate financing, and in a country with no government or control, these cells were allowed to flourish until they carried out an unbelievably devastating attack on US soil.

    The war in Afghanistan has reduced the power of Al-Qaeda, but it and other splinter organisations have not been wiped out and if we leave Afghanistan a destroyed and broken country they will return and fill the vacuum. The problem is, rebuilding Afghanistan is a task that may not even be possible, let along achievable in a short timeframe.

    Afghanistan is an incredibly poor country, with a virtually non-existent economy, little infrastructure, poor education and services. As Rory Stewart says in his book “The Places in Between”, written after he spent a year walking through Afghanistan, it is so poor that even raising its standard of living to that of Pakistan would be a monumental task. It is simply not going to be a sophisticated, western style democracy any time soon.

    So we need to reevaluate what our goals are in the country. This is a country that had 20 years of civil war before we got there, and the Soviet war before that, and the Anglo-Afghan wars before that. It has hardly known peace, much less stable government and economic development. The politicians have it right when they say that if people have jobs and a livelihood they will stop fighting each other – but jobs doing what?

    In simple terms, it will be safe for us to withdraw from Afghanistan when the country has a future. But how much time, money and soldiers’ lives it will take to achieve that is a very murky question indeed.

  65. Elan

    I don’t need to say much here,-its all been said…, but I get a tad irritated when someone pops in to suggest that they alone can ‘ inject rational thought’.

    You know bugger all Veronica.

    But I do. I should do.

  66. Veronica

    Elan – Yes it was very arrogant of me wasn’t it, Almost as arrogant as saying that 9/11 was a US conspiracy to….well it’s never very clear what the conspiracy theorists think the purpose of it actually was or why the US government would think it necessary to murder thousands of their own citizens and send the world into a state of shock. It makes me a tad irritated when this rubbish gets dragged out every time Afghanistan is mentioned

  67. Syd Walker

    It is not arrogant to have an honestly held opinion and to express it openly in an appropriate context.

    When looking for the perpetuators of a crime, investigators usually ask who benefitted.

    So who benefitted from 9-11? The so called ‘military industrial complex’ is an obvious beneficiary. Western ‘intelligence agencies’ were a beneficiary. The Zionist cause/State of Israel was a beneficiary. All three have benefitted enormously since 9-11… so far.

    If the truth ever comes out, all three stand to lose big-time.

    This is, consequently, a very hotly contested issue. Many of the folk who argue against the views of people such as myself do so out of honest disagreement. Others… probably have less wholesome reasons for doing so.

    Forcing the truth about 9-11 into the public domain and bringing the perpetrators to justice is a key issue for this generation.

    Failure is not an option. It would quite likely mean the whole world sliding ever deeper into plutocracy, from which there may eventually be no escape. That’s not an option for anyone wide-awake who values the truth and believes justice should apply equally to all.

    I have not suggested ‘the US Government’, in some generic sense, carried out the atrocity of 9-11, as has been mistaken alleged by Veronica. Such a hypothesis is clearly absurd. 9-11 was a large conspiracy, yes. But it clearly did not involve everyone in government.

    Joseph Stiglitz has estimated the total monetary cost of the two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, to the US taxpayer. His latest estimate is 4-6 trillion dollars! In Australia alone, ASIO’s budget has increased by an order of magnitude (c. 10x). Israel has managed to hitch the west as a whole into its epic struggle against anyone who might ever remotely threaten the Israeli State.

    These provide very powerful motivations to defend the official 9-11 narrative, by hook or by crook. But easily demonstrable falsity of the offical conspiracy theory makes it impossible to defend in open rational debate. Hence the media blackout.

    If I’d said, in August 2001, that a month later the Solomon Building (WTC-7), a 47-storey steel framed concrete towerblock in Manhatten, would collapse within a few seconds and NO Australian mass media organisations would report the collapse or examine it critically afterwards for at least nine years… few would have believed me then. I wouldn’t have believed it possible myself.

    Yet that’s what happened.

  68. freecountry

    What Veronica says is fair enough. I spent some time on what I consider X-Files theories, because sometimes I have views of my own which sound crazy to others.

    I’m going to suggest one of them now. It’s distressing to see that, once again, we seem to be using democracy as the benchmark for rehabilitating a broken country. We have not learned from our mistakes in other countries where our interventions have done as much harm as good.

    Elections – free, clean, or otherwise – are not the distinguishing characteristic of successful states. The OECD countries are liberal republics first, democracies a distant second. Features like a stable and independent legal system, civil infrastructure, and a functioning economy are far more important than elections. A safe environment and strong property laws are necessary for foreign investment in things like mining. Further liberal features like universal education, freedom of speech and freedom of association come next. Only when these things are stable should a state begin holding elections.

    Sort of like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Far too often the UN has sponsored elections, when what people really need is to be able to go out and get some food, and then to make it home alive to their families. People on the left should remember that even Marx considered capitalism the best way to build a society, before urbanisation and education led to a need for equitable reforms.

    In some cases, premature implementation of democracy can capsize a country early in its recovery. In a society unused to our kind of politics, political rhetoric tends to focus attention on the most obvious divisions in society – ethnic or religious tribalism. If Yugoslavia had not rushed into democracy following the collapse of communism in Europe, ethnic demagogues like Slobodan Milosevic would not have been able to come to power so easily by the simple trick of inciting people to hate each other. The Yugoslav war most likely would not have occurred. If the Palestine Authority had been set up as a strong, liberal, non-democratic state, with a roadmap to implement democracy over say 20 years, it would probably be a much safer place for Palestinians today.

    All those who take an interest in the development of Afghanistan, please write letters to the paper or to politicians reminding them what we have already learned, that democracy is not the be-all and end all. We don’t want to hear about elections yet. We want to hear about Afghans feeling safe, Afghans being able to get food and jobs, Afghans sending their kids to school. The Western obsession with democracy should not blind us, once again, into putting the cart before the horse.

  69. Elan

    Thanks Veronica. It was good of you to acknowledge your arrogance. Though you seem confused. If discussion of a reasonable intelligence (yes I know-we can debate ‘intelligence’ ), is occurring – which it clearly is here, whether in agreement or not;-the “injection of rational thought” statement is arrogant , because it dismisses every other post as irrational!

    Just thought I’d clear that up

    As for the denigration of ‘conspiracy theorists’ ? Take a good long look at that denigration.

    Governments of ALL countries lie/distort/mislead,-and they’ve done so since they came into being. We would have no ‘secret services’ of any kind if there were not secrets to keep.
    It is the way it is.

    CT’s question what they are told. The may come up with what appear to be outlandish theories (to who, I wonder?),- or they simply do not accept official versions.

    More bloody power to them. Because they QUESTION; they do not take things at face value. Given that we know that Government’s routinely lie (or are you going to suggest that they do not-or they rarely do???).

    Now: what about those who ridicule CT’s? Those of you who routinely do that are an absolute godsend to Government power and control. They love you.

    You do all the leg work for them. They love your obedience; your loyalty. Me? I think you do an utter disservice to your fellow man. You are completely unable to distinguish between those who are perhaps paranoid (shall we debate paranoid?),-and those who show quite credible concern.

    Even a lay…er, person, can pick when someone is expressing a ‘green Martian’ view.

    No; you anti CT’s unilaterally lump everyone who questions officialese, and dismiss them as crazies or a variation thereof.

    Gads! you are a handy bureaucratic tool! You are also too lamely obedient for my taste.
    ____________________________

    As for ‘The Afghanistan Problem’ . I was raised in Northern Pakistan where my Ma comes from. Papagee was an Afghan.

    The West will never, EVER defeat an Afghan whether Tali or Muja. The only way would be to obliterate the country with a nuclear bomb.

    Is the West up for that??

    The former USSR retreated; the West WILL retreat. They will;-but not before we get more bodybags-and families receive a flag instead of a son (currently males). And not before so many more innocent Afghan’s are killed………….; are murdered.

    The inevitability of a spurious invasion which is under-resourced, leads to dissatisfaction and an ensuing trigger happy attitude by those who are frustrated and angry. The Muja’s will continue to use the West. The Tali will continue to kill them, because they are not only killing Tali’s, but they are killing innocent Afghan women and children.

    Afghanistan was invaded because of American payback-and only that (here is a good place to debate what a terrorist really is?).

    There is no Al-Q !! The title was instigated by the American’s. UBL is happy to run with it;-but it was an American invention.

    What a sorry mess this all is. Innocent people are being killed because of Americas need for control and revenge. And now? Western troops are only there to ‘save face’ for their Governments. Obscene: because it is those same troops who die-and who kill innocent people.

    (SO? The shout goes up that the Tali are killers of innocent people? Yes they are. And the hugely disappointing Muja; the former hero’s are no better. They are the ones who exploit poverty by recruiting boys from impoverished families for their ‘pleasure’.

    They HAVE to be left to get on with it. We have ignored mass genocide in other countries? Why the concern here?

    (IF mass killing were to occur, then sadly I would have no problem with MASSIVE retaliation on Tali enclaves- and yes,-innocents will die. But we go in-and we pull out.

    The West has no record for protecting against mass slaughter;- it prefers to invade and control the countries concerned-not over genocide- but over self interest).
    _________________________

    I have never had a problem with the two sides of my culture. Others have. I have absolutely no problem stating the above, but also being part of four generations of Brit military (incl).

    I’ll concede that if I were serving today I would be facing a Courts Martial. Governments have turned Defence Forces into attack forces. And then we are aghast at the ensuing abuses by the military.

    It is an inevitable by product of a disgruntled attack force.

  70. Acidic Muse

    @ Syd

    I’ll wager you’ ll find couple of hours spent perusing http://www.debunking911.com highly informative and possibly life changing

    There you will find links to various peer reviewed scientific articles, actually written by scientists and engineers, not religious kooks and professional conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones

    http://www.debunking911.com/paper.htm is a good start

    This one in particular is fairly comprehensive

    http://www.structuremag.org/Archives/2007-11/SF-WTC7-Gilsanz-Nov07.pdf

    @Veronica

    Great post.

    Like you I think we need a clear exit strategy based on achievable goals.

    Obviously in retrospect, it was a huge mistake for the NATO alliance to place all our eggs in the Mohammed Karzai basket, but I guess no one actually knew Unocals man in Afghanistan was bipolar as well as deeply corrupt at the time.

    In-spite of the huge challenges we face in leaving Afghanistan more safe, stable and hopefully slightly democratic than we found it, there is one very important fact the bed wetting surrender monkeys who’d have us flee now due to a few dozen causalities should carefully consider

    The symbolism of the entire Western Alliance being seen to throw in the towel to twenty or thirty thousand Taliban insurgents would inevitably be portrayed as a huge victory for the Jihadists and become a clarion call to arms for more radical Islamic fundamentalists all over the world.

    Right now, millions of disaffected Muslim radicals all over the world who support the Jihad in theory would never join it in practice simply because they see it as a battle than can not be won.

    Give them a sniff of victory and that could change very, very quickly.

    In my estimation, it’s pointless listening to the arm chair generals and chat-room commandos who seek to second guess our professional military strategists on what we should do next in Afghanistan. Neither should we pay too much attention to the odd disgruntled grunt who sends a flaming email from the front lines

    Someone I do think has a good handle on the best possible solution in the very difficult situation we find ourselves in over there is Dr David Kilcullen. He’s been arguing that the US/NATO should move away from pure counter insurgency strategy and focus much more on stability operations. He’s talked about the need for a bottom-up rather than top-down strategy and the importance of devoting more resources to stable areas of Afghanistan, rather than the red zones in the south and east. This makes perfect sense to me

    Build stability where it’s achievable and build capacity within the Afghan government and military to keep the insurgency in check once we’re gone. But accept that is going to take at least 4 or 5 more years and sadly probably cost at least as many more Australian lives as we’ve already lost there.

    I do agree with FreeCountry that leaving a stable functional (preferably vaguely secular) government is more important than leaving a democratic one at this stage. As in Iraq, the Afghan people will no doubt embrace democracy in their own good time, sadly not in ours,

  71. Syd Walker

    @ Acidic Muse

    The ‘debunking911.com’ website has been around for over 4 years. Yes, I am aware of it. No, not impressed.

    The poor quality of the rebuttals is indeed one (just one) of the reasons why the official story is clearly bogus.

    I have been following this story since late 2001 Acidic Muse. Your attempts to patronize me cut no ice. Your wager is wrong. I notice you skipped over my wager – which was in relation to your earlier attempt to discredit the 9-11 truth movement by labelling David Ray Griffin a ‘religious kook’.

    Griffin published ‘Debunking 9/11 Debunking ‘ in 2007. Of course, this all gets confusing for the uninitiated. That’s why this constant stream of disinfo is produced. Create confusion; underminbe clarity. It has been thus ever since Spetember 2001.

    It’s all very much like an old card trick. Distract attention. It’s has worked remarkably well for nine years, but those folk who push this disinfo consciously and malevolently are running out of luck and they know it.

    It’s only possible to fool most of the people some of the time. The criminals who murdered so many on 9-11 – and so many, many more since then, will be brought to justice. The interests they represent will be punished. I’ll wager you that 🙂

    @Veronica

    “the Afghan people will no doubt embrace democracy in their own good time, sadly not in ours”

    With due respect, that is a highly offensive, supercilious and ignorant statement.

