Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Don't Mention The War!

Does anyone care about the war in Afghanistan? Has it all been brushed under the carpet by the MoD war-time propaganda machine? Or is it that we just accept it while our servicemen continue to die, along with hundreds of civilians, in far off lands. 

In 1956,  Eden, the UK prime minister, took this country to war on a lie. The US said stop it. Eden paid the price and resigned in disgrace. The British Empire ended after Suez. And for nearly half a century, any idea of UK 'interventionism' died with it. Liberal interventionism came back with New Labour and Blair. But only if the US said it was OK. And only if Blair "knew it was right". 

Wars are never pleasant. People get killed. Taking a nation to war is bad enough when the State is threatened directly. The only justification for war must be if the UK is directly under threat by a foreign state. It hasn't been since 1939. 

Pull all operational troops out of Iraq. See what happens? The tribal groups will realign and eventually federate. Look at the Kurds. They seem to be very peacefully getting on with it. Baghdad is a problem. And here the solution is for a UN agreed creation of an independent city state. With a UN peace-keeping force.

And then there's Afghanistan. Strange because nobody seems to know why we are there and exactly what we are doing. Fighting Tommy Tailban? But who are they? Fundamental Islamists, sure but also many Afghans. It's their country not ours. Us British were there years ago fighting somebody or other (they even made it into a film - Carry On Up The Khyber). Then the Soviets tried - and beat a hasty retreat. And now it's us again and the US. 

What are we doing there? Well, certainly protecting the poppy fields from destruction. After all, more than 90 percent of the UK heroin comes from these fields. Protect the poppy with pride!

Just pull out of here too. We don't have an Empire anymore! Heroin from the poppy fields of Afghanistan is a really bad thing. No general worth his pips would try to fight two wars on two fronts. We just don't have the money to wage any wars let alone two at once. 

Think of the money we'd save. Billions of pounds. We're a tiny island off northern Europe for goodness sake not a world superpower. We could use some of the cash to help pay off our increasing national debt (and maybe use some for schools and hospitals and staff). 

And come to think of it why doesn't someone ask what are all our troops doing stationed in Germany (don't they know the Cold War has ended). And in southern Cyprus - since when have the friendly Turkish EU wannabes been a threat?

It is time for a reality check. Realise that we can't afford billion of pounds fighting wars in foreign countries. Wake up to the fact that Muslims really don't like western Christians invading their country. Liberal interventionism shouldn't be on the whim of a UK prime minister because he thinks he's right. There's a place for liberal interventionism but only with full UN approval and only then if the UK Parliament and people agree. 

The problem is Brown is simply carrying on with a New Labour policy. They've dug themselves into a hole and can't get out. You'd have to do something with all the troops, the sailors and the airmen and vast army of MoD staff. And there's the huge defence, catering and supply contracts.  Pulling out will cost a lot of very rich and powerful people an awful lot of money. 

This isn't anti-war. This is just common sense. 

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