There is no good war and no bad peace. . . .

Today’s Telegraph quoted  – Boris Johnson ‘unhappy’ about Afghanistan and says ‘blood and treasure’ must not be wasted

British lives lost and money spent in protecting the Afghan people must not be in vain, says PM, as Taliban fighters storm regional capital.

All my life I have revelled in dangerous pursuits and peculiarly got a perverse kick out of asking myself, “What the hell am I doing here?” whether hanging from an overhang on a rock climb aptly named Cemetery Gates, or clawing off Les Casquets at the helm of an ocean racer.

I realise after digging into my memory bank, that nothing has changed but at least Boris has pulled our troops out. I still can’t answer what the hell were we doing there in the first place. Oh of course it was to do with our “Special Relationship”. No Jake don’t go there!

I wrote in my musings in a blog from 2009

This week I did not take the same headstrong pleasure when I uttered nearly the same words while watching the residents of Wootton Basset on TV as they honoured our dead troops returning from Afghanistan. Seven troops killed in seven days. Can someone tell me what the hell we are doing there?

I should declare an interest as I have a number of good friends serving in the Royal Marine Commandos and no-one has told them what they are doing there. I have a relative who was a GP who felt strongly enough to take a sabbatical and volunteered as a medic to the anti-communist Muslim Afghan guerrillas (the mujahidin) who were then fighting against the Afghan government and the Soviet forces.

In those days the West considered that the mujahidin who call themselves ‘soldiers of God’ or ‘the Taliban’ were the good guys and they received funding from the American CIA. The Taliban is not a terrorist movement as is now claimed and demonised by western propaganda, but was founded as an Islamic religious movement dedicated to fighting Communism and the Drug Trade.

The current war in Afghanistan is not really about Al-Qaida and terrorism, but about opening a secure corridor through Pashtun tribal territory to export the oil and gas riches of the Caspian Basin of Central Asia to the West. The US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are essentially pipeline protection troops fighting off hostile natives. So we have had a deadly, bloody, conflict that has already outlasted the Second World War by nearly three years. WHY?

Our losses of UK troops now stand at 175 with hundreds more horrifically injured, and this is the war that former Defence Secretary John Reid assured us that would be over before now without a shot being fired, bloody politicians. Our troops are dying to prop up a floundering and corrupt regime under the US-installed Afghan president, Hamid Karzai. Doesn’t that remind you of the Carry On film ‘Carry on up the Khyber’ and a Sultan named Kharzi? If I remember rightly he turned out to be a bit of a S**t too.

Western war propaganda has so demonised Taliban that few politicians have the courage to propose the obvious and inevitable: a negotiated settlement to this pointless seven-year war. The Karzai government cannot extend its authority beyond Kabul because that would mean overthrowing the Uzbek and Tajik drug-dealing warlords and Communists chiefs that are the base of its power.

Barack Obama is wrong about Afghanistan and as usual, Gordon hasn’t a clue; it is not a ‘good’ fight against terrorism but a classic, 19th century colonial war to advance western geopolitical power into resource rich Central Asia. The Pashtun Afghans who live there are ready to fight for another 100 years, please God somebody tell Obama and Brown before we get yet another kick up the Khyber.

I am old enough to remember our politicians telling us that Jomo Kenyatta ate babies, Nelson Mandela was a murdering scumbag, Archbishop Makarios was an evil criminal, David Ben-Gurion massacred hundreds of innocents, and even that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness were solely responsible for all of the troubles in Northern Ireland. I now know that it is not just when politician’s lips are moving that they are lying; it is when they are breathing they are lying.

So don’t just tell us what the hell we are doing there, for God’s sake get us out of there.

P.S. I had to add the contents of a letter from today’s paper that I just wish I had written – Mr Bernie Adamson from Northampton wrote – We have soldiers arriving back in the UK in body bags almost daily with no sign of a Labour MP or their wives to receive them back from the war – but today at a Gay Pride march, there’s Sarah Brown complete with whistle and Pink Union Jack. . . . . . That says it all.

About Jake

Long retired travel writer, author and freelance journalist. Educated at Wolverton Grammar and Greenwich Naval College. Happily married since 1958, with a married son and daughter, a married granddaughter and an adult grandson. Hobbies rock-climbing, dinghy racing and ocean racing. Still regularly working out in the gym.
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