Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Taliban Can Has Website
October 25, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

The Taliban Can Has Website
They also welcome feedback.
posted by Biru (81 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
There is no way I'm clicking that link.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:58 PM on October 25, 2010 [12 favorites]


I probably should not have clicked that.
posted by cellphone at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh. The server is located in hong kong
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2010


Joomla. Really.
posted by Gator at 2:02 PM on October 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


There is no way I'm clicking that link.

It's news about the war. Only where the AFP reports...

NATO said Monday that at least 15 Taliban militants were killed in southern Afghanistan in clashes and an air strike.

... the Voice of Jihad describes it thus:

Barbaric US invaders besieged and then raided the Village of Mai of Baghran district last night. The savages then bombed and shot civilians in their houses before terrorizing them and their children. Women, children and the elderly were amongst the Martyred.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:03 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Joomla. Really.

That's al-Jūmla' to you.
posted by theodolite at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2010 [6 favorites]


I thought "Taliban" was just a label we applied to Afghans after our soldiers kill them, to justify the action.
posted by rocket88 at 2:19 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Shit, just switch a few words around, and you've got foxnews.com.
posted by mark242 at 2:20 PM on October 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Who can make a website?
Fill it up with spam?
The Taliban can
The Taliban can
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:23 PM on October 25, 2010 [11 favorites]


bombed and shot civilians in their houses before terrorizing them and their children. Women, children and the elderly were amongst the Martyred.

And the sad thing is, that's probably the truth.
posted by Despondent_Monkey at 2:24 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


What does it say about the country I live in that I won't click that link for fear of future security clearances and sudden changes in laws/administrations?
posted by codacorolla at 2:26 PM on October 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


What, no RSS feed?
posted by anarcation at 2:34 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heh. The copyright notice at the bottom is a nice touch. Afghanistan isn't a signatory to the Berne Convention, so it's questionable whether they'd actually be able to sue anybody outside of Afghanistan for copyright infringement. Although man I'd love to see them try to sue somebody in the US for those sweet, sweet statutory damages. That might finally get public opinion behind copyright reform.

Also, it describes itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Who is the current emir?
posted by jedicus at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hello, federal agents! See you this weekend at the Rally To Get Added To Terrorist Watchlists!
posted by notion at 2:40 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Disappointed there's no Twitter feed. I would love to see how they would cope with only having 140 characters to tweet their twatwas.

Yes, I said twatwas. Should I have said fatweets?
posted by kcds at 2:41 PM on October 25, 2010 [22 favorites]


Fatweetwas. It's also a new cinnamon pastry at Burger King, named after the sound you make after you digest it.
posted by notion at 2:43 PM on October 25, 2010


Man, every time I read some stilted bullshit about martyrs, it makes me start singing Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments' "You can't kill stupid." ("Not with guns and disease…" Now I'm gonna be humming it all day.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on October 25, 2010


Also, it describes itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Who is the current emir?
Why Mr Mullah Mohammed Omar. Amir Al-Mu'minin.
posted by Biru at 2:46 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: a new cinnamon pastry at Burger King, named after the sound you make after you digest it.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 2:48 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Huh, the Taliban flag is just words. Didn't know that. In any case who cares, pretty much everyone has a crappy website you can't trust to be unbiased. Let me know when it gets hacked and redirects you to naked dancing ladies.
posted by shinybaum at 2:51 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


bahahahahahaha! for a moment there i thought it was built on Drupal but it's Joomla.

i can just imagine the marketing:

JOOMLA, the Contact Management System of Jihadis everywhere.

The White House is DRUPAL, the Taliban is JOOMLA.
Which CMS are you?

JOOMLA: good enough for the Taliban, good enough for you,


i should troll some GOP websites and checking which ones are made on JOOMLA. hilarity might ensue :D
posted by liza at 2:56 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


To fight and kill is worth three months without sex. Maybe it sounds idiotic but it is better than sex…

Damn, man.
posted by angrycat at 2:59 PM on October 25, 2010


>Man, every time I read some stilted bullshit about martyrs
I'm not sure anyone in the US would be doing much better if we were invaded by a vastly superior force. If China develops some exotic EMP technology, and then decides that they would like all of our natural resources and/or arable land, we would develop similarly fundamentalist narratives to deal with our subjugation.

