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A million Muslims forced from their homes

I wanted to post something that wasn’t about the Israel-Hamas war. This is as close as I got.

Pakistan starts mass deportation of undocumented Afghans – Shah Meer Baloch in the Guardian

Why is Pakistan deporting over a million undocumented Afghan immigrants?Reuters

Pak Deports Over 1M Afghans To Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan, No outrage From Islamic Nations – Pooja Shali of India Today

Nearly 1.7 Million Afghan Refugees Forced Out Of PakistanOn Demand News

Afghans fleeing Pakistan lack water, food and shelter, aid groups sayNBC News/Associated Press

23 comments to A million Muslims forced from their homes

  • djm

    Insert *Thats different* meme

  • Why now, I wonder?

    Because the Israel / Palestine thing is a useful distraction, maybe? A few more million refugees won’t make much difference?

    Timing seems opportunistic.

  • JJM

    “Move along. Nothing to see here, folks.”

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Timing seems opportunistic.

    Exactly my thought. A good time to “bury bad news”, as a former Labour spin-doctor was quoted as saying a decade or so ago.

  • On a positive note. The “Afghanistan War” is over, so why shouldn’t the refugees return home?

    Sure, “we” lost and the Taliban won, but should that make a difference?

    They’ve got peace. Maybe not under democracy, but Afghanistan has never really had that, under the previous regime (between the Taliban) it was little more than a Kleptocracy.

    At least the boys will be able to go to school. Shame there will only be one book to read.

  • john in cheshire

    So, why can’t we do the same thing in our country?

  • Martin

    In fairness, Pakistan has had millions of Afghan refugees for over four decades. Admittedly they contributed to the situations that led to there being large numbers of refugees, although other and greater powers share responsibility for that too. Few (sane) countries would be willing to indefinitely support millions of refugees.

  • jgh

    If they are undocumented, how do they know there’s 1.7m of them? If they know there’s 1.7m of them, then by definition they’re documented.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    If they are undocumented, how do they know there’s 1.7m of them? If they know there’s 1.7m of them, then by definition they’re documented.

    Such pesky logical thought will get you into trouble.

  • Mr Ed


    A good time to “bury bad news”, as a former Labour spin-doctor was quoted as saying a decade or so ago.

    It was actually on 11th September 2001, over two decades ago. Jo Moore was the name, reportedly within an hour of the attacks.

  • Paul Marks

    In history countries have often expelled vast numbers of people – people they deem hostile.

    Western nations now say they can not do this – which indicates that they are weak, very weak.

    Strength is not lots of fancy weapons – strength is a matter of will, the will to use the weapons, if only a fist or a club, in order to survive. Someone who has lots of fancy weapons but lacks the will to use them (because of human rights, compassion, or whatever) will lose to someone with a club, and may even be made to watch as their children have their brains smashed out against a wall.

    There was even an episode of old “Star Trek” that covered this – “Captain Kirk” is divided into two versions of himself, good and evil.

    The good Kirk is brave – he is willing to die to save others, and he has his intelligence, experience and skills.

    The evil Kirk is a coward, scared that he will come to harm, he is also someone who rapes to satisfy his lusts, and is happy to murder unarmed people to get his way (indeed he gets a kick out of it).

    However, the good Kirk has a fatal flaw – he can not make decisions, at least not a decision that may lead to someone else getting hurt.

    Without his evil side he has lost his “power of command” and he can not survive – and neither can the people he leads, because the good Kirk is not really capable of leadership.

    The two sides need to come together again – to form one man.

  • Kirk

    Paul, this is me face-palming again…

    I really wish people would quit taking lessons up from popular entertainments as though those things actually meant anything profound. Star Trek had some great scripts, but most of the stuff they ran with was run through Gene Roddenberry’s mentational process, and that was decidedly weird.

    I’ve been a science-fiction reader since about the age of nine, when I discovered the genre. I could once tell you, off the top of my head, which of the great “Golden Age of SF” authors Roddenberry and his scriptwriters had ripped off for which episode… And, let us be honest: Most of that stuff was pulp. Works written to make the author money in a market that was not exactly the most erudite or literate during that period.