    In the 1970s, Afghanistan had a democratically elected secular government with female participation and progressive social policies. This government was considered too left wing by hardened cold war warriors in Washington. It was therefore undermined by the USA and eventually forced to seek aid from the Soviet Union.

    Then the CIA began training and arming ‘Islamic extemists’ in vast numbers – google ‘Operation Cyclone’. Their job was to attack the Soviet-backed Afghani government.

    Back in the 1970s there was a tiny Afghani opium industry. Since the destruction of civil Afghan society by war, the opium trade has mushroomed.

    Afghanistan in the 1970s was much loved by travellers, renowned for its hospitality and had a promising future.

    Almost every reason the apologists now give for continuing war in Afghanistan is an artefact of malicious western meddling since that time. Many of these reasons betray a contempt for this proud, independent and resilient people that is reminiscent of British Raj at its very worst.

  72. Venise Alstergren

    VERONICA: Presents an excellent picture of a country that is in no way ready for democracy. Therefore WTF are the Americans in there in the first place? Let alone doing their usual bit of slugging Australia, siphoning off its troops to fight for the good old USA to give America a semblance of respectability and playing on the remembered victory at The Coral Sea those oh so many moons ago during WWII.

    Run Ozzie soldier run, run, run.
    Here come the Yanks with a gun, gun, gun
    Stand straight and tall,
    Salute us one and all.
    Don’t hesitate to call,
    You are with us to a man-
    Forget it it if you can.
    Better still ANZACS; grovel

  73. Elan

    ACIDIC MUCK:

    “In-spite of the huge challenges we face in leaving Afghanistan more safe, stable and hopefully slightly democratic than we found it, there is one very important fact the bed wetting surrender monkeys who’d have us flee now due to a few dozen causalities should carefully consider..”

    What utter bollocks!!

    Useless trying to get through isn’t it?

    ‘leaving Afghanistan more safe, stable, and hopefully slightly democratic than we found it’ (er?)

    ‘bed wetting surrender monkeys’

    ‘flee now due to a few dozen causalities’ (sic)(or did you get that word right?)

    ABSOLUTE rubbish.

    The first is patronising fallacious garbage.

    The second two are perniciously nasty. You sit at your keyboard in the comfort of your home and dismiss cruelty and death as if you were brushing of a fly!

    Face what happens there, and a coward like you would not even make it to the sheets before your incontinence kicked in!
    __________________________

    Venal it is!! Old habits die hard eh? You get a real buzz praising the patronising don’t you? The attitude of looking down (I noted the comment on the ‘lower orders’ ) .

    Take your version of ‘democracy’ Venal; and shove it ** **** ****!

  74. Syd Walker

    Well said Elan.

    A few decades ago, I wrongly imagined the patronizing colonial attitudes that were common at the time in the west would dissipate during my lifetime. How wrong I was. They just got tweaked and rebranded.

    I’m sure in their own mind some of these commentators consider themselves ‘anti-racist’ progressives. But their cultural arrogance is gobsmacking.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if that type of attidude wasn’t useful when justifying cruel, murderous wars.

    Four references for those who are interested.

    (1) Living with the Taliban. An insight into who we’re actually trying to kill in Afghanistan. It’s a short video by a Norwegian journalist who had the guts to make contact with – and film from within – the Taliban. After hell freezes over, it may get a run on ‘our’ ABC or SBS.

    http://sydwalker.info/blog/2010/08/18/the-war-she-wont-discuss/

    (2) 9/11 Truth: the Challenge to the Peace Movement
    by Dr Graeme MacQueen of McMaster University

    http://aleksandreia.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/prof-graeme-macqueen-911-truth-the-challenge-to-the-peace-movement/

    (3) Dr Graeme MacQueen: The Connection between 9/11, Anthrax and Iraq

    http://911blogger.com/news/2010-05-10/dr-graeme-macqueen-connection-between-911-anthrax-and-iraq-05-01-10-walkerton-1-5

    (4)a) 9/11 Commission Report ignores 503 1st responder eyewitnesses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwQa5eokieY

    (4)b) Dr MacQueen discusses NYFD 9/11 witnesses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ4dVo5QgYg

    All these vids are superb references IMO.

    If someone is short of time and still unconvinced the ‘official story’ about 9-11 is bogus, I recommend (4)a) for starters.

    There’s a short bio of MacQueen here: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~mpeia/media_culture/team.html

  75. Likes a Beer

    **Take your version of ‘democracy’ Venal; and shove it ** **** ****!

    ROFL…Take your version of demoNocracy and shove it ..up your area. ..that’s a good one!

  76. Likes a Beer

    erg..umm…that was directed at Venal.

  77. Acidic Muse

    @Syd

    I have no doubt you knew the CIA was behind the attack from the moment you saw it on TV 🙂

    Like all conspiracy theorists, you think everyone who disagrees with you is part of the conspiracy .. Anything that rebuts your arguments is disinformation .. yeah yeah .. blah blah blah.. we’ve heard it all before ..

    But you really should cut down on whatever it is you’re taking because it was me, not Veronica who wrote

    ““the Afghan people will no doubt embrace democracy in their own good time, sadly not in ours”

    This idealistic notion that Afghanistan was a functional democracy prior to the Soviet Invasion is quaintly naive. Real power had always been exercised through tribal hierarchies and those “elected” to Afghanistan Jirga always came from amongst individuals born into tribal leadership. Prior to 1964 there was no separation of powers enshrined in the Afghan constitution at all and therefore, despite a few jirga members being elected by regional tribal councils, no real democracy at all. With the new constitution in 64 came a decade long experiment with a nascent form of western democracy. Even so, two thirds of the Mishrano Jirga representatives were still appointed by the King from the prominent religious and influential families around the country whilst the other third were elected by regional (tribal) councils. Yes, members of the Loya Jirga were elected directly by the people of Afghanistan, but pretty much on the basis of religious or ethnic/tribal loyalty (Uzbek, Pashtun, Tajik Hazara, Baloch, Pashayi, Aimaq, Turkman, Gujar, Barahwi ect) Though an imperfect attempt at democratic reform, this period did begin a transition from the traditional Sharia law to a more secular system but to call it anything more than a fledgling democracy is just a joke. New freedoms granted to women were limited to Kabul and Kandahar – elsewhere women remained the property of men as they always had been under Sharia Law.

    Opium production has not increased due to the destruction of Afghan civil society as you assert but due to exponential growth in the demand for heroin since the 1970s, just as cocoa production in Columbia has increased over the same time period.

    If you are at all interested in understanding what we are dealing with in Afghanistan instead of simply trying to make all aspects of this debate fit into your new world order conspiracy theories , I’d recommend reading Afghanistan – A Cultural and Political History by Thomas Barfield

    But I suspect you’ll just stick with simply blaming the evils of western imperialism for corrupting all these poor noble savages

    No, I’m not interested in exploring the endless kookiness of your conspiracy theory guru with you

  78. Elan

    Oh the power of copy and paste!! This makes ACIDIC MUCK an expert on these ‘noble savages’.

    And the usual reference to publishings that support ones own view (yes we all do it-except me. True!)

    So a hacked together piece masquerading as expertise?

    What else can be expected from brains affected by the rarefied air of mock superiority?
    __________________

    I knew what/who you meant LIKES A BEER!!

  79. Acidic Muse

    Does mummy know you’re on her PC Elan?

  80. Elan

    Mummy? Which one of us has the childish need to show how cute we are?

    Grow up. You’re getting miffed, and resorting to silly sniping.

  81. Veronica

    @ Elan – there is a big difference between questioning the government and being a conspiracy theorist. I come from a scientific background, and in science when you propose a theory, you need to have evidence to show it is actually plausible. If you have enough evidence, collected over a large enough sample, your theory may become accepted scientific fact. This doesn’t mean it can’t be questioned, only that it is very much more likely than not to be true.

    Conspiracy theorists, on the other hand, regularly assert that their conspiracy must be true because there is no evidence for the alternative hypothesis put forward by the government (or whoever). A classic example is Syd Walker’s claim that because the US government hasn’t actively sought to deny conspiracy theories, they are somehow admitting the theories are true. This is a failure of logic – the lack of evidence for one theory does not prove another. So when people say things like the twin towers couldn’t possibly have collapsed without controlled demolition, I say where’s your evidence? If they were deliberately demolished, who organised it? Where were they? Where were the explosives laid, and how? Who were the suicide bombers working for?

    But the reality is, no one who expounds these theories can ever answer these questions. That’s the attraction of conspiracy theories; they seem vaguely plausible, but there’s not a scrap of definitive evidence.

    @ Syd Walker – you’ve attributed a comment to me that I didn’t make.

    @ Venise – the US didn’t invade Afghanistan to bring democracy, and I agree with Free Country that democracy is not the most important objective.

  82. Elan

    “@ Elan – there is a big difference between questioning the government and being a conspiracy theorist. I come from a scientific background, and in science when you propose a theory, you need to have evidence to show it is actually plausible. If you have enough evidence, collected over a large enough sample, your theory may become accepted scientific fact. This doesn’t mean it can’t be questioned, only that it is very much more likely than not to be true.”

    Well now; I’m delighted to hear it. But having a ‘scientific background’ doth not an expert make!

    It does not give you some anointed right to dismiss the views of others in such a condescending manner. You use the same arrogant logic again!

    Got it! Bring in enough ‘facts’ = truth!

    Awwwwww gawd! time for supper!

    We can have a nice little chat tomorrow.

  83. Syd Walker

    @AcidicMuse

    Re: Opium/heroin, here’s a brief extract from Alfred McCoy’s “Can Anyone Pacify the World’s Number One Narco-State?The Opium Wars in Afghanistan”. Dr McCoy has been studying the murky politics of the international illicit drugs trade for four decades. His account suggests there was rather more going on than a market response to global demand, as you imply.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175225/tomgram:_alfred_mccoy,_afghanistan_as_a_drug_war__/

    “Although this area had zero heroin production in the mid-1970s, the CIA’s covert war served as the catalyst that transformed the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands into the world’s largest heroin producing region. As mujahedeen guerrillas captured prime agricultural areas inside Afghanistan in the early 1980s, they began collecting a revolutionary poppy tax from their peasant supporters.

    Once the Afghan guerrillas brought the opium across the border, they sold it to hundreds of Pakistani heroin labs operating under the ISI’s protection. Between 1981 and 1990, Afghanistan’s opium production grew ten-fold — from 250 tons to 2,000 tons. After just two years of covert CIA support for the Afghan guerrillas, the U.S. Attorney General announced in 1981 that Pakistan was already the source of 60% of the American heroin supply. Across Europe and Russia, Afghan-Pakistani heroin soon captured an even larger share of local markets, while inside Pakistan itself the number of addicts soared from zero in 1979 to 1.2 million just five years later.”

    ______________________

    I did not say “I knew the CIA was behind the attack from the moment you saw it on TV”.More misrepresentation.

    I did,however, entertain suspicions about 9-11 from the outset, partly because I watched the initally news reporting on the day for 12+ hours. The rapidity with which conclusions were dawn as to culpability and motive seemed implausible to me at the time. But did I expect such a collosal false flag operation intended to frame Muslims for a crime they didn’t commit? No, like almost everyone on planet earth, I didn’t imagine that might happen. It tooks me months running into years to understand that’s what had to have happened.

    In my previous post (still in the mod queue at the time of writing) I referred to some video’s by Dr Graeme MacQueen of Macmaster Uni. In the second short video in the four part series entitled ‘9/11 Truth: the Challenge to the Peace Movement’, MacQueen discusses his own evolution of thought on the subject of 9-11. It’s a must-see Youtube video, chock-full full of interest.

    The evolution of his thought on this followed a differnety path from mine, but he speaks, I think, with great cogency about the issues people in general face in coming to terms with the truth about 9-11.

  84. freecountry

    Acidic Muse: “Give them a sniff of victory and that could change very, very quickly.”

    Good point. It was more than a sniff of victory that already inspired the Jihadists, when they defeated the USSR invasion and sent it capsizing into a death spiral shortly afterwards.

    That makes the job much harder this time, because many of us in the west have fallen into some clumsy assumptions about Islam and Jihadism.

    But the Jihadists were not the only people who defeated the Soviets. There were also plenty of real Muslims in that fight, from all over the Islamic world. The Taliban was well prepared, and stole their victory while the rest were still celebrating the defeat of the Russians.

    Divide and conquer is a critical part of Afghanistan strategy now. Much of the boneheaded Western response to September 2001 alienated a lot of real Muslims. These are the people we need to take back their stolen victory from the Jihadist scum. Even some people who have been seduced by Jihadism for a while but are now grown up and ready to return to their traditions.

    There’s no point looking for another Massoud, another Lion of Panjshir. Such a man appears only once in a century. Karzai is no angel, but he’s no worse than the alternatives. Some of the people who will take government in Afghanistan will be corrupt, violent, and/or mysogenistic, and some will have a Jihadist background. That’s politics, sometimes you’ve got to work with what you’ve got. What else can we do?

  85. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: When did they let you out of the steel cage?

    The “lower orders” referred to a previous post at the same place. It was in context if one was a regular at FD.

    They appear not to have given you sufficient medication to overcome that huge burden you carry on both shoulders…the great stack of the world’s biggest timber.

    Now you look after yourself lovey, you wouldn’t want to be moderated permanently, now would you….again?

