Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html en-gb 30 Fri 18 Apr 2014 02:25:58 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=98#comment81 In any case, colonies are more of a headache than they are worth. I think the British learned this quite sometime ago and they have other reasons for supporting American military aims. Like British Petroleum and other UK industries egging British politicians on because they can make good money in the wake of a military conflict. ------------------------------------------------------------------------it wasnt the brits who found out colonies were headache, it was the ww2 that made it wrap up and leave..and thats just 60 yrs ago, and minds dont change in this short period of time, especially the minds which read in their history books about their invasions and colonization. Without britian, americans would have by now found some sort of exist strategy from afghanistan. But, on the other hand, america deserves to be punked by its allies, whether its european or non-european allies. The 21st century americans seems more like europeans, and also, like those settlers in the middle east, and less like the americans..Or maybe that kind never existed and that it was all aa myth about americans different than their european ancestors. Thu 08 Oct 2009 18:23:01 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=97#comment80 79. At 3:29pm on 08 Oct 2009, colonelartist wrote:Whenever there is mischief in this world, the brits are always seen right behind it, George bush was a decider, he could have just pulled out his soldiers and would have just said that he was a decider and end of it..and noone would have done anything..The world can change, but the british mind set wouldnt.militarily it cannot occupy and colonize the world on their own, so they have glued themselves on to americans.Since Americans, as you yourself stated, do not stay to colonize, why would the British tag along for the not colonizing ride?In any case, colonies are more of a headache than they are worth. I think the British learned this quite sometime ago and they have other reasons for supporting American military aims. Like British Petroleum and other UK industries egging British politicians on because they can make good money in the wake of a military conflict. Thu 08 Oct 2009 15:53:39 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=96#comment79 Here is an idea. Obama should ask karzai to declare american/Nato mission completed. Then americans should translate the withdrawal statement of ussr from russian to english and pull out.. Thu 08 Oct 2009 15:29:32 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=95#comment78 I don't think British colonialism can be blamed for the length of our stay in Afghanistan. That's all on George Bush and his insane Iraq obsession. People change, as do their political philosophies over time. I seriously doubt the British public, or their leaders, are sitting around sipping sherry and taking snuff whilst plotting the ascPeople change, as do their political philosophies over time. I seriously doubt the British public, or their leaders, are sitting around sipping sherry and taking snuff whilst plotting the ascendancy of New Britannia, Imperial Overlord of the Middle East.endancy of New Britannia, Imperial Overlord of the Middle East. There's a Torchwood joke in there somewhere, but I'm not gonna touch it!-----------------------------------------------------------------------Whenever there is mischief in this world, the brits are always seen right behind it, George bush was a decider, he could have just pulled out his soldiers and would have just said that he was a decider and end of it..and noone would have done anything..The world can change, but the british mind set wouldnt.militarily it cannot occupy and colonize the world on their own, so they have glued themselves on to americans. Thu 08 Oct 2009 14:29:45 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=93#comment77 I don't know about your neighbor but with the right kind of people in your payroll you can track large purchases of weapons, exchanges of information, and where wanted people are hiding. The question is: do you want to actually find them and put them out of commission, and in so doing deprive yourself of an excellent excuse to remain in someone else's country?-------------------------------------------------------------------------If only I had that kind of resources, I would do what americans are doing, kill first, tell later..and since noone asks this days, so just kill. Thu 08 Oct 2009 14:23:41 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=92#comment76 The problem is that if we did that we would potentially lose one of our most important investors and buyers of US treasury bonds, and would lose very lucrative oil and military contracts. There is always the option of calling it a territory and appropiating their huge oil reserves. That would put a quick end to our energy problems and trade imbalance...------------------------------------------------------------------------And like I said, you couldnt do anything to saudi arabia in your wildest dreams..The best you can do is what has been done to this iranian guy who has gone "missing" in saudi arabia..Wait where he re-appears.Another brick added on the wall against iran with the help of saudi arabia.. Thu 08 Oct 2009 14:21:00 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=91#comment75 Ref 73, PMK"There are those who claim (half-seriously) that after 9/11 Tony Blair would have advised "W" to go after Saudi al-Qaida's enablers but was advised by BAE not to :-)"I reckon Halliburton, Bechtel, and Blackwater USA won that contest...:-( Thu 08 Oct 2009 14:00:38 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=90#comment74 Spelling mistake in 72. - It should be "VI Army will still be in place at Easter"74. PMK.No, there is no easy or cheap way. You might as well try to click your heels three times, turn around and say "There's no place like home".This kind of thing takes money, effort, and, more than anything else, boots on the ground protecting the civilian population.And that takes ground-transport based logistics.Here's to the memory of James B. McGovern. Thu 08 Oct 2009 11:56:22 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=89#comment73 Re#72 How many tons of supplies were required for each ton of bombs actually dropped on the Japanese by the B-29's based in China?Don't kid yourself. A large military force that requires long term supply of basic war materiel by air is a military force that is in sixteen kinds of trouble. Neither is needed these days if ou know your stuff.BTW. Terrorist International's Iranian enablers know that too. Thu 08 Oct 2009 07:04:42 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=87#comment72 #67 "I urge you to read Noam Chomsky for a well reasoned discussion."About generative grammar (his area of expertise)?SaintDominick. re Saudi Arabia... There are those who claim (half-seriously) that after 9/11 Tony Blair would have advised "W" to go after Saudi al-Qaida's enablers but was advised by BAE not to :-) Thu 08 Oct 2009 06:45:37 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=86#comment71 40. At 7:16pm on 07 Oct 2009, GH1618 wrote:"I wouldn't underestimate the capabilities of US military airlift...."Airlift into Afghanistan is an easier matter. The distance adds to the cost, but not the difficulty."With all respect to the ability of the US airforce, airlift can do remarkable things, true enough. But not for a large (100,000+ man) force over a long time.Think about the hi-jacked fuel tankers that were destroyed in an airstrike, leaving about 100 dead civilians. Why did that happen?Because modern mechanized units consume a lot of fuel, and it is simply impractical to bring it, or most other supplies, in by air.Here are some old chestnuts:Who said: "XI Army will still be in place at Easter"?How many aircraft did General Giap have at his disposal at Dien Bien Phu?How many Chindits were there? What percentage of the force was lost?How many men were there in "Merrill's Marauders". How many survived?The Hump: How many tons of supplies were required for each ton of bombs actually dropped on the Japanese by the B-29's based in China?Don't kid yourself. A large military force that requires long term supply of basic war materiel by air is a military force that is in sixteen kinds of trouble. Thu 08 Oct 2009 03:13:59 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=85#comment70 "38. At 6:54pm on 07 Oct 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:"Actually, the original bombing and invasion would have worked if our NATO allies had dropped the mines they were supposed to drop at Tora Bora and cut off bin Laden's escape route. It would have worked had Pakistan actually guarded its borders and not let bin Laden into Pashtun controlled areas. It would have worked if our combined British, American and German forces had been allowed to do the actual fighting instead of our supposed Afghan allies, many of whom had no interest in stopping bin Laden."