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January 1, 2009 2:49 AM   Subscribe

The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster,"

The National Army Museum's Julian Farrance: "They're ignoring the successes that Britain had in Afghanistan, and there have been many. The second Afghan war was concluded very much in Britain's favour and the third Afghan war was a total washout for the Afghans."
posted by nthdegx (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
While I couldn't give a rat's arse where Al-Qaeda gets it's propaganda material, I really enjoyed scrolling through the first link. Thank you for posting it.
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:24 AM on January 1, 2009


The first Afghan war was an attempt at permanent occupation and imperial colonization via a puppet monarchy. The second and third Afghan wars came with exit conditions attached -- "go in, kick ass, then retreat in good order".

Spot the difference.
posted by cstross at 4:29 AM on January 1, 2009


Yeah, and our current misadventures closely resemble #1.
posted by mr. strange at 4:38 AM on January 1, 2009


Heckuva job, Elphie.
posted by fleacircus at 5:06 AM on January 1, 2009


(A far cooler cultural reference: Hamas uses music from Lords of the Realm II in a psychedelic propaganda film, FF to 1:15-ish.)
posted by resurrexit at 5:49 AM on January 1, 2009


His main message seems to be don't serve in the 44th Foot/Royal Anglians, though.
posted by Abiezer at 6:39 AM on January 1, 2009


I love the britishbattles link. Nice find.
posted by RussHy at 7:19 AM on January 1, 2009


Also, I'm sure this time things will be different, and we'll be able to occupy the country without any problems.
/sarcasm
posted by RussHy at 7:29 AM on January 1, 2009


“When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.”
NATO Lessons: 1880 UK defeat at Maiwand-Afghanistan
posted by adamvasco at 8:15 AM on January 1, 2009


Great resource. Tx.
posted by binturong at 9:50 AM on January 1, 2009


Also, I'm sure this time things will be different, and we'll be able to occupy the country without any problems.
/sarcasm
posted by RussHy at 7:29 AM on January 1


what you mean 'we'.... oh right, how exactly did the US inherit the burdens of the British Empire: defending against the Persians/Russians?
posted by geos at 10:27 AM on January 1, 2009


Also related.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:41 AM on January 1, 2009


Clearly the answer is that we must never study history.
posted by rodgerd at 10:57 AM on January 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm all from studying history and feel me must learn from the past. But the current situation is far different from the <20,000 troops that walked in from India over 100 years ago.

Not that the Coalition will succeed, the problems are too large for a military solution. Luckily President Obama realizes this. Unfortunately the terrorists realize this too, hence Mumbai.

Things are looking positive this year though, many more troops coming in, much of the Taliban pent up in Pakistan, a smart commander in chief taking over, and a Pakistan that is absolutely being forced to deal with it's crisis levels of internal and exported terrorism.

Either that, or India invades and we call it a day.
posted by parallax7d at 11:10 AM on January 1, 2009


Once more up the Khyber; Time To Start Learning About Afghanistan. Especially About That First Afghan War of 1838
posted by adamvasco at 11:42 AM on January 1, 2009


Either that, or India invades and we call it a day.

Indeed.

That will probably be quite a warm day.

Things are looking positive this year though, many more troops coming in, much of the Taliban pent up in Pakistan, a smart commander in chief taking over, and a Pakistan that is absolutely being forced to deal with it's crisis levels of internal and exported terrorism.

Well, I don't know if the Taliban could be considered "pent up", they seem to be able to launch raids into Afghan territory at will. If you haven't seen "The War Briefing" yet (from Frontline) I highly recommend it.

I completely disagree that more troops is a positive development here either. You say yourself that "the problems are too large for a military solution".

One surge does not fit all.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:30 AM on January 2, 2009


And on another note, Pakistan is forced to deal with nothing. In fact, its more likely that they will do nothing, mostly because they cannot really do anything. Pakistan's central government is very weak, and mostly unable to exercise any control in the regions that are the biggest threat to NATO and Afghan forces.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:33 AM on January 2, 2009


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