Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:10 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 02:10 | SYDNEY

Email of the day: Burchill and Afghanistan


Sam Roggeveen


21 January 2008 15:05

Reader Andrew Zammit responds to my post about Scott Burchill's op-ed:

I couldn't believe how unhelpful Scott Burchill's column on Afghanistan was. Particularly with his penultimate paragraph quoting Milt Beardon saying 'every nationalist-based insurgency against a foriegn occupation ultimately succeeded.' How is that relevent to the situation in Afghanistan? The Taliban is an unpopular insurgency fighting a reasonably democratic government which is backed by Western troops, but hardly 'occupied'. And there have certainly been cases of insurgencies that claim to be nationalist being defeated with the help of foreign troops: the Communists in Greece, Chinese Communists in Malaya, the Huks in the Phillipines and so on.

Incidently, there is a very good ICG report on Afghanistan that put forwards a number of constructive suggestions, particularly about dealing with many legitimate grievances that many Afghans hold toward either their government or Western troops, yet also argues that cutting a deal with the Taliban (presumably what Burchill means by 'diplomacy and compromise') would be disastrous.

Photo by Flickr user lakerae, used under a Creative Commons licence.