__________"...many of whom had no interest in stopping bin Laden."Now there's an understatement.The pursuit by US forces created a money making opportunity for armed groups on the Pakistani border such as they had never had in their lifetimes. Somebody received a huge payment in return for bin Laden's safe passage. Thu 08 Oct 2009 02:51:08 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=84#comment69 55 All governments are susceptible to corruption not just US and Most Americans are not liars in fact it is the opposite,67 I think you mean Gore vs Bush,it was Bushes 1st term.Why do think Gore didn't contest it.my guess is because there where Dems stuffing votes as well.That's why Nixon didn't contest Kennedy,because Nixon was also stuffing votes.Right now the biggest problem with voting is whether people should have to show ID when voting.I say yes but Dems think some how think the poor can't afford ID which is nonsense it's less than $20.Plus every state has it's own way of counting the ballots.The other thing people must realize is that there are differences about Foreign diplomacy and engagement with in the Generations.Most Over 50 want to stay in Afghanistan,Most Under 40 wants to leave.Most GenX and Millennials want to return to isolation policies.The Cold war is over time to return to investing in America again.And most under 40 want to stop using oil.WE really don't need to use it if we invest in different fuel than oil.Plus I do think their are ways of improving life for anyone,anywhere. Thu 08 Oct 2009 02:14:33 GMT+1 Michelleblog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=82#comment68 Afghanistan has a historical reputation of extreme difficult and dangerous strategic military and political challenges. Learning from past mistakes and developing new, smarter and competent strategies fitting to the current global policies and economic trends will generate better chances for successful outcomes. Thu 08 Oct 2009 01:36:48 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=81#comment67 Ref 55, colonelIf you want to believe the opinion of a Pakistani regarding our intentions before 9/11 suit yourself. As much as I oppose the invasion of Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan, I do not believe we had any plans to invade the latter before 9/11. Thu 08 Oct 2009 01:20:29 GMT+1 morefyah http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=80#comment66 The war in Afghanistan is nothing like Vietnam. Vietnam was due to fear of Communism spreading. Once that threat was eradicated the troops could leave (not caring about the state of the nation, or Cambodia and Laos for that matter). Afghanistan is to do with oil not terrorism. The Bush administration didn't care about terrorism otherwise they would have never invaded. Check any poll and it will show you that anti US feeling increased after the invasion. Also the majority of warlords condemned Bin Laden for his attack. However these various power strands who had no meaningful ideological ties did come together in agreement on one issue...that the invading troops should be repelled. The government can't leave Afghanistan/Iraq because they need a secure foothold in the region to protect their oil streams. Why else would the US govt have built their biggest ever embassy in Baghdad? Does building bases and a city within a city (US Baghdad embassy) indicate to the natives that the invading forces intend to leave....?....No it doesn't. This is because despite what the govts say, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is because of Western dependence on oil. When Bush used to say we're bringing democracy to Iraq, what he meant was 'we're installing a system of governance that benefits us.' If the US wants to go about bringing democracy to other countries, surely it should embrace true democracy itself first (Al Gore vs Bush's 2nd term).Karzai's obvious electoral fraud is founded on Western intervention principles. Find a guy they (the West) like who will do what they want and then promote him beyond all reason and proclaim him to be the elected leader. Then declare to the citizens back home that the mission of bringing democracy is not over but...its a success. I urge you to read Noam Chomsky for a well reasoned discussion. Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:27:13 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=79#comment65 Ref 43, colonel"You couldnt retaliate saudi arabia in your dreams."We have the firepower to retaliate against any nation in the world, if we wanted to do it, and we wouldn't have to ask them for permission to build and maintain military bases in that country if we really wanted to. The problem is that if we did that we would potentially lose one of our most important investors and buyers of US treasury bonds, and would lose very lucrative oil and military contracts. There is always the option of calling it a territory and appropiating their huge oil reserves. That would put a quick end to our energy problems and trade imbalance...Unfortunately, that would mean we would lose the moral high ground and become another conqueror in the annals of history. Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:22:31 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=78#comment64 Ref 58, colonel"It would be very difficult to prove that you funded my neighbour.."I don't know about your neighbor but with the right kind of people in your payroll you can track large purchases of weapons, exchanges of information, and where wanted people are hiding. The question is: do you want to actually find them and put them out of commission, and in so doing deprive yourself of an excellent excuse to remain in someone else's country? Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:12:46 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=76#comment63 57. At 9:47pm on 07 Oct 2009, colonelartist wrote:Americans would have done a better job in afghanistan minus british..the brits seems to be still stuck in old times when they made colonies all over the globe..the goal of brits back then was to stay in those colonies and they stayed for a long long time, the goal of americans was never to colonize afghanistan, but thanks to brits, they might just have to be there for hundered of years..the americans and taliban have more common as they think alike, quick and fast, the brits on the other hand like to stay in places, courtesy their mindset.I don't think British colonialism can be blamed for the length of our stay in Afghanistan. That's all on George Bush and his insane Iraq obsession. People change, as do their political philosophies over time. I seriously doubt the British public, or their leaders, are sitting around sipping sherry and taking snuff whilst plotting the ascendancy of New Britannia, Imperial Overlord of the Middle East. There's a Torchwood joke in there somewhere, but I'm not gonna touch it! Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:07:36 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=75#comment62 My only wish is that one person hasn't made 50% of the comments on the next thread. Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:01:22 GMT+1 U13817236 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=74#comment61 "the job of persuasion has to be done"...i.e. the spin machine has to be cranked up again. Which shouldn't prove too difficult, the ductile American public is pretty easy pickings for the media propaganda machine. If they'll believe the lies about Iraq and Palestine, they'll believe anything. Certainly, we can count on the BBC to join in the propaganda campaign to kill more Afghan civilians in the name of avenging American civilians. Dust Justin Webb off and bring him in for some more American cheerleading. And by this time next year, there will also probably have been some sort of attack on Iran that the uncomprehending American public will defer to. Unlike many Europeans, Americans are simply too trusting of their baleful government and too morally indifferent to care what it does outside their own borders. It doesn't take much to drag Americans into senseless wars, they're used to it. Wed 07 Oct 2009 23:00:22 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=73#comment60 My only wish is that tommorrow when I open this blog page, the writer of this blog will have not opened an another blog to blog on and about..I cannot keep up with all this fast track new topics to discuss each day. I belong to pre-" discuss it for fifteen minutes then forget it and move on to another topic" era. Wed 07 Oct 2009 21:54:42 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=71#comment59 So he's ruled out what some said was the preferred approach of his vice-president. But he won't be drawn on whether there will be more troops sent to Afghanistan. It's also worth noting that the administration is putting a lot of emphasis on Pakistan. Remember this was an "Afpak" strategy. They say they know al-Qaeda leaders are hiding in safe havens along the border, but on the Pakistan side. They expect the government there to "dismantle" these safe havens. Today's meeting with top security officials will focus on Pakistan, looking at the economic and diplomatic relations, which I take it means "how do we make sure they deliver?". -------------------------------------------------------------------------George Bush started this war, and Obama has extended it to pakistan..thats what he used to say before he got elected.."safe havens" in pakistan..Someone now has stamped it and given it an official name "Afpak", catchy phrase..And since americans dont seem to pay any notice, soon it will get diffused with the the original war and americans would take it for granted that this was the way all along..The american government gives their public one or two points from the whole to discuss about, like, "should we increase the soldiers" or "what are we doing in afghanistan" while the government conviently extends wars to other areas..Call it gauging or call it deliebrate attempt to keep americans busy with detail of the warfare.The soldiers who are in army are not draftees, they joined the army willingly, and they should know that when they sign up for army, they would be sent to war one day or the other. Wed 07 Oct 2009 21:30:32 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=70#comment58 Your expressed opinions would seem to indicate a belief on your part that going after the Macaroni Faction even given the public confession would be unjustified, regardless of how many thousands of innocent British civilians had been hurt or died. Logically your real-world pronouncements indicate you would consider this an anti-pasta, anti Spaghetti crusade.-------------------------------------------------------------------------I dont like pasta nor spaghetti, so in this case, I will not take any sides..I dont take or not take sides about things I am not interested in.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 21:22:37 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=69#comment57 Suppose I gave your neighbour £2,000 to kill a close relative of yours. Would you, if the murder took place, really shrug of my guilt as just “to arrange some money?” Would you only want the police to arrest and prosecute the actual killer, and not myself? If the answer is no, am tempted to believe that you hold to a notion that “political crimes” are not really crimes and should not be punished as such. And, of course, that you are a hypocrite.