Tuesday, December 08, 2009

100 British soldiers killed in one year – for Afghanistan

Looking at this sea of faces, one cannot but wonder at the grief of the families of the fallen; the widows who have had their hearts ripped apart with grief; the children who will grow up without fathers; the eternal loss to the world of their love, their vibrancy, their humanity.

The 100th soldier to die in the Afghanistan campaign is, we are told, a ‘grim milestone’, a ‘bloody milestone’, a ‘stark reminder’, a ‘dreaded landmark’, an ‘important moment’. He makes front-page headlines across the newspapers, and is the BBC’s lead story for the day.

The truth is that the 100th death is no less tragic than the 99th, and the 99th no less worth remembering than the 100th. And let us not forget the eminently forgettable numbers 47 and 29. Real people occupy those places, and they were no less loved and their lives promised no less hope than the (presently) unnamed soldier who died in the 100th place.

And that is just this year. The total British loss since 2001 is 237. Each gets his or her mention in Parliament before normal service swiftly resumes. We are assured by our political leaders that their thoughts (and occasionally prayers) are with the family and friends of the latest British fatality. But it is a transient thought, a momentary vision, an ephemeral eulogy to someone who gave their lives so that we might be free. The passing of Ivan Cameron was marked with greater heartfelt respect.

We repeat each year that we will remember them.

But we do not.

As the families and friends cry themselves to sleep and wander aimlessly as their empty rooms are filled with grief, the dead are but numbers and statistics to the politicians; pawns in politics of power play.

Of course, one should not judge the justness of a war by the magnitude of its fatalities. In historic terms, 237 British dead is but a drop in the ocean of the millions who died in two world wars. And they are now just numbers, statistics. Their names may be inscribed in marble or bronze on a monument, but our war memorials crumble just as memories fade.

We are told that the mission in Afghanistan is vital to our national security. We are assured that the Taliban regime must be taken out in order that Al Qaeda cannot use the country as a base from which to plot terrorist attacks against Britain.

If that is true, Cranmer does not quite understand why our forces are not in Pakistan.

Or Luton.


Anonymous Knuckledragger said...

I fail to see how our presence in Afghanistan can prevent terrorist attacks when the government hasn't got a clue how to deal with the rapidly rising and implacably hostile Muslim population within our own borders.

8 December 2009 at 09:40  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Not forgetting Dewsbury, Bradford or Leeds.

Or Saudi Arabia.

Or Somalia.

Or Iraq.

Here's the most sensible foreign policy I've read in a while. Only prejudice stops people admitting so.

8 December 2009 at 09:40  
Blogger Gnostic said...

The might of the Russian army, which was far larger and better equipped than our own, got chased out of Afghanistan. What made Bush and Blair think it would be different for them?

Why are we expending the lives of our military personnel to bolster a government returned to power by fraud?

I reckon that every UK politician who voted for this war should be issued basic equipment and sent to the front line. The survivors, if there are any, can then return and cogitate upon how quickly we should withdraw from this mess.

8 December 2009 at 10:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic and not meant as a diversion:

The Telegraph and Times over the last few feeks had some articles about the war, as well as about the suffering of and support of and ways to help injured soldiers and their loved ones; also some charities. If anyone knows of some more charities, could they list them?

I hope we will keep those serving and those who have served in our prayers, as well as any innocent civilians, and do our bit - directly or indirectly through charities, to honour those who chose to sign up and risk life and limb when the government sent or sends them to war. I also hope that they will be treated with respect and given the highest standard of equipment and support where they are lacking any. That too saves lives and injuries, and is the least the country can do, as well as be there for them when they get home.

8 December 2009 at 10:28  
Anonymous Zach Johnstone said...

Your Grace,

Even if the will to go into Pakistan were there (though regrettably it is not), it has been rendered a numerical impossibility by New Labour. Such has been the extent of the systematic downsizing that personnel are stretched beyond belief. In 2007 there was an estimated 5,000 vacancies in dire need of filling and this has only worsened.

Our hands would be tied even if foreign policy goals were more coherently and recognisably concerned with defending the national interest.

8 December 2009 at 10:31  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Madness. You have said everything else worth saying.

8 December 2009 at 10:54  
Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
At least the troops who died in the two World Wars were defending our own shores against would be World Emperors. Now all they fought & died for has been signed away by avaricious politicians, bent on their own hedonistic plans, men without national pride or patriotism. They may weep their crocodile tears for the sake of the press & tradition, but it rings hollow. Then it's on with the job in hand of selling off our country to the highest bidder.
But Hey! We are all Europeans now so we'll scale down our forces, ready to become Euro Troops. How the mighty have fallen to the pen pushers in grey suits! May God & the dead forgive them.

