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Old 06-15-2010, 05:03 PM   #21
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I would suggest it also takes internal and external security. A stable political system can't develop when the Taliban is assassinating freely elected local leaders. Education can't happen when the Taliban is burning down schools. Economic development will be slowed if the roads are rife with IEDs and pop-up roadblocks and "tax collectors". But the insurgents, extremists, and terrorists will have more trouble making progress when the people have hope--and a few coins in their pocket. And folks will do less dying in hopes for some great reward in the hereafter if life in the here-and-now is a little more bearable.

And the Afghanis can ask whoever they want for help. NGOs are fine and do good work, but mining companies know how to get minerals out of the ground.

And I think we can discuss this here. We discuss everything here.
Educating women is the key. Until you get rid of backwards thinking idiots like the Taliban they'll be stuck.
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:35 PM   #22
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Educating women is the key. Until you get rid of backwards thinking idiots like the Taliban they'll be stuck.
Finally, something we agree on.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:22 PM   #23
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Why again are we there?
To get Emmanuel Goldstein.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:28 PM   #24
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The value of those minerals is tremendous and can possibly make a huge difference in the standard of living for the Afghani people if you can get the ore to market. It will require a tremendous investment to put the infrastructure in place to get the ore out of the ground and delivered to a seaport or rail line. Shipping by sea means transporting the ore through Iran to the Persian Gulf or through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Not sure about rail lines. Put it out to bid. If it can be done profitably then multinational megacorps will step up with bids.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:35 AM   #25
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Oh Yes, we really rang the bell on that one, didn't we?
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:34 AM   #26
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Oh Yes, we really rang the bell on that one, didn't we?
Yes, we did.
-- Are the Taliban running Afghanistan and providing an entire nation of sanctuary, recruits, and legitimacy for Al Qaeda? Nope. Ring the bell--Ding, Ding.
-- Bin Laden--free to travel where he likes and openly meet with, communicate with, plot with his minions? Nope. Ding, Ding.
-- Ayman Al-Zawahiri--Still out and about stirring up trouble? Nope, he's probably bin Laden's roommate in their cave somewhere in the nether reaches of Afghanistan/Pakistan. Ding, Ding
-- Khalid Sheik Mohammed--planner of the 9/11 attacks, is considerably less bellicose and more humble in his new home in Cuba than in the old days. Ding, Ding. Likewise Abu Zubaydah.
-- Major successful al-Qaeda attacks on the US since 9-11-2001? Zero. Ding, Ding.
-- By product: Afhanistan is no longer under the rule of the Taliban--which is of more than academic interest to any woman in that country or anyone hoping their kids can live life slightly better than the world of 632 AD, when time and social progress stopped as far as the Taliban are concerned..

I'm not quite sure what needs to be done to constitute a victory. If bin Laden and his cronies are consigned to living in a mud hut eating rice for the rest of their days while their dreams of a brutal caliphate dissolves round them, that's probably not as good as them being captured or killed, but 'taint much different from a practical standpoint.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:54 AM   #27
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The value of those minerals is tremendous and can possibly make a huge difference in the standard of living for the Afghani people if you can get the ore to market. It will require a tremendous investment to put the infrastructure in place to get the ore out of the ground and delivered to a seaport or rail line. Shipping by sea means transporting the ore through Iran to the Persian Gulf or through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Not sure about rail lines. Put it out to bid. If it can be done profitably then multinational megacorps will step up with bids.
Just the infrastructure expansion requirements to support a mining industry (year after year) would probably equal Afghanistans current GDP...part of the 7x multiplier- (which, since they are starting with almost nothing might even be higher.)
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:57 AM   #28
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I'm not quite sure what needs to be done to constitute a victory. If bin Laden and his cronies are consigned to living in a mud hut eating rice for the rest of their days while their dreams of a brutal caliphate dissolves round them, that's probably not as good as them being captured or killed, but 'taint much different from a practical standpoint.
It's probably better, Sam. They would in all likelihood be more comfortable in a US prison, with three hots and a cot, medical care, running water, etc.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:37 PM   #29
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It's probably better, Sam. They would in all likelihood be more comfortable in a US prison, with three hots and a cot, medical care, running water, etc.
And a large, angry, ugly boyfriend named Bubba...
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:51 PM   #30
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I wonder how this "discovery" was made. I love a good conspiracy and can see oil and mining companies digging and drilling quickly after the Marines have done the hard work. I'm sure the Afghans will be the ones to prosper....not.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:06 PM   #31
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And a large, angry, ugly boyfriend named Bubba...
...with a burkha.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:47 PM   #32
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It's probably better, Sam. They would in all likelihood be more comfortable in a US prison, with three hots and a cot, medical care, running water, etc.
I'll bet they spend a lot of time in their damp caves looking over their shoulder and listening to every noise outside. Lots of their buddies heard just the faint drone of the Predator in the background, then saw maybe a brief flash from the Hellfire missile as they went to their just reward-and maybe more hellfire. The constant threat of death from above has gotta put a damper on one's day. I don't know that bin Laden is a true believer in all that "waiting paradise" stuff. He seems willing to send others, but not in a big hurry to take the trip himself.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #33
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Yes, we did.
-- Are the Taliban running Afghanistan and providing an entire nation of sanctuary, recruits, and legitimacy for Al Qaeda? Nope. Ring the bell--Ding, Ding.
-- Bin Laden--free to travel where he likes and openly meet with, communicate with, plot with his minions? Nope. Ding, Ding.
-- Ayman Al-Zawahiri--Still out and about stirring up trouble? Nope, he's probably bin Laden's roommate in their cave somewhere in the nether reaches of Afghanistan/Pakistan. Ding, Ding
-- Khalid Sheik Mohammed--planner of the 9/11 attacks, is considerably less bellicose and more humble in his new home in Cuba than in the old days. Ding, Ding. Likewise Abu Zubaydah.
-- Major successful al-Qaeda attacks on the US since 9-11-2001? Zero. Ding, Ding.
-- By product: Afhanistan is no longer under the rule of the Taliban--which is of more than academic interest to any woman in that country or anyone hoping their kids can live life slightly better than the world of 632 AD, when time and social progress stopped as far as the Taliban are concerned..

