December 2nd, 2004

Old Friend


The below has been copied from davywavy 's LJ as a public information service of "Things Angus Thinks You Should All Know" (tm)


When the Societ Union imploded in the early 1990's, the Russian de facto invasion - and support for the government of - Afghanistan collapsed. Although this might be seen as a good thing, in many ways the problems ere only just starting. Tribal militias and warlords - the Mujahideen - had been bankrolled and supplied with weaponry by the US for years (to the tune of US$30m in 1977, rising to US$300m in 1991) and they simply turned these resources to the more traditional Afghan pastimes of tribal feuding, banditry, and cultivating opium.
In the southern, Pashtun, regions, a group of local religious students (the word Talib means student, hence Taliban) grew tired of a local warlord with a penchant for male rape and decided to take up arms to oppose him. Sadly, they didn't have the resources to do so until a local Pashtun tribal leader made a gift to them of US$50,000 and a load of weaponry. This was enough to start the ball rolling. The Taliban expanded rapidly, attracting fighters tired of the banditry and warlords who plagued the country and also attracting devout Muslims from other countries who supported the idea of creating a Muslim state in Afghanistan. The expat soldiers largely passed through a clearing house in Pakistan called "the Base" - that translates as Al-Queda to you and me.
The tribal leader who made the initial donation was rewarded by first becoming a close advisor to Mullah Omar (the Taliban leader) and then, after most of Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban, he was offered the position of Taliban Ambassador to the UN.
The name of this tribal leader who bankrolled the foundation of the Taliban, was a close member of their inner council, and was their putative UN ambassador?
Hamid Karzai, the US-backed, pro-Democracy, anti-Taliban President of Afghanistan.

It's a funny old world, isn't it?
Thanks to davywavy for the information.
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Old Friend

'First Wednesday' Pub Meet

Wow, great turn out for our second 'First Wednesday' pub meetings last night. It was great to see a good mix of familiar faces plus some old ones from years, and years ago.
Sorry to some of my newer friends for a few of us descending into 'do you remember when' type conversations about things and people you have never heard of. Melissa, ukmonty, Ian, Surfer Boy John, Andy O and myself go back between 10-14 years together and hadn't met up as a group for probably the best part of seven years as a collective :-p
Anyway, apart from the above we were graced with the presences of sinbadsilk, pond823, daver2323, Karen, angelalyce, painted_bird, Sarah and Dave K! Quite a gathering indeed.
Whilst various tampon-incidents were taking place on one half of the gathering the other half ended up forming some weird masonic cult that I only now have vague recollections of. Which is hy alcohol is probably a good thing....
We also arranged for a mini-invasion of bmovie next weekend and to keep this "First Wednesday" alcohol abusing new tradition going into 2005 :-p
All in all a great night out with some great people. Thanks to one and all!!!
Old Friend

Spelling Quiz

I am so tired I think I'm going to have a very early night :(

Before I do though I will point you, able reader, to this spelling quiz on the BBC News Website. It's multiple choice and has ten of the most commonly misspelt 'hard' words listed.

I did dreadfully and am not impressed with myself. I'm blaming tiredness though. Honest.

What did I get? I'll let a few of you try it out, post the results either in your own LJ or as a comment to this, and then I'll announce my humbling experience either tomorrow or over the weekend depending when I get some time and see other peoples answers :-p

Sleep well LJ-land!! (Oh, note for Americans, it's the British spelling  we're looking for in this one. I'm not sure offhand if any of the listed words are spelt differently in the US so you can always claim that as an excuse for getting them wrong :-p)
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