  86. Likes a Beer

    *I knew what/who you meant LIKES A BEER!!*

    Just case in you’re a bit over sensitive…ya never can tell..hehehe

  87. Acidic Muse

    @Veronica

    You are correct…the US Government has said little about the various 911 conspiracy theories simply because no one of any consequence take them seriously. Wasting time and energy rebutting every cock eyed theory some wierdo comes up is pointless and generally only gives them currency by attracting attention to them.

    It’s analogous to me asserting there is a little man living in a subterranean cave on the moon who is made of cheese, eats cabbage and shits gold bullion – then claiming that unless you can prove it’s not true – that in itself is proof that it is true ( Bertrand Russell’s “celestial teapot “ remade for the 21st century)

    Wait a minute .. isn’t that exactly the same failed logic all faith based ideologies rely on 🙂

    @Free Country

    The primary reason the Mujahideen defeated the Soviets was the billions of dollars of military aid the USA channelled in via the Pakistani ISI, but regardless, it has created this mythological aura around the Jihadi movement. Nonetheless, whilst many of the ethnically based political factions in Afghanistan are Islamists, many are much more Nationalist than they are Jihadist in their ideology. Right now it’s like the Weimar Republic in Kurtas, with a complex myriad of different ethnic and religious factions pursuing self interests to the exclusion of finding a common one but I still believe the West can reach an accommodation with enough of them to eventually cobble together some semblance of stable government. We just have to stop obsessing about destroying the Taliban and focus our energy on making them seems less relevent to the other 28 million Afghans

    That said, it may yet turn out to be one of Obama’s greatest mistakes to have announced a prospective date to start drawing down troops – many Afghan power brokers may just wait us out rather than accepting a compromise for peace in the short term

  88. freecountry

    I agree with a lot of that, except the part about money and the ISI being the “primary” reason for beating old Ivan. Arms and sponsorship were important of course, but the biggest factor was the commitment and tenacity of the resistance – including as you say, nationalists, the Muj, foreigners showing Muslim solidarity, as well as the Jihadists. It’s not fair to deny them that victory.

  89. guytaur

    The failure of Afghanistan is actually quite simple. Foreign Powers from Alexander the Great on have been interfering in Afghanistan. So the various tribes have not progressed to becoming a nation. Instead it has been generations of tribes resisting Foreign Influence or invasion and Occupation.
    Failure to understand this is the failure of any action in Afghanistan.
    This is because you have to take out the foreign influence from the nearest neighbours of India and Afghanistan and China and Russia all the way to here in Australia.

    To the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. An interesting ongoing debate. One with no I repeat no relevance to the situation in Afghanistan. The terror threat exists with or without 9/11. USS Cole. The Bombing of an Embassy in Kenya. The terror action in Mumbai. All valid reasons for attempting to destroy the power of terror cells like that of Al Qaeda.

    None of these are good reasons to change our laws that have stood good for us for centuries. The whole debacle on the “Gitmo” cases in the Kangaroo military court has proved this. The latest news is of course President Obama has come unstuck with his latest witness as a court has ruled his evidence was produced under “duress”. Legalese for possible torture. We should roll back a lot of laws brought in reaction to 9/11 and terror in general as after all the British Managed to deal with Terror for centuries with the laws as they have been ever since Guy Fawkes.

  90. Acidic Muse

    @Free Country

    I’m no way denying them victory but we should never forget this was a proxy war. The Afghans proved themselves some of the most tenacious and fearless warriors of all time but they were like Zulu’s fighting the Brits until US military aid neutralised Soviet air power which was certainly the major turning point strategically speaking

    Before the massive injection of US military hardware like Stinger missiles, the mujahideen were virtually defenceless against Soviet aircraft, especially the heavily armed helicopter gunships that relentlessly blew the shit out of rebel positions and could place combat troops behind their lines at will. The very first time Stingers were deployed, three gun ships were taken out and over the next few years they shot down circa 300 Russian aircraft. That kind of capacity put a huge dent in Soviet confidence, and an even larger one in their military budget – two factors undoubtedly pivotal in the mujahideen’s ultimate victory

  91. Syd Walker

    Back in 2000, the ABC’s religious affairs correspondent Rachael Kohn interviewed Professor Graeme MacQueen from McMasters Uni for a The Spirit of Things program entitled ‘For Peace Sake! – The Culture of Peace’.

    MacQueen initiated Peace Studies at McMasters in the early 1980s, so Dr Kohn probably knows him from way back, having studied herself at the same Uni many years ago.

    Dr MacQueen has not been interviewed on the ABC since.

    After September 2001, such an interview would have been controversial, but still conceivable; MacQueen held strong views opposing the invasions/occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Since 2005, an interview with MacQueen would have been a lot more interesting. That’s because he came to the conclusion around that year that the official story of 9-11 is indeed bogus.

    I provided several links to MacQueen’s videos on this subject in an earlier post on this thread. Now I’ve incorporated into an article on my blog what I regard as his most persuasive speech. It’s particularly addressed at people who care about peace and justice – but can’t imagine that the government conspiracy theory about 9-11 is truly a cruel hoax. MacQueen was in that category himself between 2001 and 2005. His lucid description of how and why his thinking evolved is fascinating.

    It’s in the form of four ten-minute YouTube segments at the base of the page. Strongly recommended.

    http://sydwalker.info/blog/2010/10/08/censoring-the-truth-about-9-11-is-australias-abc-a-kohn-job/

  92. freecountry

    Acidic Muse,

    It’s amusing that we seem to have reversed our respective positions since a recent thread when we were talking about emphasis on institutional explanations vs personalities and human motives.

    People like to talk about American money or ISI networks conjuring forces out of thin air, but that’s not how it works. Gaz Hunter was one of the British soldiers sent to train the Mujahadin in the use of Stingers, and he had a very close up view of their tactical effect. His account, in The Shooting Gallery, makes it clear that although the end of Ivan’s air supremacy was crucial, Stingers would have been useless without people ready to risk appalling casualty rates to run around the hills firing them.

    Don’t forget, throughout the conflict many of the resistance were still making guns out of sawn up water pipes. The leadership of Massoud, who was killed on 9 Sep 2001 just as Bush was starting to learn how to pronounce his name and being persuaded to switch support to him, and who now has a national holiday named after him, was at least as crucial as all the anti-Soviet foreign support, perhaps more so.

    Perhaps the greatest influence of the ISI was to divert American support away from the Northern Alliance and into the Taliban opposition. The ISI also played a crucial part in preparing for the Taliban coup at the end, just as Afghanis were anticipating a thoroughly earned period of freedom with Massoud as their likely president.

  93. Elan

    “ELAN: When did they let you out of the steel cage?

    The “lower orders” referred to a previous post at the same place. It was in context if one was a regular at FD.

    They appear not to have given you sufficient medication to overcome that huge burden you carry on both shoulders…the great stack of the world’s biggest timber.

    Now you look after yourself lovey, you wouldn’t want to be moderated permanently, now would you….again?”

    1) ‘….if one is a regular at FD’. Oh I say! How fraightfully, fraightfully!!!

    2) How the hell did I fit into a steel cage with all that timber?

    3) Gawd!! This really made me larf!! Venal and moderation are good mates!

    ‘Moderate permanently’? Does it hurt? Does it leave a scar? (As for the ‘again’ ; you are the expert!!)
    _____________________________

    LIKES A BEER: I’d be a bit daft coming here if I were sensitive!!!! (Appreciated anyway).
    _____________________________

    More from the armchair experts( which increases in volume the younger they are!!)

    And of course we will continue to back up and thank those who support our point of view. 🙂

    Happy days?

  94. Acidic Muse

    @Free Country

    I think we might be indulging your fetish for debating the color of orange juice here – obviously the Stingers would have been useless without brave men to fire them but brave men firing RPGs and AK47s would not have ended the Russian air supremacy that was was often costing thousands of Afghan lives a week

    @Syd

    To truly understand the nature of terrorism, you have to view it through the eyes of an economist not through the eyes of religious kooks . Terrorism, like religion, has always primarily been about money and power

    The writings of Loretta Napaleoni can give a lot of insight into what we are really dealing with

    http://www.coldtype.net/Assets.04/Essays.04/ModernJihad.pdf

    http://www.threemonkeysonline.com/als/_terror_inc_global_terrorism_loretta_napoleoni_interview.html

    The great error of conspiracy theorists is to take something that is undeniable – that cold war superpowers created and manipulated the modern jihad movement for it’s own purposes – and extrapolate that into this warped idea that the West still controls it to this day and the threat that it poses to western civilisation is therefore totally contrived

    Once you understand the the terrorist shell state as a business model and political tool, you’ll hopefully understand all this conspiracy stuff is simply not necessary to explain the events of 911 and the West’s complicity in creating the environment that lead to them

    Just because Frankenstein helped create the monster doesn’t mean he intended his own family to die by it’s hand

    MacQueen’s videos are a fucking joke – yet another delusional peacenik trying to weave together a myriad of unrelated truths, half facts, mythology and flat out lies to make the world fit his narrative of Western Imperialist Oppression of the noble savages

    I really have to wonder if any of these whack-jobs every actually do any research at all that doesn’t involve sticking their head back into the conspiracy theory echo chamber

    Unocal withdrew from the Centgas consortium in 1998 (yes, it was a gas pipeline not oil as most 911 whack-jobs seem to think) and ever since the main international focus has been on building a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan to Turkey via Azerbaijan and Georgia in order to circumvent the control Russia and Iran currently have over the bulk of the worlds natural gas reserves.

    Of course the whack-jobs never ask themselves why the USA would be spending hundreds of billions of dollars fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan simply to build a gas pipeline Unocal no longer wants through to Pakistan (oh yes, very stable place isn’t it) when North American natural gas reserves are estimated to be as much as 2000 TRILLION cubic feet.

    That might seem dangerously close to being too logical…lol

  95. John Bennetts

    @Acidic Muse:
    Thanks for the link to the debunking site.

    As someone who used to design buildings before I gave it away and concentrated on other areas of engineering, I checked the drawings of the WTC soon after the event. Like many, I wondered what type of building would pancake so completely, twice.

    Soon enough, I located on the architect’s web site full structural drawings which demonstrated that, unlike typical Australian tall buildings, the WTC had no strong central core of concrete and steel, housing lift shafts and toilets and so forth. Instead, the central area was steel framed and plasterboard sheeted. All the strength and rigidity was provided by those massive vertical columns on the perimeter.

    The floor slabs were constructed on steel beams radiating out from the centre to the perimeter. Once the centre buckled and folded, the weight of one floor landed on top of the floor beneath, which could not hold it, and so forth till the whole building collapsed in on itself.

    There is nothing mysterious about the collapse mode.

    Some folk expected to see evidence of steel melting or who worry about the temperature of the fires not being high enough to melt steel. This simply did not happen and could not happen. The fires were far too cool for that. The steel central services area would have buckled due to impact. This buckling threw weight onto adjacent relatively slender sections, which in turn also buckled and failed. Eventually, the weight of the upper floors was bearing directly onto the floors at the impact site, which could not support it and sheared off around the perimeter, dropping like a pancake onto the one below… and so on to the bottom.

    This entirely satisfied my curiousity and involved no conspiracy, no impossible temperatures, etc.

    Problem solved. The two towers collapsed due to impact of planes.

    Tower 7’s subsequent collapse is fully explained by the fact that 20 floors had been opened up by debris hitting it. No conspiracy. Nothing particularly odd. It had its south face ripped off it and collapsed southwards.

    Now, back to Bernard. This was not your best effort, old boy, but your article certainly sparked a riot.

  96. Likes a Beer

    @Free Country

    **all faith based religion are the same***

    Do you actually know what a faith based religion is?..you don’t and hardly anyone does.

    Take Abraham for example, he was known by the ancients for his kindness and hospitality…but this guy knew the orbits of the moon and the sun, he knew the creative process of the constellations and the scientific nature of the supanovas. This was n’t his “religion”..it was his Life.

    If you ever met him he would look through you with eyes of fire but he would love you with the spirit of Elohim ( ruach hakodesh )…he had the Kingdom within and everything else was just added on. To him, Faith was a Science and there existed no other reality.

    Before you judge…learn.

  97. Venise Alstergren

    VERONICA: “”@ Venise – the US didn’t invade Afghanistan to bring democracy, and I agree with Free Country that democracy is not the most important objective.””

    Sorry if I gave you the impression that this was the official US reason for getting into the war in Afghanistan. But they have used this lame excuse sice then, as they have done in Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan.

    BTW, I actually have no ill will against the Americans. It is our supine governments which make me so furious.

    I think it’s to do with our terrible inferiority complex. We spent multiple years fawning to the Brits then when they became irrelevant we switched to the USA.

  98. Venise Alstergren

    LIKES A BEER: “”Do you actually know what a faith based religion is?..you don’t and hardly anyone does.””

    While I will await your convenient explanation of what a ‘faith based’ religion is. I would venture to suggest Orthodox Jewry may be one example; hard right-wing Catholicism may be another.

    As you would be familiar with the bible you would know there was no area in the Middle East left untouched by war thanks to Orthodox Jewry. And being knowledgeable about your history again, you would know Orthodox Catholicism has led the way in blood soaked gore ever since.

    You call these religions?

