Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again — A generation of British Islamists have been trained in Afghanistan to fight a global jihad. But now some of those would-be extremists have had a change of heart. Johann Hari finds out what made them give up the fight.
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," [more inside]
In 2001 America destroyed the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar.
Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages? "Joined by the US and Canadian troops, more than 2000 British-led Special Commando forces under "Operation Snipe" are gearing up efforts to launch a major attack to rescue around 76 soldiers who were arrested by the Taliban and Al Qaida forces during the battle in the snow covered Arma Peaks of Paktia Province in March this year, highly credible sources have confided to PNS."
(some) British Muslims - an interesting article from Prospect describes how different generations (and classes) of British Muslims view the conflict in Afghanistan (starts as personal history; the political meat of the article is in the second half).
"Afghanistan" as seen by Frederick Engels in August 1857. First published in "The New American Cyclopaedia", Vol. I, 1858
"Afghanistan" as seen by Frederick Engels in August 1857. First published in "The New American Cyclopaedia", Vol. I, 1858 ".....Thus ended the attempt of the British to set up a prince of their own making in Afghanistan...." Last sentence of classic piece of writing. Does history always repeat itself, or can nations and their leaders alter destiny by finding lessons in the most dismal failures of their past?