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Andrew Bolt

Jul 19, 2009

Compare and contrast

Andrew Bolt ponders the language spoken by coalition troo

Andrew Bolt ponders the language spoken by coalition troops in Afghanistan:

It’s also that Americans were left to do almost all the real fighting in Iraq, while now its partners are asked to do their share in Afghanistan.

Typically, it’s largely the English-speaking countries that have responded.

The list of coalition partners and their troop commitments:

Three of the top ten contributions (apart from the USA) come from English-speaking countries.

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31 thoughts on “Compare and contrast

  1. Toaf

    Today Bolt will write about the latest commitment of troops from english-speakers in Slovaki and Georgia.

  2. Toaf

    A new report has found, in a nutshell, that “people in the United States support their country’s involvement in Afghanistan, while a majority of respondents in Canada and the United Kingdom voice opposition to the military mission.”

    I don’t understand. They’re english-speakers, aren’t they?

  3. tee

    You scared me shitless when I opened that link, Confess.

    Lavatory pronto is obviously a joke, right?

    You had better tell Surname -the innumerate- you were kidding as he’s off with the dolphins somewhere.

  4. confessions

    This is how you run a watch dog site with professionalism


  5. dudette

    Very dishonest, Bridges, in light of the 85% Anglo coalition death toll:

    As Beck points out, you were blinded by an anti-Bolt crusade.

    Why is this blog so unprofessional?

    This is how you run a watch dog site with professionalism:

  6. nickws

    tee @ 16—When a pretty redblooded, non-Left guy like GavinM hands you your arse on a platter @ 18 while refusing to address you by name, then, well, it’s time to reconsider making kneejerk statements on blog comments threads.

    You’ve had firsthand experience of the law of diminishing Internet returns, brother.

  7. Toaf

    And naturally, if you are a country that will lose out should the proposed pipeline go ahead then you will not be all that interested in supporting the US war effort.

  8. RobJ

    “We could also discuss the fact that the US had been willing to talk with the Taliban prior to 2001 regarding the construction of a pipeline through Afghanistan. It’s not cut-and-dried, unfortunately.”

    Yes, courted in Texas and fed finest US steak, the Taliban were, by US Oil Men.

    There’s also the opium trade, the Taliban effectively halted it at the request of the US, of course the US paid them money ($46 million?????) but it just goes to show that you can deal with them if you desire. Hell the US deals with Saudi Arabia every single day. They aren’t serious about democracy, they couldn’t give a shit about democracy, they just like to shout about it and use it as an excuse to invade sovereign nations.

    Another fact regarding Afghanistan, the so-called coalition of the willing allied themselves with the Northern Alliance, I’d contend that they’re as bad, if not worse than the Taliban. Last time the Northern Alliance ruled Kabul 50 000 lost their lives.

    “construction of a pipeline ”

    This is the crux of the matter, the US does not invade nations for altruistic reasons, if it turns out well for the invaded nation then all power to them but the US acts in it’s own interests, if that means you die then tough! But that is the reality.

  9. Toaf

    As I said, there are other interpretations. And RobJ has just outlined one of them very neatly. We could also discuss the fact that the US had been willing to talk with the Taliban prior to 2001 regarding the construction of a pipeline through Afghanistan. It’s not cut-and-dried, unfortunately.

  10. Toaf

    baldrick, that may be a valid interpretation of events. There are others. Either way, does the “justified” fall of the Taliban necessarily mean that other members of the international community are compelled to assist the US? Sure, its hegemonic influence means that allies will come along, and some of them will even want to. But the rest of the world?

    An example demonstrates the point. In the 1990s Nigeria found itself the only nation willing to intervene in civil wars that were destabilising its region and threatening wider violence. A regional coalition was formed to undertake “peacekeeping” operations with Nigeria as the pivotal state and primary contributor. The scale of the death and destruction in Sierra Leone and Liberia arguably warranted a global response, yet Nigeria, with much smaller financial and military capacity than the US, carried the load. Why?

    It wasn’t that the war was not justified, or that nobody cared about people being killed. It was simply a question of national interest. The same applies in Afghanistan. Regardless of whether the war is “justified” or not, the US started it – in defence of its national interests – and only those nations who also have an interest in Afghanistan are likely to become involved.