When you are being decimated by a foe you can't defeat, it's always comforting to imagine that God is still on your side. Whether you call them martyrs or heroes or soldiers, you are still praising people for defending their way of life by laying down their own.
Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!" O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us -- he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. -Psalm 137:7
posted by notion at 3:00 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Even after China invaded, I think I would still enjoy a good shagging over killing somebody.

Anyways, why is it in English? Are English speakers really the core demographic here?
posted by angrycat at 3:02 PM on October 25, 2010


I'm not sure anyone in the US would be doing much better if we were invaded by a vastly superior force

since this cannot happen your analogy is void.
posted by clavdivs at 3:12 PM on October 25, 2010


"I'm not sure anyone in the US would be doing much better if we were invaded by a vastly superior force. If China develops some exotic EMP technology, and then decides that they would like all of our natural resources and/or arable land, we would develop similarly fundamentalist narratives to deal with our subjugation."

Well, first off, a fair number of the "martyrs" are folks the Taliban blew up themselves. Second, while we'd no doubt develop or embellish fundamentalist narratives, that doesn't mean I wouldn't still make fun of them, because most fundamentalist narratives are stupid.
posted by klangklangston at 3:17 PM on October 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's a Taliban Can? I thought music was forbidden? Either way, I'm looking forward to hearing their version of Mother Sky.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:18 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why Mr Mullah Mohammed Omar. Amir Al-Mu'minin.

Huh. I guess I assumed we'd killed whoever was leading the Taliban at the time of the invasion (which was Omar) à la Saddam Hussein and that there was a new guy in charge. I didn't realize they'd maintained continuity of leadership, such as it is. Thanks.
posted by jedicus at 3:22 PM on October 25, 2010


Anyways, why is it in English? Are English speakers really the core demographic here?


Young men from Bradford and Birmingham perhaps.
posted by Biru at 3:25 PM on October 25, 2010


>that doesn't mean I wouldn't still make fun of them, because most fundamentalist narratives are stupid.
Really? I'm trying to imagine how that would play out.

"Well, we prayed before they tried to visit their dying father across town, but they were killed at a checkpoint. Even their little daughter, Gracie. We tried to find out exactly what happened, but none of the translators were there. But I have faith that they are with Jesus now and at peace in Heaven."

"Whatever, dumbshit. God isn't real."
posted by notion at 3:30 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Really? I'm trying to imagine how that would play out."

IMAGINE HARDER
posted by klangklangston at 3:34 PM on October 25, 2010


...and as an American, I am subject to no one who has less then 10 trillion dollars.
posted by clavdivs at 3:36 PM on October 25, 2010


i should troll some GOP websites and checking which ones are made on JOOMLA. hilarity might ensue :D
Joomla! gets the Taliban, Drupal gets Al Jazeera. Sadly, there are no easy choices for conservative web sites.
posted by verb at 3:38 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to see how they would cope with only having 140 characters to tweet their twatwas.

Can we have a thread where we don't blanket paint "fatwa" as a call for blood? Fatwa = legal ruling, which, includes everything from how people get fined for not paying parking tickets to actual serious stuff- just because some crazies use it as well, doesn't redefine the term.

Sort of like how we don't say, "The Tea Party Constitutioned for the impeaching the President, today..."
posted by yeloson at 3:39 PM on October 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


In all seriousness, mods, could we add a (Not Safe for Security Clearance) tag onto the post? Because, its probably not.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:41 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"bombed and shot civilians in their houses before terrorizing them and their children. Women, children and the elderly were amongst the Martyred."

...so you need to hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband cuz they're raping everybody out here!
posted by markkraft at 3:52 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't believe the Hutaree Army has ever provided stability to Afghanistan. And, as far as I know, the Taliban has not named any of their ranks after Pokemon characters.
posted by notion at 3:54 PM on October 25, 2010


{ejects Chaff into thread}
posted by clavdivs at 4:09 PM on October 25, 2010


What does it say about the country I live in that I won't click that link for fear of future security clearances and sudden changes in laws/administrations?

That your paranoid?

(Security clearance, really?)
posted by delmoi at 4:33 PM on October 25, 2010


In all seriousness, mods, could we add a (Not Safe for Security Clearance) tag onto the post? Because, its probably not.


