Do you remember how the town of Wooton Basset, now Royal Wooton Basset, would turn out to honour our glorious dead as they were carried home from the nearby RAF airfield to be returned to the love and final care of their families and friends?
Each of those deaths in Afghanistan was in a noble cause which served both the people of that Country and our own. All those lives are now shown to be wasted because of the disgraceful way that Joe Biden and Boris Johnson have ignominiously retreated from the Country. Not only British lives but the lives of 7,200 USA troops and contractors and other deaths from other NATO Countries.
Over the last few 4/5 years there have been few British, American or NATO deaths as the armed forces of those Countries withdrew to the barracks and provided intelligence and logistical support to the Afghan’s own fighting forces. Of course, this cost money and would continue to do so but because of the threating presence the Taliban were constrained from coming out of the rat holes in which they were living.
The news from both Biden and Johnson that all troops would leave signalled the start of the re-emergence of the Taliban and their global allies. The steady progress that was being made in that Country to build up the local forces was not maintained for long enough. This is a repeat of our Suez misadventures and the Americans ignominious retreat from Hanoi.
The effects will first be felt in Afghanistan itself. Especially so by women. Women without husbands will be given to Taliban fighters and made to cover themselves in black robes and cover their faces. Incidentally, I have no problem with women in this or any other Country who choose to wear a hijab or a niqab but no-one should be forced to. Girls will be taken from schools and all education. Their job is to care for the homes of men and breed children for them.
The Country will see its links with West cut for appropriate trading. The poppy fields which supplied so many illegal opiates will be in full production again as the Taliban Government need to trade to buy arms. Men too will be forced into a religious observance and style which they may not necessarily believe in.
There were two reasons that the British and Americans moved in to Afghanistan. The opium and drugs problems mentioned above and the security problems which would be caused by a Country which could and will breed jihadist warriors determined to spread their way of life by terror and force on the rest of the World.
These people are not true Moslems. We have millions of Moslems living in the UK who preach the serenity and peace-loving nature of the Koran and live their own religious lives as part of a multi-faith and multi-ethnic society. Of course, there are some extremist Moslems here but then again there some extremist Christians in the USA who preach sectarianism[R1] , racism and the rule of the gun.
In a very short space of time the Western democracies will be invaded by extremists who will try and spread their hate and dissension here and threaten our way of life as well.
What Johnson and Biden have done is to insult the memories and sacrifices made by our fighting forces. I had the privilege of meeting a number of reserve forces from Merseyside when they paraded through the streets of Liverpool, ‘bayonets drawn’ to be thanked for their 6 months in Afghanistan as part of ‘Operation Herrick’ These were people who had left their offices, workshops and other work places because they believed in a cause.
Thankfully none of the Merseyside contingents were killed although Scousers did die as part of other operations. Johnson has ‘spat in their eye’ and said that their sacrifice, discomfort and willingness to risk danger and death was a total waste of time.
I believe that at some time we will have to go back into Afghanistan because of the threats to our own citizens. Going back will be far riskier and more expensive in terms of lives and cash than maintaining a fairly small presence there.
Once again Johnson has shown himself to incompetent and a buffoon. No long-term vision, no concept of cause or principle disturbs him only, at all times, a merciless money grubbing designed to help the few and not the many.
In the meantime, our first job must to bring back to the UK the men and women and their children who helped our forces in a number of ways. Leaving them to torture and death would be the ultimate betrayal of the principles in which we entered the Country with such high hopes 20 years ago.
Why blame the PM, we had no choice as the US is pulling out, therefore all their logistical capability plus their ability to deploy air power, intelligence C3 and special forces in all its forms and ground force securing the perimeter of Kabul. The UK government tried to formulate a plan with the European members of NATO and came the reply NO. Don’t bother asking the eu, they want to negotiate with the terrorists just as they lay down with the Russians.
What would the Lib Dems do, either wring their hands or send British forces in a small number to their deaths, you cannot negotiate with terrorists.
It’s easy to deploy stupid rhetoric like Starmer, when you don’t have to make the hard decisions, but that is what we have cone to expect from the Lib Dems over the years, from a small insignificant party.