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Brown threatens Afghan pull-out [Nov. 6th, 2009|09:40 am]
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A surprise sting in the tail in Gordon Brown's forceful speech this morning making the case (again) for the British presence in Afghanistan. For the first time, he warned bluntly that our troops would not  remain there unless the newly "re-elected" (sort of) Afghan President Hamid Khazi tackles corruption.
The Prime Minister said: "The government of Afghanistan has become a by-word for corruption. And I am not prepared to put the lives of British men and women in harm’s way for a government that does not stand up against corruption." He called for a new anti-corruption law, a new anti-corruption commission  with powers of investigation and prosecution and an appoint an international adviser of substance (sounds like a job for Paddy Ashdown, who was blocked by Khazi last time). Strong stuff, though whether Khazi will swallow the medicine is another matter.
Brown, of course, had two audiences -- the Afghan President and the British public, which is becoming increasingly hostile to the mission. No wonder after the killing of five soldiers by a renegade Afghan policeman. If Khazi doesn't act on Brown's warnings, then the dangerous gap between public opinion here and the Government's strategy will widen even further. 
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Comments:
From: deimosp
2009-11-06 01:30 pm (UTC)

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Brown is very good at talking tough, but when it comes to action things get somewhat watered down, timescales extend and in the end nothing really happens. I'm sure he will behave the same way in this case. after all, does he expect Khazi to appoint somebody who would then start investigating and prosecuting the President (himself) or will he do what the Italians did (pass a law giving him immunity, etc.).

Brown is trying to get the UK "on his side" so will say anything and do nothing.

What is really depressing is that the human race has not yet found a way to resolve conflict other than by sending in troops to start killing each other. Does our race really have any future when we always behave like this ?
From: manprof
2009-11-06 02:40 pm (UTC)

Taliban Numbers

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Have Western governments an estimate of the proportion of the population in Afghanistan and the Northern States of Pakistan who are committed to the Taliban cause. I guess it would be too much to ask the number of them willing to undertake acts of terrorism. Without such evidence, the electorate has to take Brown's statements on trust.
From: reinertorheit
2009-11-06 02:56 pm (UTC)

"Hamid Khazi" ???? (spelt that way twice above)

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"Karzai", surely, Mr McSmith?

The "Khazi of Kalabar" was the local potentate played by Kenneth Williams in CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8atKXFZefA

Not that the British fiasco in Afghanistan looks remotely like a Carry On film. Oh dear, no.