Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get That Upya Terry Taliban

Today marks the anniversary of the World Trade Centre attacks. I remember seeing it on TV here at about 7am and thinking it was a hoax . . .2,974 people died in the attacks. Some I knew of because we deal with bankers and fund managers. Another 24 are missing and presumed dead. This single event rocked the world.

Seven years later the Whitehouse Website reports:
  • 50 million people have been liberated, and two totalitarian regimes have been removed;
  • The al Qaeda network has been weakened;
  • We have not experienced another attack on American soil;
  • Our military has been transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century;
  • We have expanded our intelligence capabilities to confront today's enemy; and
  • We have created new and essential institutions needed to wage the War on Terror, including the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Let's put it into perspective:

Casualties in Afghanistan:
Afghan troops killed: 8,587 Afghan troops seriously injured: 25,761
Afghan civilians killed: 3,485 Afghan civilians seriously injured: 6,273
U.S. troops killed: 513 U.S. troops seriously injured: 1,539
Other coalition troops killed: 433 Other coalition troops seriously injured: 1,299
Contractors killed: 75 Contractors seriously injured: 2,428
Journalists killed: 6 Journalists seriously injured: unknown
Total killed in Afghanistan: 13,099 Total injured in Afghanistan: 37,300

Casualties in Iraq:

Iraqi troops killed: 30,000 Iraqi troops seriously injured: 90,000
Iraqi civilians killed: 638,579 Iraqi civilians seriously injured: 1,149,442
U.S. troops killed: 4,154 U.S. troops seriously injured: 30,324
Other coalition troops killed: 176 Other coalition troops seriously injured: 528
Contractors killed: 917 Contractors seriously injured: 10,569
Journalists killed: 154 Journalists seriously injured: unknown
Total killed in Iraq: 673,980 Total injured in Iraq: 1,280,863


Whilst I do not support the invasion of Iraq by the coalition of the willing, I do support the invasion of Afghanistan. Whatever, it's a done deal and there seems to be a modicum of order very slowly returning to Iraq. Today Iraqi president Talibani stated

"Now I can say all parts of Iraq liberated from terrorist control and activities. It's true that some groups remain hiding themselves from here or there, but there's no place, no inch of Iraqi land under the control of terrorist activities. There are some terrorist -- still groups working -- hiding themself, and thanks to you and sacrifice of your brave army and to Iraqi people, now we can live in peace and security."

And I think there is little doubt across the planet that the dispatching of Saddam Hussein was a good thing.

Six years after being driven out of Afghanistan, Brown Heroin is hitting the streets of Australia in cheap and epic proportions (and I suspect many other nations). Afghanistan being the source of the illicit drug. Suicide bombing, not a traditional Taliban method of causing damage, has become more frequent The increasing use of very public attacks has had a striking effect on morale far beyond the immediate victims

The Taliban are demonstrating overt resilience to the allies best attempts to drive them out of Afghanistan and have a steady stream of income from the opium trade.

Most women are still wearing the bhurka (and this word does not exist in Blogger spellcheck!)

Osama Bin Laden is no longer the enemy . . .I don't think we really know who is.

Vale to those who died in the tragedy of September 11, remember those currently who have given their lives or are still fighting, or working, in two very difficult warzones, one of which should never happened. We are a small country in terms of population and have been very fortunate in terms of casualties but we are proud of our soldiers. It's a shit job but someone has to do it. Counsel those who come home and give them a proper debriefing (unlike the sad chain of events that followed Vietnam - history is written by the victors).

War is Hell. I have nothing more to say. Except, Aussies do it with humour! Get that up ya Terry Taliban! It's a poor video but he's such an Aussie!


Ces said...

It's a struggle between good and evil and along the way we have casualties and martyrs, ever since humans learned to stand up straight. Today is a holy day.

laughingwolf said...

holy and sacred indeed, ces :(

Bear Naked said...

Stop the madness.
How many more years and how many more casualties do we have to endure in this world?
"All we are saying is give peace a chance."

Bear((( )))

Anonymous said...

