“Except when Spanta forced me to say thank you”

Some subtle passive aggression in this New York Times article about Karzai announcing that the United States is talking to the Taliban and then going on a long rant wherein he blamed foreigners for Afghanistan’s environmental problems:

Much of Mr. Karzai’s speech, an address to the Afghanistan Youth International Conference, was devoted to broad criticisms of coalition forces in Afghanistan, saying their motives were suspect and their weapons were polluting his country.

“You remember a few years ago I was saying thank you to the foreigners for their help; every minute we were thanking them,” he said. “Now I have stopped saying that, except when Spanta forced me to say thank you,” referring to his national security adviser, Rangin Spanta, who was present.

[...] “There are 140 countries here in our country,” he said. “They’re using different explosive materials, chemical materials and all these things. We will talk to them and ask them about all these things, because this has a negative impact on our environment, our animals, our people, so we will ask them about this. They should not think we are uneducated and do not know anything.”

There are actually 48 NATO and allied countries with forces in Afghanistan.

 

The All Faiths Insurgency/Counterinsurgency Church/Mosque Online

From a Texan soldier’s blog:

The chaplain comes by from time to time. He gives services inside the leader’s tent.  I don’t attend, but since I live there sometimes i overhear what is said. On one occasion the chaplain told some soldiers that God will help them find IEDs before they step on them, but if they do step on them it will be OK because God is with them. I read something very similar to this in reverse. In a speech given at a nearby village by a pro-Taliban mullah, he said that God will help you to plant IEDs, and if the Americans shoot you, then well, don’t worry because you got shot for God. Most impressive, really. Both the chaplain and the mullah must be pulling material from the All Faiths Insurgency/Counterinsurgency Church/Mosque Online (AFICCMO) because it sucks.

Boys in tight jeans = More dangerous than suicide bombers

So, so much more dangerous.

That’s what a couple of Afghan senators think. From a paywalled gem of a story by Pajhwok:

[Lawmaker Maulvi Munib] said a number of foreign countries had succeeded in luring young Afghan girls and boys into adopting their culture.

He did not name any country, but asked the government to fulfill its responsibility toward that end. “It is more dangerous than atom bomb when your youth is inspired by a foreign culture,” the Maulvi said.

He said some people wore such clothes that one could not differentiate whether they are made for men or women.

Maulvi Abdul Wahab Irafan from Takhar province said Afghanistan suffered less during three decades of war compared to past few years due to the invasion of foreign culture.

“The invasion of foreign culture is more dangerous than suicide attacks, bombs blasts and other terrorist activities,” he remarked.

Y’hear that, shiny suited, pink t-shirt wearing, emo kid jeans loving Kabul youths? Well, you better. Because your country is suffering because of your foppish fashions.

Taliban inevitably join the Twitterverse

Today in WTF war news: Afghanistan’s ironically social media-savvy insurgents have jumped on the Twitterz with the account @alemarahweb.

How long before the account manager, Taliban communication upstart Mostafa Ahmedi, gets into a tweet brawl with Pamir 303 commander @Daud1970?

Please, someone, make this happen.

“Meh. Let the kids fight,” says Obama

What the sweet fuck is going on at the White House?

This is a real memo:

Presidential Memorandum–Child Soldiers Prevention Act
Presidential Determination
No.       2011-4

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT:    Presidential Determination with Respect to Section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA.

You are authorized and directed to submit this determination to the Congress, along with the accompanying memorandum of justification, and to publish it in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

For those of you in locales where drinking is legal, please start now. I will catch up with you later.

TWOF

Todd Huffman and Brian Conley have no time to deal with this TWOF. August 2010.

My comrade-in-arms Naheed Mustafa once used the phrase “a tidal wave of fuckery” to describe the immature, pervy and unnecessarily vicious social drama that washes over everything and everyone in Kabul.

It stuck with me because it’s a great expression, and one that deserves its own acronym for the internets. Hence, I give you TWOF.

Use it wisely, kids.

Here’s a good context:

Last night, I tried to visit a friend at the Park Palace, a well-known Kabul hotel that has recently come under new  and decidedly sketchy management. The teenage receptionist prevented me from visiting my friend’s room, implied I was a hooker (“You want to do something illegal in Afghanistan” and “You are a bad woman”), and threatened to have the guards remove me from the premises. TWOF!

The way we live now: post-apocalyptically

A day like any other.

From ‘A radical pessimist’s guide to the next 10 years’:

43) Getting to work will provide vibrant and fun new challenges

Gravel roads, potholes, outhouses, overcrowded buses, short-term hired bodyguards, highwaymen, kidnapping, overnight camping in fields, snaggle-toothed crazy ladies casting spells on you, frightened villagers, organ thieves, exhibitionists and lots of healthy fresh air.

Minus the fresh air, that’s my commute to work every day in Kabul.