I'm not quite sure what needs to be done to constitute a victory. If bin Laden and his cronies are consigned to living in a mud hut eating rice for the rest of their days while their dreams of a brutal caliphate dissolves round them, that's probably not as good as them being captured or killed, but 'taint much different from a practical standpoint.
Accomplishing your list would constitute victory if the situation persists after the last American leaves.

" -- Are the Taliban running Afghanistan and providing an entire nation of sanctuary, recruits, and legitimacy for Al Qaeda? Nope. Ring the bell--Ding, Ding."

C'mon, that's a great goal but you can't possibly think we get a ding for that one yet! The taliban operate with impunity in large parts of Afghanistan and now Pakistan.


" -- Bin Laden--free to travel where he likes and openly meet with, communicate with, plot with his minions? Nope. Ding, Ding."

How do we know this? We don't know where he is. I highly doubt he is even in Afghanistan. My money is on Saudi Arabia or Boston.


" -- Ayman Al-Zawahiri--Still out and about stirring up trouble? Nope, he's probably bin Laden's roommate in their cave somewhere in the nether reaches of Afghanistan/Pakistan. Ding, Ding"

Again, we have no idea where he is.

After 6-7 years women, and people in general, are only marginally better off and more free there. I really don't think we can declare too many dings!
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #34
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I wonder how this "discovery" was made. I love a good conspiracy and can see oil and mining companies digging and drilling quickly after the Marines have done the hard work. I'm sure the Afghans will be the ones to prosper....not.
No conspiracy. The military does more than shoot guns...they also rebuild nations, write constitutions, etc. That's important to building stability. A significant problem in Afghanistan going back millenia is a lack of resources for trade. The military had USGS scientists there looking for mineral resources.

By the way, this discovery is less "new and improved" than it sounds. Afphanistan has been a source of minerals and gems for a long time. Many of the "caves" we hear about are old prospects and mines. Lapis Lazuli, for example, comes almost exclusively from Afghanistan. The Himalayas are a site of tremendous geological activity (obviously) and the resulting metamorphosism lead to an abundance of minerals. But most of these are not of economic importance. The recent finds are of some economic importance (though I still say limited) but are not the result of these same geologic processes. The metals found are light metals...which likely separated when the area was molten. That means the abundance is probably widespread over the crust in that region and probably was previously known if not verified.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:46 PM   #35
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How do we know this? We don't know where he is. I highly doubt he is even in Afghanistan. My money is on Saudi Arabia or Boston.
If you know where he is, tell Uncle Sam and he'll pay you $25 million.

He'll pay anyone $25 million who tells us where this skinny little miscreant is located. That will buy a lot of goats. I think that's one reason you don't see much of bin Laden. And one reason he's probably not around a lot of people, or anywhere very pleasant.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:09 PM   #36
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No conspiracy. The military does more than shoot guns...they also rebuild nations, write constitutions, etc. That's important to building stability. A significant problem in Afghanistan going back millenia is a lack of resources for trade. The military had USGS scientists there looking for mineral resources.

By the way, this discovery is less "new and improved" than it sounds. Afphanistan has been a source of minerals and gems for a long time. Many of the "caves" we hear about are old prospects and mines. Lapis Lazuli, for example, comes almost exclusively from Afghanistan. The Himalayas are a site of tremendous geological activity (obviously) and the resulting metamorphosism lead to an abundance of minerals. But most of these are not of economic importance. The recent finds are of some economic importance (though I still say limited) but are not the result of these same geologic processes. The metals found are light metals...which likely separated when the area was molten. That means the abundance is probably widespread over the crust in that region and probably was previously known if not verified.
So we knew about the resources BEFORE we invaded. Hmmmm....

Good info. Thanks
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:54 AM   #37
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The value of those minerals is tremendous and can possibly make a huge difference in the standard of living for the Afghani people if you can get the ore to market. It will require a tremendous investment to put the infrastructure in place to get the ore out of the ground and delivered to a seaport or rail line. Shipping by sea means transporting the ore through Iran to the Persian Gulf or through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Not sure about rail lines. Put it out to bid. If it can be done profitably then multinational megacorps will step up with bids.
This ignores the obvious route that is the cheapest via the russian route. I believe rails extend to near the border of Afghanistan from the north Uzbekistan.From there the network extends to the ends of EurAsia. Why go south when you can go north? Also you could get onto the Xiang Railroad Accross China.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:38 AM   #38
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