    That’s the reality of world politics.

  11. RobJ

    “Toaf @ 5 – BTW, I think that after 9/11 the Talibans refusal to hand over Bin Laden resulted in the war.”

    That’s not quite right though, GW Bush said he had “PROOF” that OBL was involved, not evidence, “PROOF” so the Taliban asked to see this “PROOF”, Bush refused so by definition he had no “PROOF”!

    Why do so many people have short memories, the Taliban were prepared to hand him over if Bush was prepared to show them the “PROOF”?

    Basically Bush was lying, he had no proof, he may have had evidence, maybe he should have been more conciliatory to the Taliban (he’s got no problem dealing with Saudi Arabia), shared the evidence and then maybe he could have avoided this total clusterfuck that is wasting the lives of our young men and women. Face it, Bush wanted war, the guy is easily the worst US president in living history!

  12. baldrick

    Toaf @ 5 – BTW, I think that after 9/11 the Talibans refusal to hand over Bin Laden resulted in the war. You let forces train in your country and carry out an attack, you will quickly be on the recieving end rather soon. Lets keep the sequence of events foremost in our minds. Not saying all U.S. actions have been justified, but the Talibans downfall was.

  13. GavinM

    As an ex member of the French military during the 80’s through to the end of 1995 I can vouch for the fact that France would fight when it suited it to do so. Mitterand had a particularly hard line when it came to France’s overseas interests, particularly in Africa and we were involved in plenty of ugly and vicious little wars that probably didn’t get as much press attention as they could have, as well as quite a few UN peace keeping missions and of course Operation Deseert Storm all of which kept a steady trickle of body bags returning to France (mostly Foreign Legionnaires of course) — I guess the Western media wasn’t too interested in what went on in the lesser known African countries in those days though.

  14. Toaf

    tee, I was referring to the French commitments outlined succinctly by Daniel above. There’s nothing “silly” about recognising that France has interests besides Afghanistan and that it has commitments to a range of UN (and other multilateral) peace operations. You want to have a sook because the US started a war and now the rest of the world won’t clean up the mess.

  15. tee

    “Like protecting the German border, Toafu?”

    Well originally it wasn’t my intention to bring it up as I was making fun of Toafu’s silly assertion that the frogs are currently hugely encumbered with their enormous commitments around the world.

    But seeing you have… Can they the Frogs fight? Sure they can, however they seem to have lost every major encounter since Napoleon was rolled.

  16. Daniel Ashdown

    As of January 31, 2009, France participates in 10 of 16 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, with 2,308 military personnel (108 civilian police officers, 25 military observers and 2,175 servicemen and women) deployed under United Nations mandates.

    The French presence is particularly significant in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFL – 1,988 military personnel), the United Nations Operation in C�te d’Ivoire (UNOCI – 193 personnel) the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (UNSMH – 63 total personnel, including 61 police officers and gendarmes) and in the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). The remainder of French service personnel have been mainly assigned as military observers and senior staff officers.

    In financial terms, France paid in 6.30% of the regular UN budget in 2008 and is the 5th largest contributor to the UN behind the United States, Japan, Germany and Great Britain. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, France’s contribution towards peacekeeping operations amounted to 7.51%. France provided 533 million euros of the peacekeeping operations budget for the period between July 2008 and June 2009 (i.e. 0.5% out of a total of 7.1 billion USD for world military spending).

  17. nickws

    “Like protecting the German border, Toafu?”

    Are you one of these idiots who thinks that the French can’t fight? otherwise, what is the meaning of your statement?

    Yup, it would appear that our tee has fallen victim to that very American hatred, Francophobia.

    Never mind what I said @ 2 about the Frogs actually being pretty bloodthirsty compared to us subjects of the milktoast House of Windsor (that hippy SNAG Prince Charles is close to becoming our monarch!), or that Australian patriotism has embraced the French over recent years because of our remembrance of the shared sacrifice at Bullecourt & Villers Bretonneux—tee seems to have been educated in the college of armchair general hard knocks, aka 2003 Americentric warfever.

    (If I’m wrong about this I’m sure our fellow commenter will set me straight.)

