by Richard Lutz
The faces look out from the papers, the web, the tv. Eyes are stern, jaws set.
These are the dead men, soldiers who died in Afghanistan this past week. Their families and friends have been scarred for life by the loss of someone they knew.
That much is clear. What becomes unclear is when the government and the media talk about ‘the fight for freedom’, ‘the cause’ and the whole definition of a just war.
I just can’t see how fighting over a patch of desert in southern Afghanistan, and fighting and re fighting, is in any way going to make me any safer.
If anything, with the it being a Christian v Moslem police action; with it being European (and US) soldiers patrolling Afghani home territory; and, with final dates for extraction known by all, I can’t see it being a conflict about anything except upholding a shoddy unthought-through flag waving decision made a decade ago by Bush (exit stage left) and Blair (exit very stage right).
Where are they now that these six men have died? Bush is chopping wood in Texas and seemingly writing a memoir or a justification and Tony Blair is a special envoy in the Mid East (and just what is he doing about the hideous bloodlettinig in Syria?).
The politicians know damn well the war is a murderous abomination. But they have to trot out the same old tired hackneyed meaningless banalities and deceit to justify six citizens who died. They have no choice. It is a vote loser to say something along the lines of ‘..well, it really isn’t worth it, is it?’
They know, Tory, Libdem and Labour, (and Democrat and Republican come to think of it) that the minute we leave Afghanistan. the same Taliban feudal thugs will take over. And it will be back to year zero.
It is a terrible indictment of the west’s half baked nonsense over protecting freedom that six young men have to die to carry out a crumbling theory about protecting Britain. It is a terrible indictment that UK and US soldiers still have to risk their lives and their safety patrolling Helmand after a decade.
And it is a terrible indictment that many of us have to ask the inevitable simple question: ‘Why?’