Saturday, 14 November 2009

Afghanistan and the British people’

There must be many ordinary people like me who are beginning to question our government’s policy on Afghanistan.

Mr. Brown informs us our troop’s presence in Afghanistan is essential to protect us from terrorism.

The media constantly refers to the unacceptable cost in human lives.

I believe our soldiers are the best in the world but I also think they are being sacrificed by this government for a flawed ideal. I know we are not alone but we are too small a country to try and police the world: and assuming we defeat the Taliban, will that mean the end of terrorism? Not on this earth it won’t! The argument just doesn’t wash!

Imagine I am an ordinary Afghan civilian and I hear the British Prime Minister speaking on the wireless. He says foreign troops are necessary in Afghanistan to keep terrorism off the streets of Britain: So what? Do I care? Not a jot! I am only interested in protecting my own family from any sort of violence; foreign troops with their noisy tanks and guns keep me awake at night and threaten my peace of mind. And I am still living in the dark ages after years of promises and foreign intrusion.

We the British have had other failed adventures in Afghanistan over centuries past; do our politicians never learn from history?

Thirty years ago I saw a plaque in York Minster commemorating a young officer who died over there, in a battle by the Kyber pass, strangely enough I had been reading about this battle in a John Masters novel and this is why it caught my attention. It had been a long forgotten battle from another day and age…the mention on the plaque of this young officer’s lost life was one too many but we still keep on sacrificing brave young soldiers for what? If the recent elections in Helmand Province were anything to go by all we were defending were a few dusty fields! Soldiers need real battle experience or it is no use keeping an army but you do not throw away young lives for nothing. Have we learned nothing over the years?

Surely there must be a better way to defend our shores. What about tighter border controls, sharper intelligence and tougher surveillance? We could spend the money in other ways without this horrendous loss of life. I am sure he means well but the sooner Mr. Brown resigns the better it will be for us all. We desperately need a more inspired hand on the tiller.

Harry Riley email:

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