I have just been reading John Redwood. He asks why we fought the first world war, as it was originally a Balkans war which developed into a Franco-German dispute, and nothing to do with us. We were quite safe on our side of the English Channel.I view the current war in Afghanistan in the same light, it is not what John Redwood describes as a "a necessary and worthwhile war", unlike the second world war where we had good reason to defend ourselves and close friends (not including the French). What will we gain from fighting in Afghanistan, absolutely nothing as far as I can see. We'd have been far better off, both in terms of lives and money, if we'd put the same amount of effort into defending our borders.
This is one of the reasons I'm not so keen on it.
EP, some years ago I helped someone with their project of recording WW1. The internet wasn't around then and libraries were the source of information. But John Redwood is right IMO. We shouldn't have become involved.We shouldn't be involved in Afghanistan either. Yes it's about oil and mineral wealth but we have enough energy sources of our own. As you say it's nothing to do with terrorism. It's really disturbing the exposure of how our border controls are operated.
Pa-broon, out of interest, what would you expect an independent Scotland's stance to be on security?
EP, I'm in total agreement. Pa, Subrosa knows well my stance on Afghanistan. That still does not spoil my gratitude to those serving, for a pittance, for their efforts and sacrifice.
Its not say I don't feel gratitude because I absolutely do. Although I haven't for a while, I used to march on armistice day. One can still express regret that the situation occured at all.On an Independent Scotland's stance on security? I suppose our stance on security is dictated by how we are perceived around the globe, currently lumped as we are in with 'British' foreign policy, (arguably the same as US foreign policy) we get dragged into things we probably shouldn't. I think we'd be less of a target as an independent nation. We would still need to be vigilant of course, but I think world perception of Scotland would change for the better in terms of security.Even in this I think we need to differentiate between the 'British', English, Scottish, Welsh and NI aspect of this. There is this fifth 'British' identity squating over the component countries of the UK, as a brand I think its harmful, occasionally they dress it up for things like the olympics, it gets peddled out during the proms, but its just the squidgy face of Great Britain which is in my view now an anachronistic, damaging parasite feeding off all the countries that make up the UK.As long as we have the dogmatic westminster-flavoured politicians, lords and all the other paraphinalia of the creaking & monolithic Great British State, we'll find ourselves doing the same things over and over again.These British politicians often say Scotland punches above its weight as part of the UK in areas of defence, I'd say Scotland doesn't really have any interest in punching above its weight in this area, we just want to get on with folk fairly and peacefully.
Unfortunately, I think Remembrance Day has become too politicised pa and it's difficult for many to understand the sacrifice so many have made to ensure we're safe on these islands.As for an independent Scotland - we do need some form of defence. Our coastline is not policed and that could/is causing problems, such as Ireland to Scotland sailings.
Agree with that and a small defence force would do the job a la Norway perhaps.On the politicisation (is that a word?) of armistice day, that is a problem. Its difficult and I'm guilty of it myself, but Iraq was a war about politics. Afghanistan less so, I saw the positives in that (even if the end phase was never really identified.) For what its worth, and I'm not even sure I would be allowed this distinction; the remembrance of those who fell in all wars should be sacrosanct, with out question. But we ignore the reasons for those wars at our peril and I think the soldiers who lost their lives would agree.
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