"War is Hell"

You are dead right Mrs Baino. Innocent babies and chilren who no more know their own name than they do their religon being slaughter. And clearly freedom is only applicable to men as you pointed out women are still openly oppressed. Men are the ruination of the world.


Ropi said...

Well be careful with numbers. When you read these statistics you can't really feel those causalities but if only 1 person died his/her parents, friends relatives will be as sad as if he/she was one of the 1000.

It is correct that the USA was not terrorised but in Europe there were terrorist attacks/attempts.

Megan said...

Great post Baino. I wish I could watch that video from work.

Oz may be small (in pop.) but her heart and humor are larger than most, as far as I can see!

Quickroute said...

I was working in New York at the time but thankfully not downtown.
I wish I could find the email I sent to folks a few days later with my take on things. Sending it was my way of dealing with the pain. I can't believe it's seven years ago.

Bimbimbie said...

There's no wonder they earn respect from other armies ... got to admire Aussie humour*!*

Miladysa said...

Interesting and thought provoking post Baino.

We are also seeing the casualties on our streets through the heroin here on the streets in the UK.

Baino said...

Ces it's a sad state of affairs that I accept but will never understand.

True that Wuffa. An event that changed life as we know it and a reaction that should have been much better thought out.

I agree Bear . . if only we could solf our problems with the seven second hug!

Hey Nonny. there is a whole generation in Afghanistan that has NEVER known peace. Imagine that!

Ropi you're very right. The statistics would be off the scale if we considered the impact of each death and injury on those who loved them. Sorry about the statistics, they came from a US site but you're right, Europe has had it's fair share of Terrorism for quite some time. Probably on a less 'dramatic' scale so September 11 is remembered, if nothing but for the audacity of actually commiting the act!

We're the terriers of the pacific Megan!

Wow Quickie, I hope you can find it. Writing can be very cathartic in these troubled times.

They're tough nuts Bimbimbie but there's something of the larrikin in Australian men. Hence all the Black Hawk crashes! They're a little cavalier sometimes!

Miladysa: Well it's going to get cheaper, more prevolent and probably stronger! Big problem here at the moment and suspected that it's coming via Dubai! Evil stuff.

I always wondered why we're not encouragint the poppy farmers to grow an equally profitable yet more suitable crop. They don't get much benefit from the herion trade, they just want to crow a crop and make a living. Naive of me to think their war lord masters would release them to grow wheat or corn.

Annie Ha said...

I do have a serious problem with these figures:

Iraqi civilians killed: 638,579
Iraqi civilians seriously injured: 1,149,442

Jefferson Davis said...

I wrote the following after observing the delight people took in watching Sadam drop from the gallows.

Is the world numb?

Has Gaia cried her last warning?
A few days ago, an autocrat died.
A soul of evil that thrived on pain.
His death stole with it, all our souls.
Vile images circulate of the drop.
A drop flashed across every eye,
And fluttered through the chambers of our minds.

His fate deserved, perhaps.
I fear that no man should call for another mans life,
Unless he views his own reflection.
I cannot view much in this sombreness.
What little light that glimmered in hope,
Has drowned neath a heinous sea of fright.

Do you not look to the future?
We are treading a benighted path,
littered with obstacles along the way.
We must teach our children humility,
Dignity, and to love their fellow man,
Not the sideshow that inhabits the world today.

From them, a new world tree trunk arises.
How gormless of us, when we envenom its roots.
Blood and gore are not loam and water.
Pop culture is not educated clipping
For such a young and innocent tree.

Baino said...

Mmm . .point taken Annie. It's hard to find a difinitive figure. Taken from this doc:
"We estimate that as of July, 2006, there have been
654 965 (392 979–942 636) excess Iraqi deaths as a consequence of the war, which corresponds to 2·5% of the population in the study area. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 were due to violence, the most common cause being gunfire." I guess it could be a case of lies and damn statistics . . .we won't know the actual figure for years to come. The point remains, the losses on both sides are senseless. Check the link on the blog for more sources of stats. Needless to say, I did not research this fastidiously and am open to correction.