  99. freecountry

    LIKES A BEER,
    Who are you quoting on faith based religion? Not me, I’m not one of the lefty kooks here who go on about it. All I said in that area was that Jihadists weren’t real Muslims. Before you judge … read.

  100. Acidic Muse

    @Free

    It seems he’s had too much beer

    I posted “isn’t that exactly the same failed logic all faith based ideologies rely on” and somehow he got ideologies muddled up with religion

    @John

    I got sucked in a bit by the “Confronting the Evidence: 9/11” DVD when someone first gave me a copy but quickly realised most of it’s claims were easily refuted by a little research. Of course, if your starting point is desperately wanting to believe the US Government or sections of it happily slaughtered 3000 of it’s own citizens to start an energy war, I guess you just accept anything that seems to confirm that on face value

  101. freecountry

    But since you bring it up, I’ll venture an opinion that Syd Walker’s “inside job” theory is a faith based religion. John Bennetts’ explanation of the WTC post-mortem–the clearest I’ve read yet, thank you John–explodes one of the central What-Ifs that the theory is based on. But don’t worry, it’ll be back, after a temporary pause in which to forget the inconvenient information.

  102. Venise Alstergren

    ACIDIC MUSE: Gee I have a problem accepting Loretta Napoleoni’s hypothesis that Al-Qaïda’s rewards in Afghanistan are financial. I can understand her various themes of ‘out-sourcing to cheap locations, name-branding, becoming a sponsor of terrorism’ etc.

    The thing I have a real problem with is the Saudi piece of the puzzle-here I’m assuming it’s the Saudi royal family and their minions wanting an economic stake in the rumoured fabulous mineral wealth of Afghanistan? (BTW, no one can convince me that Bin Laden is a product of a poverty stricken background) All they would have to do is step-up their investments in the relevant mining companies and send Saudi Air to more destinations.

    Am I to believe the movement of Al-Qaïda is the end game of the disaffected and disenfranchised majority? I can believe Fidel Castro wanted a better economic future for Cuba, I can even believe Che Guevara wanted the same thing. Also, I can understand that between the revolution and financial rewards came the leaders of a country who suddenly found themselves with an excess of power and decided to cash in on it-thus slowing down the anticipated rewards.

    I can accept the origins of today’s China was the desire for an economically better future- I have a greater problem with Ho Chi Minh.

    Perhaps it’s the cynical manipulation of all the doomed warriors-the Muhajadeen, etc, who have been convinced it is all to do with Allah, Paradise, and a bunch of agreeable Houris waiting for them.

    Why am I having this problem? There has to be more reasons. I don’t know, I honestly don’t. Enlighten me please. Help!

  103. Syd Walker

    I’m disappointed, but not really surprised, by the poor level of debate here. It had been interesting to see who is arguing what.

    The main thing for me is that those few newcomers who visit this page and read this material (the article is now some 4 clicks from the Crikey homepage) make their own minds up by looking into the issue of 9-11 for themselves.

    I’ve tried to provide some helpful links in my comments above. I’ve presented mainly videos, because I think it’s useful to see who’s talking.

    Some of the commentators here would have you believe I’ve given links to presentations by ‘kooks’. I encourage you to decide for yourself whether you think you’re looking at kooks. If not, consider that the folk who made such comments may either have a different way of viewing reality from yourself – or they may be less than honest in their contributions here.

    Remember that there are trillions at stake. The case against the ‘official conspiracy’ rarely, if ever, goes unchallenged on a public forum. Experiment for yourself if you doubt this.

    Make up your own mind about 9-11, the War on Terror and the rest of this 1984-style world we’re being encouraged to accept.

    I would suggest folk bear in mind, however, that if it was so easy to demolish the arguments of scholars such as Professors David Ray Griffin and Graeme MacQueen, they would have been exposed to the likes of Kerry O’Brien long ago, so it could easily be demonstrated to the nation how foolish critics of the offical government conspiracy theory really are.

    In nine years, that has not happened in the Australian mainstream media. Sure, there are dismissive articles, TV clips and the occasional documentary referring to ‘conspiracy theorists’ and conflating them with UFO fanatics and suchlike. But when have you ever seen academics such as David Ray Griffin interviewed on Australian TV? Graeme MacQueen? Kee Dewdney? Steven Jones. Paul Balles, Neils Harritt… When have you seen ANY of the 1,300+ engineers and architects who have signed the petition demanding re-investigation of 9-11? Answer: you haven’t.

    Why not? What is it that scares the mass media in this country (Australia is almost the worst in the western world) so much it dare not let senior academics speak via the mass media about matters of crucial importance to humanity?

    Is it the truth they are afraid of? Looks like that to me.

  104. Likes a Beer

    @Freec

    Jesus!…what a week for mistakes, I ”ve had some clangers. Yes, I just checked and it was n’t you as in you… so..sorry! …good things these nom deplumes.

  105. freecountry

    Likes a Beer – No worries. It was worth it to read your description of Abraham – quite poetic.

    Syd – I just had a bet with myself that you would find a way to sidestep John Bennett’s summary of the WTC post m0rtem, demystifying the “what-about” in your theory. And now I owe myself a beer.

  106. freecountry

    L.A.B. – No worries. It was worth it to read your description of Ab.raham – quite poetic.

    S.W. – I just had a bet with myself that you would find a way to sidestep J.B.’s summary of the W.T.C. post m0rtem, demystifying the “what-about” in your theory. And now I owe myself a beer.

    Excuse all the full-stops, I’ve come under the dark eye of the Moderator, and I don’t know if it’s from using people’s names or what.

  107. Acidic Muse

    @Venise

    Yes, it’s all rather complicated, multi faceted and confusing. Many of the people who fund the Jihad have very different goals to the poor bastards fighting it.

    First you have to understand how Saudi Arabia came into being and what it stands for in the eyes of it’s own people, the Arab world and the Islamic world generally. Then you have to juxtapose that with the cosy business relationship the Saudi princes maintain with the West and USA specifically.

    I’ve spent years reading books on this so it’s hard to summarise it all for you in the time I have but I found this overview that might be helpful

    http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers37%5Cpaper3685.html

    In short, the reason the Saudis fund the global jihad movement, of which “Al-Qaïda” is just one tiny part, is because it serves their wider interests on many levels. Back in the 70’s and 80s it dove tailed nicely with Western interests – fighting communism whilst flexing Saudi muscles in the Islamic world, attempting to marginalise Israel and become more of a player in world affairs generally .

    Since then it’s become far more complicated. Now the Saudis walk a very fine line indeed, trying to be economically and politically compliant enough to the USA to maintain the lucrative business relationship whilst being seen to do enough for Islamist causes to placate their own increasingly rabidly Wahhabi population and maintain their status in the Arab world as custodians of Mecca and Medina.

    So when Bush said “you’re either with us or against us” the Saudi’s smiled sweetly and politely told him to fuck off. Bush and Obama both knew if they ever pushed the envelope too hard, the House of Saud would fall and all that oil potentially falls with it into the hands of an even more radical Islamic regime a la Iran

    So they continue turning something of a blind eye to the degree to which the Saudis fund jihad

    It’s a serious clusterfuck for sure but one that has always been primarily all about money and power – religion is just the smoke and mirrors that keeps the masses distracted and the suicide bombers motivated to die

    With so many balls having to be kept constantly in the air, I fear it’s eventually going to go horribly horribly wrong

    Until we no longer require Saudi Oil, there is no easy fix, despite what the lunatics to our Left or Right try and tell us

  108. Acidic Muse

    I responded Venise but for some reason I’m being moderated again …seems to happen every weekend now ..rather annoying

  109. Venise Alstergren

    ACID MUSE: No, it got through. I’ve printed your reply and will now sit down, relax and read it.

    Thanks for your help.

    ‘Night

  110. Acidic Muse

    @Venise

    Cool. If you can, get a copy of Reza Aslans book “How to win a Cosmic War – God, Globalisation and the End of the War on Terror – he does an excellent job of explaining why we need to to address the underlying social and political roots of conflict and terror, instead of framing it as the crazy battle between Good and Evil all the religious crack pots like to

  111. Veronica

    @ John Bennetts – thank you for providing a clear debunking of the tower collapse conspiracy.

    @ Elan – i never claimed to be an expert; I only claimed to have the ability to think rationally. I don’t give a toss whether you think I am arrogant. If you think there’s a flaw in my argument, then by all means share it with everyone.

  112. Elan

    Fascinating stuff! Without question the ‘war office’ needs your expertise.

    I have to wonder why they stumble on, when all they have to do is refer to some of the AE’s here.

  113. Seer

    @Syd Walker

    **I’m disappointed, but not really surprised, by the poor level of debate here. It had been interesting to see who is arguing what.**

    Syd, Not so fast cobber. There’s not much else one can say, you have laid out the facts so uneqivically and irrevoccably and without any of the “kookiness”, that at this level anything else would just be nuisance value.

    “The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.” J. Edgar Hoover

    But even 9/11 is just a sympton of a much worse illness, a fair size cog in a bigger wheel and a piece of the puzzle in a much bigger picture, which all point to a banking and financial cabal who are in the process of centralizing power across the globe.

    To many of us, including the David Ray Griffns of the world who you mentioned yourself, realize a spiritual parallel to all this physical manifestation. So some like @Acidic Muse and @Elan have to accept that these people are not “kooks” either, but it’s just that they see another more threatening spiritual dimension behind the physical manifestation.

    The frontline weapon of this financial and banking cabal is the MSM…so let me give you a real example of this so called “kookiness”… “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of the air, against the spiritual forces of evil and principalities of darkness. Ephesians 6:12

    “against the world powers of the air”???..does he mean airways? Is the MSM a principality of darkness?

    Thanks for all those links Syd, I’ll be head down and arse up for the next 2 weeks.

  114. Elan

    I haven’t got these little ‘Pearls of Wisdom’ in order. The conveyor belt knowledge is spewing too many out………….

    “Of course, if your starting point is desperately wanting to believe the US Government or sections of it happily slaughtered 3000 of it’s own citizens to start an energy war, I guess you just accept anything that seems to confirm that on face value ”

    Are you really that naive? Are you so naive that you don’t believe Governments will sacrifice their own to achieve their goals?

    Oh kid! you need to grow up!

    “So when Bush said “you’re either with us or against us” the Saudi’s smiled sweetly and politely told him to fuck off. Bush and Obama both knew if they ever pushed the envelope too hard, the House of Saud would fall and all that oil potentially falls with it into the hands of an even more radical Islamic regime a la Iran

    See what I mean? What utter twaddle! Put up to show a deep intellectual grasp of the situation. It does the opposite! They did nothing of the kind.

    “The primary reason the Mujahideen defeated the Soviets was the billions of dollars of military aid the USA channelled in via the Pakistani ISI, but regardless, it has created this mythological aura around the Jihadi movement.”

    Sheesh! What in the is a ‘mythological aura’ ?

    The aura you have when you’re not having an aura??

    “The great error of conspiracy theorists is to take something that is undeniable – that cold war superpowers created and manipulated the modern jihad movement for it’s own purposes – and extrapolate that into this warped idea that the West still controls it to this day and the threat that it poses to western civilisation is therefore totally contrived ”

    Nahhhhhh! Silly! ‘Superpowers’ (do they wear their underpants on the outside of their trousers too?), think they ‘create and manipulate’, and they may well do in some countries;- but these people are wily and cunning; they are happy to let the West think that!’…….

    …………as for the rest? Perish the thought that there is ANY ‘threat to the West’. How dreadfully ungrateful!

    What have they done to deserve that?

    ( Why do you have such an aversion to fullstops ACID MUCK? )

  115. Syd Walker

    Thanks Seer. That’s a nice comment.

    Perhaps I should have replied more directly to John Bennetts as ‘freecountry’ suggests.

    I assume John Bennetts is an engineer/architect? Perhaps he’s a real person? I can’t easily find references to him in a professional capacity, but that may be because he’s not mentioned often. I really don’t know.

    I have no idea why he said what he did say about the collapse of the three steel-framed concrete skyscrapers that effectively disintegrated within a few seconds on September 11th 2001.

    His opinion that the problem of the towers’ collapse is ‘solved’ is simply bizarre, as anyone who looked at the web references I provided will know. His statement that these buildings were more suspectible to collapsing than Australian skyscrapers is most interesting. Which other buildings in the USA are similarly vulnerable to catastrophic collapse after fires, John? Have they been re-inforced since 9-11? 🙂

    September 11th 2001 was the ONLY day in history that steel-framed concrete high-rises have EVER collapsed at something close to free-fall velocity, symetrically and completely – EXCEPT when controlled demolition was utilised

    The authorities in the USA have asked us to believe such collapses could and did happen WITHOUT controlled demolition on that one day – and one day only – in history (September 11th 2001).

    John might like to look into the fact that nanothermite (an extremely hi-tech explosive) has since been found, by independent scientists – in dust from the WTC collapse. This has been discussed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. He might like to explain how the BBC managed to report the unprecedented collapse of WTC-7 half an hour before it happened!

    I could go on… there are literally hundreds of glaring anomalies for supporters of the offical explanation to explain.

    Whether he decides to really look into the issue, not just googling up a few sites that support his preconceived prejudice – but looking at the sceptics’ case in its strongest forms – ultimately that’s up to him.

