The Darkside Exodus, The Darker Days of our Fathers and The Darkest Days of the Afghans still to come…

5 Months, 29 Days, still sober

Mobi-Babble

The residents in my Lakeside ‘village’ were informed that there would be a scheduled power cut yesterday, from around 9 am to 3 pm, so we all got up early to have our showers and boil our coffee before the power went off, and I was amused to see from my front patio doors that the village was experiencing a mass exodus of people. Cars, SUV’s, pick-up trucks, and motorcycles were all speeding to the village entrance to escape the terrors of the forthcoming power cut.

I couldn’t help feeling that it would be a great day for burglars.

I watched from my ‘power-bereft’ home, as the last of the evacuees disappeared into the distance. Then, less than 10 minutes after the last fleeing resident had departed, I was amused by the sudden and unexpected resumption of the power supply. The predicted 6 hours of disruption had been transformed – no pun intended – into a ten minute disruption. I sighed, there was no way I could call everyone back, even if I wanted to – which I didn’t!

As it happened, Noo and I joined the exodus, as we had planned to do a few things in Pattaya together, mainly shopping and me getting a quote from a tailor to make a morning suit for my daughter’s wedding in August, to say nothing of a shirt, tie, shoes and even socks!!!

On Monday, my wife, Dang had called me as she wanted me to go and see her to discuss getting a divorce. She said she needed to divorce me because of some ‘bank business’ she was involved with. I received this request with mixed feelings, as although I would like nothing better that to sever once and for all my connections with her, I am reluctant to divorce her if it means that I may forfeit my ‘rights’ to the communal house. Anyway, it is early days so I will see what she has to say about everything first.

We agreed that I would see her at her hair dressing salon, so yesterday, at around 5 pm, I drove around the lake to her shop, only to find it was all shut up without even a note of explanation on the door. Strange! Why would she close? And why didn’t she call to tell me? I tried calling her. No answer. After several failed attempts to get hold of her, she eventually called me back. I couldn’t swear to it but she sounded a bit pissed.

‘Why are you closed?’

‘Because there was a power cut – it wasn’t worth opening.’

‘But the power was only cut for a few minutes.’

‘Not at my shop, it didn’t come on till 5 p.m. so it wasn’t worth opening.’

‘How do you know, if you weren’t there?’

No answer.

I didn’t tell her that I was at that moment sitting  in a bar just a few meters from her shop and they told me that the power cut had only lasted a few minutes, nor did I mention that all the other places were open as usual – only her salon was closed. It wasn’t worth pursuing it with her– especially if she had been drinking. Anyway, it’s none of my business what she does, except that she might have had the decency to tell me she had closed and so saved me a journey.

‘You can come round to the house to talk, if you like,’ she went on.

I told her that I might, but that if I didn’t, I would see her the next day at her shop. I actually had no intention of seeing her at home, as I suspected she was drinking, and I have learned through bitter experience to keep well clear of her when she is into the booze.

I doubt if she will ever really change… ah well…

Afghanistan – Mission accomplished!!

(Or so someone, who shall remain nameless, recently wrote in my comments section)

It has cost  500 Billion Dollars, has exacted over 25,000 deaths, of which some 2,500 were allied western forces and over 1,600 were Americans troops. In all, it is estimated that the total casualties (killed and wounded) in Afghanistan over the past 11 years exceed 50,000 of which over 15,000 are allied forces.

The only successful element of ‘Mission accomplished’ seems to relate to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. But even given the terrible death and destruction Bin Laden and Al Qaeda wreaked on 9/11, it does seem to be a particularly high price to pay in lives and money to accomplish the execution of a single man –  Doesn’t it?

Just hours after  Obama’s special envoy, Marc Grossman, met President Hamid Karzai to discuss the transition to Afghan-led security for the country and the campaign to reach out to Taliban commanders and persuade them to join a dialogue, suicide bombers launched a devastating raid on a luxury, hilltop hotel, targeting both Afghan and Western guests.

A Taliban spokesman claimed that their forces had killed 50 and were looking to increase the toll.

In the early hours of this morning, flares lit up the sky above the hotel as a gunfight raged between Afghan troops and Taliban militants.

The defiant message of yesterday’s savage and spectacular suicide bomb raid on Kabul’s Inter Continental Hotel by the Taliban was unmistakable. They struck barely a week after Obama announced plans to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan – 33,000 by September 2012 –  as reports of secret talks with Taliban have generated excitement amongst naïve Americans about the prospects for peace.

Even if Mullah Omar’s ruling Shura do decide to enter talks, his fighters will intensify their attacks throughout the period of discussions to remind the Nato allies that Western military force cannot shape a political solution.

The Americans have still not grasped the fact that the Taliban’s main motivation – as revealed in several surveys of insurgents – is a desire to end foreign occupation of their country. US officials, political as well as military, produce endless briefings that claim people join the Taliban because of money, unemployment, or local disputes over land and family honour.

