“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968

Monday, 27 October 2014

When will we ever learn.

Thirteen bloody years. 453 British deaths and who knows how many Afghan losses. This year alone the Afghan security forces have lost some four thousand and once again the Taliban are poised for victory. Since the time of the 1842 British retreat from Kabul through to the Soviet invasion and the American led occupation the message has been pretty clear; don't meddle in Afghanistan or you will end up with a bloody nose. Whatever the future holds for the Afghan people it is unlikely to be the kind of liberal  democracy that Western political elites are (let's be honest) such recent converts to. To paraphrase the old bloke with the beard, the emancipation of the Afghan masses is a task for them alone.

1 comment:

Dr Llareggub said...

Depending on one's view much can be learnt. The Mujaheddin defeated the Russians with US training and help. The Taliban succeeded because the US and others had rules of engagement designed to win hearts and minds, and were opposed by a home population of Guardianistas who vilified the military. Its an unpleasant fact, but soldiers are not social workers; their role is to destroy an enemy. Telling them to respect local customs, not to be seen pissing in the direction of Mecca, and despite adverse reports here, most soldiers followed these restraining orders. The US and UK had the weapons to win; they could have radiated the poppy fields depriving the enemy of finance, and sorted out the local community leaders. Anyhow, the Taliban - freedom fighters to the Islamic-Socialist alliances here - have won this stage in the 200 hundred year long war between the US and Islam: a war which started in 1800 in opposition to Moslem taking of white American slaves and charging the US a ransom costing 25% of their government expenditure. The war saw the creation of the US Navy to protect their merchant fleet, the creation of the marines, called Leathernecks after their leather collars in 1815 worn to prevent beheadings when fighting in Tripoli, which explains the line in the marine's hymn about the shores of Tripoli.

The US and Islam will continue this long running war, which according to the short memories of the left was started by Bush'n Blair.

Although my time with the US Navy was short, I still believe it is right to honour it.