I believe you overestimate the efficacy of DHS/NSA/CIA/TSA/FBI/DIA.
posted by Biru at 4:36 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Young men from Bradford and Birmingham perhaps.

see, see, right there, its a slight, typed comedy with context what us U.S.ers' call
"Ta-dumpt-schss."
demographically, I see no correlation to the Taliban.
qua
comedy ensues.
posted by clavdivs at 4:42 PM on October 25, 2010


"What does it say about the country I live in that I won't click that link for fear of future security clearances and sudden changes in laws/administrations?

That your paranoid?

(Security clearance, really?)
"

The country doesn't matter much; I'm from Canada and wouldn't touch that link - even if it weren't Harper & Co. in office. A casual viewing of the number of people mistakenly put on the No-Fly lists should be all you need to have a healthy skepticism about the wisdom of clicking such links.

It does say something about our inability as a society to separate actions from context though. Do intelligence agencies really think that most people who'd click on the link have terrorist leanings? No of course not - they just don't care. As long as there's a giant machine scooping up any communication links to our enemies, they can be seen to be doing something in the War On Terror. Who cares how fine-grained the filter is?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 4:48 PM on October 25, 2010


Joomla Developer Needed (Junior to Mid-level)

Kandahar Design is seeking a talented and creative joomla programmer for developing and supporting existing web sites. Primary responsibility will be to maintain existing client websites in joomla, but additional tasks and responsibilities involve integrating current social media tools to enhance the user experience, improving site navigation, layout, and design. Candidate must be familiar with current joomla modules and proficient in full lifecycle joomla development.

Candidate should be organized as well as able to work under pressure and reasonable deadlines. Candidate should have at least one year experience working with Joomla and be very familiar with the latest versions of Joomla.

Qualifications:

• Demonstrated proficiency with XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and web standards.
• 1-3 years experience installing, configuring, developing on Joomla platform.
• Any graphic layout or design experience is preferred but not required.
• Must have strong communication skills and be able to work independently as well in a team environment.

Primary Responsibilities:

• Build and Maintain Joomla websites. Improve site layout, design, and functionality.
• Create custom Joomla modules and work with existing ones to meet client needs
• Implement social media/networking tools and APIs to promote user interaction and enhance end user experience.

Time:

• 20-40 hours / month managing of existing sites or expanded work on new development projects depending on your time availability


* Location: Kandahar Province
* Compensation: negotiable
* Telecommuting is ok.
posted by localhuman at 4:57 PM on October 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


I believe you overestimate the efficacy of DHS/NSA/CIA/TSA/FBI/DIA.

Cortex, he can take up to 200 hundred of us in his wand, for a day and there is tent with snacks.

put on the No-Fly lists should be all you need to have a healthy skepticism about the wisdom of clicking such links.

but you "could" by mentioning it in a tread, etc., if the 'fine filter' criteria holds.
in the trade it is called, 'guilt by association,' in this example without so much as a click.
:{
posted by clavdivs at 5:02 PM on October 25, 2010


btw, am kind of disappointed they dont have a LIKE button or at least a TWEET THIS. but then again, it's Joomla ;D
posted by liza at 5:08 PM on October 25, 2010


I saw an attempted javascript exploit and attempted trojan download, was I alone in that gift?
posted by cavalier at 5:14 PM on October 25, 2010


cortex has a wand for that.
posted by clavdivs at 5:26 PM on October 25, 2010


KInda wish I hadn't clicked that , but whatever.


Shit, just switch a few words around, and you've got foxnews.com.


I was thinking some of those same headlines could be found on your average Alex Jones type hyper -paranoid conspiracy site.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:27 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I don't believe the Hutaree Army has ever provided stability to Afghanistan. And, as far as I know, the Taliban has not named any of their ranks after Pokemon characters."

Yeah, and they haven't killed thousands of innocents, nor brutalized women for going to school, nor provided a rhetorical opportunity for blithe understatement, like saying that the Taliban have "provided stability to Afghanistan."

But since you started out with imagining that China had taken over the US and our only recourse was batshit fundamentalism, I assumed we were in the Imaginarium.
posted by klangklangston at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2010


Can we have a thread where we don't blanket paint "fatwa" as a call for blood?

Can we have a thread where we don't read into statements implications that only exist in our heads?

Where did you get the "call for blood" bit?
posted by kcds at 5:38 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: read into statements implications that only exist in our heads
posted by John Cohen at 5:47 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I clicked it. Fuck you, NSA.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:25 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


In capitalist America, NSA fucks you!
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:38 PM on October 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


In capitalist America, NSA fucks you!

