Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Terry Glavin; useful idiot

He's at it again folks. Graduate of the Christopher Hitchens's School of Deluded Foreign Policy Apologias, Terry Glavin has turned his scatter-shot analytic powers on Tariq Ali:
On Ali and his apologetics for the Taliban and Hezbollah, read Imtiaz Baloch. On why Ali is intellectually incapable of recognizing real imperialism when it's staring him right in the face, read Naeem Khan Wardag' s 'Tariq Ali, Pashtun Nationalism and Taliban.' On Ali's stunted political maturity, Tahir Aslam Gora observes that "leftists like Tariq Ali are caught up in their so-called Islamic heritage pride and are not liberated enough to support the true values of liberalism and secularism." Principia Dialectica sums up Ali as "a socialist who defends barbarism."

Whoa. Strong stuff. Glavin's incensed because of Tariq Ali's description of the rise of the insurgency:
Ali: "Given the massive increase in support for the new version of the Taliban that is the result of the war and occupation, any government has to include their representatives."

Glavin responds by pointing to a bullshit poll:
Facts: Asked who they would rather have ruling their country, 82 per cent of Afghan poll respondents [pdf] said "the current government," while four per cent preferred the Taliban - up from three per cent three years ago. This is Ali's "massive increase" in support for the Taliban, for which we are admonished to blame the "war and occupation."

Really Terry? That's quite the ringing endorsemsent for the "Mayor of Kabul." If 82% of the country are so happy with our failed narco-puppet-torture-state, then why has the insurgency continued to grow? Why is the country still a complete basket-case after SEVEN YEARS of NATO/UN tutelage? (I already asked Terry this question folks. He delted it before launching into a detestable round of self-praise.)

Glavin closes with this exhibition of his debating prowess:
(Any such zombies or allied trolls from the Ali fan club who show up here in comments will be deleted without exception.)

Let's check out Tariq Ali's ringing defence of the Taliban's version of Islam:
True, there was a sense of relief in Kabul when the Taliban’s Wahhabite Emirate was overthrown. Though rape and heroin production had been curtailed under their rule, warlords kept at bay and order largely restored in a country that had been racked by foreign and civil wars since 1979, the end result had been a ruthless social dictatorship with a level of control over the everyday lives of ordinary people that made the clerical regime in Iran appear an island of enlightenment.

The term "useful idiot" appears to be an invention attributed to V. I. Lenin, but it's become a shortform for those who allow themselves to become dupes for a cynical political project:
In political jargon, the term "useful idiot" was used to describe Soviet sympathizers in western countries and the alleged attitude of the Soviet government towards them. The implication was that though the person in question naïvely thought themselves an ally of the Soviets or other Communists, they were actually held in contempt by them, and being cynically used.
The term is now used more broadly to describe someone who is perceived to be manipulated by a political movement, terrorist group, or hostile government, whether or not the group is Communist in nature.

The term suits Glavin because he actually appears to believe in "The Mission" (tm.) in Afghanistan and has allowed himself to be deluded into imagining that Western imperialists are throwing off their true nature in this one place in this one time, and are determined to defeat an enemy (the Taliban) simply because they're evil, and they're determined to actually rebuild Afghanistan and bring democracy to its people because Western imperialists have a heart after all. Which is complete and total bullshit. If you're Terry Glavin though, having drunk the Kool-Aid, Afghanistan remains a country of seven years of "progress" with the continued growth of the insurgency and the continued misery of the people maddeningly inexplicable.

What does Tariq Ali have to say about the causes of the West's failure?

Karzai was duly installed in December 2001, but intimacy with us intelligence networks failed to translate into authority or legitimacy at home. Karzai harboured no illusions about his popularity in the country. He knew his biological and political life was heavily dependent on the occupation and demanded a bodyguard of us Marines or American mercenaries, rather than a security detail from his own ethnic Pashtun base. [11] There were at least three coup attempts against him in 2002–03 by his Northern Alliance allies; these were fought off by the ISAF, which was largely tied down in assuring Karzai’s security—while also providing a vivid illustration of where his support lay. [12] A quick-fix presidential contest organized at great expense by Western pr firms in October 2004-just in time for the USelections—failed to bolster support for the puppet president inside the country. Karzai’s habit of parachuting his relatives and protégés into provincial governor or police chief jobs has driven many local communities into alliance with the Taliban, as the main anti-government force. In Zabul, Helmand and elsewhere, all the insurgents had to do was ‘approach the victims of the pro-Karzai strongmen and promise them protection and support. Attempts by local elders to seek protection in Kabul routinely ended nowhere, as the wrongdoers enjoyed either direct us support or Karzai’s sympathy.’ [13]