When Karzai himself warned the Americans this weekend that “history shows what Afghans do with trespassers and occupiers” and made the blindingly obvious point that the Americans are in Afghanistan primarily for their own purposes, US commentators referred to him as “ranting”, “erratic”, and “perhaps struggling with a mental illness”

Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, said he felt hurt by Karzai’s statements because “America has never sought to occupy any nation in the world. We are a good people.”

A quick review of the history of American occupation and their overt interference in foreign states reveals the following:

  • Honduras (seven times between 1903 and 1989),
  • Nicaragua (seven times between 1894 and 1933),
  • Support for the Contra terrorists in 1981-90,
  • China (six times between 1894 and 1949),
  • Cuba (five times between 1912 and 1933),
  • Haiti (five times between 1891 and 2005),
  • The Dominican Republic (four times between 1914 and 1966),
  • El Salvador (twice: 1932, 1981-92),
  • Mexico (twice: 1913, 1914-18),
  • Vietnam (once, but for 15 years).

There are others, but that will do for now. Maybe Mr Eikenberry should take evening classes on his nation’s foreign military expeditions; but as a retired general, who has himself served in many overseas posts, including tours of duty in Afghanistan, he would be fully aware of all of this. Wouldn’t he?

Two days ago, an eight-year-old girl was killed after insurgents used her in a bomb attack on police in southern Afghanistan. Insurgents gave the girl a package and told her to take it to a police vehicle, detonating it as she approached. The governor of the district where the attack took place, said that the girl was from the nearest village.

“As she got close to the police vehicle, the enemy detonated the bomb by remote control, killing the innocent child. The child, pure-hearted and in good faith, took the bag and moved towards the police vehicle. As she got close to the police vehicle, the enemy detonated the bomb by remote control, killing the innocent child. She was told nothing would happen to her,” he said, adding that “The perpetrators had no boundary, no respect for anything”.

The incident came a day after an attack on a hospital which killed at least 38 people in the east of the country. Dozens were injured. Elderly people, pregnant women and children were said to be among the casualties.

The governor of Afghanistan’s central bank has resigned and fled the country, saying his life is in danger for investigating fraud. He said the government had interfered with his efforts to pursue those responsible for corruption at the privately-owned Kabul Bank. He spoke from the US where he has residency. He says he will not return to Afghanistan. “My life was  in danger and this was particularly true after I spoke to the parliament and exposed some people who are responsible for the crisis of Kabul Bank,”

An Afghan government spokesman said the resignation amounted to treason.  He also added that the governor himself, was under investigation.

The embezzlement at Kabul Bank, Afghanistan’s largest private bank, almost led to its collapse last year after it was discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars had gone missing. The bank handles up to 80% of the government payroll, including salaries for policemen and teachers.

According to Wikipedia, the War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States and the United Kingdom, and the Afghan United Front (Northern Alliance), launched Operation Enduring Freedom in response to the September 11 attacks on the United States, with the stated goal of dismantling the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and ending its use of Afghanistan as a base. The United States also said that it would remove the Taliban regime from power and create a viable democratic state.

Well done Yanks!! Mission accomplished…….

Mark my words, by the end of this decade; if not much sooner, Afghanistan will be pretty much right back to where it was prior to the allied invasion.

  • The Taliban will be back running the country and all the fledgeling democratic structures will be dismantled. 
  • Al Qaeda, (by that, or by any other name) will be back in residence, planning ever-increasing world-wide terrorist outrages
  • The population in general will be subjected to an extremist, violent and cruel Taliban regime, including the deprivation of all human rights and dignity.
  • Women will be totally subjugated and locked back up in their homes. All educational establishments for women will be closed and probably destroyed.
  • The drug trade will increase and prosper.
  • The country will remain extremely poor and most people will struggle to find enough food for their daily existence.
  • Infiltration into Pakistan will increase and eventually the Pakistan government will collapse and be replaced by an extremist Muslim regime, similar to that which will be in control in Kabul.

And then the world will be saying: ‘Al Qaida,  Mission Accomplished…..’

Poetry through Music

Here’s a good one, which I am sure many of my more mature readers will be familiar with.

It is ‘The Living Years’, by Mike Rutherford and B.A Robertson and recorded by Rutherford’s Rock band ‘Mike and the Mechanics’. Rutherford is also very well known as being a lead member of the super rock group, Genesis, where he was bassist, back-up vocalist and later, lead guitarist.

‘The Living Years’, released in 1989, was one of those incredibly popular  songs that became a monster hit throughout the world, including number one in the USA Billboard Hot 100.

The song has particular significance to me as I had such a difficult, traumatic and emotional relationship with my own father. I think it is true to say that my father’s influence on me was so all encompassing that he was still dominating my life, my thoughts and motives, long after he was dead and gone. In fact it is probably only within the last 5 years or so that I have at long last come to terms with what my father was all about and managed to largely free myself of his influence.

