Afghanistan has cost 40 British servicemen their lives -19 in one month -with NATO reinforcements nowhere to be seen.
ANOTHER WAR-ANOTHER WICKED LIE
Thursday |September 21-2006
SOME may welcome the statement by Des Brown, the Defence Secretary that our mission in Afghanistan is proving much more perilous than expected. They will see it as a sign that the Government is waking up to the immensity of our task in that country.
What candor! How rare it is for any government to admit that it has got something wrong, and here is that nice Mr Browne in confessional mood . So the generous-hearted among us may reason.
Others will not be so temperate. How could Mr Browne - or, more precisely, his immediate predecessor as Defence Secretary John Reid - conceivably have underestimated the treat posed by the Taliban in Afghanistan?
As British troops were being committed in large numbers in Helmand province in the south of the country this spring, Dr Reid famously said that our boys might be able to go home having done their job [introducing the Health and Safety and Gender awareness workshop lectures to the interested locals?] of helping reconstruction ’without a shot being fired’.
ANY armchair general - no any armchair private - could have told Dr Reid that he was talking poppycock, and many did. Dr Reid believes that he is an historian - he wrote a university thesis on the pre-colonial economy of the West Africa kingdom of Dahomey -
And so he should have known about the difficulties, to put it mildly, experienced by the British in Afghanistan in the 19th century.
Even if, as an ex-communist, Dr Reid gave British imperial history a wide berth, he must have been keenly aware of the Soviet experience. The invasion force that rumbled over the Amu Darya River in 1979 eventually became a 100,000-strong occupying army, the biggest Soviet troop deployment since World War II. In the following ten years, the Russians lost hundreds of aircraft and a least 15,000 men and never won the Afghans hearts and minds.
[We have had recently our own Chief of Staff say that British forces could be in Afghanistan for the next ten years]
TIMES change, of course, and other British and other Nato forces are almost certainly more welcome in Afghanistan than were the British well over 100 years ago.
Still the Taliban are known to be a pretty rough bunch. It seems incredible that Dr Reid even with a defective sense of history, could have thought that British troops would find their deployment in southern Afghanistan a cake-walk.
[It might be that with Tony Blair on the way out many of his ministers are trying to show that they are human after all. And rather than continue with their masters ventriloquist dummy routine of confident uttering’s when disaster is at hand they now realize that those days are now gone -WE HOPE.]
In fact, I cannot credit it. Dr Reid could not have been so stupid. Whatever else, he is not a fool, and he must have realized that the threat to British troops was most unlikely to be as negligible as he suggested. He may have hoped that it would have been so, but he could not have believed it.
Even if he had a tendency towards being optimist, he could hardly have ignored the misgivings of senior British army generals. When British troops were heading for Afghanistan some of these generals briefed the media about the perils that lay ahead. They knew how difficult a mission it was likely to be, and we can be absolutely certain that they did not hide their feelings from
Dr REID and other MINISTERS.
Why, then, did he say that British troops might return ‘without a shot being fired’?
His common sense, and such sense of history as he possessed, combined with the analysis of senior military staff, must have told him that some, possibly many, British troops would die fighting the Taliban.
AND YET HE DID NOT SAY-HE CONCEALED HIS FEARS.
The reason is surely obvious. He knew that he told Parliament the complete truth, there would be an almighty hullabaloo. Given that British soldiers were being killed in Iraq every week, the Government could hardly have got away with sending thousands more troops to another war zone where they might die in even greater numbers - as they are doing. Hence the emphasis on reconstruction. The real killing would be left to the Americans.
Many will go along with this assessment BUT one would have thought that the
House of Commons
would have delved much deeper into the matter considering that lives could be at stake before accepting the lame reasoning given which must have made many to question if the Defense Minister at the time was in need of psychological treatment.
Members of the House were too quick
to accept the explanation and many must have had great doubts and anxiety of the misadventure - as happened over the illegal invasion of Iraq - BUT DID NOTHING.