  18. Toaf

    Good luck there, Rob.

  19. RobJ

    “Like protecting the German border, Toafu?”

    Are you one of these idiots who thinks that the French can’t fight? otherwise, what is the meaning of your statement?

  20. GavinM

    Thanks Rob,

    The new RoE’s for the Germans do seem to make more sense, especially if they are intending to become more involved in international peace-keeping and /or military efforts.

    And you’re right about Bolt, I guess if we’re looking at sheer numbers the English speaking nations are doing the most, but then again as noted by Toaf, they did start it.

  21. tee

    The French also have other commitments elsewhere.

    Like protecting the German border, Toafu?

  22. RobJ

    Thanks Gavin.

    Yeah Germany’s effort isn’t what I would call heavy lifting. I realise this has nothing to do with the soldiers and everything to do with politicians.

    Germany have however improved their RoEs, here’s a link (as I suspected, their ability to conduct combat outside of Germany appears to be up to them) :,,4456453,00.html

    Anyway – Bolt’s ‘English-speaking’ line is BS as per usual.

  23. Toaf

    The French also have other commitments elsewhere.

  24. GavinM

    Hello Rob,

    I don’t know if the French are still there, but at one stage earlier this year they were stationed around Kapisa in the East, which was a pretty hot spot.

    Also they did lose 10 soldiers killed and about 20 wounded in an ambush and subsequent battle last year somewhere outside of Kabul — some of those guys were in my old unit incidentally.

    I think Germany’s troops are employed in support and training roles because they have some sort of rule against their armed forces engaging in direct combat since WW2. Although they do have aircraft performing reconnaissance roles as they did in Operation Desert Storm, so I’m guessing reconnaissance doesn’t count as combat.

  25. RobJ

    “Also if you look at the distribution of forces on the ground, there are only a few countries in the south where the fighting is toughest.”

    This is true, just because there might be some big numbers on that image it really depends where those soldiers are situated, I’m thinking Germany and France??? As far as I’m aware the bulk of the fighting is being done by:

    US, UK, Holland, Canada, Australia, Denmark (I may have missed some).

    The English speaking thing? That’s just Bolt dog whistling to the rednecks and bigots!

    As far as France and Germany being there, that had a rush of blood to the head post 9/11, went along with the US but when they got there……….

    This is what I understand, please feel free to educate me.

  26. Toaf

    baldrick, it’s also clear which nations started the war. Imagine if Russia or China had invaded and then expected the US to clean up the mess.

  27. baldrick

    Although it is clear which nations are bearing the brunt of the fighting.

    Also if you look at the distribution of forces on the ground, there are only a few countries in the south where the fighting is toughest. And there is a big disparity in who is providing the even important air support, medical evac helicopters, offensive fire support etc. That’s all the U.S. and a few british air assets. Canada has some tanks and artillery, The Dutch have some tanks….other than that, there’s not much fighting power over there.

  28. Toaf

    On the topic of Western troops fighting in Afghanistan, the Guardian Weekly has published letters from a UK soldier in Helmand province. Interesting reading.

  29. nickws

    AB suffers from the Clancyporn mentality that believes only brave Anglo warriors fight—the non-Anglos might occasionally die in large numbers, but by-and-large they’re pussies.

    The US media wankers (let’s call them ‘Bolt’s friends’) have created this image that Australian and British forces are the toughest possible allies of the Great Republic. Not quite. In fact, it’s madly ironic that the truest badass ally America has is… the French. They’re the ones whose military philosophy is akin to Samuel L Jackson’s opinion of the AK 47 in Jackie Brown: when you absolutely, positively have to kill every motherfucker in the room, then M Sarkozy sending his legionnaires or paras is the way to go.

    The UK and Oz forces are tough, but they just happen to be commanded by the likes of the British general who worried that the Americans at Pristina in ’99 would “start World War Three” with their gung-ho attitude. (Remember when the aforementioned US media wankers were bitterly disappointed that those RN sailors captured by the Iranian coast guard wouldn’t mount a suicide charge from their dinghy towards the enemy RPGs and anti-aircraft guns?)

  30. Toaf

    Bolt’s living in his own world, isn’t he? One where reality doesn’t intrude very often.