Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Right, time for a clear-out.
The British Army in Afghanistan is not defending the British people.
It is not even defending or advancing British interests overseas.
It is acting as an instrument of United States foreign policy.
British servicemen (I'm not aware of any female casualties) are dying for no good reason.
All British media eyes are on the coming Afghan elections, trying to reinforce the idea that the British presence is about the promotion of democracy. Unfortunately the reporters in situ, faced with a rat's nest, are failing to support this interpretation, hard as they try.
Public opinion in the UK, never convinced of the necessity of the Afghan adventure, is begin to turn against it more vocally. The attempt to rally support for "our boys" by making a public spectacle of the returning dead (but not the crippled and the maimed)will backfire as the body count rises. This was the lesson of the Vietnam war, and the reason why flag-draped coffins have been banished from US television screens.

Our Prime Minister was reported as saying that Afghanistan was the source of all British terror attacks and that's why we must "stay the course". A few months ago Pakistan was getting the blame for our home-grown terrorists*. I'm reminded of the bombing of Tripoli, carried out because the Reagan government had conclusive proof that Libya was behind the LaBelle disco bombing. Then a year later they had conclusive proof that Syria was behind the same bombing. Still, never mind.
So, are the spooks who have traced all our troubles back to Afghanistan the same people who gave us the weapons of mass destruction, the forty-five minute warning, the Walthamstow** terrorist cell, the ricin plot - or should that be the non-ricin non-plot?

*Neo-nazi bombers are not recognised as terrorists, they're just incompetent nutters. In some cases (cf. the Soho bomber) they're not even nazis, just loners with no connection to any organisation.

** I meant to write Forest Gate terrorist cell - but I don't think I'll bother to change it.

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