    And, trying to use that pap as a moral exemplar? Yeesh… Talk about “fraught with peril”.

    The story you’re describing here is one that a lot of people would read or watch, and take as comforting truths. Reality? Not a damn bit of it.

    Ever heard of one Reinhard Heydrich? That there was one very evil man… And, he was a damned effective leader. Whatever else he was, the man was not a coward.

    History is full of similar examples, including many of our vaunted heroes like, oh… Julius Caesar. Alexander the Great. Many others… Evil is often brave, courageous, and highly admirable to some… Which is why it is so damn dangerous and attractive. Put someone like Heydrich up against an awful lot of the “good guy” leadership, and who would you prefer to follow, acting in your own self-interest?

    Same with the superior good-guy leaders: There may have been a “heart of darkness” in Montgomery, one that was prideful and wanting recognition, but an officer like Slim? Show me the evil, please… I’ve read more than one account of that man’s works, and I’ve yet to see anyone who could point to a damn thing that even vaguely resembled anything other than selfless service.

    No, seriously… All y’all need to just STOP using popular media for examples. They’re stories, usually written by complete dumbasses like Roddenberry, who posited a military force consisting of nothing but officers…

    As well, the raw fact is that there is, as Heinlein once put it, a precise technical term for anyone who takes what a character of an author says as being what that author really thinks on a given subject: Idiot.

    Fiction is entertainment. Stop using it as a substitute for actual scholarship or thought, please.

  • Colli


    Isn’t it possible to consider ideas and situations in the abstract even if they are presented in a fictional context?

    Personally, I prefer ideas to be presented in a more direct fashion, but to say that there are no valuable ideas in fiction seems a bit silly to me.

  • Yes but Jews didn’t do it, so who cares? 😀

  • NickM

    Depends on the fiction. Some fiction is quite philosophical. Borges springs to mind. So does Tolkien in a very subtle way. Interestingly they both had day jobs. The “SF Golden Age” hacks that didn’t were churning stuff out for 1 cent a word for magazines aimed at teenagers. So, whaddya expect? Amazingly some interesting stuff came out of it. Notably Philip K Dick. Dick’s best work is his short stories. He lacked the organisation for novels. That’s what happens when you’re plotting whilst typing furiously for slave-rates and doing whilst bombed out of your box on amphetamines to meet the deadline. That was one route. The other was to do a Hubbard and found a “religion”…

    The more I’ve heard about Roddenberry the less I’ve liked him. There is also the question of money. The Federation is some form of post-communist utopia. But money still seems to exist. Trade deals are discussed and there’s the Ferengi… It’s the complete inconsistency in world-building that annoys me. I do find it entertaining. Mainly Kirk’s (not you!) work-arounds of the Prime Directive. Oh, and they’re not all officers but you rarely see below decks. But it would appear they have bunks whereas the senior officers have 5 star hotel suites. How does that work with the egalitarian idealism? It’s a complete ideological mess that Roddenberry (and others) seems to have invented on the fly. Even amongst the officers the ranks make no sense.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – my point was that the evil part of a man is necessary, and it is necessary. A totally good man can not do what needs to be done – after all that means sending the men under his command into danger, and might even mean that civilians get killed. So the totally good man will dither and not do what needs to be done – and thus get himself, and everyone under his command, killed.

    I agree that the evil are often not cowardly.

  • Kirk

    My objection to the use of fiction in discussion/argument is that the use of it to support a point is basically taking a made-up idea and then because that matches your argument, you somehow transmogrify that into a supporting point. The author would laugh, because nine times out of ten, they’re writing that story to make money, nothing more, nothing less. They’ll tell any tale, so long as it sells… And, what sells? Usually ain’t in accordance with reality in any way, shape, or form.