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Actually if I took the case to the courtroom, you would get a milder punishement than my neighbour who killed my close relative. It would be very difficult to prove that you funded my neighbour..Especially if the neighbour wanted to kill my close relative..Now my version of your example..Knowing that it would be very difficlut to prove your involvement, I would try to solve this problem without the court..And this is what americans are doing..the master mind of 9/11 happened to be a close relative of the guy who master minded the first attack on twin towers, who is now in jail in usa..Punishing him is easy, but if he says he was given money by ben laden, then its his words after torture..And court an independent court dismiss such things... Wed 07 Oct 2009 21:19:12 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=68#comment56 Americans would have done a better job in afghanistan minus british..the brits seems to be still stuck in old times when they made colonies all over the globe..the goal of brits back then was to stay in those colonies and they stayed for a long long time, the goal of americans was never to colonize afghanistan, but thanks to brits, they might just have to be there for hundered of years..the americans and taliban have more common as they think alike, quick and fast, the brits on the other hand like to stay in places, courtesy their mindset. Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:47:26 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=67#comment55 24. At 5:05pm on 07 Oct 2009, colonelartist wrote: #16“All ben laden might have done is to arrange some money.” [sic]You are entitled to your opinions, but I really find your thoughts a bit alien.Suppose I gave your neighbour £2,000 to kill a close relative of yours. Would you, if the murder took place, really shrug of my guilt as just “to arrange some money?” Would you only want the police to arrest and prosecute the actual killer, and not myself? If the answer is no, am tempted to believe that you hold to a notion that “political crimes” are not really crimes and should not be punished as such. And, of course, that you are a hypocrite.How about this, eh? The Macaroni Monster faction of the Spaghetti Monster death cult declares war on non Macaroni Heads, then blows up the London subway. The Head Macaroon makes a tape claiming responsibility and encourages all Pastafarians around the world to emulate this victory.The British government, suspicious of the Spaghetti-Macaroni relationship investigate that, whilst MI 4, MI5 and MI 6 try to track down the Macaroni head, and arrest or kill any remaining bomb wielding Macaroni fanatics.Your expressed opinions would seem to indicate a belief on your part that going after the Macaroni Faction even given the public confession would be unjustified, regardless of how many thousands of innocent British civilians had been hurt or died. Logically your real-world pronouncements indicate you would consider this an anti-pasta, anti Spaghetti crusade. Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:42:35 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=65#comment54 Just because you, or should say, "most of you" didnt know about the plan, doesnt mean that it didnt exist.US 'planned attack on Taleban'http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm--------------------------------------------------------------------YAWNNN, Another conspiracy theory debunked.http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/08/15/forbidden_truth/index.html------------------------------------------------------------------------When will you accept that americans lie..they tell lies and they call it not PR tactics..You can choose to believe american officials, me, I have a thumb rule..Whatever americans say, just believe in the opposite and that will mostly likely to be the truth, Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:40:22 GMT+1 ghostofsichuan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=64#comment53 I believe the British sent troops to the colonies when the resident governments were no longer able to maintain order. A protracted engagement that was unpopular at home. As the colonies were business ventures and the war business intitated we have many things that are the same. We never let national policy over-ride the interests of greed. We can't withdraw, it would hurt the economy, so says business. Don't let ideals cloud your view, the vultures who gave us the financial collapse are busy with this as well. Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:37:40 GMT+1 diverticulosis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=63#comment52 51. At 8:45pm on 07 Oct 2009, colonelartist wrote:There is no evidence the USA planned to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11.------------------------------------------------------------------------Just because you, or should say, "most of you" didnt know about the plan, doesnt mean that it didnt exist.US 'planned attack on Taleban'http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm--------------------------------------------------------------------YAWNNN, Another conspiracy theory debunked.http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2002/08/15/forbidden_truth/index.html Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:17:16 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=62#comment51 I have no idea what to do about Afghanistan. I find it interesting that the Afghan Taleban are now being quoted by the AP as saying that they're no threat to the West, that all they want is an Islamic government for Afghanistan. I take that as an indication that they might be interested in a truce, even though they now seem to have the upper hand. I guess they don't relish the prospect of facing 40,000 additional American troops. If the deal involves handing over the Arabs (including bin Laden) and Omar, I might be tempted. I find it hard to trust them, though.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Allow me to enlighten you. the taliban or the pathans as taliban are basically pathans.with the exception of few of their allies, (everyone has the right to have allies, america has it in form of western countries, called NATO, the northern alliance and pakistan, their eastern ally). Back to enlightment.The pathans always make an offer of truce, when they are weak side and when they are strong side..thats their value..they know when to fold thats how they have survived have survived for centuries. The taliban offered they could in order to avoid war, the no negotiation western value didnt listen..and then they again offered truce two weeks into the war, the no negotiation value of west refused it too...Now they are again saying this..Take this opportunity.they arent as bad as your northern alliance.Work with them and in time, they will just go back to their way of lives back to their tribal dwellings leaving the cities of afghanistan to the city dwellers..As things were under Zahir Shah. the late king. The city dwellers didnt interfer in the lives of mountain dwellers and the mountain dwellers didnt interefer with the city dwellers. and america could make roads and even airport like kandahar airport, or military base built by american consultents and by american dollars back in good old days when america was trying to outdo ussr. Thats why americans after occupation feel very comfortable staying there, they know it inside out and outside in. Wed 07 Oct 2009 20:08:39 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=60#comment50 There is no evidence the USA planned to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11.------------------------------------------------------------------------Just because you, or should say, "most of you" didnt know about the plan, doesnt mean that it didnt exist.US 'planned attack on Taleban'http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:45:56 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=59#comment49 The neocons were ready to go back to Iraq since the day Bush Sr. decided to end hostilities. There is no evidence the USA planned to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11.I oppose most of the policies, foreign and domestic, of the Bush Administration, but I do not believe they fabricated the information associated with who carried out 9/11.-------------------------------------------------------------------------You need to have some sort of catalyst..and a catalyst was provided on sept 11 of 2001. the 9/11 was carried by people of arab origin and what americans did was to attack afghanistan..they had a plan and they went through it pretending that attack was carried by the country called afghanistan..Ask the indians, they will confirm that usa had talked to them about their plan prior to sept 11, ask the uzbeks I think it was uzbekistan, and they will tell you the same, and ask the pakistanis they will more than confirm american plan to attack afghanistan in october prior to sept 11..After sept 11 , everything just went smoothly.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:36:47 GMT+1 Andy Post http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=58#comment48 Afghanistan is soooooo yesterday. Evidently we've decided to take on the moon. The attack begins Thursday according to the AP. Serves the moon right for being so obnoxiously, um, lunar. I have no idea what to do about Afghanistan. I find it interesting that the Afghan Taleban are now being quoted by the AP as saying that they're no threat to the West, that all they want is an Islamic government for Afghanistan. I take that as an indication that they might be interested in a truce, even though they now seem to have the upper hand. I guess they don't relish the prospect of facing 40,000 additional American troops. If the deal involves handing over the Arabs (including bin Laden) and Omar, I might be tempted. I find it hard to trust them, though. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:35:22 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=57#comment47 They expect the government there to "dismantle" these safe havens. Today's meeting with top security officials will focus on Pakistan, looking at the economic and diplomatic relations, which I take it means "how do we make sure they deliver?". -------------------------------------------------------------------------Did I forget to mention that I was against totally against pakistan joining the war of americans..The pakistani government led by the western favourite dictator was paid to join this war against the wish of pakistanis because most of the pakistanis knew that americans will eventually drag pakistan into this mess and start bombing it as well..It would have been better if america took both afghanistan and pakistan at the same time by their own soldiers and their own airforce eight years ago..Instead of asking pakistan to deliver more, they should first ask themselves what more can pakistan deliver.It gave america most of the so called dangerous people at gitmo, it attacked its own people in noerthern and western areas, it displaced 3 million of its own people and is all set to displace million more in south wazirstan.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:27:19 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=56#comment46 "...usa was already to attack afghanistan by october 2001, prior to sept 11, all they needed was the right kind of excuse which would be easily sold to americans and their allies in the UN. and someone provided that on 11 of sepetmber 2001."The neocons were ready to go back to Iraq since the day Bush Sr. decided to end hostilities. There is no evidence the USA planned to invade Afghanistan prior to 9/11.I oppose most of the policies, foreign and domestic, of the Bush Administration, but I do not believe they fabricated the information associated with who carried out 9/11. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:15:19 GMT+1 LucyJ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=54#comment45 There are good and bad people both in Afghanistan, just like USA and all other countries. There will always be good and bad people everywhere.To help root out terrorism, we need to promote what is good about Afghanistan. I believe USA needs to help Afghanistan create more schools, so they can reach higher education, as well as jobs farming, so they will be able to grow more food and be sustainable. Other projects, such as music education, sports programs, games, and a project by the Afghan people to root out corription and bring transparency to where the money is going, would also be highly beneficial.The problem is: how can we keep these places that help the Afghan people safe from the terrorists? The Afghan people would have to assign military guards to protect these places.But I do believe that is what the good Afghan people want is jobs, education, music, sports and transparency in the govt. If the USA can help achieve these goals and not occupy Afghanistan, then that would be the best we could hope for. That should be our goal: to help the Afghans who are not terrorists and to defeat those who are.It is clear that President Obama does not want to occupy Afghanistan forever. But he does not want to leave it in shambles with the terrorists terrorizing the villagers, either.If President Obama supports the war against terrorists in Afghanistan with more troops for a longer time, I am sure he is doing so from the knowledge and wisdom of the experts, military and otherwise. I do not think Obama would stay if he did not have to. That being said, I believe that Obama wants there to be a more stable Afghanistan before leaving. Initially, I reacted in the way of letting our troops go, but now I realize that we have put so much work, time and effort into this and to lose everything quickly may not be worth it. YES, WE CAN still help Afghanistan, by promoting the good of the country.There is good in Afghanistan. I know they are not all terrorists and that they do not want to immigrate, they want to live in Afghanistan. The best USA can hope for is to help Afghans have a more stable country, with more schools, hospitals, sports and music programs, farms, and a program by the Afghan people to bring transparency to the money that is being spent by the political ones.I will pray for Obama and our country to find the best solution that will help the people and decrease the terrorists. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:11:01 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=53#comment44 When Bush Jr.said we were going to Afghanistan I thought it was going to be like Dessert Storm,which I remember as a child,I wasn't paying much attention to his rhetoric at the time after 9/11.I thought we were just going to bomb some places then it would be over.Chickenhawks would then shut up and move on,but when a couple of years went by and we were still there,which I then assumed was for profit, for people like Erik Prince who was head of Blackwater and who's sister was head of GOP Michigan and who's Bother-in-law Dick Devos ran for governor(Michigan)and by the way a huge donor to Bush Sr. Campaign.Then Iraq happened and more money for Companies with military contracts(Halliburton) and who give money to GOP.Bush Jr. and Cheney made their friends even richer.That's why we are there.Why does President Obama continue this I don't know.But before we listen to Military Personnel I want to know how many of them or their families have jobs with companies getting military contracts.Every policy of Bush Jr. including the Wars were to make Rich people Richer at the expense of the American taxpayer.Iraq,Banks,Housing,Tax Laws,Out sourcing,etc.. All were changed to make Rich people rich.But they all got greedy at the same time and started taking profits from each other.Our President and Congress haven't changed one regulation or speculation law of Bush Jr.s.WHY?-------------------------------------------------------------------------First of all americans and brits regularly bombed iraqi target all those years prior to iraqi invasion..thats why they were so confident in winning because they knew saddam military couldnt retaliate..Second of all, all that corruption, the unfairness, now you know why the people are fighting against american way of government in afghanistan. Wed 07 Oct 2009 19:03:05 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=52#comment43 A major question is whether at this point the Taliban has a signifcant connection with Al Queda or whether it is just a bunch of Pashtuns who are basically thugs - -------------------------------------------------------------------------To you they are pathans..To call them pashtuns you have to first get to know them extremely well, only then you can get the licesnce to call them pashtuns...The bunch of pathans maybe basically thugs, but they are far more better than american's northern alliance..You can be proud of being one of their allies, the more sane people would not even go ato the same street where dostum and the rest take even one step. Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:56:26 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=51#comment42 Not only did we not retaliate against Saudi Arabia, we declared them a Most Favored Nation for trade purposes, and invaded instead two nations that were not a threat to us, could not defend themselves, and in the case of Iraq it was actually a target of Al Qaeda because of Saddam's secular regime.-------------------------------------------------------------------------You couldnt retaliate saudi arabia in your dreams. YOu owe a lot to the sauds..those are the people who let your troops stay in saudi arabia while the rest of the arabians were against it..Americans forced saudis to exile Ben laden, instead...All america had to do was to pull out troops from saudi arabia and deploy them either in kuwait, qatar or UAE. The whole 9/11 would not have happened if americans hadnt forced sauds to allow american bases in saudi arabia after gulf war..The mistakes americans make, and then instead of admitting them,continue to make more mistakes.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:52:02 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=50#comment41 No nation should sit idle or remain indifferent after being attacked, and the USA is no exception. After it was determined that the 9/11 attack was carried out by Al Qaeda, and it became clear that AQ had training camps in Afghanistan, we not only had the right to destroy them and prevent additional attacks, we had a moral obligation to do so. ------------------------------------------------------------------------Thats why pathans are not sitting idle or remain indifferent after being attacked this day eight years ago, and in tribal areas by your eastern ally, the pakistani army. it was pre-determined that alqaida was behind it. Othereise usa would have waved the evidence in front of everyone if they had any evidence prior to the start of bombing afghanistan. Read some more, and you will find out that usa was already to attack afghanistan by october 2001, prior to sept 11, all they needed was the right kind of excuse which would be easily sold to americans and their allies in the UN. and someone provided that on 11 of sepetmber 2001. Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:43:47 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=48#comment40 When Bush Jr.said we were going to Afghanistan I thought it was going to be like Dessert Storm,which I remember as a child,I wasn't paying much attention to his rhetoric at the time after 9/11.I thought we were just going to bomb some places then it would be over.Chickenhawks would then shut up and move on,but when a couple of years went by and we were still there,which I then assumed was for profit, for people like Erik Prince who was head of Blackwater and who's sister was head of GOP Michigan and who's Bother-in-law Dick Devos ran for governor(Michigan)and by the way a huge donor to Bush Sr. Campaign.Then Iraq happened and more money for Companies with military contracts(Halliburton) and who give money to GOP.Bush Jr. and Cheney made their friends even richer.That's why we are there.Why does President Obama continue this I don't know.But before we listen to Military Personnel I want to know how many of them or their families have jobs with companies getting military contracts.Every policy of Bush Jr. including the Wars were to make Rich people Richer at the expense of the American taxpayer.Iraq,Banks,Housing,Tax Laws,Out sourcing,etc.. All were changed to make Rich people rich.But they all got greedy at the same time and started taking profits from each other.Our President and Congress haven't changed one regulation or speculation law of Bush Jr.s.WHY? Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:21:30 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=47#comment39 InterestedForeigner (#35) "The logistical problems of supplying this force, let alone a force large enough to do the job, are really daunting. It is a land locked country, a long, long way away, surrounded by really difficult neighbours"I wouldn't underestimate the capabilities of US military airlift.Here is an interesting item on the subject of airlift within Afghanistan: US Airlift over AfghanistanAirlift into Afghanistan is an easier matter. The distance adds to the cost, but not the difficulty. Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:16:27 GMT+1 Jersey_Guy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=46#comment38 The idea that you can create democratic instituions in what is esentially a tribal society defies all logic, especially in light of a corrupt government lacking effective institutions. Democracy and capitalism are alien to Afghanistan ... this is not the ned of WWII in Germany and Japan where there had been some residuals of this (even it had been submerged prior to the war).Afghanistan has been a losing proposition for foreigners since the beginning of time ... the USSR couldn't do it, the British Empire coundln't do it.A major question is whether at this point the Taliban has a signifcant connection with Al Queda or whether it is just a bunch of Pashtuns who are basically thugs - unfortunate, but we have battles to fight at home. I'd rather see the schoolchildren of Chicago live in safety - our resources are not unlimited. Wed 07 Oct 2009 18:10:11 GMT+1 Gavrielle_LaPoste http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=45#comment37 Actually, the original bombing and invasion would have worked if our NATO allies had dropped the mines they were supposed to drop at Tora Bora and cut off bin Laden's escape route. It would have worked had Pakistan actually guarded its borders and not let bin Laden into Pashtun controlled areas. It would have worked if our combined British, American and German forces had been allowed to do the actual fighting instead of our supposed Afghan allies, many of whom had no interest in stopping bin Laden. And even then, it would have worked had Bush not been allowed to move into Iraq, aided and abetted by Tony Blair and MI6's false intelligence reports. (Another area where Great Britain had the power to change the course of world history, but where its leaders chose not to hit above its weight class.)People need to start thinking of this as just the second or third year of the Afghanistan action, since so few resources were devoted to completing the mission once Iraq diverted everyone's attention. And if there's mission creep it's because the military was never allowed to follow its original battle plan - which was a good one. I know, because I'm close friends with one of the people who helped design the plan, which should have had NATO out of the area in 18 to 24 months and the UN in for the clean up and aid to the Afghan people.And while it is still winnable on the ground, the politics is no longer right because the game board has changed dramatically. Obama knows this. That's his job. The military commanders are doing their jobs, but must realize that the current President, along with the rest of NATO, is now hamstrung by the negative public reaction to the mess in Iraq and the financial meltdown across the globe. Once Obama's administration has sorted things out and determined on an appropriate fighting strategy to achieve its goals, the President will give a formal address. In it, he will clearly explain the reasons why it is necessary to stay in Afghanistan, what the mission is and how it will be achieved. At that point, the majority of the American public will, reluctantly, agree that what needs to be done needs to be done. Theresa in New York implied as much in the interview. Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:54:28 GMT+1 Scott0962 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=43#comment36 We went to war in Afghanistan for two reasons, one politcal and one strategic. Politcally, the adminstration needed a target to vent our anger on after the 9-11 attack and the Taliban government in Afghanistan fit the bill perfectly with their open defince and support for their terorist "guests". That goal was satisfied with their overthrow.Strategically we wanted to ensure that Afghanistan would no longer be used as a base of operations for Al Qaeda attacks against us. Occupying Afghanistan achieves that goal temporarily but is not a viable long term solution. So far the preferred solution of the Bush and Obama adminstrations has been to establish a pro-western government strong enough to secure it's own country but that is not an absolute requirement for achieving our strategic goal. One option would be to cut a deal with the Taliban to withdraw in exchange for their pledge to not support or harbor Al Qaeda, the big problem with that option is whether they could be trusted to honor their word. Alternatively, we could declare our goals have been achieved and we are leaving with a strong warning that if we have to come again we won't be such nice guys next time and trust to fear of U.S. retaliation to keep whoever comes out the winner there from getting too cozy with Al Qaeda in the future. Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:31:49 GMT+1 gridironmom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=42#comment35 The recent opinion polls I've seen, namely the Pew Research Center, shows that 50% of all Americans want to stay in Afghanistan until the country is stable and that 61% would support the use of force in Iran to prevent it from producing a nuclear weapon. Afghanistan is only "not worth fighting for" if we fail to meet our objective, which was disrupt the terrorist camps. Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:18:07 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=41#comment34 The US is too far away, and doesn't have enough money or perseverance to win this struggle, certainly not the way it is being conducted now:The force committed is simply way, way too small, and always has been. Nobody is prepared to commit another 150,000 - 200,000 troops, and that is a lot closer to what is needed than the 40,000 figure bandied about in the press.The logistical problems of supplying this force, let alone a force large enough to do the job, are really daunting. It is a land locked country, a long, long way away, surrounded by really difficult neighbours.Some of those difficult neighbours have a distinct interest not so much in seeing the US fail, but in seeing the US bogged down interminably.The original goals and objectives of the mission are only distantly visible over the horizon, having been supplanted by such minor complications asapparently endemic corruption in the government we are committed to supportthe local history, culture, ethnic divisions, and religious divisions,the drug trade, and the relationship of the government to and with various local warloads and drug baronsa porous border with an adjacent country where the control of the civilian authority over its own territory is poor in many places and non-existent in others, and where both the army and the security services of the neighboring country are rumoured to be riddled with supporters of the "terrorists".________To those who say this war cannot be won: No, that is not true.Civil insurrections can be won. The example always given in that regard is Malasia, although the parallels may not be particularly apt.The blueprint for winning this war was drawn by the French in Algeria, where, but for De Gaulle's untimely and foolish intervention, the French might well have prevailed.Keep in mind that France at the time was weary of a war that seemed never to be in sight of ending, where it was often hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, and where there did not seem to be any coherent winning strategy (somewhat misleading: it was true for the first four years of the war, not so true later on, but that was the public perception)._______On a completely different tack.America can show a number of more distant, powerful neighbours that it is time to damp down this war in their own interest. China needs no more convincing. India has never needed convincing. Russia can be brought on-side. Iran. Hmm. A more difficult problem.The opportunity for effective diplomacy is there. The Obama administration has taken positive steps in respect of all of these nations to try to get the stars to align (not merely on this issue, but on others as well). Not easy, yet the opportunity is there.________Marbles will correct me if I am wrong, but it appears to me that Afghanistan will remain a "failed state" as long as there is too much poverty, too little education, and too many guns. There are plenty of nasty people who have an interest in seeing that it remains a lawless hell-hole.This is a problem that has existed for a long time, and will continue to exist for a long time.What would happen if India and Pakistan (and perhaps others) formed an economic common market? What would happen if proper road and rail links were built from India and Pakistan up into central Asia and west into Iran?America may be there for a long time. Would it be possible, in effect, slowly, imperceptibly, to hand the torch to India?Just throwing that out there ... Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:12:45 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=40#comment33 26, colonelartist."The terrorist attack in New York was an outrage, innocent people were slain for no legitimate reason."The bombing of civilians in Afghanistan was an outrage. The invasion of Iraq and the huge civilian death toll was an outrage. If you look at the numbers we are a lot more outrageous. Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:07:35 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=39#comment32 29 Like most people 30 and under I don't watched televised news,so have no idea what your talking about especially flying kites.I am from Detroit Metro there's been a large middle eastern population as long as I can remember so maybe that changes my perspective,I can differentiate a entire religion from an angry individual ,There are Mosques.the most common word here is Terrorists which people put pretty much in same context as Michigan militia,KKK,Anarchists,etc.and every other hate group.Stop trying to stereotype Millions of Americans.Right now most in Michigan don't care,we are more concerned with Detroit,and the loss of employment.That's the front page news here daily CRIME and UNEMPLOYMENT. Wed 07 Oct 2009 17:02:45 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=37#comment31 Ref 24, colonel"Most of you" was directed at saintDominick's first post, first line "most of us". I am very determine to distance myself from that because I was not for bombing..."No nation should sit idle or remain indifferent after being attacked, and the USA is no exception. After it was determined that the 9/11 attack was carried out by Al Qaeda, and it became clear that AQ had training camps in Afghanistan, we not only had the right to destroy them and prevent additional attacks, we had a moral obligation to do so. The problem is that we escalated our mission from one that should have been focused strictly on Al Qaeda and its supporters, to an all out invasion of a country that was not a threat to us and was not physically involved in 9/11. We went from a tactical operation to an all out "war" without clear objectives, without the support of the indigenous population, and reluctant support from our allies.IMO, after the low level training camps were destroyed we should have tried to infiltrate Al Qaeda, locate its leaders, and deal with them. Instead, we provided a catalyst for hundreds of Afghan civilians to take up arms and join forces to expel their latest invaders. The problem was made even worse when after occupying the country we took our eyes off the ball and focused on another theater of operation, one that was morally even more difficult to explain or justify than the first. The majority of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, one from the UAE, one from Egypt and I believe there was one from Yemen. Its leader, OBL, was born in Saudi Arabia where his family owned substantial business and had connections in high places. According to the CIA and the Bush Administration, Saudi Wahhabist princes financed and supported Al Qaeda. Not only did we not retaliate against Saudi Arabia, we declared them a Most Favored Nation for trade purposes, and invaded instead two nations that were not a threat to us, could not defend themselves, and in the case of Iraq it was actually a target of Al Qaeda because of Saddam's secular regime.We have bungled the so called war on terror so badly that the only recourse to avoid creating more enemies and perpetuating an immoral situation is to declare victory and leave.Unfortunately, President Obama seems to be so intent in pleasing the right wing and minimizing political damage should another attack take place that he is willing to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely chasing ghosts...and fighting people who, not surprisingly, want us out of their country. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:58:49 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=36#comment30 I did not agree with the original proposed military strikes, though I understood the arguments behind them. I definitely did not support the invasion, not because I thought the Taliban was anything more than a bunch of medievally minded cretins, but because I could see that the war would not work, the aims could not be achieved.-------------------------------------------------------------------------Afghanistan was just a training camp for the iraqi invasion. That was one of the important factor for invasion. The lesson learnt from that was;Americans can be easily persuaded by false information. In afghanistan, they used Ben laden as the main reason, then they told you, taliban were barbarians etc etc, and they have made afghanistan a threat for usa.. They relied on their northern alliance and UN which pathetically came to help the afghans after taliban were toppled. And then they brought karzai and put him as president who gave the invaders right to do whatever they did both to civilians and the prisoners..The war was outsourced to private security people from all over the world.. In iraq they repeated everything, taking out ben laden, and replacing him by WMD, the rest was a carbon copy of their expearnices in afghanistan. Americans and westerners are easy to rule, they stop short of demanding the full truth and accountiblity. thats why democracy as practised now a days is a big hit over there..In the countries where america has dictator friends, people dont get satisfied easily, thats why america has to put its friendly regimes, as it has done in afghanistan and iraq, and since it promised americans, it would democratise those countries, its cursed to arranged bogus elections and accept the bogus results.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:52:44 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=35#comment29 Oh, the bravery of being out of range!The anglo-saxon world always seems to be willing to engage in war - especially if the opponent is weaker. But as soon as the opponent is seen as not weak as first thought anglo-saxons can't wait to leave (aka surrender!). The next time our brave leaders want to start another war we should send those armchair generals over first. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:37:58 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=34#comment28 Who is trying to subdue Islam?No one is trying to take anyones religion from them,just don't want violence here.From any religious or political factions.------------------------------------------------------------------------The people who started this war, those who dragged in islam after 9/11 into western discourse, those who give simple reasons to the attack, namely islam. Those who still describe taliban and anyone who disagree with western allies of karzai, as islamists or jihadis..those who openly use the word, jihadis, a slur to describe those who fight against invasion..Thosee who think flying kites, singing and dancing is a creiteria for the subdued muslims..If you sing and dance, and fly kites then you are an open minded moderate, the kind of muslim you want to see. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:37:52 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=32#comment27 Colonelartist – Apologies, I had missed the reference to the other post. In many ways I agree with you position, I did not agree with the original proposed military strikes, though I understood the arguments behind them. I definitely did not support the invasion, not because I thought the Taliban was anything more than a bunch of medievally minded cretins, but because I could see that the war would not work, the aims could not be achieved.I was quite verbal in my opinions at the time and was basically called either an idiot or a traitor, sometimes both, by an equally vocal and opinionated section of the British population. I take little pleasure being proven right. As for Iraq it was a travesty of the first order, lies built up on lies, both Bush and Blair wanting to appear to be great war leaders. Granted Saddam was not a nice human being, a horrible dictator in fact, but that was not sufficient justification for the invasion, as our erstwhile leaders knew hence the need to pressure the intelligence agencies into discovering ‘evidence’. In my mind for the invasion of Iraq both Bush and Blair should be tried as war criminals, not that it will ever happen.I am not a pacifist, I applied to join the army when I was younger, my congenital heart defect (though fixed) made that nearly impossible, but I believe that war is only ever the last resort, which I guess is yet another thing that Marcus will have to disagree with me on. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:25:55 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=31#comment26 1o you can't blame people for trusting their leaders both the President and Congress it is there job to engage or not engage in War.Well lesson learned now no one trust politicians of either party.And don't think they can make proper decisions. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:12:23 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=30#comment25 The terrorist attack in New York was an outrage, innocent people were slain for no legitimate reason. The anger felt at the time was not confined to the US, its victims were not all American. I remember watching the TV thinking it was Bin Laden, while some of the commentators were still suggesting the Palestinians, knowing that there would be a reckoning. You cannot get away with attacking the most powerful country on the planet.----------------------------------------------------------------------------Out rage or in rage, innocent people werent slain. they were killed under debris...I will not tell you to question the contractors of the buildings, because that will not go down well with you..Otherwise I would have.If ben laden did attack, then he has gotten away with attacking the most powerful country.. He has left The powerful country to figure out what it should do in afghanistan,while he is still at large. The anger was confined to america, the rest of the world sympathised.. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:10:45 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=29#comment24 15 Who is trying to subdue Islam?No one is trying to take anyones religion from them,just don't want violence here.From any religious or political factions. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:06:28 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=28#comment23 #16 Not sure which ‘most of you’ that was directed at, though you do seem to be very determined to distance yourself them.