Email I send to BBC News – The World Today for their coverage of the Dutch decision with interviews and comments from BBC listeners ::

I’m an expat living in the Netherlands and have admired the position of PM Jan Peter Balkenende, FM Bot and Defense Minister Kamp in a responsible debate on any future mission to Afghanistan. I was unhappy with decision and deployment to Iraq because of the illegal nature of the war, but admired the decision not to extend presence beyond March 2005. The Dutch forces in British sector performed well in cooperation with local authority in province of Al-Muthanna and the Japanese reconstruction forces nearby, offering them defense protection. The two Dutch deaths were a direct result of U.S. troops starting an offensive in the Holy City of Najaf to capture Al Sadr in 2004.

The Dutch forces as part of the EU and NATO coalition ISAF in Afghanistan, will have a tough job in the mountainous province Uruzgan, the most underprivileged and conservative part of the nation. The assurances to keep this mission separate from Operation Enduring Freedom, U.S. military interference and Afghan responsibility for future detainees, is a hard condition for a successfull accomplishment of this job. I have confidence in the Dutch approach and believe it’s a challenge and responsibility to the Afghan people not to be ignored, but will gain support of Parliament today.

I have closely watched past deployments and covered the Dutch in many articles @BooMan Tribune.

NYT & Patrick Lang Beating the War Drums ¶ Exacerbates Fear of Iran
Two U.S. Allies Leaving Iraq, More May Go  Dutch Focus
I’m A Fan of Jan Peter!

BBC World News Radio is always my listening post on the Internet and I often provide quick links to U.S. readers when your reports cover an important issue. Thanking you for excellent background reporting, balanced views and for being on the spot with breaking news stories.

Kind regards,

Adrian from the Netherlands
aka Oui @BooMan Tribune

The best cozy political blog community in the Universe.

Dutch Debate on Afghan Force Is Test for NATO

THE HAGUE (Washington Post) Feb. 2 — To Dutch lawmaker Bert Bakker (D’66), a plan to send 1,700 of his country’s soldiers into one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous provinces looks like an operation “with a high risk of exploding in our face.”

He fears Dutch soldiers being tarred like American troops for sending captives off to secret prisons, he said in an interview. He worries that the Afghan mission could agitate restive Muslim immigrants at home. And he is convinced his country’s soldiers are being dispatched on a mission impossible.


Pat Tillman A Leader – Sacrificed In DoD Errors

Pat kept a journal, writing in it regularly

Yet other Tillman family members are less reluctant to show Tillman’s unique character, which was more complex than the public image of a gung-ho patriotic warrior. He started keeping a journal at 16 and continued the practice on the battlefield, writing in it regularly.

His journal was lost immediately after his death

Mary Tillman said a friend of Pat’s even arranged a private meeting with Chomsky, the antiwar author, to take place after his return from Afghanistan — a meeting prevented by his death. She said that although he supported the Afghan war, believing it justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, “Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war.”

“You know, this war is so f– illegal”

Taliban Claim Captured US Seal Killed Today

In Kunar Province, a mountainous region of Afghanistan near Pakistan border.

US Navy Seals in Afghanistan

BBC Radio reported a few minutes ago from correspondent in Afghanistan.

  • Taliban claim to have killed US commando in Afghanistan: report
  • Al Jazeera ◊ Taliban: we killed missing commando
  • Afghan Airliner Boeing737 Lost in Mountains

    Just a few months ago a passenger flight coming into Bagram airport crashed within 15 miles of destination. The mountains and terrain are so rugged, it took more than 36 hours to locate the crash site.

    Wreckage of Missing Afghan Plane Found Near Kabul – No Survivors

    Kabul – Feb 6, 2005 — The wreckage of an Afghan passenger plane missing since Thursday was found today (Saturday) in mountains 20 kilometers east of the capital, and NATO and Afghan officials say all 104 people on board appear to have died. Airline officials say there were 23 foreign nationals aboard the aircraft, including nine Turks and six Americans. Four Russian crewmembers were also on board.

    Asadabad in NE province Kunar

    Asadabad is located in the northeastern province of Kunar. It is a mountainous region, and Asadabad is about five miles from the Pakistani border.

    Asadabad – Area Map

    CIA Contractor Indicted for Abuse of Afghan Detainee
    June 17, 2004 — A 38-year-old North Carolina man has been indicted for assaulting an Afghan detainee while working as a contractor for the Central Intelligence Agency at a U.S. military base in Asadabad, Afghanistan.

    CS Monitor – Background Info Kunar Province  

    Tora Bora base near Jalalabad was rebuilt on the site of a camp first constructed by the US Central Intelligence Agency in the early 1980s.

    Afghan Stone Age ¶ German troops stoned in Badakhshan province


    Afghan.com – Stone Age: German troops stoned in Badakhshan province

    The incident occurred in Badakhshan province when German soldiers of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] photographed local women without asking for permission.

    © Steve McCurry

    ‘Afghan Girl’ Mystery Solved
    National Geographic Photographer Steve McCurry Finds His Most Famous Subject

      “To protest unauthorized snap shots, a group of angry women and children who were returning from a wedding party hurled stones at the convoy of German soldiers in Faramughal village of Argo district last week, injuring two troopers,” Daily Cheragh reported.
      The Independent Kabul ◊ Daily Cheragh

    A fortnight later — an Afghan woman was stoned to death in Badakhshan.


    Riverbend – Bagdad – on Marla Ruzicka
    Dutch special forces in Afghanistan ¶ War on Terror

    “But I will not let myself be reduced to silence.”

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