The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: A Brief Encapsulation

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The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: A Brief Encapsulation

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is immediately important in contemporary times for two primary reasons:

1) It is the conflict that Osama Bin Laden cut his teeth on as the leader of a loose military organization

2) It is the most often-cited example used by muslim terrorist apologists (See: Noam Chomsky) of how the modern muslim terrorist movements are motivated by political climate rather than religious fervor, and that - as a result - we wouldn't have the problems with Hamas and Al Qaeda that we do today if only we'd live and let live.

 

The curious and half-informed observer might then ask, however:

Why on Earth would the 1980s Soviet Union want to invade a barren desert?

 

Answer:

The were attempting to uphold the current Afghanistan government, the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), established in 1978 after a small series of coups (resulting from the downfall of the previous monarchy). It was threatened after it attempted to modernize muslim culture and remove the burkas from womens' faces.

 

The PDPA attempted to institue a number of reforms to the country (primarily marriage law) in an attempt to modernize the culture and bring the country up to more Western standards. The reaction from supporters of traditional Shia law (Osama Bin Laden counted among such muslims) was violent; uprising broke-out all across the country. The Afghan government responded in kind by enacting brutal sanctions against dissenters tormenting anyone suspect of leading uprisings in Pul-e-Charkhi prison.

The rebellion, outnumbering the Afghan government's army, was in a real position to overturn the government. The Soviets, somewhat invested in the stability of Afghanistan and it's communist government, interceded. The United States saw this as yet another battle between 'Good' and 'Communism' (sigh), and so Jimmy Carter idiotically decided to provide CIA assistance to Bin Laden's mujahideen fundamentalists.

The Soviets, unfortunately, were in much the same position as the U.S. is in today in Iraq: stuck trading expensive tanks and soldiers for handfuls of dead teenagers and jury-rigged explosives, They were forced to pull-out, and the PDPA collapsed. Supported by the mujahideen, the Taliban rose to power and filled the vacuum left by the communist regime.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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I am insulted that I was not

I am insulted that I was not included on the list of 'muslim terroist apologists'

 

Quote:

The were attempting to uphold the current Afghanistan government, the Marxist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), established in 1978 after a small series of coups (resulting from the downfall of the previous monarchy). It was threatened after it attempted to modernize muslim culture and remove the burkas from womens' faces.

 

Here's another question:

 

Doad Khan (The person overthrown by the PDPA..) was also for women's rights. Why no uprising against him? The reason the PDPA over threw Khan was because one of the assasination of one of their memebers, who Khan thought was going to overthrow him to install a communist regime.


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Answer: Khan's attempts at

Answer: Khan's attempts at implementing reform were unsuccessful. The military was not loyal to his government (their loyalties were strongly tied to the PDPA and it's secretary, Turaki) and he had no means of enforcing new policy.

There was no revolt because no revolt was necessary. Whatever Khan's intentions, Shia law was not actually endangered until the PDPA seized control (executing Doad) and actually began to enforce measures of reform.

 

EDIT: You weren't included in the list because your arguments aren't even original, Cap'n.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:2) It is

Kevin R Brown wrote:

2) It is the most often-cited example used by muslim terrorist apologists (See: Noam Chomsky) of how the modern muslim terrorist movements are motivated by political climate rather than religious fervor, and that - as a result - we wouldn't have the problems with Hamas and Al Qaeda that we do today if only we'd live and let live.

i don't see the difference.  religious fervor is motivated by political climate.  religions arise and adjust in reaction to material circumstances.  they very rarely spring fully-formed out of the heads of madmen before they either a. die, or b. are taken over by more politically minded faithful (paul to jesus, brigham young to joseph smith, king ashoka to buddha, etc.).  many religious founders are very astute politicians themselves, and muhammad was one of them.

muslim terrorism is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back to colonial days (recall that terrorism and militarism are two different things).  history has shown us that, when in power, islam behaves pretty much like any other religion when it has political power: it is repressive, the laws it makes are definitely informed by its worldview, but it also tends to become moderate and bogged down in its own bureaucracy.  in most cases, it was a hell of a lot more civilized than the christian governments.  fundamentalism is a reactionary movement, and so it needs something to react against.  whatever you believe the fundamental motivation is--political or religious (as if they could be separated)--there would be no hamas without the state of israel, or al qaeda without the soviet union.  if islam was still in its ascendency, if there were still powerful ottoman or mamluk or moghul empires, rather than a group of third world nations on the run from most of the developed world, i doubt we would have to worry about muslims with bombs strapped to their chests.  we might have to worry about paying a tax as a non-muslim, but that's hardly a terrorist act.

i would hope that chomsky is smart enough to recognize the violence inherent in islam--the same as is inherent in any exclusivist ideology--and isn't an "apologist" in that sense, but he is correct in saying that the terrorist problem in the world today springs directly from 20th century superpower politics, and the US holds the lion's share of that responsibility.  then again, i think chomsky is a very overrated thinker these days and, on several counts, i think he's full of shit.  he definitely seems like a conceited asshole.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Quote:i would hope that

Quote:
i would hope that chomsky is smart enough to recognize the violence inherent in islam--the same as is inherent in any exclusivist ideology--and isn't an "apologist" in that sense, but he is correct in saying that the terrorist problem in the world today springs directly from 20th century superpower politics

If that's true, what's your explanation for the general trend towards violence and conquest seen throughout the muslim world over the course of the past 17-20 centuries?