    If one thinks back to October 2001, there were actually two sets of events (not one) that provided the impetus for invasion of Afghanistan and the rapid passage of the so-called PATRIOT Act through Congress. These were 9-11 and the anthrax attacks that followed shortly afterwards.

    In both cases, Arabs/Muslims were blamed at the outset. Letters claiming responsibility for the anthrax attacks made it clear Arabs/Muslims were the intended patsies for those attacks too.

    But in the case of anthrax, the scientific community seems to have refused to collaborate. By early 2002, the US Government dropped Arabs/Muslims as potential culprits in the anthrax attacks, admitting it had to be some kind of inside job because extremely high-grade weaponized anthrax was used with a characteristic genetic makeup – not available outside the USA itself.

    Today we hear little about the anthrax attacks – the false flag operation that fizzled out. It did a crucial job at the time; now it’s an embarrassment to the authorities. Down the memory hole it goes!

    Another indication of how plastic and manipulated mass media coverage of this topic has been since the day that ‘Changed the World’.

  116. Acidic Muse

    @Seer

    That’s just it …we don’t have to accept your faith based bullshit nor pay any lip service to new age spiritual gobble-D-gook as anything other than simply a post modern expression of the same ignorant superstition that has impeded man kinds progress for thousands of years.

    To prove something as fact you need irrefutable evidence, not just oodles of fanciful supposition held together by nothing more than an unrealistic yet unshakable faith you must be right

    No one in the rational secularist world is all that surprised that religious kooks, gutted by the failure of the “End Times” to materialise at the turn of the millennium, are now throwing their lot in with the conspiracy theorists to prognosticate paranoia, doom and gloom. Stange bed fellows to be sure but as long as all parties consent and use condoms – go right ahead – knock yourselves out 🙂

  117. Syd Walker

    Acidic Muse… you seem to be deliberately conflating two things:

    1/ Views about 9-11
    2/ Views about religion.

    You try imply all 9-11 sceptics are ‘religious’, or to use the nastier slur previously used in this thread, ‘religious kooks’.

    That’s not true in any sense.

    I’ll give just one example of a 9-11 critic – an eminent scientist – who cannot be dismissively described in those terms: Dr Lynn Margulis, formerly Carl Sagan’s partner. There are thousands like her. Here are the comments she made in August 2007…

    “The 9/11 tragedy is the most successful and most perverse publicity stunt in the history of public relations. I arrive at this conclusion largely as the result of the research and clear writing by David Ray Griffin in his fabulous books about 9/11. I first met him when he was a speaker at a scholarly conference unrelated to 9/11. He immediately impressed me as a brilliant, outstanding philosopher – theologian – author, a Whiteheadian scholar motivated by an intense curiosity to know everything possible about the world.

    “On the plane home and for the next two days I did little else but read Griffin’s first book about 9/11, The New Pearl Harbor. From there I went on to read his even more disturbing account of the bogus 9/11 Commission Report, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, which provides overwhelming evidence that the official story is contradictory, incomplete, and unbelievable.

    “It is clear to me that David Ray Griffin and his fellow critics are correct: the 9/11 “new Pearl Harbor” was planned in astonishing detail and carried out through the efforts of a sophisticated and large network of operatives. It was more complex and far more successful than the Allende assassination, the US bombing of our own ship the “Maine” that began the Spanish-American war (and brought us Guam, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines), the Reichstag fire that was used to justify the suspension of most civil liberties in Germany in the 1930’s, and even Operation Himmler, which was used by Germany to justify the invasion of Poland, which started World War II.

    “Whoever is responsible for bringing to grisly fruition this new false-flag operation, which has been used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as unprecedented assaults on research, education, and civil liberties, must be perversely proud of their efficient handiwork. Certainly, 19 young Arab men and a man in a cave 7,000 miles away, no matter the level of their anger, could not have masterminded and carried out 9/11: the most effective television commercial in the history of Western civilization.

    “I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough, and impartial investigation be undertaken.”

  118. Syd Walker

    A process comment. I find the moderation of this thread full of surprises. My last comment (9 October 2010 at 4:33 pm) posted immediately, yet my previous post (9 October 2010 at 3:39 pm),l which also contained no links, went into the moderation queue and is still there now.

    Anyhow, I appreciate the opportunity to have any kind of debate about this – even the somewhat disjointed discussion that reults from the occasional delay.

  119. Steady Freddy

    Yes, scratch beneath the surface and a foreigner speaks his own language.

    There will never be a unity of minds with nutters like the Seer and the vitreol of the bitter, bent and twisted @Acidic Muse who always speaks like he/she was abandoned as a child…do you hold it against all women?

    I ve got stab wound scars in my guts and on my thighs as testament to my fight for life and my very own NDE, but I long moved on from the mental scars and the baggage that held me back for so long.

    Lay down your offering at the bottom of the mountain and I will lay down mine and we will see who’s offering gets licked up by the flames or else take your evil spirit elsewhere and leave your good one at the door.

  120. guytaur

    @Syd Walker I find the Pros and Cons of the “Conspiracy Theory” stuff with 9/11 fascinating.
    However as I posted before this has nothing to do with why our troops are in Afghanistan. At most it serves as an excuse. A horrific one but an excuse nevertheless.
    Other Terror attacks from Bali all the way back to attacks on an embassy in Kenya are all good reasons to oppose terror groups.
    Are our troops being in Afghanistan dealing with that?
    IF not why are they there?
    That is the debate we should be having here.
    Start a blog and move everyone over to it to debate 9/11.
    For we get no say in the 9/11 saga.
    We do get a say in what our troops are doing in Afghanistan. That is an important issue that needs to have some focus on it.
    We owe the rank and file of our defence forces at least that much.

  121. John Bennetts

    Syd’s reference to a wife of a person, who recounts a story from… and so it goes, is not convincing to me.

    I looked up the drawings of the actual buldings, used my training, knowledge and experience to deduce just WHY the buildings collapsed as they did and satidfied my knowledge.

    This all happened within a couple of days of the actual event, whilst I was still in shock, to a certain extent. The fact that we had an American Youth Exchange Student in our home at the time provided added relevance and proximity, so increasing my interest a notch or two.

    I described this above, yet Syd has not responded. This is not surprising, because his opinion is not based on knowledge, but on opinion four times removed from reality.

    I prefer my version of the world. It all adds up, Syd. It really does.

  122. Acidic Muse

    @Syd

    It doesn’t matter how many times you post quotes from third rate celebrities, religious kooks or pot smoking fantasists like Carl Sagan’s wife all agreeing that 911 was a”new Pearl Harbour”, “false flag operation” blah blah blah – the fact remains there is no solid evidence whatsoever that it was anything other than a horrific terrorist attack.

    Some people see the hand of God in everything, others see the hand of the “NWO” or the thirteen shadowy figures who run the world’s hand in everything – they are all equally deluded

    911 conspiracy theorists are very similar to religious kooks because they all believe in something for which no hard evidence exists – simply because they have a deep visceral need to believe

    The other thing you share in common is how miffed you get when other people wont buy into your evangelism. Like petulant children, you refuse to accept that other people can spend huge amounts of time looking at the same “evidence” you have and reach a totally different conclusion

  123. Venise Alstergren

    ACIDIC MUSE: I have to say the whole issue does fit a pattern.
    To shore up, and renew myself of knowledge I’ve dived back into “The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East” Robert Fisk, London 1988.

    He’s an English ex-war correspondent who has lived in the Middle East for years. I include one or two lines near the start. “”But when the the Afghan mujahedin guerrillas and Bin Laden’s Arab legion had driven the Soviets from Afghanistan, the Afghans turned upon each other with wolflike and tribal venom. Sickened by this perversion of Islam……Bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia””.

    A line from the war in Kuwait in 1990….””..””the Saudi royal family. They did not the United States to protect the place of the two holiest shrines of Islam, he argued. Mecca and Medina……should only be defended by Muslims. Bin Laden would would lead his ‘Afghans’, his Arab mujahedin, against the Iraqi army inside Kuwait and drive them from the emirate. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia preferred to put his trust in the Americans””…….

    He is not liked by the Israelis. Could be another angle? Gotta go. Cheers V

  124. Venise Alstergren

    Erratum: Para three line one: the word ‘need’ to go in prior to “”the United States..””

  125. Likes A Beer

    Something’s really weird here. Who changed my icon? I used to have a green cockhead and now I got a pink looking pussy. What gives?…damn weird.

    @Acidic Muse

    **the fact remains there is no solid evidence whatsoever that it was anything other than a horrific terrorist attack. **

    That’s just rubbish. Syd Walker has explained perfectly to the contrary that there is more than enough evidence for a full and independent investigation.

    @Acidic Muse

    ***The other thing you share in common is how miffed you get when other people wont buy into your evangelism.***

    I don’t think it’s that at all and I saw no so called “evangelism”. I saw people expressing a perspective and although I may disagree with that view, I will defend their right to express it providing it’s unoffensive and contrite. It used to be called tolerance but maybe you call it something else, so if seeing is believing is your limit, then that’s your limit.

  126. Elan

    You are not getting a free run ACID MUCK.

    I put u.n.d.e.r.p.a.n.t.s. in my post-is that why it’s held for moderation…………until Monday?

    Oh G.o.d. Venise! The shame of it all!

  127. AR

    MM at tory conference?!? Not according to BBC or any reportage I heard nor read (and, shamefully) I’m a conference tragic. Even tried the BBC site in case he’d copped a mention whilst I was in the toilet.
    NOT a BEAN. So, the questions, “who paid and WHY?” come to the fore.

  128. Syd Walker

    @ John Bennetts

    Hi John. I did try to reply to you previously; that’s the comment of mine, still stuck in the moderation queue, that I mentioned at 9 October 2010 at 4:37 pm. I’m reluctant to repeat it now, but I’ll do that tommorrow if it’s still not posted. It contained nothing especially controversial; brief thanks to Seer and a response to you.

    The reason I mentioned Dr Lynn Margulis, whom you refer to as “a wife of a person…”, is because Acidic Muse was trying to dismiss all 9-11 critics as ‘religious kooks’.

    I thought mention of a woman with such an eminent scientific background might impress Acidic Muse, but apparently not. It takes a lot to impress Ms Muse. She would probably sneer at Aristotle, Newton, Darwin and Einstein and sleep through the Second Coming.

    John, you write: “I looked up the drawings of the actual buldings, used my training, knowledge and experience to deduce just WHY the buildings collapsed as they did and satidfied my knowledge. This all happened within a couple of days of the actual event…”

    In that case, I encourage you to look again. I have already provided what I think are useful references, but as you have technical expertise you may prefer looking first of all at the website of the ‘Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth’ (easy to google).

    On one point I must agree. You write: “I prefer my version of the world”

    Broadly speaking, I think I had something akin to your version of the world prior to late 2001. I preferred it too, in the sense that I much preferred having basic trust in key institutions such as the western mass media. It made the world feel a lot safer place. But as Keynes famously said, “when the facts change, I change my mind”.

    It never occured to me ten years ago that a story as big as 9-11 could/would be systematically misreported by the mainstream media over many years.

    Of course, there have been journalists/commentators who have broken ranks, such as the veteran ex-ABC reporter Alan Hart and US chat show host Rosie O’Donnell. The recently-retired North American Foreign Correspondent Eric Margolis wrote an interesting piece entitled 9/11. The Mother of all Co-incidences’ on September 10th this year. His conclusions are, I think, unecessarily tentative. Even so, his critique of the official fable is damning.

    But an endless parade of other peoples’ views is one thing; forming one’s own opinion, after doing some serious homework, is another. I encourage everyone to do that.

    The three WTC towers on 9-11 didn’t collapse. They exploded. There are more than 100 accounts from first responders and other eye witnesses that speak of ‘explosions’ and multiple explosions. It’s testimony that can be read, but it’s been downplayed by the mass media.

    The fuel-fire hypothesis – the official story that tries to explain the collpase of these three towers – cannot account for the manner in which the buildings fell, a virtual resistance-free fall, blasting pulverised building material transformed into dust horizontally outwards, with enormous force.

    I encourage you to take another look with as open a mind as you can muster.

    @guytaur

    FWIW, I do have a blog Guytaur. Feel free to visit it and comment away. Sydwalker dot info.

    If I correctly understand your argument, you’re saying that even if 9-11 was a gigantic hoax, we should still fight in Afghanistan because of the US Embassy bombings in East Africa in the late 1990s, the USS Cole incident, the Mumbai attacks etc.

    That is an intellectually bizarre position, with respect.

    It reminds me of the policeman who observes an illusionist in a theatre cutting his assistant in half. He arrests the conjurer. When it’s pointed out to him that the assistant is alive and the stage act was merely a trick, he replies: “so what, I saw her chopped in half every day this week!”

  129. Elan

    (We’ve gone way off track here!! Still it’s an interesting discussion! Cut and thrust and all that .)

    (Thanks for the weekend modding Crikey btw).

    Robert Fisk is a bloody decent bloke. I remember him from Uni. It was fairly obvious then he was a shepherd not a sheep.

    Yet another who questions the official line,….hardly a ‘whack-job’…
    ________________________________

    “@ Elan – i never claimed to be an expert; I only claimed to have the ability to think rationally. I don’t give a toss whether you think I am arrogant. If you think there’s a flaw in my argument, then by all means share it with everyone.”

