Friday, 6 November 2009

Do You Believe Gordon Brown?



I've listened to Gordon Brown's speech earlier in which he tries to convince us, the great unwashed, that our armed forces need to be in Afghanistan in order to keep our streets safe.

"Fighting there, so that we are safer at home..." In what way are we safer here with most of our military away from home fighting an unnecessary war in a foreign land?

"Joined by countries from all over the world..." Yes indeed other countries are contributed their troops through the Nato alliance. We have 9,000 of our troops out there, Germany has 4,200, less than half that amount and they are constitutionally restricted to non-combative roles. France has 3,000 troops in Afghanistan and refuses to send more.

"Britain could not afford to walk away..." That's fear-mongering and disingenuous. No reason given as to what it is we can't afford because there is none.

Brown threatened Karzai with the withdrawal of international support if he doesn't tackle corruption. I've been listening to this same sentence from Brown for many months now. The Afghan government will continue to operate as it does. Yes it will do a little window dressing to ensure the $billions of aid continue to flow in and to show the outside world change, but the core will stay as it has for generations.

"In the end we will succeed or fail together..." Emotive words again, desperately trying to convey that Britain would be cowardly to remove themselves from this conflict. It has become very evident over the past months that Obama calls the tune in this war and the other countries play the supporting acts. Those like Canada have this sussed and already have a planned withdrawal organised but the UK government refuse to even utter the words.

As I've said many times, our presence in this war will reverberate throughout these islands for generations. Our borders are wide open to those who wish to do us harm and therefore we already have many living here who wish us harm. Our forces would be far better utilised policing our borders to ensure that no more gain entry. Surely as an island we are in a better position than many other countries of ensuring our coastlines and official entry points are stringently supervised.

The most revealing detail in this, and the Iraq war, is that all three main political parties continue to support it. With the exception of a few brave dissenters, none of the opposition leaders has questioned why we continue to be committed to this war, when there is a flood of evidence which proves Gordon Brown's reasons are wrong. No political leader has the courage to look far enough into the future to see the damage this will do to what was once a free country. The blame lies not only at the feet of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown but with David Cameron and Nick Clegg. They're all responsible for the misery which will be caused here in the coming years.

I don't believe Brown, not for one minute.

It has just come to my notice JesstheDog has also posted on this subject. Have a read here.

Update: A quote from Gordon Brown in the Record:

"A 'Fortress Britain' policy of just protecting your own borders is not going to be sufficient."

What evidence does he have to make that assertion? No effort has been made for years to protect our borders efficiently. Quite the contrary.

19 comments:

Notts Al said...

Brown’s latest position on Afghanistan is a total disaster. What he is letting us in for is the worst of all possible Worlds.

Put aside some of the more bizarre explanations of our presence there, which is to control UK immigration and educate girls, and concentrate on the most consistent argument- that we are there to protect the UK from terrorist plots, 75% of which emanate from the region.

His clear signal in a speech today, contrived mainly for domestic consumption, is that if Karsai does not get his 5 meter readings right in short shrift, then he will not get our additional troops, and furthermore the West will walk away. In Brown’s mind the public is mollified; Karsai will be terrified that in that event his puppet Gov’t will fall and he will surely be put to the Taleban sword.

First problem, Karsai is not strong enough to do very much in the way of improvement, even if he (and his cabinet) wanted to. Not much is going to happen.

Second problem, Karsai can see as easily as everyone else that this is the emptiest of threats. If we go, then we leave the Taleban and Al-Qaida to resume terrorist activities; Brown says in the same speech we cannot do that. And if we did the West would be back to square one. So that will not happen either.

Third problem is that the Taleban are not very far away from Pakistan’s nuclear buttons, probably the only legitimate reason for our continued efforts in the region.

So we are stuck with Karsai and stuck with an endless war of attrition. We will lose a lot more service people, between now and the election, but hey that’s the price of power right?

How different it is, campaigning at the stump with lofty ideals, plans half thought through, pledges and promises provided at no cost at all, to the reality of the decision-making required when the responsibility is owned.
Labour has been as a rabbit caught in the headlights from the point at which Afghanistan became an operation. There are no clear war aims- no picture of victory, no defined or empirical measurements of progress or otherwise, and hence, no milestones, no timetable, no end in sight.
They have been lamentable in response to the changing circumstances in theatre, slow, slow witted, lacking resolve, lacking commitment, and worse, during all that time balancing their political agendas with nothing more than their other political agendas.
So our troops are sent to war on a compromise package: not enough of them to get the job done, but enough to “contain the situation;” not enough equipment lest the budget is broken, not sufficient political will so that we cannot be accused of imperialism, not enough help from our allies in Europe in case we upset “other important negotiations,” muted recognition of the sacrifices, so as not to upset the Imams. No hard-headed cold-blooded pragmatism which might offend the Americans.
The last being the biggest problem. Obama is also caught in the headlights. He has similar domestic “issues” to consider. So the point of the exercise is completely lost, in an intractable situation. While the politicians agonise over their expenses, some of our finest young men and women are being slaughtered in the name of Democracy. Youngsters who do actually understand the meaning of words like: honour, duty, service, patriotism, respect, chivalry, freedom. The lives of heroes like Olaf Schmid (see: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/ ) and five more men this week, God bless all their souls, who are given undo-able jobs in impossible circumstances in the face of unassailable odds, are the negotiated price of political expediency and positioning. Be clear, politicians have to go back to the stump.
It is disgusting. Our ‘finest’ come home from hell on earth to a £500 discharge, yet the people who sent them there argue the cut-off of their £68,000 golden parachute.
I salute all our troops, I weep for the families whose losses are incalculable, I pray for those who are out there who we hope return safely.
I am incandescent at their masters!