Bush sure wasn't around for much of that.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Your 17-20 centuries stat is

Your 17-20 centuries stat is incorrect. Islam didn't exist until the 7th century. Of course the mideval Hashashins (the word "assassins" came from them ) were much like modern suicide bombers.

Matt Shizzle has been banned from the Rational Response Squad website. This event shall provide an atmosphere more conducive to social growth. - Majority of the mod team


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Answer:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Answer: Khan's attempts at implementing reform were unsuccessful. The military was not loyal to his government (their loyalties were strongly tied to the PDPA and it's secretary, Turaki) and he had no means of enforcing new policy.

There was no revolt because no revolt was necessary. Whatever Khan's intentions, Shia law was not actually endangered until the PDPA seized control (executing Doad) and actually began to enforce measures of reform.

 

 

Khan jailed religious leaders that outspoke against his decision to unviel minister's wives in a public event.

 

And Khan only lost his military support after severing his ties with the USSR. And if you haven't noticed the PDPA had to use force to otherthrow him so he clearly had support.

 

So in other words you are taking a complex issue and waving a hand 'religion did it'. Even if religion played a role, I can pretty much guarentee you it goes deeper than that.

 

Quote:

EDIT: You weren't included in the list because your arguments aren't even original, Cap'n.

 

Yeah, I got them from last week's "We love Muslim terrorists" meeting.

 

 

 

 

 


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Kevin R Brown wrote:If

Kevin R Brown wrote:

If that's true, what's your explanation for the general trend towards violence and conquest seen throughout the muslim world over the course of the past 17-20 centuries?

this is why i took care to remind you that terrorism and militarism are different.  i mean, the whole world, muslim and otherwise, has a had a "general trend towards violence and conquest" for the past 17-20 centuries.  for someone with such an itchy trigger finger for jumping on logical fallacies, i'm surprised at you.

terrorism is an act of desperation and reaction, usually by a single individual or a (comparatively) small band of dissidents, with the aim of extracting political demands which are usually of a defensive nature.  conquest is an act of an organized military, directed by a government, with the aim of gaining land and resources, human and/or material.  while the umayyads and abassids and seljuks et. al. often cited religion as a justification for military action (just as the catholic countries did with the crusades), it is clear from historical records that their actions certainly didn't bear that out.  despite what christian apologeticists spout, islam is not a religion that was "spread by the sword." 

at most, one can say that islam was a religion whose territorial influence was spread by the sword.  unlike the catholics and their forced baptisms, especially of jews, it was very rare that anyone was ever forced to become a muslim at spear-tip.  many people did become muslim for the sake of greater enfranchisement, but it is well known that jews and christians were treated well in the muslim empires, and more-so as a consensus was steadily built.  under the ottomans in their heyday, christians actually held some of the highest positions in the government.  so it seems that muslim "violence and conquest" was not motivated to a great extent by missionary zeal.  even muhammad was known to have let jews and christians keep their religion, as long as they paid a special tax and did nothing to offend the faithful.

with the advent of colonialism and the decline of islamic political power worldwide, however, terrorism grew side-by-side with a fundamentalist-nationalist siege mentality.  this is not exclusive to islam.  fundamentalism, and its secular counterpart nationalism, is liable to flare up in any society that feels threatened.  muslim violence has become sporadic, desperate, and surrounded by volatile religious rhetoric as part of a quasi-nationalistic reaction against western military and cultural encroachment.

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Bush sure wasn't around for much of that.

i mentioned nothing about bush in my post.  to blame all the violence on bush or the republicans or even america alone would be as absurdly simplistic as blaming it on islam alone.  you're painting with a very broad brush here, kevin, and once more, i'm surprised at you.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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MattShizzle wrote:Your 17-20

MattShizzle wrote:

Your 17-20 centuries stat is incorrect. Islam didn't exist until the 7th century. Of course the mideval Hashashins (the word "assassins" came from them ) were much like modern suicide bombers.

the hashshashins were a relatively small group of killers whose goal was to defend the sect of ismaili shiite islam against persecution by the sunni authorities, among them saladin.  terrorists and assassins are different.  assassins target specific leaders while terrorists generally prefer to use senseless violence against innocent (in the sense of unconnected) people.  while muslims do have a history of using violence in their internal struggles, so do most other religions.  muslim terrorism against the west, however, does not have such a long history.

as a side-note, it's not completely established that "assassins" comes from "hashshashins."

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Quote:Yeah, I got them from

Quote:
Yeah, I got them from last week's "We love Muslim terrorists" meeting.

Actually, you plagiarized almost word for word from Chomsky's Perilous Power.

 

But, whatever. It's always been my suspicion that you have no genuine opinions of your own.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
Yeah, I got them from last week's "We love Muslim terrorists" meeting.

Actually, you plagiarized almost word for word from Chomsky's Perilous Power.

 

 

I've never read anything by Chomsky.

 

 

Quote:

But, whatever. It's always been my suspicion that you have no genuine opinions of your own.

 

 

I actually eat my Oreos straight up as opposed to dipping them in milk which is the social norm around here.

 

EDIT: And If only I were atheist and as wise as you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Why on

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Why on Earth would the 1980s Soviet Union want to invade a barren desert?

 

Because Communism like Islamism is a product of irrational beliefs. So it must survive on paranoia and violent threats. The leaders don't really believe, they just use it as a tool to dupe the masses for gaining power and wealth.

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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The "greed gene" rules.

The "greed gene" rules.