Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I made a bad suggestion

I proposed the Reality Based Community as a collective secretary of energy. I shouldn't have. Mark Kleiman is needed as Drug Czar *and* the title should be changed, following his suggestion, to "Drug Bizarre."

Now if Prof. Kleiman were named official Drug Bizarre I would enjoy reading the news more than I have since Frank Zappa was (briefly) named Czechoslovakian Ambassador Plenipotentiary to the USA (appointment vetoed by the then US drug bizarre).

On the other hand he seems to think that the US built up the Taliban during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistant (aka Rumsfeld's howler). No. The Taliban did not exist during the occupation. The US built up the Peshawar 7 resistance groups which formed a coalition and developed a new approach to Urban renewal when the Hezb bi Islami soldiers of the prime minister (Hekmatyar) shelled Kabul while fighting the (small) militia of the President (Rabbani) and the large militia of the defense minister (Masoud).

The Taliban appeared, suddenly, as an army of extremely well armed seminary students well after the Soviet Union had left Afghanistan and, indeed, IIRC ceased to exist. While individual taliban (means Koran student) fought in the 7 US financed armed Islamic groups (and more fought in the separate Saudi financed Wahhabite resistance group) the organization which calls itself the Taliban did not exist during the period of US financing.

It wasn't that long ago.

I call the error Rumsfeld's howler, because a Rumsfeld memo in which he referred to Hekmatyar as a "taliban" was leaked. Oh and taliban is plural. On of the taliban or a member of the Taliban would be a talib.

Now on current issues, I agree with Prof Kleiman that there is a 10% chance that President Zardawi will go down in history as a world historic statesman.

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