Quiet_Man said...

I don't believe Gordon Brown, we're fighting a war we can't really win by military means (cheaper to bribe the warlords to fight each other, divide and conquer) Our allies apart from the USA are all but useless, we have no more troops to send and their equipment supplied is a joke, both unreliable and insufficient. As for fortress Britain, well it could be done, but we'd need tight border controls, removal (by deportation) of the enemy within the 5th column of Islamic extremists. We'd also need to get out of the EU too.

So, unless someone in Westminster grows a pair, it's going to carry on the same as before, but getting progressively worse.

Stewart Cowan said...

Brown is a Grade A liar with honours and a PhD in deception. We are 'safer at home' by allowing in unknown numbers of Muslim 'clerics' and other radicals, are we? I think not.

The war in Afghanistan is about the Western elites ensuring the oil pipeline goes ahead and that the opium crop flourishes.

JPT said...

It was an awful and badly flawed speech. Do his speech writers have it in for him?

frank-davis said...

What gets my goat is the implicit suggestion that terrorists all come from Afghanistan, when quite obviously they don't. The 9/11 hijackers mostly came from Egypt. They could have come from anywhere. They're not an enemy like the Germans in the past two wars, or the French in the wars before that, or the Spanish or the Dutch, each from a specific place. It's just completely mutton-headedly stupid to suppose that terrorism can be defeated in Afghanistan. It can't.

And I think the military know this perfectly well. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that Britain is in Afghanistan for strategic reasons which have nothing to do with terrorism, and everything to do with 'great power politics'. Afghanistan is slotted into a corner between Russia and China and India, and Britain and the USA want to maintain a presence there, maybe with surveillance facilities or something. This seems to me to be the most likely reason we're there.

The most revealing detail in this, and the Iraq war, is that all three main political parties continue to support it.

Same as everything else. The smoking ban comes to mind, for no particular reason. I bet there isn't a smoking ban in Afghanistan.

subrosa said...

What an excellent and well thought out comment Notts Al and a pleasure (if that's the right word) to read.

Part of Brown's lies is his repetition that 75% of terrorist pots come from Afghanistan. That's not today's scenario. The threats are from Pakistan now far more than Afghanistan. and you're right, that is worrying.

Mind you Nato have caused the Taliban to centralise to that pocket.

I read Michael Yon regularly as I'm sure others who are interested in the situation, do.

My other fear is that the tories will continue down the Brown route. Nothing I've heard from the tories says they would act any differently.

subrosa said...

Of course 'fortress Britain' could be done QM but they don't want to do that. They need the 'terrorists' to continue to get here then they have an excuse to invade their native countries.

This is up to the public now and not politicians. If enough of us shout NO then Brown will have to take some action.

I think he's aware of that and today was just a last minute attempt at calling us all spineless by not supporting the war.

subrosa said...

Exactly Stewart and there's so much evidence to prove that.

In fact a lot for evidence than there is for 'climate change'.

subrosa said...

It was poor wasn't it John? I think he's run out of staff who can tolerate him.

subrosa said...

I would agree with you that terrorists don't all come from Afghanistan frank and of course the military know this.

The military undertake to do their job on the orders of their senior officers who take it from politicians as we know.

The fact that many of them don't know why they're there (and they have considerable years of service) is surely evidence enough that the whole war is an excuse for the US to carry out whatever it is they want to carry out. We'll never know the details for a few generations unless someone 'in the know' in the US spills the beans beforehand.

cynicalHighlander said...

Sorry Subrosa but the man is a born liar and is unable to admit to his own failings. Unemployeable in the outside world as he knows nothing about anything except how to fill in his expense claims form.

subrosa said...

Auch CH aren't you being a bit hard there. After all, he went to university. :)

cynicalHighlander said...

Doesn't say a lot for the Uni he went to! Intelligence doesn't stop one from telling untruths it just gives them a more manipulative angle to use. Integrity is earned by admitting ones own failings not by spouting things repeatadly for self power. (frustrated rant)

subrosa said...

Completely concur CH except to say that uni not necessarily gives them a more manipulative angle to use - some learn nothing.

Dramfineday said...

One of the problems with people coming straight from uni into politics is that they've never had a real job, with the attendant pressures, fears, successes and failures. In short no life experience. Broon is a typical example of it. Good case to be made for having to have had a minimum of (say) 10 years real work experience before you can apply to join the best club in London.

Test question: would you buy a second hand car from this man?

normacd said...

Subrosa I came across this old blog by Lin Winston today which clearly demonstrates Brown's tactics

http://head-case-hero-human.blogspot.com/2009/03/war-and-patriotism.html

subrosa said...

Goring is right of course normacd. Thanks so much for the link, I will use a bit of Winston's post sometime I'm sure.

banned said...

No.

"I bet there isn't a smoking ban in Afghanistan" But there is in Iraq.

subrosa said...

That doesn't surprise me banned.

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