Sunday 20 June 2010


Another soldier's life was lost in Afghanistan on Friday taking our death toll to 299.

He has been named as Trooper Ashley Smith, 21, from the Royal Dragoon Guards and was hit by a bomb blast in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province. Trooper Smith was from York and was killed in this area well known for high levels of insurgent activity.


David Cameron tells us we have a duty to provide moral support to the armed forces. How insulting. Does he not realise most people do support the military. It's the Afghanistan war they don't support.

Of course this 'article' is to promote Armed Forces Day next Saturday. 'Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone,' says the Prime Minister. Dare I say gratitude, whether it be silent or vocal, is much more worthy than the hasty platitudes uttered at PMQs.


Richard said...

I see in this a rather repulsive, if not gauche attempt by Cameron to "own" the war in Afghanistan and cast himself in the Thatcherite mould as a war leader - entirely unconvincing and counter-productive.

Oldrightie said...

The Prime Minister inherited a crap economy and a grotesque war. Give him time. I have more faith in his approach than anything Labour ever did, known and secret.

Alex Porter said...

He´s just another puppet of the system. A real leader would get the troops home.

Naturally, just like the Romans each ´leader´ needs a war to define them. Afghanistan is Obama´s and Britain´s role in this drug running enterprise is simply cheer-leader.

Cameron will do nothing appropriate with the economy. He would have to force the financial sector into bankruptcy and start again having repudiated the debts.

As we know though he, like Brown, takes his orders from Wall St and The City - the same people who orchestrate the wars..

gildas said...

First, God bless the brave men and women who go there and lay their lives on the line, and risk terrible injury, and those who have already made such terrible sacrifice. At every PMQ's the politicians mouth the platitude that we will never forget them, but sadly, history shows that the English State in particular has a singularly dismissive attitude to those who serve it loyally and bravely in war. Twas ever thus. Many of the sailors who defeated the Spanish armada were subsequently left unpaid and died of starvation. One feels Gordon Brown would have approved.

Whilst the aim of the operation seems to me laudable - the disruption of Al Qeada bases and the prevention of terrorist attacks - one has to question the strategy tactics from the start. Is it only now that are Political Lords and masters realise that a deal with unpalatable local elements is inevitable and necessary, and Afghanistan is not going to be run like Islington Borough Council, replete with creches and diversity awareness officers?

Why do politicians ignore history? Some principles are as immutable as gravity. Never invade Russia. Never fight a war on two fronts (Iraq, anyone?). And never invade Afghanistan.

Blair was too free with the blood of other people's sons and daughters.
Gildas the Scribe

subrosa said...

I too found the article, at the very least, naive Richard, although I don't think Cameron has yet shown he's quite a warmonger. Time will tell.

subrosa said...

Aye OR, he'll need a little more time. Maybe he'll understand the military more after the SDR - or even during it.

subrosa said...

In many ways I think you're right Alex. More and more I see our presence in Afghanistan as being part of this strange desperation to impress the US.

subrosa said...

The initial 'threat' hasn't existed for some time gildas. We're now there for purely political purposes and nothing whatsoever to do with protecting ourselves.

If we were interested in doing that we should be helping Pakistan where they are having serious problems.

gildas said...

Yes, Subrosa, I agree - I should have phrased my response better. The real issue is terms of security threat stems, to my mind, from Pakistan and, indeed, Saudi Arabia.

subrosa said...

Auch gildas, I understood your response. Was just adding to it in a way.

gildas said...

How king you are Subrosa!
Simon Jenkins in The Times made a good point at the outset. The best way to deal with Al-Qeada in Afghanistan would be to leave it to the Taliban - who would do so most effectively if they found it convenient. In short, and Afghan solution. It seems to that the only reason not to be out now is that our Lords and Masters do not want appear to cede the country back to the Taliban and thus face an awkward question: what was the point of all that, then?

Anonymous said...


With respect the Afghan war was started in 8 years ago, before Mr Obama was even a senator, unless I miss my mark.

I'd say it was Mr Bush's war, or perhaps Mr Cheney's. After all it's his company that makes all the profit.

I think that perhaps prime ministers should wait until they are in the job a little more than a month before they get all elder stateman and Churchillian on us.

I don't require to be told to whom I show respect, and I certainly don't need to be told by an ex Bullingdon boy.

And before some Tory tells me that it's wrong to say he shouldn't be prime minister because he is rich and priviliged, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that I won't accept a lecture on my social responsibilities from someone who, in their 20s, thought that the idea of a good night out was getting rat bottomed and wrecking a restaurant.

If he'd done it at 16 it would have been a bad boyish prank. But after an education at Oxford... No. Thanks. He can stuff his lectures on behaviour. I'll take mine from someone a little more like Archbishop Ttu.

subrosa said...

Gildas, as a woman sitting on the outside of any truthful information as 99.99% of us are, then I can only say once we've left the Taliban will be back with avengeance.

There is obviously a lot more to this war but I still insist that the US will be the biggest benefactors.

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