I'm certain they're not above it.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:46 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


>Yeah, and they haven't killed thousands of innocents, nor brutalized women for going to school, nor provided a rhetorical opportunity for blithe understatement, like saying that the Taliban have "provided stability to Afghanistan."
Hmmm... So one million Afghans died in the 80s and 90s when we waged our proxy war with Russia and left the country to solve it's own problems. We've killed around 30,000 directly in this go around. But we're blaming it on the Taliban because, otherwise, Afghanistan is filled with peace and harmony?
>But since you started out with imagining that China had taken over the US and our only recourse was batshit fundamentalism, I assumed we were in the Imaginarium.
No, I didn't say our only recourse was fundamentalism. I said many people would resort to fundamentalist narratives in order to cope. If China totally dominated us militarily, the only effective tactic would be the same kinds every resistance employs: hit and run attacks followed by blending back into the population. Many of those people would resort to religion to give them the will to voluntary end their lives, because that's what people do.

I'm glad you have such faith in the longevity of the empire. I'm looking forward to visiting Rome and seeing the Senate in action. Maybe the Emperor will even show up.
posted by notion at 7:07 PM on October 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


*voluntarily
posted by notion at 7:08 PM on October 25, 2010


The talib can has website
posted by hortense at 8:09 PM on October 25, 2010


Holy Cow, I clicked!
posted by swooz at 8:12 PM on October 25, 2010


Who is the current emir?
It's Emir Al-Week; he's a former stand-up comedian. Try the ham kofta.
posted by Abiezer at 8:15 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Umm I'd be more worried about security exploits where they connect up and drain your PayPal account. No way I'd click that link except on lynx.
posted by humanfont at 8:15 PM on October 25, 2010


Anyways, why is it in English? Are English speakers really the core demographic here?

While English speakers aren't the target here, English readers are. You have to understand: a lot more people in the sub-continent can read English, even if they can't speak or construct sentences. In this regard, English is fast taking the role that Urdu/ Indo-Persian had in the Mughal times, namely as the preferred language of formal communication; people may not be conversant in the language, but they certainly use it to give themselves "intellectual" legitimacy.

You'll see this even in websites for other insurgent-types, Maoists in central India or even the linguistic nationalists in India's restive North East (specifically the Naga / Meitei groups); they all use English primarily on their websites.

Which is not to say that vernacular propaganda doesn't exist at all; it certainly does, and is perhaps more effective than that in English. However, vernacular speakers aren't really likely to get their information / propaganda through the web; this is primarily targeted at those who can read and aren't in the respective geographic region.

Finally, there's also the question of technology here; while it is now possible to type in virtually all of South Asia's lipi's (scripts), and certainly in Naastaliq which is the lipi that Pashto and Urdu speakers use, most aren't really aware as to how to do it as yet, nor would most have upgraded their OS's to support OpenType/AAC/Unicode rendering. The vernacular antarjaalam [that's "Internet" in Telugu :) ] is increasing in size, but there are crucial gaps that need to be addressed.

In short, I wouldn't be surprised if BBC has a bigger presence in the Pashto Internet than the Taliban or even Karzai's government has. :)
posted by the cydonian at 8:29 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


do the Taliban have the computer know-how to drain a Pay Pal account?
posted by angrycat at 8:31 PM on October 25, 2010


Anyone who's clicked willing to post screenshots?
posted by christopherious at 8:36 PM on October 25, 2010


(At your own risk, naturally.)
posted by christopherious at 8:36 PM on October 25, 2010


Bunch of gonadless individuals! Link here.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:44 PM on October 25, 2010


Really, folks, I have a lot more to lose than most of you, but I really don't think you're going to get on any list at all for going to a site that will probably be posted to Reddit in half an hour and get a hundred thousand hits from random 20-something stoners all over the world.

People click on all sorts of things. Even the dumbest snoop programs look for patterns - did you wander around the site? did you return to the site? Did you register?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:47 PM on October 25, 2010


And for those of you who think the big, bad website will, like, steal your Paypal...

First, stealing is a deeply un-Muslim concept. Say what you like about Iraq, before the war you could leave a wallet on a table in any street cafe in Baghdad and it would still be there when you got back.