A key part to this ‘transformation’ was to free myself of all the resentment and hate that I had harboured against him for most my life. He had made me so unhappy, and had dominated and bullied me so mercilessly, that I know for sure that he was the root cause of many of my life’s problems, including my alcoholism, my inability to have stable relationships and in later years, my severe bouts of depression.

But once I became able to face this, (with the assistance of a wonderful Aussie therapist), I was able to banish him from my daily thoughts and nightmares and at long last start to see him for what he really was; a psychologically mal-adjusted person who, having suffered and probably been badly abused himself, found himself unable to stop doing the same to others. The abused become the abusers – I understand that now, and my father grew up in a time and a world where there was little to prevent that cycle from reoccurring.

I wish my ‘Living Years’ had been ‘Loving Years’, but they weren’t, and I have to accept that. I wish that I had indeed been able to sit down with my father during ‘The Living years’ and talk to him, rationally, man to man, on how he had made my life so unhappy, because I actually doubt that he really understood  the cumulative affect that his behaviour had on me. But there again, I remember well that my father was impossible to talk to. He never listened to anyone – he always knew best and he was always right. The whole world was crazy and stupid and he was the only sane man.

But I still shed a little tear for ‘what might have been’, every time listen to this wonderful pop song, particularly the lines: “I wasn’t there that morning, When my Father passed away, I didn’t get to tell him, All the things I had to say”

The Living Years lyrics

 

Every generation

Blames the one before

And all of their frustrations

Come beating on your door

 

I know that I’m a prisoner

To all my Father held so dear

I know that I’m a hostage

To all his hopes and fears

I just wish I could have told him in the living years

 

Crumpled bits of paper

Filled with imperfect thought

Stilted conversations

I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got

 

You say you just don’t see it

He says it’s perfect sense

You just can’t get agreement

In this present tense

We all talk a different language

Talking in defence

 

Say it loud, say it clear

You can listen as well as you hear

It’s too late when we die

To admit we don’t see eye to eye

 

So we open up a quarrel

Between the present and the past

We only sacrifice the future

[From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/m/mike-&-the-mechanics-lyrics/the-living-years-lyrics.html ]

It’s the bitterness that lasts

 

So don’t yield to the fortunes

You sometimes see as fate

It may have a new perspective

On a different day

And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in

You may just be O.K.

 

Say it loud, say it clear

You can listen as well as you hear

It’s too late when we die

To admit we don’t see eye to eye

 

I wasn’t there that morning

When my Father passed away

I didn’t get to tell him

All the things I had to say

 

I think I caught his spirit

Later that same year

I’m sure I heard his echo

In my baby’s new born tears

I just wish I could have told him in the living years

 

Say it loud, say it clear

You can listen as well as you hear

It’s too late when we die

To admit we don’t see eye to eye

 

Listen to it here:   The Living Years

 

BUTT….BUTT….BUTT….I don’t give a hoot!!!

13

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “The Darkside Exodus, The Darker Days of our Fathers and The Darkest Days of the Afghans still to come…”

  1. Mission accomplished? Hardly, but is that what this unnamed poster said?

    “Yes, after kicking the Taliban out of government and capturing or killing twenty of the top thirty leaders of AQ over the past eighteen months, what is there left to do? For me, this mission has been completed – let the locals take care of governing themselves and dealing with the remnants of the Taliban.”

    The key here is “for me, this mission has been completed”. The stated goals of the Yanks have not been met, and it would be impossible to do so without a ridiculous amount of resources (see Vietnam). We destroyed their government and killed a bunch of AQ’s leaders at a ridiculous price. Next time, I’d suggest an air campaign as currently pursued by NATO in Libya but a tad more aggressive.

    “Well done Yanks!! Mission accomplished…….”

    The key to Eikenberry’s words are “America has never sought to”. Of course, the Yanks have occupied many countries and intervened in their politics, but did they seek to do so?

    1. skippy, as you can see, I have edited your comments, as your MO of defending your ‘corner’ by attacking other countries – particularly the Brits – has become tiresome and a total irrelevance. I have asked you time and time again to desist, but you just ramble on, spouting all the predictable nonsense over and over, in the forlorn hope that you can somehow detract my readers from the substance of what I have written.

      You are perfectly free to continue to defend anything I say about the Yanks, provided you refrain from attacking other countries as part your repost. I have already told you, it is childish and does you no credit. You are better than that..

      If and when I write anything about Britain, then you will be free to take me to task, provided you stick to the points raised and you don ‘t go off in some irrelevant, Yankee- gratifying, Brit-bashing path of your own.

      Of course, you may not wish to continue to contribute under my new rules, and that is your prerogative.

      As to your question: Did the Yanks SEEK to occupy many countries and interfere in their politics? Well I think the whole world, except for a few extremely narrow-minded , insular Americans, know the answer to that…..No need for me to even answer…..

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