    Which isn’t to say that fiction doesn’t influence the world. People’s delusions are often reflected in what they write and find entertaining. You can tease out a lot of good data from fictional sources, but… You have to be wary of trying to derive “universal truth” from them, and using stuff you find in stories to support argument is just nuts. It’s like historical anecdotes you often find, the “Just So” stories that are so commonly believed. Ones like “Lions led by donkeys…” that have entered into the common wisdom, and yet don’t stand up to actual historical research and analysis.

    Fiction is a thing in and of itself; you start citing it as a source for examples in discussion, you’re making the same mistake that a lot of scholars do, by using sources far removed from fact.

    I think it’s a mistake to even start down that path. Paul’s argument that “Good men can’t do what they need to…” is a perfect example. I’ve known lots of “good men” who would happily slaughter other human beings in the name of their beliefs, convinced they were doing the right thing. Hell, I used to work for a couple…

    What Paul has fallen prey to here is believing all the crap he’s read over the years, and having never actually experienced the realities of those things. Good/Evil is a dichotomy that exists mostly in the heads of outside observers who are rendering judgment on actions they’re not taking part in. If you’d asked Heydrich if he was a good man, he might have said “Of course I am; I’m fighting International Jewry that is destroying the Aryan Race… All the things I’m doing are justified…”

    Verdict of the outsider would no doubt be a bit different, as will history’s, I’m sure.

    In any event, the Good/Evil axis doesn’t really mean squat when it comes to being able to go about applying violence to others. That lies more along the line of “Effective/Ineffective”, and the good can be just as Effective as the Evil, and do it just as easily.

    Also, the Evil types are often convinced that they are actually Good… Which puts quite a different light on things, examined from their point of view.

  • NickM

    I don’t believe that violence is essentially part of a dichotomy. Violence in defence is a virtue and not a vice. That people might feel morally ambigous about the use of violence is part of what makes them essentially good. The truly evil have no such qualms. They positively exalt in it. That is the fundamental difference between the IDF and Hamas right now. And it has been since the Rohirrim charged Pelennor Fields…

    Good people may have to do terrible things. That doesn’t mean they have to channel their dark side. Even if they are haunted by it.

  • Bell Curve


    Meaning what?

  • Kazoo!

    It’s a small musical instrument played by kids.

  • Kirk

    And it has been since the Rohirrim charged Pelennor Fields…

    Oh, dear God…

    I really truly hope that a joke I once made about people mistaking Tolkien’s works for actual history comes to pass, just to spite you… 🙂

    It’d only be just.

  • Kirk

    @ NickM,

    That people might feel morally ambigous about the use of violence is part of what makes them essentially good.

    Good people may have to do terrible things. That doesn’t mean they have to channel their dark side. Even if they are haunted by it.

    Use of violence has not a damn thing to do with “good” or “evil”. That’s purely Western Christian cultural conditioning, and it isn’t at all universal or accurate.

    Violence is neutral; the intent behind it and the use it is put to is where the “good” vs. “evil” comes in. I stab you with a knife and enjoy it? Am I a mugger, a murderer… Or, a surgeon?

    Either way, you’re getting cut. That’s the violence inherent in the act, so to frame “violence” as immutably good or evil is a mistake, an error in categorization. Some violence is necessary; I see you in the path of a car, and I tackle you to prevent your getting run over… I’ve just committed an act of violence on you, but I saved your life by doing so. Do it in a football game, and I’m a sports hero. Do it during a domestic argument, and I’m a spouse-abuser.

    Good and evil have nothing to do with violence, other than by describing the intent and the effect of it. Hell, I used to positively enjoy violently engaging my troops in training; I had no ambivalence at all about that, and it was harsh enough that some of them wound up with emotional damage from it, but I felt (and, still do…) that it was absolutely necessary to develop the resiliency they needed to survive in actual combat.

    I’ve got no moral qualms about having done that, either. Even though I’m pretty sure I was proximate cause for at least one case of stress-induced PTSD. Individual in question really had no business being a soldier going in harm’s way, and it was better that they were eliminated from service during peacetime than in war, when they might have gotten others killed.