But beyond that, what exactly do you think the point of this site is? It's a propaganda site! And do you think their message will be helped if it's somehow a phishing site? No. Money is not their issue.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:52 PM on October 25, 2010


Before they take me away, here are a couple more screen shots.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:55 PM on October 25, 2010


I clicked and I have a clearance. If they ask me about it, I'll just explain what happened. I think you guys are overreacting.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 9:11 PM on October 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Hmmm... So one million Afghans died in the 80s and 90s when we waged our proxy war with Russia and left the country to solve it's own problems. We've killed around 30,000 directly in this go around. But we're blaming it on the Taliban because, otherwise, Afghanistan is filled with peace and harmony?"

Look, if you'd like to have an argument with me, I'm afraid you're going to have to learn to argue.

1: In response to my calling "fundamentalist narratives" (your term) stupid, you argue that the US wouldn't fare much better.

Problem: This doesn't mean that the "fundamentalist narratives" aren't profoundly stupid (nor does it mean they're not a perversion of Islam).

2: In response to my pointing out that fundamentalist narratives are stupid, you shift the goalposts, by redefining "fundamentalist narrative" to include mainstream Christian rhetoric (which is pretty far away from the linked site's rhetoric). I do not object at this point; I consider a lot of mainstream Christian rhetoric stupid as well.

3: You object to my linking to a Christian militia with explicitly militaristic interpretations of the Bible as well as objectively stupid stances by pointing out that the Huttaree have been less effective militarily, while ignoring the whole made-up scenario problem. In comparing rhetoric in a hypothetical, the military effectiveness doesn't really matter.

4: In addition, characterizing the Taliban as having stabilized Afghanistan is so fundamentally stupid as to beggar the imagination.

5: You then seek to drive the argument off some blah blah imperialism bullshit cliff, because, well, fuck, your points are stupid and fallacious, so why not pander to the crowd?

In conclusion: The "fundamentalist narrative" rhetoric from the Taliban is still stupid and they would have been better served by hosting it on Geocities, and you'd be better served not trying to play apologist for a bunch of murdering goat-fuckers.
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 PM on October 25, 2010


pssssst not all of us seriously think looking at one link posted to mefi is going to get us on a list
posted by Mikey-San at 9:47 PM on October 25, 2010


SAYS YOU!
posted by clavdivs at 10:07 PM on October 25, 2010


left the country to solve it's own problems

This matter was left to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
posted by clavdivs at 10:27 PM on October 25, 2010


This has been around for years. I've been checking the Taliban's websites periodically since first googling them out of curiosity shortly after 9/11. The pre-war version was dark green and very ugly.

This is actually a redesign from the pre-war Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan site. This particular design has been in use for years now (since 2006ish, IIRC). At one point, 2007-2008 IIRC, it was hosted out of Houston according to a whois I ran then. I laughed for about ten minutes over that, I won't deny.

There's no SUPERSEKRIT HAKIN on it, folks. It's a pretty basic web template.

Even better was As-Sahab's website, which at one point had ads for singlemuslims.com on it, with a little "Powered by Google" watermark in the corner. It also had the Gadahn films, which were far more interesting than the crap it's been putting out since. It got shut down, and now they just run a blog.
posted by Pseudoephedrine at 12:41 AM on October 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK, I really thought that was going to be something about cats wearing turbans. Silly me -
posted by newdaddy at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2010


OK, I really thought that was going to be something about cats wearing turbans. Silly me.
No wai. This is srs.
posted by Biru at 9:20 AM on October 26, 2010


>Look, if you'd like to have an argument with me, I'm afraid you're going to have to learn to argue.
*grabs popcorn*
>In conclusion: The "fundamentalist narrative" rhetoric from the Taliban is still stupid and they would have been better served by hosting it on Geocities, and you'd be better served not trying to play apologist for a bunch of murdering goat-fuckers.
Oh. This again.
>This doesn't mean that the "fundamentalist narratives" aren't profoundly stupid (nor does it mean they're not a perversion of Islam).
I never said they weren't irrational. I'm making the point that they are not unique to the Taliban. After a few hundred years of foreign intervention, and two world powers reducing their nation to rubble over the past 30 years, moderate voices are always drowned out by a desire for basic security. The United States can't provide security in Iraq or Afghanistan, and since 1980, has only made the situation worse in both places. That's why I "drive the argument off the cliff" with talk of imperialism. Because that type of imperial military intervention is very damaging to the country unfortunate enough to be invaded.
>In response to my pointing out that fundamentalist narratives are stupid, you shift the goalposts, by redefining "fundamentalist narrative" to include mainstream Christian rhetoric (which is pretty far away from the linked site's rhetoric). I do not object at this point; I consider a lot of mainstream Christian rhetoric stupid as well.
'The Pentagon said Monday it no longer includes a Bible quote on the cover page of daily intelligence briefings it sends to the White House as was practice during the Bush administration. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he did not know how long the Worldwide Intelligence Update cover sheets quoted from the Bible...

