Monday, January 31, 2005

Condi Rice and Kabul

One of the alleged qualifications that Condoleeza Rice brings to her job as Secretary of State is expertise on the history and politics of Russia and the former Soviet Union. But in Bob Woodward's Bush At War (Simon & Schuster, 2002; p.219), Rice is quoted as telling the President and the NSC that the Russians never occupied Kabul. Well, the Russians did just that -- in December, 1979. Someone in Rice's position at that time (the President's national security advisor) should have known better. And it is even more disturbing that the American military strategy in Afghanistan, pursuing a simplistic "let's do the opposite of what the Russians did" approach, started with completely inaccurate information. This is political misuse of history.

For accounts of the Soviet invasion occupation of Kabul, see M. Hassan Kakar, Afghanistan : the Soviet invasion and the Afghan response, 1979-1982 (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1995), pp. 21-31, or J. Bruce Amstutz, Afghanistan : the first five years of Soviet occupation (Washington, D.C. : National Defense University Press, 1986), pp. 46-49. The Soviets flew about 5,000 men into Kabul; some of these stormed the Presidential Palace and killed President Amin.

Or, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Afghanistan .

They like us! They really like us!

We'd like to thank everyone who's linked or written to us during our first day of business. The response has been amazing. It seems everybody has a favorite historical urban legend or conspiracy theory that they would like to see debunked.

I've already received three contributions for the first issue. Being fairly cautious, I had announced the date of the first issue (over at archy) as March 1 with subsequent issues on a monthly basis. If this level of interest keeps up, we will probably move the date forward.

Beyond the carnival itself, Alan and I are still working out how we will be using this site. We will be occassionally posting on bad history in in the news. If you want to contribute to the carnival, but can't decide on a topic, ckeck back here for suggestions.

Once again, thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

We're Live

I'm sending out the announcements that we're up and accepting posts.

We'll work on making the template pretty later.