---------------------------------------------------------------------------"Most of you" was directed at saintDominick's first post, first line "most of us". I am very determine to distance myself from that because I was not for bombing..Reason at that time, among other, no clear military or political strategy given my americans, and secondly because it could lead to extension of wars to other parts and I was correct. Afghanistan was more stable under taliban than its today..Americans should have listened to taliban offer of handing over ben laden to saudi arabia or any other country and americans should have provided evidence against him to them..Probably they didnt, the had circumstancial evidence, and that doesnt carry any weight...The so called evidence they have now, is all based on those gitmo prisnors..And that could be easily challanged..However, the guy who is called master mind of 9/11 who is already in american custody and have admitted, should be tried openly, an maybe we will find out that he had some personal vandetta going on with americans and thats why he did that..All ben laden might have done is to arrange some money. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:05:42 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=26#comment22 15 failed ,what is failure?What is success?What was the goal here?No one answers that question do they.What is the successful goal for Afghanistan?What is supposed to be the out come? Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:03:59 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=25#comment21 Here's an article on al Qaeda in Yemen: http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/10/05/world/worldwatch/entry5364480.shtmlSeems like a case of "out of the frying pan -- into the fire" to me. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:01:30 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=24#comment20 11 just because people are willing to defend their country and die for it doesn't mean we should have them killed because they are willing,especially if their isn't a clear cause for war or even what the war is about or who are we fighting. Wed 07 Oct 2009 16:01:07 GMT+1 socialistlibertarian http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=23#comment19 I had not realized that we who opposed the bombing and invasion of a country that had not attacked us were such a tiny minority. And of that 6% not absolutely in favor of the bombing, probably some were "don't knows" or "have no opinions," making the tiny minority even tinier. One of that minuscule number was my father, a retired Army officer who had served in three wars, a man who loved his country deeply, was horrified at 9/11, and yet was appalled at the attack on Afghanistan. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:58:41 GMT+1 MagicKirin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=21#comment18 ref #15How did theU.S fail in Iraq? We got rid of a dictator who was a war criminal and they have a democracy flawed but far better than the alternative. the Kurds would disagree with you.As far as war with Islam. It is a war against terrorists who misuse Islam as an excuse for their actions. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:49:38 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=20#comment17 What politicians say is often bears little resemblance to what they will actually do. With the nation taking such a dim view of the war in Afghanistan, it is unlikely that Obama is not listening. Hopefully he is looking for a graceful way to get out of it without seeming "weak." As for what Theresa thinks, it may make for a good human interest story, but that is about it. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:47:40 GMT+1 powermeerkat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=19#comment16 " now, she says, it seems the plan is to turn Afghanistan into a Western-style democracy and she doesn't think this can work."She's right. About the mission creep. The mission should be denying the Terrorist International safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Not trying to turn the medieval country into a Western-style democracy.Ditto in Iraq. Or Iran.If locals want to live in Sharia-bases caliphates - let them!Just make them understand thet they will be allowed to do so with impunity only if their soil does not become a staging ground for terrorist actions abroad. Or be used for digging missile silos in it.Otherwise 10-20 MT each. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:45:04 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=18#comment15 Colonelartist – Not sure which ‘most of you’ that was directed at, though you do seem to be very determined to distance yourself them. While I agree more questions should have been asked prior to the invasion, there was reasonably concrete evidence who green lighted the 9/11 attacks, including a gloating admission. Now Bin Laden may have been a boy crying wolf (or possibly a wolf crying boy), but if you are the only one holding your hands up to a crime, don’t be surprised if the powers that be don’t come down on you like a ton of bricks.No none of the hijackers were from Afghanistan, but then few of Al Qaeda come from Afghanistan, Bin Laden is an exiled Saudi. The reason Al Qaeda was skulking around in Afghanistan wasn’t because they from Afghanistan or even that they supported the Taliban, it was because it was a politically unstable country they felt was safe from Western influence, pretty much like the reason they are in Somalia.The terrorist attack in New York was an outrage, innocent people were slain for no legitimate reason. The anger felt at the time was not confined to the US, its victims were not all American. I remember watching the TV thinking it was Bin Laden, while some of the commentators were still suggesting the Palestinians, knowing that there would be a reckoning. You cannot get away with attacking the most powerful country on the planet.What followed was an ill thought out revenge, aggravated by the Taliban refusing to give up the Al Qaeda bases, if they had simply stepped to the side, they may have lost face but they would probably avoided the war. I know some Americans, and even a few Brits think what followed was justice, it wasn’t it was revenge fuelled by grief and wounded pride, understandable at the time, but a revenge that has left us up the proverbial stream without a paddle. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:37:54 GMT+1 kambar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=17#comment14 America is still having a WHAT TO DO debate. This shows that they are dragging their feet. They know they have failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Muslims see this war ON terror as war OF terror launched as a crusade by President Bush. Muslims both righrt wing and liberal will never submit to Great Satan. US shoudl give up that hope. Its time to stop this vain and self-defeating long war and come to senses. Just catch the bad guys as you would do any criminal. No police force except corrupt ones targets families of criminals. They know it would back fire on them. This is exactly what America did after 9/11. US is still paying in blood and money for that fatal mistake. Its not too late to save face and say sorry. Efforts to subdue Islam will sink America. Its time to make peace. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:36:49 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=15#comment13 RomeStu (#3) "It would be interesting to hear the strategy options concerning Somalia and the Yemen, which today seem to be significant bases for Al-Qaeda."The US has attacked al-Qaeda targets in both Somalia and Yemen. Those countries have the advantage (for the US) of being on the coast. We don't need land bases to attack targets as we do in Afghanistan. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:20:57 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=14#comment12 Polls go up and down with the daily news. We have a relatively new president, a new AfPak commander, and revisions to the strategy in progress. It's premature to judge. I'm satisfied that the president has his eye on the ball, and I'll wait a few months to see whether the situation improves. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:16:38 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=13#comment11 Intense pressure should be put on Pakistan to secure their own border areas where Al-Qaeda are said to be hiding. This would be good for Pakistan and all of us.----------------------------------------------------------------------------alqaida was said to be in afghanistan, and that country was bombed..Now it is said that alqaida is in pakistan, so it should kill its own people which will be good for pakistan and all of you..Do you know how many pakistani soldiers and officers have been killed so far? when you cannot bear to see one of your soldiers be killed, what makes you think that pakistanis would want to see their soldiers be killed? In summer more than 3 million pakistanis were displaced just for good of the world, and what has the world done to them or to pakistan? More demands and no thank you. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:13:09 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=12#comment10 Of course I might be biased,having 2 cousin serving.----------------------------------------------------------------------------Let your 2 cousin serve. It was, I am sure, his decision. Wed 07 Oct 2009 15:07:05 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=10#comment9 Most of us had no problem with the original decision to invade Afghanistan for the purpose of destroying the Al Qaeda training camps, arresting or killing the mastermind of 9/11, destroying the terrorist organization that attacked us, and making sure it is never a threat to us or our allies ever again.