On Thursday, April 10, 2003, for example, the report quoted the book of Psalms — "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him. ... To deliver their soul from death." — and featured pictures of the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down and celebrating crowds in Baghdad.

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand," read the cover quote two weeks earlier, on March 31, above a picture of a U.S. tank driving through the desert, according to the magazine, which obtained copies of the documents.' (source)
>3: You object to my linking to a Christian militia with explicitly militaristic interpretations of the Bible as well as objectively stupid stances by pointing out that the Huttaree have been less effective militarily, while ignoring the whole made-up scenario problem. In comparing rhetoric in a hypothetical, the military effectiveness doesn't really matter.
I'm making the assertion that the Hutaree Army, as long as they were killing Chinese, would not be extraordinary elements of American culture if the Chinese invaded. They're already here without any of the enormous pressure Afghanistan has been subject to over the past three or four decades. Imagine the Tea Party during an occupation. Is that clear enough? When survival really is on the line, the silly little things we like to mock about the Hutaree won't matter, and won't change the fact that they more legitimate than the invading Chinese army.
>In addition, characterizing the Taliban as having stabilized Afghanistan is so fundamentally stupid as to beggar the imagination.
They are the only government-like organization to have ruled most of it between the US and Russian backed war in 1978 and the US invasion in 2001. Though one candidate thought they were a rock band during his campaign for the 2000 election, they were widely recognized as the "de facto" government in Afghanistan for the first time in two decades that it has had such a thing. If you find claims to the contrary, feel free to provide your sources.

(And yes, I know most nations had no diplomatic relations with them. Except for our allies in Pakistan and the UAE.)
>You then seek to drive the argument off some blah blah imperialism bullshit cliff, because, well, fuck, your points are stupid and fallacious, so why not pander to the crowd?
I understand that you don't want to see the Taliban as legitimate. I wish they weren't the best Afghanistan could do right now. But after 30 years of war, much of it funded by the United States and Saudi Arabia, that's it. They have a propaganda team that says a lot of stupid things. Just like our serving generals, who blame a journalist for putting innocent people in danger without the slightest irony. Or religious messages hawked at every State of the Union from 2001 to 2008.

I'd love to invade every nation that wasn't a democracy and had atrocious human rights records, if I thought that shooting people would have a chance in hell of convincing them to change their minds. Unsurprisingly, their reaction is going to be shooting back instead of lining up to get killed or giving up their entire way of life in exchange for the privilege of being one of our many client states. Afghanistan can look at Pakistan and see what we like: anti-democratic military dictatorships that are only marginally better than the Taliban. The difference is that the Pakistani military follows orders, so they are legitimate. The Taliban does not, but as soon as they do, they will be seen as legitimate. For reference, see Iraq: they're still murdering and killing prisoners like in the good old days, but until the central government disobeys orders, we'll keep quiet about it.

If you'd like to pretend that Afghanistan just happened to be filled with religious fundamentalist extremists in the 1970s, you're free to pretend it. You're free to pretend that our vast military violence in the region for the past forty years hasn't had an effect on their society. You're free to to pretend that the same people we trained to kill in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets are the same guys who are trying to kill us now. You're free to pretend that we will rule the earth with impunity forever, and that none of our foreign policy should matter, or ever come back to haunt us. You're even free to pretend that the humanitarian situation in Iraq and Afghanistan are better than they were before we started interfering in their sovereign affairs.

But you'd just be pretending.
posted by notion at 9:44 AM on October 26, 2010


If you're really worried about clicking to the main site, here's a Scribd.com screen capture of a recent Taliban statement from the site.

