11 3 mins 7 yrs

…………………….. and with Hell we are at agreement.

 

Just a few days ago, we watched as the British Army sneaked quietly out of Camp Bastion, out of Helmand, and of course out of Afghanistan. We shall then see what we have bought with 453 British lives, along with some £30 billions in treasure. Will we see another ‘Peace in our time’, or will we see yet another sad truth that, having blown away the Taliban in double-quick time, we should have then said to the Warlords who have actually governed in that sad, sandy hell-hole, “Its yours now; you wanted it, you run it, because we are leaving now.’ But we didn’t.

We stayed, and we spent 453 lives, the flower of British youth, volunteers all, whether Regular or Reserve, in a veritable splurge of utter stupidity, much the same as the thinking which brought on the utter catastrophe of the Somme in 1916.

We have watched as the poppies were planted, ending just yesterday when the last of 888,246 ceramic memorials were planted in the grass of the Tower of London’s moat; but I still do not believe that most of this nation understands or even accepts the carnage which was the First World War. The Battle of the Somme, on the first day alone, cost some 58,000 British casualties. Some of the Pals’ Battalions, by the end of that Battle, had virtually disappeared; and for what, it may be asked? The trench line; established in the early days of the War, hardly changed. What was lost in one charge, was gained back in another. It was all a waste, of life, of treasure, of the very spirit which kept men fighting despite the loss of everything.

But what was perhaps the worst loss, out of all the casualties, all the change, of the revolutions and of the vast change resultant from the War to end all War, was the loss of the very spirit which may have kept an Austrian corporal from mesmerising an entire Nation into a belief that they could win that Second War, and wipe out the disgrace of the First.

I leave you with one final statistic; when the Taliban, evil and savage though they may be, were in power,another poppy; the Heroin Poppy was virually eradicated. Today, the Poppy fields have given the production of heroin a boost to eighty percent above the line when we went in!

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11 thoughts on “We have made a Covenant with Death;………..

  1. While we are citing Isaiah about covenants, let us not forget he also said woe onto them that call good evil and evil good. While Afghanistan intervention has proven miguided it was not ever the evil thing, in fact it was the right thing to do, but it was done poorly.

  2. //he trench line; established in the early days of the War, hardly changed. What was lost in one charge, was gained back in another. It was all a waste, of life, of treasure, of the very spirit which kept men fighting despite the loss of everything.//

    Exactly, it was all of that, and it was people of your mindset at the time who caused it, supported it and kept it going.

    The only voices against the slaughter from the start were Socialists and isolated pacifists, and they were all derided as traitors and cowards. Many of them lost their jobs and were thrown in prison. Conservatives to a man supported the war.

  3. when the Taliban, evil and savage though they may be, were in power,another poppy; the Heroin Poppy was virually eradicated.

    Production is just one part of the process, and the simplest at that. After harvesting the poppies, there is a chemically-intense series of processes by which heroin is manufactured, and then there’s the marketing, delivery to markets etc. It’s fortunate for the producers that the US military is in Afghanistan to protect the entire process – because that is why they are there.

    On Osama Bin laden, the taliban made clear that they would hand him over to a 3rd-party country on presentation of evidence (not proof) of his guilt:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/oct/14/afghanistan.terrorism5

    The Taliban would be ready to discuss handing over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted the bombing of Afghanistan, a senior Taliban official said today.

    Afghanistan’s deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

    “If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved” and the bombing campaign stopped, “we would be ready to hand him over to a third country”, Mr Kabir added.

    But it would have to be a state that would never “come under pressure from the United States”, he said.

    To me, that is a reasonable position – but this below is not:

    Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban “turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over.” He added, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty”.

  4. Noel Cunningham –

    One of the odder aspects of modern politics is the belief that the Left is anti-war and Right pro-war. This of course inverts reality.

    War being the ultimate revolutionary act, being for peace and against war is the greatest conservative act. (Yes, being pro peace and anti-war is to be a conservative.) Conservatism seeks social and cultural continuity. War is the health of the State and always disrupts social and cultural continuity.

    Of course the British government was dominated by Liberals, the Left of the time, from 1908-22.

    And look at todays wars. Like those that came before, they are all Progressive wars, having their roots in the Trotskyite belief of perpetual revolution. The neo-cons, being descending from Trots, seek perpetual revolution in foreign policy and the elusive chase for a safe world.

    From Iraq to Libya, the destruction of which you wholeheartedly supported the so called anti0war Left has melted away to nothing. The Left loves war, as long as war is waged by their heroes. Recent reality proves. Conservatives were traditionally elected to end the wars the Left began. Now that the neo-cons have a lock on foreign policy on both side of the Atlantic, there’s no Left-Right distinction in foreign policy.

    All we get are Progressive wars of aggression.

  5. //One of the odder aspects of modern politics is the belief that the Left is anti-war and Right pro-war. This of course inverts reality.//

    Rubbish. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
    Name me the conservatives or “Right” that were against the Great War?

    In fact, there was only one political group in Britain against it, and for that they suffered electoral defeat and even physical attack.

    This was the Independent Labour Party, by far the most left-wing group in the UK at the time, which kept its anti-war stance even knowing it would cost them electoral support. The great Scotish socialist Keir Hardie spoke out strongly against the war, and for his pains was on the receiving end of a public hostility that may have killed him. Just in case you may with your terminological confusion think Hardie is a conservative or something, let me remind you he was also a strong trade unionist, campaigned for women’s suffrage and against racial segregation and sectarianism, for freedom for India and Ireland, etc.

    Many socialists of course, after campaigning against war, finally supported their country when war came; incl. the main Labour Party (although Ramsey McDonald went as far as resigning his leadership of Labour in protest at the war).

    But the fact remains that the only people against the war from the start were socialists and pacifists, as I said. Conservatives in Britain all supported it and every bloody war since.

    So back on with your goggles that tell you the Socialist Worker supported the Falklands war while the Daily Mail and Telegraph were pleading for peace.

  6. Noel Cunningham –

    As someone in these here parts has occasionally pointed out, there’s none so conservative as a socialist.

    Kier Hardy of course was a socialist and ILP MP, and like all those men of the Old Left he was a social and cultural conservative. Of course he was virulently anti-immigration, declaring that “Scotland is for Scotchmen” and campaigning to keep out foreign workers.

    Of course most people who were anti-war in 1914 were religious people, i.e. they were anti-war for conservative and not political reasons, as were the Clydeside trade unionists. But they were all extremely few in number in a country overwhelmingly pro-war in 1914 and throughout the conflict.

  7. Pete

    Kier Hardy and most of the Labour and Liberal parties were against Britain joining the war in 1914. The charge was led by the gung-ho right-wing Tories. But you knew that of course.

  8. Pete would argue that ‘gung ho Right wing Tories’ wanting big state big spend ‘radical’ military action would have been the opposite of true conservatives.

  9. Peter –

    I knew about the Tories, but that’s simply not true of the Liberals. They were the most dominant party of government by a long way. They simply weren’t led.

    Colm –

    But I’ve said that already a number of times. The conservative (small c) foreign policy is humble and non-interventionist. That Tories and Republicans (as opposed to conservatives) do not know their history does not change the reality.

  10. Pete Moore

    The Liberal party was divided. At the start of the crisis in July 1914 Lloyd George was in the anti-war camp and two Liberal cabinet members resigned. It was the Tories and their jingoistic press allies (hello Daily Mail) who wanted and got war with Germany.

  11. OK, so that little problem has been finally cleared up: the Tories were and are commies while socialists are natural conservatives.

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