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Re: Afghanistan [OT]
From: Curtis Maurand <curtis () lamere net>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 10:30:33 -0400 (EDT)

You're talking about a country with very little electricity, non-existent
telecom and no running water.  You do realize this don't you?


On Tue, 18 Sep 2001, Vadim Antonov wrote:

As already was pointed out - keeping comm channels open to Afganistan is
not an issue. The only people having access to the channels are exactly
those who will only interpret what comes thru as more crap from the
infidels.  Ochlocracy is the term for what's going on over there.

In fact, it may be quite worthwhile to close their two-way comms to make
coordination of adversarial activity abroad harder to them.

The open access makes sense as an a tool for influencing people's opinions
_only_ when people have widely available and unfiltered access.  If
Afganistan had any independent ISPs, I'd say do everything possible to
make them successful.  Alas, this is not the case.

I'd say the better way of communicating would be the classical
native-language radio translation in Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe
fashion, otherwise known as propaganda.  Worked well for the USSR.
Radios are cheap and realtively available (and hard to control, too).
May be worthwhile to actually air-drop loads of small and easy to hide
solar-powered units.  I'd expect a lot of people to listen to those in
hiding even when threatened with execution for mere posession.

Given the air superiority of NATO, controlling use of those radios by the
local propaganda units can be very easy - just drop radio-guided missiles
on Taliban transmitters.


On Tue, 18 Sep 2001, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote:

At 12:01 PM 9/18/2001 -0700, Randy Bush wrote:
 >>> Has anyone started to deny all traffic to/from Afghanistan ?
 >> It is my understanding that the free flow of ideas and discussion of same
 >> is detrimental to an extremist or dictatorial government.  Such
 >> rarely (ever?) survive open discussions and flow of ideas.
 >so i guess we should not advocate cutting off that flow, eh?


When someone claims they are in power, or smarter than you, or just know
better, and tell you to do something you think is a poor idea, or simply
something you do not want to do, you should research and find out why.  Do
not just take their word for it.  And the Internet is a darned good way of
getting that outside information for many, many people.

Of course, that opens a long discussion because there are obvious
exceptions - parents and children, military personnel, bosses &
employees.  It is easy to see how someone could extend that to a government
and its people.  I do not believe it should be in most
circumstances.  Maybe I am wrong.

But that is straying too far off topic even for me.



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