If you're interested in the "batting average" on reporting casualties, when it comes to claims of Canadian casualties, the Taliban Info-machine has been reporting about 14 to every one the Canadian government reports (and shows on TV) - more on that here.

Re: PayPal comments, there was once links to one of the (often changing) iterations of the Taliban's web page soliciting PayPal payments, but now they're gone. Taliban's idea or "someone else" hacking? You be the judge.

Finally, fun with the Taliban site: track messaging memes via Google, like "cross worshipers" or "cross worshiping", "puppet" or "sniper".
posted by MILNEWSca at 9:50 AM on October 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


" That's why I "drive the argument off the cliff" with talk of imperialism. Because that type of imperial military intervention is very damaging to the country unfortunate enough to be invaded."

Yeah, except that there wasn't stability there even during the Taliban's rule (civil war continued) and the economy in Afghanistan's been growing faster than the US economy since we invaded. Source.

"'The Pentagon said Monday it no longer includes a Bible quote on the cover page of daily intelligence briefings it sends to the White House as was practice during the Bush administration. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he did not know how long the Worldwide Intelligence Update cover sheets quoted from the Bible..."

Yes, and? Did you think you were proving a point there?

"I'm making the assertion that the Hutaree Army, as long as they were killing Chinese, would not be extraordinary elements of American culture if the Chinese invaded. They're already here without any of the enormous pressure Afghanistan has been subject to over the past three or four decades. Imagine the Tea Party during an occupation. Is that clear enough? When survival really is on the line, the silly little things we like to mock about the Hutaree won't matter, and won't change the fact that they more legitimate than the invading Chinese army."

And this is an insane assertion that rests on a mountain of hypothetical conjuring. We have been invaded before, and the mainstream didn't embrace extreme religious views — views far outside the mainstream — in order to cope. And even when American military religiosity was at its height, during the Civil War, we still had plenty of people willing to mock it. Your point is inane and your desire to tubthump over imperialism is obnoxious.

"They are the only government-like organization to have ruled most of it between the US and Russian backed war in 1978 and the US invasion in 2001."

Well, no. And your claim here has nothing to do with facts and only with ideology. The puppet government set up by the Soviets lasted past the fall of the Soviet Union, and controlled more of the country and provided more services and a better life than the Taliban did, even under direct attack from the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Even a brief trip to Wikipedia could have mitigated your aggressive ignorance.

"If you'd like to pretend that Afghanistan just happened to be filled with religious fundamentalist extremists in the 1970s, you're free to pretend it."

What a bullshit straw man. No, they weren't just filled with fundamentalist extremists. Those fundamentalist extremists were explicitly targeted by the Soviet-backed atheist government, and so were explicitly funded by theocracies and the Soviet's Cold War enemy. Pretending that this is an indigenous reaction to imperialism that represents mainstream Afghan thought is bullshit, and shows an extreme ignorance of similar developing nations and the rhetoric of fundamentalism. The EZLN aren't suicide Catholics; the Shining Path didn't blow up women's schools.

The Taliban aren't even that popular in Afghanistan, but rather exert outsized political power due to their well-funded militias — similar to the way that the Tea Party simply isn't that large or popular a movement (despite their claims to the contrary) but is well-funded and organized.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM on October 26, 2010


>Yeah, except that there wasn't stability there even during the Taliban's rule (civil war continued) and the economy in Afghanistan's been growing faster than the US economy since we invaded.
There are two assumptions here. The first is that violent military action decreased with the arrival of the US military, which is false. The second is that an increase in GDP means an increase in stability and security, which it does not.

The nominal GDP per capita went from $100 to $500, moving them from 190th place to around 165. Interestingly, we're at about $360 billion dollars for the war in Afghanistan, which is about 40 billion per year. Their national nominal GDP is currently 14 billion.
>Yes, and? Did you think you were proving a point there?
Yes: we are better at PR, but still have fundamentalist narratives, all the way to the very heart of our government and military.
>And this is an insane assertion that rests on a mountain of hypothetical conjuring. We have been invaded before, and the mainstream didn't embrace extreme religious views — views far outside the mainstream — in order to cope. And even when American military religiosity was at its height, during the Civil War, we still had plenty of people willing to mock it. Your point is inane and your desire to tubthump over imperialism is obnoxious.
This is not conjuring. This is a moral exercise: would you like a superior military to respond to terrorism committed by cells operating in the United States by invading us and forcing us to change our government? Would you mock the fundamentalist narrative of the Hutaree if they were firing from your side of the lines?
>Well, no. And your claim here has nothing to do with facts and only with ideology. The puppet government set up by the Soviets lasted past the fall of the Soviet Union, and controlled more of the country and provided more services and a better life than the Taliban did, even under direct attack from the US, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Even a brief trip to Wikipedia could have mitigated your aggressive ignorance.
From your link to WikiPedia: "...the Soviet government... agreed with the United States on a mutual cut off of military aid to both sides in the Afghan civil war. It was to begin 1 January 1992.