Baino said...

JD . . I'm not a proponent of the death penalty either but he was tried by his own people in his own country and received their penalty. As for the 'side show' the execution was not shown here.

Oh Annie: Here's a contrary point of view . . .Lies and damn statistics perhaps?

Brian Damage said...

A poem by Brian Damage:

I think that I shall never see,
In sooth for twain my cataracts are blinding me.

Annie Ha said...

I meant more like I have a serious problem with the number of civilians dying, not the legitimacy numbers themselves.
While we can't wrap our heads around all the various statistics reported by the various organizations, either way... we know the number is big, and I know it is too big for my comfort.
I know war is hell and I know war has innocent victims. (Don't you think the term "casualty" is a little... um... sugar-coated?) I guess I wouldn't have so huge a problem with it if I actually believed in this war.
I'm really not sure there would ever be a war I would believe in; there hasn't been yet in my lifetime, but that doesn't mean there won't be one day. To everything, turn, turn, turn...
All I know is, everyone I've ever known who has been in a war (except for one, who seems to be a little bit insane) wishes war on no one.
War is a hell I never want to have to experience.
Sorry, that was rambly...

Baino said...

Hey Annie. Sorry, I've given you a way more rambly email reply. sorry, misinterpreted you but further research has shown that the Lancet figures could be a little inflated. I agree, any number is too high. And yes, I hate the sanitisation of the language. I guess one good thing (if you can call it that) is that with internet, TV, phone video etc. we are now able to see much of what is really happening. I've actually chanced upon a few English speaking Iraqi blogs and they're quite positive about the invasion but distressed that it's taking so long to get self-determination. I think your upcoming election will put this back on the Agenda and hopefully, we'll all be out by the end of next year and Iraq governing itself. thanks for your comments and please, feel free to ramble anytime . .I like hearing the opinions of others whether they're the same as mine or not.

Annie Ha said...

I didn't get any email??

Baino said...

Sorry Annie, I was under the technophobic impression that if I just hit reply, it would find you so here tis cos I can't find an email addy on your blog:

Hi Annie. Rambly - never, I'm a rambler from way back!

I'm glad you mentioned it though, even if I did misinterpret, because I did a little more research and the numbers are definitely dodgy. Whilst the Lancet is a reputable medical mag, the researchers extrapolated statistics based on a select geographical sample so it's hardly going to the register of Births Deaths and Marriages to get it right. Although you're right, any number is too big, disturbing isn't it.

Don't get me on the sanitised language "collateral damage", "necessary force", even the word 'insurgent' has a sanitised way to it. Basically, the Iraqis must look at us as invaders and thinking 'what the fuck did we do?' (However awful Saddam Hussein was . . there was order in iraq - well unless you're a Kurd of course but that's a whole other story - they're the Palestinians of the middle east and not liked anywhere).

How would Americans or Aussies feel if the Iraqis suddenly bombed the shite out of us and invaded based on some thin premise? No wonder we're seen as invaders to so many countries. I know, I live in a country where commemorations of Cook's landing are now considered as celebrations of British Invasion. I guess the native Americans feel the same way. The similarities between us are so great (except we didn't have a civil war to gain federation and we are technically a British colony.)

I know what you mean. The Coalition of the Willing (Including us of course) wouldn't bother going into Zimbabwe to remove a ruthless dictator, or the Sudan to clear up their troubles but had no problem going into Iraq on very flimsy evidence (turned out to be no evidence of course). And the ubiquitous 'they' say it's nothing to do with oil - pah!

I really hope though that when your/our boys come home, they are appreciated. It's not their fault they're there . . .following orders and all that. I'm a little older than you and have friends who were in the Viet conflict. One is a complete nutcase (second cousin) and has been on disability pension for over 30 years - he was a helicopter pilot.

The other just doesn't talk about it. Not a word. But he often cries when he gets drunk and we know it's something in his head that's popped out of its designated grey cell to torment him.

And I'm with you, we are priviledged and fortunate to have never experienced it.

Now THAT's how to ramble girl!

Cheers and best wishes