Also feeding the resentment is the behaviour of a new elite clustered around Karzai and the occupying forces, which has specialized in creaming off foreign aid to create its own criminal networks of graft and patronage. The corruptions of this layer grow each month like an untreated tumour. Western funds are siphoned off to build fancy homes for the native enforcers. Housing scandals erupted as early as 2002, when cabinet ministers awarded themselves and favoured cronies prime real estate in Kabul where land prices were rocketing, since the occupiers and their camp followers had to live in the style to which they were accustomed. Karzai’s colleagues, protected by isaf troops, built their large villas in full view of the mud-brick hovels of the poor. The burgeoning slum settlements of Kabul, where the population has now swollen to an estimated 3 million, are a measure of the social crisis that has engulfed the country.


Yet never have such gaping inequalities featured on this scale before. Little of the supposed $19 billion ‘aid and reconstruction’ money has reached the majority of Afghans. The mains electricity supply is worse now than five years ago, and while the rich can use private generators to power their air conditioners, hot-water heaters, computers and satellite tvs, average Kabulis ‘suffered a summer without fans and face a winter without heaters.’ [15] As a result, hundreds of shelterless Afghans are literally freezing to death each winter.

Well, at least there's real progress on women's rights, right?

What do I mean by that? Take for example Afghanistan. In 2003, almost every woman's group I met with in Afghanistan, which was already a few years after the initial invasion, said that although they were very grateful for the fact that the Taliban was gone, the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan in general and in Kabul in particular had highly increased the incidence of both prostitution as well as trafficking-- it's not one in the same thing. Prostitution in the sense of--being something "voluntary" because very poor women and girls would come down, particularly from the countryside where villages are in a state of absolute dire impoverishment...there's very little to eat, very little production...I talked to so many women and women's organizations who've said, young girls sleep with a soldier in Kabul for $40, $50, which is more than their mothers could make as a teacher in a full month. That's the incidence of prostitution as a function of--people call it in the women's movement "survival sex." The trading of sex for food on a survival basis.


Those militias and militant groups are also armed, roaming and wandering, going randomly into villages, and targeting women as they please by sexually assaulting and raping. As for the incidents that you've been hearing about--whether it was the girls who got acid splashed on their faces that you read about in The New York Times-- these incidents have been going on for the last four or five years across the country. Girls going to school and teachers have been attacked, and under very various pretexts. Either the Taliban, mujahideen or various factions are attacking them for being "morally loose" or "promiscuous." These people are armed--and because war tends to infuse large amounts of testosterone into large groups of men, living and wandering around together--this does not create the safest of environments for girls in villages, for schoolteachers, for women of any kind--women working in the fields. And so, what we've been hearing reports of are random sexual attacks on women in villages, on girls walking to school, on teachers or other women who are working. So, attacks on women have increased, for all sorts of reasons--the most common one that we hear in the West is "Oh, these Islamic fundamentalists don't want women to work or study and so they're attacking them." But there are plenty of people who don't really care whether it's about Islam or not, they're just interested in showing their power by sexually abusing women.

Grow the fuck up Terry. Maybe if you weren't so busy insulting your betters and deleting their analyses you'd actually learn something. Newsflash Terry!!! George W. Bush wasn't such a nice guy! Jean Chretien probably doesn't think about Afghanistan at all anymore! Stephen Harper can't bring himself to give a shit about Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, why do you think he cares about the Afghans? It's pretty obvious that these monsters have made a clusterfuck because their motives were either bad or stupid. And it's pretty obvious, Terry, that the reason you're so intolerant of actual dissent to your brainless, deluded position is because you're incapable of facing up to the reality that you've been had. And thousands more will die, and the suffering will continue, and useful idiots such as yourself will continue to prattle on about "progress."


Dr.Dawg said...

I'd just note here that the deference effect in these "public opinion polls" must be considerable. As if you'd say "Taliban" when the pollster comes calling in the Coaltion-held areas.

thwap said...

Somewhere on EnMasse there was a good critique of polling in Afghanistan but I wasn't able to find what thread it is in.