A few days after it was clear that Najibullah had lost control [in April of that same year], his army commanders and governors arranged to turn over authority to resistance commanders and local notables throughout the country. Joint councils or shuras were immediately established for local government in which civil and military officials of the former government were usually included. Reports indicate the process was generally amicable. In many cases prior arrangements for transferring regional and local authority had been made between foes.


Then the civil war starts, funded by several key US allies: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And in 2001, one of the more respected mujahideen had a rather prescient statement:

...Ahmad Shah Massoud addressed the European Parliament in Brussels stating that behind the situation in Afghanistan there was the regime in Pakistan. He also stated his conviction that without the support of Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden and Saudi Arabia the Taliban would not be able to sustain their military campaign for up to a year, also because the Afghan population was ready to raise against them. Addressing the United States specifically he issued the warning that should the U.S. not work for peace in Afghanistan and put pressure on Pakistan to cease their support to the Taliban, the problems of Afghanistan would soon become the problems of the U.S. and the world.

Where would you like to draw the imaginary line between the United States pushing for Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan, from 1979 until the present day?
>What a bullshit straw man. No, they weren't just filled with fundamentalist extremists. Those fundamentalist extremists were explicitly targeted by the Soviet-backed atheist government, and so were explicitly funded by theocracies and the Soviet's Cold War enemy. Pretending that this is an indigenous reaction to imperialism that represents mainstream Afghan thought is bullshit, and shows an extreme ignorance of similar developing nations and the rhetoric of fundamentalism. The EZLN aren't suicide Catholics; the Shining Path didn't blow up women's schools.
Look, I hate the Taliban. They represent the ugliest parts of human nature. I certainly wish we were dealing with a Kazakhstan or a Tajikistan instead of a nation decimated by three decades of proxy wars. But that's not the reality. We blew the chance to let the Soviet Union take care of problems in it's own backyard, and instead, funneled billions of dollars to radical fundamentalists and destabilized the whole nation through our Pakistani proxy. As soon as the Soviets were gone, we walked away and left Pakistan to do what it wanted.

Now Pakistan is a nuclear power, so we can't just pull funding to force their hand in Afghanistan in case they decide to start WWIII. There's no good way out of these entangling alliances. I propose we should not have engaged in them in the first place, and that all parties would be better off if we had left military options off the table.

When people are being oppressed, killing their fellow citizens with a full scale war rarely helps to ease the oppression. I wish someone in the State Department had the integrity necessary to tell Saudi Arabia to stop protecting their citizens who are engaged in Wahhabi terrorism. Instead they just handed them a 60 billion dollar contract for jet planes. I wish we had the integrity, or even the ability, to force Pakistan to stop funding the Taliban. But instead we're going to continue funding the Pakistani military dictatorship and hope that doesn't turn into a mess later.
>The Taliban aren't even that popular in Afghanistan, but rather exert outsized political power due to their well-funded militias — similar to the way that the Tea Party simply isn't that large or popular a movement (despite their claims to the contrary) but is well-funded and organized.
And how is the Taliban different from the Pakistani military? From the Saudi Arabian theocracy? Egypt? Or Iraq during the 80s, or Iran from '53 to '79? The only thing that the US government doesn't like about the Taliban is that they don't take orders. It's the same thing Pakistan hated about Ahmad Shah Massoud: independence.

If the United States government really thought the Taliban was so bad, they would have taken action -- any action at all -- to get their allies in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to stop the war. But from 1992 until 9/11/2001, Afghanistan was just like any other vicious military regime: either on our side, or irrelevant.
posted by notion at 1:23 PM on October 26, 2010


But will they friend me on Facebook?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:26 PM on October 26, 2010


« Older 3VVVVVV (SLYT)...  |  A third year law student at Bo... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments