The compellingly interesting story of Mullah Mansour, an impostor from Afghanistan who pretended to lead the Taliban side in talks with the Afghan government, has by now caught world media attention (MI6 agents paid Taliban impostor thousands: reports, November 26).
One can really take pity on the modern warlords who operate the war machine against the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in that with all their highly sophisticated state-of-the-art gadgets in their possession, they could not recognise a person pretending to be the number two in the Taliban's rank just behind Mullah Omar. Mullah Mansour was reportedly handed good pocket money for helping the US and its allies find a short cut for their exit.
Why are they in a hurry to leave Afghanistan? The US, under the leadership of the president, Barack Obama, just completed a troops surge only some months ago, aiming at a sweeping victory over the Taliban. Have they achieved their war goals?
Is the world now fully free from the threat of Muslim extremists when they see a Somali teenager in their own backyard hell bent-to set off a vehicle laden with explosives at a Christmas tree ceremony?
When the battle fatigue is clearly visible on American faces, we would see a broad grin on the face of their arch-rival, Iran, which emerged victorious from two vicious wars waged by the US and its allies to cause the fall of two hostile regimes, the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in Iran's neighbourhood.
The military adventure undertaken by the US and its allies unilaterally has only taken a heavy toll on the exchequer in their countries and burdened their citizens, who are still reeling from the desperate financial crisis.
Abdul Lateef Koladikkal, Abu Dhabi
Mawaqif is not parking solution
With the introduction of Mawaqif in my area I am being held prisoner in my own home and risking my own safety. By 6pm all the spaces that are deemed authorised are full. I took the risk of accepting an invitation last night. When I returned home, I drove around my area for a half hour looking for a spot. With my only option of authorised parking being a 20 minute walk and being a female on my own, I felt unsafe risking the solo journey home on foot. I had no reasonable choice but to park illegally close to my apartment. I had a full day parking ticket displayed on my window. I woke up this morning to a Dh500 fine.
Mawaqif has imposed hefty fines yet has offered no alternative or solution. There is currently no mass transit system in Abu Dhabi, buses are not reliable and taxis are scarce. Surely the sensible answer would have been to construct multi-storey car parks before implementing a paid parking scheme.
My alternative is to move, but of course I am tied into a lease that demands one annual payment. I am stuck in a situation whereby I can't afford to leave but I can't afford to stay either.
MJ King, Abu Dhabi
Qatar dared and they won
"Who dares wins" has been a popular motto of Special Forces around the world. I think it now may have another adherent. Qatar dared and Qatar won. Bravo!
I am pleased to eat my words A Double D'oh Award for Fifa Bid (November 19) and congratulate Qatar for winning the bid to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
Mabrook ya Qatar!
Mohamed Kanoo, Abu Dhabi
Enlist ISPs in fight against piracy
The business article Piracy net could also catch the innocent (December 1) reported on tough new regulations being considered in the US to combat internet piracy. Technology researcher Mike McGuire's analogy - "Getting internet service providers [ISPs] to become active in tracking internet traffic is like trying to sue the phone company if you receive obscene phone calls." - is incorrect.
The intention is not to sue the ISPs but to solicit their cooperation to get the information required to investigate criminal activity.
A better analogy is police accessing phone records when investigating a crime. In this case, the police aren't after the telecoms, they're looking for information. That's what is being asked of the ISPs in the fight against piracy.
Amy Terrill, Abu Dhabi
Barcelona shows it's unbeatable
In reference to the sports article Barcelona rout Real Madrid 5-0 (November 30), it was the game of a lifetime, magnificent, amazing - nobody was expecting that. Nobody can play Barca in an open game.
If you want to beat Barca, you have to play defence and counter strike. You have to act like Hercules while being small on the pitch.
BB, Abu Dhabi