As we have said on another occasion those who suffer the loss of loved one’s should send a letter their MP- possibly many already do but are they reaching the House -to every MP so that they personally see that their negligence in NOT doing THEIR JOB has DONE to the many BRAVE soldiers who have given their blood -ON A LIE.
You may say that I am being cynical, but I can’t for the life of me see any other explanation - apart from the idea, which I have already dismissed, that Dr Reid and the Cabinet were blinkered and stupid and utterly blind to the true dangers. No, they must have had a good idea of what probably lay in store for our soldiers.
So far, 40 British servicemen have been killed in Afghanistan, 19 of them this month [September -2006] Our troops are badly paid, poorly housed, and sometimes ill-equipped. BUT, worse even than all that, they have been sent to fight a war which the Government feared would be a lot more bloody that it dared let on.
In arriving at this bleak conclusion, I admit I am partly drawing of my knowledge of NEW LABOUR’S record of MENDACITY.
If it had never before told an UNTRUTH, it would be more difficult to conceive that it had LIED on THIS OCCASION on so GRAVE a MATTER.
-A GOVERNMENT which deliberately exaggerated - or shall we say INVENTED? -
Iraq’s WDM’s is also capable of publicly UNDERESTIMATING
-a DANGER in order to WIN acceptance for a PERILOUS MISSION.
Don’t suppose that the setbacks in Iraq have made Tony Blair doubtful about Britain’s role as America’s junior partner in ‘the war on terror’. Afghanistan is where it all started -where America , assisted by Britain and other Nato allies, seemingly unseated the Taliban after the horrors of the attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.
FIVE VYEARS LATER we still have not caught Osama Bin Laden, which was one of the main -
If not the main -war aims behind the invasion of Afghanistan. YET, in this one matter at least, Mr Blair has been true to his word: he has not walked away. He really believes (and so apparently do the Tories) that it would be a tragedy for the world if Afghanistan is allowed to become a’ ‘failed State’. No one seems to reflect that there are several other failed states to which we do not send British troops [Well not yet -anyway?]
My own view is that the war in Afghanistan is probably unsinkable, and moreover that British interests do not demand that OUR SOLDIERS DIE there.
Incidentally, Mr Browne admitted on Tuesday that the opium crop in Helmand province is bigger than ever, despite the presence of thousands of British troops. The eradification of the opium trade is another key war aim that has not been met. I don’t suppose it will be.
BUT even if |I am wrong, even if there is a justification for our continued presence in Afghanistan, surely all reasonable people can agree that it was little short of wicked for the Government to dispatch so many troops there without revealing its true fears. We have stumbled into another war on
-and almost no one in politics or the media seems to be aware of it.
[Font altered -bolding & underlining used-comments in brackets]
[There is always an excuse handy to go to war the most difficult is to remain calm and objective and put into the scale the blood and destruction on the one hand and the conceived gain on the other.]
The next dreadful thing to a battle lost is a battle won.-
Wellington, Duke of (1769-1852)
There never was a good war, or a bad peace.-
Franklin, Benjamin (1706-90) Am.statesman-inventor and author.
A MESSAGE TO GEORGE BUSH
It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance.
But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts - for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in ntheir governments for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.-
Woodrow Wilson(1856-1924) 28th president USA
[The present conflict in Afghanistan needs to be brought to an end speedily because unless this happens and coalition troops leave Iraq there will never will be created the near calm atmosphere in which the Middle East question can be discussed. It is at present adding fuel (no! not oil Mr Bush ) to the fire.
We take this opportunity to ask of Mr Bush that he lend Des Browne our grieved Defence Minister a few of your armoured personnel vehicles which have been in Iraq for the last 18 months while our soldiers have been bleeding to death by the roadside as the MoD expect our troops for the next four months to dodge roadside bombs and other assorted armoury in their flimsy land-rovers - until we receive your wonderful
£265,00 Cougar armored patrol vehicles which will cost our taxpayers
Major General Dick Applegate the Ministry of Defence’s capabilities manager, said the trucks would save lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
[Well better late than never some say but those who have lost dear one’s fighting in flimsy land-rovers will ask why has it taken so long?]
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