--------------------------------------------------------------------------And here lies the cause of the whole problem..Most of you should have a lot of problems with the orginal decision to invade Afghanistan for any purpose..Most of you should have demanded to see the strategy of those who wanted to show you that they could react to the terrorists..Most of you should atleast, have said, "wait a minute, is there a concrete evidence against ben laden" or "wait a second, those who plane-bombed pentagon and financial towers werent from afghanistan, they didnt take their flying training in afghanistan, why is our government hell bound to attack that country" And finally most of you should, absolutely should have asked your leaders, especially george bush " why do you ally yourself with those northern alliance guys, when you told the world that we were the most civlized civilization of the world". Now, you should tell your leaders that "we are in Afghanistan, we told those people that we are occupying them to make them free of the taliban and the yrs and yrs of war, until you acheive that, dont embarass us by pulling out". Wed 07 Oct 2009 14:28:35 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=9#comment8 Of course I might be biased,having 2 cousin serving.And basically I am an Isolationists when it comes to foreign policy,but time to use our resources more productively. Wed 07 Oct 2009 14:21:54 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=8#comment7 The military always wants troops and money that is their job.many Presidents who vow against America in foreign conflicts almost never honors that rhetoric and it always costs us in some way.Military will always want to engage.That's why Civilians(President and Congress)are supposed to use their judgment but it is easier to blame the Generals and Advisers.Terrorists don't have a country,they are misguided people who blame there miserable lives on others instead of peaceful and productive change they actually believe they are Heroes but they are really just murderers.And eventually they all will lose any support till there just a bunch of rural crazies because the majority of people want a steady,peaceful life and terrorists never deliver that.I am tired of Afghanistan and the supposed war on terror. Wed 07 Oct 2009 14:17:24 GMT+1 DiscoStu_d http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=7#comment6 @ 2, Gorilla warfare? Now that would be something. I don't agree that guerrillas will defeat 'modern technology' every time but perhaps you meant conventional army? Warfare is a bit complex and some would argue that a conventional military is constrained by politics, laws of war, and so on, that prevents the military from doing all it can to win (e.g. carpet bombing, scorched earth policies, etc). Guerrillas, insurgents, or whatever you want to call them might not be overly concerned about adhering to treaties, or laws of war. With those considerations in mind it seems to me that it may take more time to win such a conflict. Wed 07 Oct 2009 14:06:41 GMT+1 D R Murrell http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=6#comment5 A War on Terror is patently ridiculous, especially when some of the tactics are shock and awe, ‘we will scare people into not committing terror on others’, a nice catchphrase a bit like the War on Drugs, but when you think about it for a moment pretty meaningless. A symptom of type of politics used both in the UK & US at the beginning of this decade, nice catchphrases (spin) but little real substance.Sure immediately after 9/11 surgical strikes against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and possibly elsewhere would have been a good idea. On the one-hand international goodwill would have supported this, on the other would have been a good lesson to anyone thinking of threatening the US, bomb our civilians and will turn your camps into dust and ash.The invasion of Afghanistan was never a good idea, mostly because those in charge didn’t think about what would happen after the initial invasion. You go in an further de-stable an already unsteady country, what do you do then? Leave facing the condemnation of the international community for causing years of strife due to the ensuing civil war until a new power gains control, if not the Taliban than probably something just as bad. Or do you do what we have done and become mired within an occupation hated by most of the Afghanistanians and watch as a growing number of your own population question why young men and women’s lives are being thrown away fighting in a country where they are not wanted.Has the war prevented potential terror attacks, no, if anything it has given the extremists another banner to use in the call to arms, compounded by the invasion of Iraq (where it seems large chunks of the American & British population could work out Saddam was no real threat, but according to government spin the intelligence agencies couldn’t, except the intelligence agencies were pushed into providing evidence to support the invasion). Since invading Afghanistan, there have been successful terrorist attacks in Europe, almost successful attacks in the USA. The public on both continents are advised to be wary and be on alert for attacks, accept that the civil liberties the terrorists find offensive must be surrendered so we can be protected. To win the War on Terror the US & UK governments must cause fear both at home and abroad, what a fantastic idea.Obama has to get involved with the debate on what happens next, would anyone really expect the US president to ignore a costly war where sons and daughters come home in body bags? Yes the military wants more money, then again so do the people back home. Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place caused by people who from the outside seem more obsessed with their legacies and glory than in resolving the worst conflict so far this century. Wed 07 Oct 2009 13:29:48 GMT+1 yanwenxia http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=4#comment4 The war was a mistake in the first place, as we have already seen in the past that Afghanistan is not a country that can be conquered easily. If US leaders ever learned a lesson from Russia's almost a decade war there, they would not subject themselves to another Vietnam-like situation. Obama proved no wiser than the previous white house occupants. He seems always tries to bite more than he can swallow -- economy, healthcare reform, huge deficit and the most absurd unreasonable wars in modern history. On top of all this, there is rising opposition against most of his agenda. Realistically, I don't think he will accomplish what he starts with. If he fails, it will damage his chance to be re-elected for second-term living in white house.It is not just his own failing. US is already heading toward the opposite of its past glories since FDR. Obama has the chance to reverse this downward trend, but as it is, the continuation of the downward trend seems the likely dire reality. Wed 07 Oct 2009 12:40:28 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=3#comment3 The war on Terror with an actual military is stupid.Terrorist have a set of ideas or beliefs that they think using violence will encourage others but it never works.KKK is basically gone except a few.Anarchist are few look how many world leaders they killed,one of our Presidents,yes we hung his murderer but they didn't go around the world looking for Anarchists to kill.we should have killed Bin Laden and been on our way.They are group of people united a set of ideas they don't really have a country.Find out why people join,what make them angry with regards to policy and find a different way for them or ignore and punish when people use violence.We can't really track every insurgent. Wed 07 Oct 2009 12:23:15 GMT+1 RomeStu http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=2#comment2 It would be interesting to hear the strategy options concerning Somalia and the Yemen, which today seem to be significant bases for Al-Qaeda.Afghanistan was justified at the beginning when Al-Qaeda / Taliban were on site, but now it's broken. Can we fix it ? Not really .... a long drawn out and unwanted occupation will help no one in the long run, except the various warlords whose tangled and ever-changing web of alliances goes with the money that comes from abroad.Intense pressure should be put on Pakistan to secure their own border areas where Al-Qaeda are said to be hiding. This would be good for Pakistan and all of us. Wed 07 Oct 2009 12:02:50 GMT+1 8597kilty http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=1#comment1 The war in Afghanistan is unwinnable and here are some of the myriad of reasons why. Firstly, like Vietnam, gorilla warfare will defeat modern technology every time. Senseless loss of life and precious resources are being wasted by Western countries under sketch reasoning. Secondly, the Taliban will never allow Afghanistan to become a democracy by force, or by inclination. Western thinking cannot change centuries of culture and religion, nor should it. Thirdly, the war was begun on false assumptions under the George W. Bush administration. Using 9/11 to gain a foothold in a risky part of the world was the easy part; the difficult part remains. Troops should be withdrawn soon. The US theory of bomb first and ask questions later clearly doesn't work and should be rejected at every turn. Wed 07 Oct 2009 11:41:21 GMT+1 saintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/10/gauging_public_opinion.html?page=0#comment0 Most of us had no problem with the original decision to invade Afghanistan for the purpose of destroying the Al Qaeda training camps, arresting or killing the mastermind of 9/11, destroying the terrorist organization that attacked us, and making sure it is never a threat to us or our allies ever again.Many of us, however, object to an indefinite occupation, and question the logic of removing the Taleban from power and trying to impose our will on people who do not share our values or aspirations.President Obama's decision to escalate the war by increasing troop levels a few months ago intensified the conflict and generated more hatred towards us. Most importantly, our inability or unwillingness to provide clear objectives and define what would constitute victory make our decision to remain in that country suspicious to say the least.If Obama's decision is to impress the right wing, he might as well forget it, unfortunately for him he is losing credibility with the ones that voted for him and whose support he needs to be re-elected in 2012. Wed 07 Oct 2009 10:30:19 GMT+1