    Agreed. In fairness you have put up a calm and reasoned argument V. You just gave me a dose of the irrits when you came in with the ‘mine is the only valid view’ rationale. (“Having the ability to think rationally” sends the clear message that those who appose your views ‘think irrationally’. Not nice V).

    That is what really ticked me.

    I don’t need to highlight ‘flaws’ in your argument V, let’s be honest., we will repeatedly express OUR views and ignore that of others-it is the fodder of discussion forums-that we have ‘our say’.

    Damned if I know why we keep doing it;-but we do!

    I remain of the view that it is healthy-and VERY necessary to question the ‘official version’. What is reality?/what is truth? blah de blah. I know that.

    But I will repeat this: the proletariat have always been misled by rulers; have been used by rulers, and will continue to be. Given that,- it appalls me that people who DO question that official version are all categorised as nutso!

    You are of the view that if the facts are there then the conclusion is inevitable. That of course comes down to what constitutes ‘facts’ ?

    LONG before ‘Dacther Pheeeel’ ( ..er, Dr Phil) said: ” there is no reality, there is only perception” ;- I had been saying it! (The barsteward got it from me; I want royalties!).

    The adroit of society bank on the ‘enablers’. You ‘enablers’ may well see yourselves as correct- but take a look upstairs- see how the ‘questioners’ are disparaged. That is muchos vexing!

    So don’t get uppity when you get some back.

  130. Acidic Muse

    @Venise

    I’ve read a bit of Robert Fisks stuff… it’s often very good but like John Pilger, he’s prone to taking his theories as to why things happen a bridge too far. Too much supposition all too often takes good journalism into the realms of bad fiction.

    Yes, the USA had powerful strategic reasons to move their troops out of Saudi and this undoubtedly played into the decision to take out Saddam in 2003. There is strong evidence pointing to the decision to invade Iraq being driven as much by political and economic expediency as it was by any tangible threat Saddam actually posed to western interests.

    We also know the Iraq invasion was on the drawing board long before 911 and would have happenned eventually even if the attack on 9/11 had never occured. Sure, 911 made it easier for Shrub and Co to sell the case to invade Iraq but they certainly didn’t need 911 to do so. Saddam was a tyranical whackjob who was guilty of crimes against humanity and regularly making serious threats against western interests – like trading oil in Euros not USD, which had the potential to collapse the US dollar – or pretending to have chemical weapons he no longer had simply to stave off a possible rebellion by Iraq’s Shia majority. Bush simply didn’t need 911 to go after Saddam – Saddam had been steadily digging his own grave for years. So settiing aside all the ludicrous twilight zone-like arguments the lunatic fringe present as proof of a 911 conspiracy, there was simply no requirement for the US to stage an attack on themselves. It was invevitable that a real terrorist attack on US soil was only just a matter of time and regardless, Saddam had been living on borrowed time for over a decade.

    Many of us think US foreign policy in the MiddleEast is completely irrational and the entire Iraq adventure has been a seriously poorly planned and executed clusterfuck from start to finish.

    What is even more nuts is believing the US Government had to kill 3000 of it’s own people to justify that policy in the first place

  131. freecountry

    Syd Walker: “He might like to explain how the BBC managed to report the unprecedented collapse of WTC-7 half an hour before it happened!”

    How about you explain it. Assuming it’s true (which I haven’t verified) let’s hear a conspiracy cause-and-effect hypothesis, not just, “Isn’t that suspicious, whoo-oooo“.

    It had better be at least as credible as the obvious explanation — still assuming it’s true — namely, that somebody might have got confused after two burning towers had collapsed and a third was on fire, made a mistake (and gee, there weren’t any confusion or mistakes that day, were there?) and mis-reported a third collapse, which by coincidence became true half an hour later.

    Somehow you’ve got to get beyond “whoo-ooooh” and make a credible case for BBC being an accessory to this conspiracy. And I won’t be satisfied with something like, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” Mathematically speaking, a world without coincidences would be a strange place indeed.

    While you’re at it you might like to explain why the USAF air defence response to the incident was lethargic and really quite unsatisfactory. Even assuming USAF was left out of this grand conspiracy (perhaps because of their imperfect performance in covering up the Roswell aliens) if the purpose of the conspiracy was to advertise the need for strong military and intelligence, why did none of the conspirators think to ensure that home defence plans were up to scratch? That kind of defeats the purpose of the conspiracy, don’t you think?

    You’ve also ignored two good questions by Zut Alors, above:
    [1. why did Al Qaeda claim responsibility? Surely it was in Bin Laden’s interest to expose the Americans for their shameful self-inflicted horror? He would’ve been tempted to claim the glory for such destruction but he would’ve inflicted mighty political/societal destruction if he’d pointed the finger back at the guilty Americans.
    2. why would US perpetrators take an incredible risk knowing they may well be caught out? It doesn’t make sense that Afghanistan was that monumentally import to the USA – it wouldn’t warrant such a gamble.]
    And another question I asked above: If American right-wing patriots did this to increase the perceived need for military and intelligence expansion, why risk precipitating an economic downturn by hitting a financial centre — threatening the very economic strength which makes such expansion possible? When there were symbolic targets available such as the Statue of Liberty, which would serve just as well for propaganda without the economic risk.

    Far from accounting for all the perceived anomalies in the official version, your conspiracy version does not even resolve those supposed anomalies, and it raises another ten anomalies for each one that it supposedly addresses. That’s because your conspiracy theory has nothing to do with logic; it is a form of fundamentalist religion, which can divert otherwise rational minds, and which cannot sustain itself without circular logic and empty sensationalism.

  132. Syd Walker

    Yes ‘Freecountry’, the BBC’s prior report of the unprecedented collapse of World Trade Centre 7 did happen. If you are as much of an expert about this subject as you claim, you’d surely know that already?

    There are two articles on the BBC’s own website about this, with comments

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/02/part_of_the_conspiracy.html

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/part_of_the_conspiracy_2.html

    Videos of the relevant parts of the BBC’s coverage on the day can be seen here:

    http://911blogger.com/news/2007-05-13/bbcs-jane-standley-audio-cuts-out-when-asked-about-wtc7-911-around-824pm-edt

    The BBC denies that its astonishing act of precognition (ie. reporting an unprecedented event before it happened) was anything more than an inncoent mix-up. Is that plausible? The BBC maintains it is. Many millions around the world think not. I’m one of them.

    CNN also covered the collapse of WTC-7 before it happened, but in CNN’s case the presenter was Aaron Brown, who clearly knew what the building looked like and corrected his narrative accordingly when he glanced at the New York skyline.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1LetB0z8_o

    Presumably both the BBC and CNN were running off the same central information feed, which momentarily screwed up and released premature information about the collapse of WTC-7.

    Why were’nt hijacked planes intercepted? Good question. Why not indeed? Why hold it against me, ‘Freecountry’, that I don’t purport to know the entirety of the conspriators plans and what they intended to achieve. Why should I? This isn’t a Hercule Poirot case. I’m not pretending to be Miss Marples.

    9-11 was a mass murder in recent real life that cries out for genuine, properly resourced investigation. I can show why that’s so – mainly by pointing at anomalies, inconsistencies and downright absurdities /obvious falsehoods in the official narrative. That should be sufficient to get a genuine inquiry (and the Iranian President is quite correct, it should be an international inquiry). To repeat, 1,300+ qualified engineers and architects also hold that view – and the number is growing.

    You ask about Al Qaida ‘admissions of guilt’. I said before those alleged admissions are suspect. You ask why would the perpetrators take such big risks? Good question. Why indeed are there homicidal maniacs in the world? Why do we allow such people to continue to enjoy power and the freedom to kill again?

    You write: “If American right-wing patriots did this…”. Those are your words ‘Freecountry’, not mine. Please stop trying to put words in my mouth so you can argue down propositions I never made. I recognize the debating trick; I think you’ll find it won’t wash with the bulk of readers here.

    You write: “That’s because your conspiracy theory has nothing to do with logic; it is a form of fundamentalist religion”.

    Well, you can make whatever claims you wish, ‘Freecountry’. It is, after all, a free country. But in my opinion, to claim that people such as myself who seek adequate, open invesigation of unexplained and important events are ‘fundamentalist’ is to distort the term beyond recognition.

    I’ll give you a quote that IS symptomatic of a ‘fundamentalist religion’. This is what James B. Meigs, the editor of the (Hearst Corp) magazine Popular Mechanics wrote as an introduction to that journal’s pathetic attempt to debunk the case for re-investigating 9-11 back in 2005:

    “We as a society accept the basic premise that a group of Islamist terrorists hijacked four airplanes and turned them into weapons against us. … Sadly, the noble search for truth is now being hijacked by a growing army of conspiracy theorists”
    How about that for a statement of quasi-religious faith?!!!
    “We as a society accept…”.
    Huh?
    Why should we accept a story just because we’re told it’s true? Whatever happened to evidence-based beliefs? What happened to The Enlightenment? The Socratic Tradition?
    These might be silly old fashioned notions for Mr Meigs and ‘Freecountry’ (perhaps she thinks Socrates was a ‘religious kook’ as well?). But it’s they who are being irrational, not the victims’ families, engineers and architects, political leaders, media personalities, scientists, retired ‘intelligence personel’ and millions of others who want the 9-11 crimes properly investigated and the real perpetrators brought to justice.

  133. kennethrobinson2

    Hey Syd, I would also be interested in the answers to the questions asked by freecountry.
    Lets have it

  134. guytaur

    Come on Syd answer the questions.

    Then we can get to the crux of the matter.

    Do we agree with Andrew Wilkie that PM Gillard and PM Rudd and PM Howard lied about why we are in these wars?
    Does the answer to that question have any bearing on what we are doing there now?
    What is the strategy for the future?
    When are Australian Troops envisaged ending their role in Afghanistan?

  135. Elan

    So the ganging starts.

    “1. why did Al Qaeda claim responsibility? Surely it was in Bin Laden’s interest to expose the Americans for their shameful self-inflicted horror? He would’ve been tempted to claim the glory for such destruction but he would’ve inflicted mighty political/societal destruction if he’d pointed the finger back at the guilty Americans.

    This one is easy. Nobody would have believed him. That answers the first part of this too.

    (And I care little about who you addressed the question to btw).

    “2. why would US perpetrators take an incredible risk knowing they may well be caught out? It doesn’t make sense that Afghanistan was that monumentally import to the USA – it wouldn’t warrant such a gamble.”

    Are you serious? Have we learned nothing? Governments have taken this risk before, and they will again.

    My point of view is this: I don’t know. But it comes as absolutely no surprise to me that questions have been asked; suspicions have arisen.

    Like it or lump it: ZA/FC/KR2/GT; such questions were inevitable. Some of those asking questions could hardly be dismissed as whacko’s!

    FC: I would LOVE to shorten your tag in the way I’m tempted to,-but it would be obscene ( true-but obscene)! SO: would you like to accuse me of this, my little enabler?:

    “That’s because your conspiracy theory has nothing to do with logic; it is a form of fundamentalist religion, which can divert otherwise rational minds, and which cannot sustain itself without circular logic and empty sensationalism”

    Happy to chat further if you like?

    “Come on Syd/ Let’s have it Syd/answer the questions”

    Garn Syd GARN!!…………….you twots!!

  136. guytaur

    @ELAN

    Ganging up? Not in my case. Look at the point I make of the Questions I think really need to be answered.
    For that 9/11 can be used only as a prologue as one reason of why Andrew Wilkie is right on PM’s Howard, Rudd and Gillard lying about why we went to war in the first place.
    I think the questions I ask are more important at the moment than just a historical analysis of that man made horror that was 9/11.

  137. John Bennetts

    To clarify re September 11:

    I am not trying to convince Syd of anything. I understand what happened structurally, once the planes went in. I understand 7WTC’s mode of collapse and the reason for others’ concerns, however much I may disagree with them.

    This is an exercise in harm minimisation – Syd is wrong and will stay wrong, so I am trying in my own small way to offer my reasoning to those who may otherwise be persuaded by Syd. Regardless of the topic, rational discussion is best aimed at those who are able to be swayed by reason, not the hard core of those whose opinion, whatever, it is based on, differs. Syd will not convince me nor I him. Those in the middle are my preferred audience.

    BTW: Not explosions, Syd. Just buckling of internal supporting columns and floor-by-floor collapse within an extremely strong and rigid square tube which is the outer frame. Unlike almost every tall building on this planet, the rectangular columns were designed to carry the horizontal (shear) loads to the ground. Other buildings carry these wind loads through a central concrete core, but not this one. It is in no way surprising that the strongest members of the building failed last, after the weaker internal slabs collapsed inside the external skeleton. This is the result of quite predictable structural failure modes and has nothing to do with conspiracy theories and lack of confidence by some in the then government of USA.

    I’m out of here. We’re going in circles.

  138. freecountry

    Implicating the BBC takes the conspiracy theory from the boringly predictable, to comical farce.

    Past conspiracies have been exposed by so many leaks as to make even burgling the Watergate Building – without killing anybody – a very risky proposition. The NSA’s drug experiments on UC students in the 60s; wholesale heroin trading in Indochina to fund black ops; Arms for hostages in Iraq … the list of scandals exposed by leaks goes on.

    And yet, those planning the mass murder of thousands of their own countrymen are alleged to have involved the BBC in the plan, taking a calculated risk that media people might leak to the media. Why? Worried, perhaps, that the event would go unnoticed, unless TV networks received a carefully scripted timetable of planned events?

    What a waste of all that planning, if the fiery death of one of the most well known buildings in the world and thousands of workers during the morning peak hour, went unnoticed because the BBC on the other side of the world were too busy arranging the ad breaks in Home Shopping to notice what had happened!

    It all starts to resemble one of those cheezy Hollywood thrillers, like Wild Things, in which (caution: film spoiler here) one by one every single member of the cast is revealed to in on the plot … but even that isn’t enough to save Kevin Bacon’s bacon … which should be a lesson for anyone contemplating another conspiracy which requires half the world to be in on it.

  139. Venise Alstergren

    ACID MUSE: I can see how you might believe that of Robert Fisk. However, I was impressed to read his opinion after all the bush/shrub/ self-justification was at it’s zenith. Also the romantic in me is always drawn to war correspondents-I’m being glib.

    Your para two: Personally I didn’t ever think 9/11 had much to do with the war in Iraq. It was a gift of gold to the US that Bin Laden’s troops chose to blow up the twin towers. NO I DO NOT BELIEVE THE CONSPIRACY argument.

    Why did America personally need to remove Saddam Hussein? Why couldn’t have Bin Laden-for example-have got his troops to remove a monster. I know, because he wouldn’t come at killing off a fellow Muslim?

    But the real point is our piss-weak politicians who stand to attention every time a US leader whistles.

  140. Venise Alstergren

    SYD WALKER: You asked-petulantly, I thought, why conspiracy theorists were held to be religious freaks?

    The only answer I could come up follows. Both groups of people are in lock-step as far as their believers are concerned. Because both lots have unlimited faith in the absurd.

  141. Syd Walker

    @ Venise

    “You asked-petulantly, I thought, why conspiracy theorists were held to be religious freaks?”

    No I didn’t Venise. Apart from anything else, I don’t use the term ‘conspiracy theorists’ – except in quotes like this when referring to someone else using the term.

    It had a quite different meaning in the case of the Jack Kennedy assassination, when the official government story was that the killing had been carried out by a lone assassin.

    In the case of 9-11, it’s meaningless. No-one claims 9-11 was the act of one person. By definition the mass murders were a consequence of a conspiracy. Anyone theorising about what happened on 9-11 is a ‘conspiracy theorist’, therefore – including Acid Muse, John Bennetts and yourself.

  142. Forensic

    @Vensise

    On that point it could be said that “anti” conspiracy theorists are in lock-step with the filtered view ( outright lies ) of the MSM Intelligence Agency mouth-pieces who set the daily agenda mind-fuck for the gullible public.

    I usually find that people who can see beyond this veil are very special people with a very special gift, who for whatever reason in their life, are set-aside from the womb, as “pointers” and voices in the wilderness as a final bastion of truth…so no one is without excuse.

    I remember recently that one of your subscribers, Gary Johnson, wrote an interesting short piece about the Afghans or more specifically the Pashtuns, a subtribe within the Afghan clans, boasting an interesting heritage to the Lost Children of Isreel.

    If he was even half right, which I personally believe he was, then that may open up a Pandora’s Box of possiblities and even if only treating this in an historical context will provide many answers that were once beyond our comprehension.

    The issue of the Pashtuns/Afghans/Children of Isreel….needs an independent documentary by independent journalists who are prepared to go to Afghani$$$tan and do it…?

  143. Forensic

    @Vensise

    On that point it could be said that “anti” conspiracy theorists are in lock-step with the filtered view ( outright lies ) of the MSM Intelligence Agency mouth-pieces who set the daily agenda mind-fk for the gullible public.

    I usually find that people who can see beyond this veil are very special people with a very special gift, who for whatever reason in their life, are set-aside from the womb, as “pointers” and voices in the wilderness as a final bastion of truth…so no one is without excuse.

    I remember recently that one of your subscribers, Gary Johnson, wrote an interesting short piece about the Afghans or more specifically the Pashtuns, a subtribe within the Afghan clans, boasting an interesting heritage to the Lost Children of Isreel.

    If he was even half right, which I personally believe he was, then that may open up a Pandora’s Box of possiblities and even if only treating this in an historical context will provide many answers that were once beyond our comprehension.

    The issue of the Pashtuns/Afghans/Children of Isreel….needs an independent documentary by independent journalists who are prepared to go to Afghani$$$tan and do it…?

  144. Forensic

    Test Test..I just posted and trying by a process of elimination to find out which word I should have left out, but it looks like they got all bases covered these days.

  145. Forensic

    @Vensise

    On that point it could be said that “anti” conspiracy theorists are in lock-step with the filtered view ( outright lies ) of the MSM Intelligence Agency mouth-pieces who set the daily agenda mind-fk for the gullible public.

    I usually find that people who can see beyond this veil are very special people with a very special gift, who for whatever reason in their life, are set-aside from the womb, as “pointers” and voices in the wilderness as a final bastion of truth…so no one is without excuse.

    I remember recently that one of your subscribers, Gary Johnson, wrote an interesting short piece about the Afghans or more specifically the Pashtuns, a subtribe within the Afghan clans, boasting an interesting heritage to the Lost Children of Isrel.

    If he was even half right, which I personally believe he was, then that may open up a Pandora’s Box of possiblities and even if only treating this in an historical context will provide many answers that were once beyond our comprehension.

    The issue of the Pashtuns/Afghans/Children of Isrel….needs an independent documentary by independent journalists who are prepared to go to Afghani$$$tan and do it…?

  146. Forensic

    I give up…can’t get it through and there is absolutely no possible offensive words.

  147. Venise Alstergren

    FORENSIC: Tell me about it!

  148. John Bennetts

    Forensic and Venise,

    And me. Nothing untoward, yet every contribution has been heading to the Pit of Doom. 4 hour delay and counting, today.

  149. GARY JOHNSON

    The moderational settings must have included my name. Unless of course you are reading this.

  150. freecountry

    Syd Walker:
    [No-one claims 9-11 was the act of one person. By definition the mass murders were a consequence of a conspiracy. Anyone theorising about what happened on 9-11 is a ‘conspiracy theorist’, therefore.]
    Correct. So the strange thing is, you seem to place the BBC higher on the list of conspirator suspects, than a self-proclaimed violent Jihadist, who was exiled from Saudi Arabia for trying to overthrow his own government, and whose signature is on a 1998 fatwa (a fatwa, we should note, whose validity is not recognized by the majority of Muslim clerics) which said:
    [The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

    We — with God’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.]
    You claim this person and his al Q’aeda organisation is more likely to be innocent of this conspiracy than the BBC. The obvious difficulty of containing leaks and silencing whisleblowers in a media organisation, such as the BBC, apparently is not a problem for you.

    On 6 April 2001, Afghanistan opposition (United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, aka Northern Alliance) leader and anti-Soviet resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was trying without much success to get American backing to fight the Taliban government, advised the CIA of an imminent threat to the US. According to Massoud’s spies, the scale of the imminent attack would dwarf the 1998 US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

    On 9 September 2001, Massoud was assassinated by two Tunisians claiming to be television journalists, using false passports and a bomb hidden in their video camera. Massoud’s aides reported that after waiting three weeks for an interview they became quite agitated on 8 September and threatened to cancel the interview within 24 hours.

    After the attack on the WTC, the US demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama. The Taliban refused. The death of Massoud may have been a gift to the Taliban in return for protection following 11 September.

    And you still think this person and his organisation is a less likely suspect than the BBC?

    Think about it: the WTC attack did not even leave any smoking gun with Iraqi fingerprints on it. If it had been arranged by someone other than America’s enemies, don’t you think at the very least, they would have made sure to plant some evidence pointing at Saddam Hussein?

    The irony is, you don’t even need all this smoke-and-mirrors to denounce American foreign policy. Even taking events at face value, the post Cold War era is a lost opportunity for something closely resembling world peace. A new world order of cooperation and tolerance really was within our grasp. If a Cold War dinosaur had not been president in 1991; if Massoud and his mujaheddin fighters — both Afghan and foreign — who played a key role in bringing down the USSR, had been brought into the fold and given assistance to take over Afghanistan; if the US had offered assistance to Islamic anti-al Q’aeda forces instead of taking matters into its own hands … we could be living in a dramatically different world today, in which the strife of the 20th century would start to look like a bad dream for the younger generations.

  151. Venise Alstergren

    @SYD WALKER, @FORENSIC: My comments were wry rather than anything else. I enjoy a good conspiracy theory-for example nothing will ever convince me the assassination of JFK was the work of a lone gunman, it just ain’t credible.

    It would be fair to say I have no faith in MSM at all, particularly Rupert Murdoch’s MSM, and the problem with believing anything the military does or says, passes through military minds-of which I shall say no more.

    After last night’s Four Corners on ABC one, if I had had any illusions left, I would have lost them then.

    The Americans, IMO, wouldn’t hesitate to stiff their own people so, with the exception of JFK, am I not open to conspiracy theories? Well, mainly because they rely on split-second timing, the long arm of coincidence, and an awful lot of people. Also projection. They will do this when the other person does that, then the third person will turn up with a bomb, etc. Life/people is/are seldom able to operate with clock-work precision. Agent A looks across at agent B only to discover a truck has blocked his vision and by the time the lights change agent B has thought better of being involved, and so on.

    Wasn’t the fourth plane diverted from flying into the White House, or another building, by the passengers who had grappled with the pilot? It came down in Pennslyvania or somewhere? Humans generally are prone to not work by clockwork. It probably is easier if the people wish to die for a cause?

    FORENSIC: The lost tribes of Israel purported to have taken up residence in Afghanistan-which they, or may not have done; was a theory much loved by Adolf Hitler and a lot of the WWII heirachy. (sic) It would be interesting to have a psychologist’s opinion as to why Hitler was so keen about this theory. Why did Hitler love the supposed Afghani Jews whilst hating all the other Jews?

    Interesting isn’t it?

    I bet the Moderator will strike because I mentioned the word J/ew which is a great no no with Crikey.

  152. Venise Alstergren

    @SYD WALKER, @FORENSIC: I have written to you and the comment was moderated. I will reprint the comment with some circuitous descriptions to replace the offensive words.

    These words are not at all offensive but Crikey imagines people who use them are knocking the people concerned.

    “” 151. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    @SYD WALKER, @FORENSIC: My comments were wry rather than anything else. I enjoy a good conspiracy theory-for example nothing will ever convince me the assassination of JFK was the work of a lone gunman, it just ain’t credible.

    It would be fair to say I have no faith in MSM at all, particularly Rupert Murdoch’s MSM, and the problem with believing anything the military does or says, passes through military minds-of which I shall say no more.

    After last night’s Four Corners on ABC one, if I had had any illusions left, I would have lost them then.

    The Americans, IMO, wouldn’t hesitate to stiff their own people so, with the exception of JFK, am I not open to conspiracy theories? Well, mainly because they rely on split-second timing, the long arm of coincidence, and an awful lot of people. Also projection. They will do this when the other person does that, then the third person will turn up with a bomb, etc. Life/people is/are seldom able to operate with clock-work precision. Agent A looks across at agent B only to discover a truck has blocked his vision and by the time the lights change agent B has thought better of being involved, and so on.

    Wasn’t the fourth plane diverted from flying into the White House, or another building, by the passengers who had grappled with the pilot? It came down in Pennslyvania or somewhere? Humans generally are prone to not work by clockwork. It probably is easier if the people wish to die for a cause?

    FORENSIC: The lost tribes of *The country in the Middle East which isn’t Muslim* purported to have taken up residence in Afghanistan-which they, or may not have done; was a theory much loved by Adolf Hitler and a lot of the WWII heirachy. (sic) It would be interesting to have a psychologist’s opinion as to why Hitler was so keen about this theory. Why did Hitler love the supposed Afghani *Orthodox people* whilst hating all the Orthodox people* of the Middle East?

    Interesting isn’t it?

    I bet the Moderator will strike because I mentioned the words *Orthodox people* of the Middle East, which is a great no no with Crikey.

    Logged in as Venise Alstergren

  153. Venise Alstergren

    @SYD WALKER @FORENSIC: Having proved my point with the moderator, I would mention an error. Para six, line I. Should read Why am I not open to conspiracy theories?

  154. Syd Walker

    Hi ‘Freecountry’.

    Although rarely mentioned now, there’s a CNN article dated 17th September 2001 entitled “Bin Laden says he WAS NOT behind the 9-11 attacks”

    http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.binladen.denial/

    In that case, Bin Laden is reported as having issued a statement disowning the September 11th attacks to Al Jazeera.

    On September 28th 2001, the Karachi-based Pakistani daily newspaper reported on an interview with Bin Laden. Here’s an English translation of some of his reported remarks on that occasion:

    “I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle… 

    “I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States nor did I have knowledge of the attacks. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks. … The American system is totally in control of the Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States.”

    See http://www.mujca.com/hoax.htm

    Those may well be the last authentic interviews with Bin Laden before US/Israeli psy-ops set up their own ‘Bin Laden Audio-Visual Production Studios’.

    Bin Laden has almost certainly been dead since late 2001.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/01/18/gen.musharraf.binladen/

    The many audio and video tapes of Bi Laden – dating from November 2001, when he allegedly bragged about the 9-11 atrocities to a group of supporters – are all most likely fakes, whether from the same source or not.

    In this recent Washington Post article a couple of CIA operatives are quoted as bragging about faking a Bihn Laden tape.

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/05/cia_group_had_wacky_ideas_to_d.html

    @Venise

    The simple truth is we have no idea about the four ‘hijacked planes’ – whether there really were four planes, whether passengers were on them, whether they were hijacked or controlled remotely. The alleged phone calls were almost certainly faked. Because there has been no genuine official investigation of the events of 9-11, speculation about trhese flights IMHO is largely a source of distraction.

    For people such as myself who want 9-11 reinvestigated in a credible international inquiry process, I believe the strongest evidence the offical story is incorrect is the collpase of the three WTC towers. That’s where the official story, quite simply, parts company with the known laws of physics.

    More on the 9-11 phonecalls here:

    http://www.911oz.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=41644

  155. Elan

    We are indeed going round in circles. (And I think that all posts here are going to moderation. We are wicked I tell you; wicked!)

    It would be interesting to read that Gary Johnson piece.

    I was at a social gathering-sitting by a fire. A Pakistani or Indian man was leaning on the mantelpiece, and looked down. He said “you are Pashtun aren’t you?” I said yes, and asked him how he knew (I’m so lucky…..lucky, lucky, lucky..I pass for White!). He told me that it was the shape of my nose!!

    Vanstone’s treatment of the Bahtiyari’s was a disgrace. They said they were Afghan. She said they were Pakistani’s.

    The facial features of the Baht’s made it so obvious that they were Afghan. I knew that immediately; the cultural community knew it. I wonder why she had it in for them?
    _____________________

    Dunno why I wrote this. Ringing the changes perhaps?

    We will each believe what we choose to believe..

    Ahhhhh! THAT’S why.

  156. freecountry

    Whatever the truth or otherwise of Osama’s denials, or the genuineness or otherwise of the videotaped claim of responsibility, Osama certainly told the truth here:
    [… nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle.]
    There are all sorts of reasons he might have felt the need to say that, revolving around either (a) him believing it’s true, or (b) most Muslims, including many of those who were protecting him at the time, on whom his survival depended, being aware that Islam does indeed forbid the killing of innocents.

    (Islam also absolutely forbids suicide, no ifs or buts. That’s one of the reasons why referring to ultraviolent Jihadism as “Islamic fundamentalism” is wrong, and offensive to genuine fundamentalist Muslims.)

    It’s a pity, then, that Osama did not consult a recognized Islamic cleric, or learn more than one or two pages of the Qur’an, before issuing his absurd 1998 fatwa which I linked and quoted above, calling for every Muslim to kill Americans, military or civilian, every chance they get. To my knowledge he has never denied that one, or claimed that it wasn’t his signature on it.

  157. Forensic

    @Venise

    I remember you mentioning this before, that A.H. had some interest in the LT of Isrel, but I thought the connection might taint the more bigger picture, so I leave it alone… but it’s intriguing. He either took it too his grave or he took it to the Papas..ole!!!

  158. GARY JOHNSON

    @Elan

    I have n’t been able to get that LT short story up at all. A few months back I did percevere for ages but “moderation”was having none of it.

    ***I was at a social gathering-sitting by a fire. A Pakistani or Indian man was leaning on the mantelpiece, and looked down. He said “you are Pashtun aren’t you?” I said yes, and asked him how he knew (I’m so lucky…..lucky, lucky, lucky..I pass for White!). He told me that it was the shape of my nose!!****

    Huh?.. are you a Pashtun Elan?

  159. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: You should have said. “Actually no, I’m Arucayan”. (the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego who were wiped out by the Spaniards) that would have thrown him.

    BTW: I’m Australian

  160. Elan

    “Huh?.. are you a Pashtun Elan?”

    Yes GJ; I am. Very broadly speaking, I was raised in my mothers country Pakistan for the first part of my life; and in Pa’s: UK for the …er, next bit. (With a few other countries thrown in).

    Ma was used the Anglicized name: Pataan. Even being half-breed (‘my word: happy to use it); I see that side of my culture as something that runs like a steel core through me. But because of the Pater I’m British; not English.

    The Paktuns (there’s another name) were/are the predominant tribe in Afghanistan; they have given the Hazara’s in particular- a pretty lousy time. I met some Hazara’s here recently-I said sorry. What else could I do?
    ___________________________

    That never occurred to me Venise, funny that.

    ” BTW: I’m Australian” ………….are you making a point?

  161. Kaza

    **Why did Htler love the supposed Afghani *Orthodox people* whilst hating all the Orthodox people* of the Middle East?**

    Dunno, you might have to ask Arthur that one.

  162. Journeyman

    FORENSIC

    !!!needs an independent documentary by independent journalists who are prepared to go to Afghani$$$tan and do it…?!!!

    I would be quite interested in this. Bringing new knowledge to the world changes things and whether the effect is instant or gradual eventually the world is a better place. I vé got the basic idea of it all concerning the Pashtuns but I also understand that there’s far more to it with many complex issues.

    But imagine if this knowledge was brought to mainstream. Imagine the effect in Australia with the religious right? What would they do if they got a grasp on it all? I think they would respond accordingly and this would bring about political pressure not only on our Govt, but also worldwide on all Govts that have participated in Afghanistan. It could bring an end to the slaughter in Afghanistan. Who’s not for that?

    I used to work in the PS and that led to a few stints in writing cloumns here and there and eventually working full time in Journalism. I also know which end of the camera to hold and I know how to hold a microphone and do key-grip and lighting and I also know that the key is to let it flow and that what we end up with may not be what we originally intended from the start. Now where was I? hmmm anyway, I know that love of the world is emnity with God and any man that loses his life will save it. So, count me in…oh, wait just a minute. Whats the pay?

    Journeyman

  163. John Bennetts

    Journeyman:

    The full-stop is on the key next to the question. It is used to denote the conclusion of sentences which are not questions.

    You worked where in journalism? Sweeping floors?

  164. GARY JOHNSON

    @Venise

    **You should have said. “Actually no, I’m Arucayan”. (the indigenous people of Tierra del Fuego who were wiped out by the Spaniards) that would have thrown him.**

    Ok Venise, you got me. Who are they and what’s their connection? At a glance I could n’t find anything on them.

  165. Elan

    You may get your answer Gary; you may not. Venise loves to light the blue touch paper-and then disappear.

  166. Venise Alstergren

    GARY JOHNSON: Unless I’ve spelled it incorrectly they were one of the indigenous peoples of Chile South America, wiped out by the Spanish in the sixteenth century.

    I always try to answer people who get in touch with me, Gary. So far the only person not to get a reply is ELAN who has all the manners of a warthog.

    The reason I came out with the comment is that I found it amusing that someone else could be as rude as ELAN is. I was brought up to believe personal remarks were completely uncool. So when his tormentor came up with the question about being Pashtu I felt that if anyone deserves it, it is ELAN.

  167. Elan

    ………….which is why I said GARY,- you may get your answer, and you may not…

    As to your post VENAL: it wasn’t clear if you were having a go. We cleared that one up didn’t we?!!

    Now WHY weren’t you clear in the first place? That is sooooo… ‘uncool’. Which of course you were being by your ‘personal remark’ ..” BTW I’m Australian”.

    Didn’t you know personal remarks like that are so uncool??

    …….”So when his tormentor came up with the question about being *Pashtu (*has to be different!) I felt that if anyone deserves it, it is ELAN. “

    Eh???

    You know VENAL if you want to put the boot in-at least do it properly! In your zeal for a kick, you write the most garbled nonsense.

    ‘His’ tormentor?? Who? Did I meet ‘him’ ? Did I ‘torment him’ ?

    “.. I felt that if anyone deserves it….”.

    Eh?

    ….pssssst!..just a hint; getting what I deserve from you VENAL is like being slapped on the hand with a wet piece of tissue!! 🙂

  168. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: The fact that you carry a wood-chipping plant on each shoulder is your problem. Why do you feel inferior? That’s a question you should look into. 😈

    If you want to take up space in Crikey to vent your spleen, and they allow you to, just carry on doing it. Who am I to interfere? ❓

    Just don’t be surprised when no one takes you seriously. 😯

    I don’t care if you call me V E N A L or E I N S T E I N……:shock: 🙂

  169. Elan

    Ooohhhh my! Well you’ve got me cold on the Smiley thing. I’m VERY impressed!!

    VENAL how could I possibly feel inferior when I’m responding to you? That is simply impossible………

    Did I ever call you EINSTEIN; or are you just hopeful?

    “If you want to take up space in Crikey to vent your spleen, and they allow you to, just carry on doing it. Who am I to interfere? ”

    Right ho! (Fair go VEENERS; what a bloody silly sentence!!)

    Right. I’m going to have a shot of some of these Smiley thingy’s..

    :0…..:<…..;)

    (Sod it!-in advance?)

  170. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: You are easily impressed. 😯

  171. Elan

    I simply adjust to the circumstances VENAL.

  172. Journeyman

    Att: Elan Bator

    (You worked where in journalism? Sweeping floors?)

    One has to start somewhere, and yes, sweeping floors is nothing new to me, but one would assume an objection to this would represent a serious character defect….Hmmm?…Princess???..to be trusted in the small things is to be trusted in the bigger things?…Hmmm..Princess??? So we’ll put that down to one of those throw away comments that you talk so much about.

    Ok…I am no journo, but I did know someone who used to work in despatch at one of those community newspapers. Does that qualify me?..hahahaha…and whats a key-grip anyway?

  173. GARY JOHNSON

    **I always try to answer people who get in touch with me, Gary**

    That sounds like a yes, Venise…although KM might disagree.

    Maybe we could do one of those episodes like the great African novelist who never left the comfort of his living-room but made out he was always at the scene of the charging Rhino..hehehe. Actually I hear that Journo’s do that too…LoL!!!

    Seriously, the scope and knock-on effect is endless, even if it’s just to put the fear of christ up those “pious”reliigous types who are ignorant of other realities, but most of all to remove that yoke off the necks of those poor oppressed hopeless souls in Afghanistan, the Pashtuns and others too.

    I am deadly serious and intend to do it…somehow, but I lack the knowledge to even take the first step. That’s the truth, who to approach, who to trust…..you know what I mean!!!. If you think you can help, then lets take the first step..i am open for busine$$.

    Remember loose lips though..you know it.

  174. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: Yet you have not adjusted to being a Pashtun? Shame, shame! I would be proud to be a member of such a brilliant people.

  175. Venise Alstergren

    GARY JOHNSON: Once you had to plough through research books now all you have to do is Google. 🙂

  176. GARY JOHNSON

    I already have all the deeper ” historical” refs and secular ref/ stuff on file…google what?

  177. Elan

    JOURNEYMAN: are you addressing me?
    ____________________________________

    “ELAN: Yet you have not adjusted to being a Pashtun? Shame, shame! I would be proud to be a member of such a brilliant people.”

    What are you bleedin’ well talking about VENAL??

    What did you think I meant by this:?

    “I see that side of my culture as something that runs like a steel core through me.”

    Geez! it’s an uphill grind!

  178. Perspective

    Who do you think you are? What makes you think that these working professionals would want anything to do with a fkin nutcase like you?. They hate you, you idiot. For God’s sake son, go and get a fkin real job and occupy your time and stop trying to drag good people into your fkin crazy schemes.

  179. Perspective

    PS…what are you?..a fkin entrepeneur?..huh!!! We vé seen anough of your type over the years, now fk off !! and leave me alone, don’t you know I ve got fkin deadlines. If you wanna change the world before it’s get struck with a curse then that’s youyr business but we have ivory towers and egos and we don’t give a toss about that ancient people of antiquity and setting nthe record straight and gaining favour from some alledged omnipotent myterious force.

    Now i am off to dinner with some ïmportant’friwends who don’t include you so vamoose amigo forever…go..fk off.

  180. Gary Johnson

    ok, ok already..I get it. I am gone.

  181. Elan

    Got it! We really are in the twilight zone.

    Day release PERSPECTIVE?

  182. Asylum Police

    Apparently, he was last seen running down Burke Street trying to take off his Straight Jacket and screaming out something about Mustard…I could n’t quite make out the rest. Anyway, he’s still on the loose, but don’t approach him coz he’s dangerous.

  183. Venise Alstergren

    ELAN: “”Geez! it’s an uphill grind!””

    No, no, no, no! You are determined to put a downhill slide under everybody’s posts. But that isn’t neccesarily (sic) contributing, is it?

  184. Venise Alstergren

    GARY JOHNSON: You are not some innocent little lamb lost in the outer reaches of Crikey. Gimme a break. 😯

  185. Elan

    ” I was brought up to believe personal remarks were completely uncool.”

    “ELAN: Yet you have not adjusted to being a Pashtun? Shame, shame! I would be proud to be a member of such a brilliant people.”

    You’re not very good at this are you VENAL?

    What would you like ‘cool ‘ or ‘uncool ‘? (Pride is such a personal thing).

    I don’t need to put a downside on stuff like the above, or on Rambling Sid Rumple-it’s already there!

  186. Gary Johnson

    Hi Venise

    What’s up? I think you mistake me for someone else, “innocent little lamb lost & gimme a break”…you lost me on that one. What gives?

    Maybe you mistake me for that newcomer”Perspective”?…there are many subscribers who share similar icons these days. Quite confusing sometimes.

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