8 December 2009 at 11:26  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

The chinese have just bought the copper concession in afghanistan for 800 million dollars,with an option on another large deposit,the americans are still financing the taliban,rather a bloody regieme that is stable than the alternative,so long as they get the pipeline built,muslims leave the same towns as our soldier and fight them in afghanistan,spit on them when they are returned in coffins or march down the streets,are we any safer for protecting american and chinese businesses?

8 December 2009 at 11:53  
Blogger Jomo said...

At last some sense on the issue of the day.

The threat to our security comes from home grown terrorists who are allowed to come and go to Pakistan for indoctrination and training.

Wasting the Army in Afghanistan has not and will not reduce the threat. Spending endless sums on "community cohesion" is equally likely to fail.

There is no political strategy other than to keep on doing more of the same. The Conservatives now propose to carry on even longer than the government does in this foolish war.

Until the country decides to call an end to the policy of open borders and the indulgence of the disaffected there is no hope for an end to the killing.

8 December 2009 at 12:32  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

I have found something to say Your Grace after all. I have been browsing the paper and a story about border agency staff getting paid bonuses - yep, bonuses.

Read it for your self:

How many Border Agency bosses have died in action, Mr Woolas?

8 December 2009 at 12:56  
Blogger UKViewer said...

Whatever the Politicians say, they only have their own self interest and self preservation in mind.

The war in Iraq was entered on a spurious claim of WMD - which was found to be wrong. The war in Afghanistan commenced as a Peace Support Operation ? But has escalated as one to preserve the freedom of choice of the Afghan people against religious and cultural persecution by extremists.
The after thought, is the preservation of UK homeland security.

Our troops know why they are there and believe in their mission. They want to see the country rebuilt and taking responsibility for its own security. They accept the risks they take - as part of their obligation to defend British Interests wherever they are, world wide. Politicians make the decisions that send the troops into harms way.

The troops do not want or need, sympathy they need understanding and support for their mission and role while they remain there.

Once we were committed, we cannot just walk away - we need to see it through to the end - whatever that is.

They are doing

8 December 2009 at 13:47  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Am I missing something?

What happened to Mr Singh and his opinions in my absence?

8 December 2009 at 13:48  
Anonymous Zach Johnstone said...

The Anti Christ,

Please; that has been news for two and a half days now. Credit His Grace with a little more awareness than that...

8 December 2009 at 13:48  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Security begins at Home.

If you have a Home, that is.

I like Gnostic's solution - though I'd send all the residents of the Augean Stable!!

8 December 2009 at 14:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth about WMD may not reveal itself in our lifetimes. Read your history books; that's often the way it is. The jury is out. Bush and Blair may end looking like a couple of Einsteins. Who knows.

That said, the British impulse to fight in Afghanistan is puzzling as the UK is neck-deep in jihadis and has plenty to fight on its own shores. I believe in the special relationship between the UK and the US, but that may not serve the UK well. Maybe it's a way for your politicians to avoid the obvious; they'd have to start cracking down on the psychopaths in your midst in earnest--and half your countrymen are mindless Eloi. They'd have to fight them as well.

8 December 2009 at 14:29  
Blogger Revd John P Richardson said...

I can't help looking at this montage and noticing they are virtually all white.

It's a worry.

8 December 2009 at 14:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glovner, didn't D.Singh challenge the author of this blog to a duel??

8 December 2009 at 14:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Relax you guys. I've just written my first ever blog post: 'Is Darwinism not an attack upon religion but something more sinister; an attack upon reason itself?'

The odd thing is that it has become the most popular on a particular site - but not a single comment? Quite odd.

8 December 2009 at 15:29  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

D Singh phoned home, the rest is all pure tragedy.

Gnostic, this commercial deal, I can only accept a soul from its 'user'. I have no soul of my own to speak of.

Crediting His Grace - this needs to be more frequent judging by the length of time He has been Dog Tired.

8 December 2009 at 15:32  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...


Your OK! It must have been a dream I had (or would that be a nightmare?) but I saw you flying over the moon on a BMX bike!

Where is this blog you post upon? Get it out into the public realm you big girl's blouse!

8 December 2009 at 15:39  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anti Christ

It is my first time. It is on Premier Christian Radio under Permier Community. nera the bottom of the page. And guess what a lot of American girls want to be my friend (on the site)!

8 December 2009 at 15:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Labour government does not link Britain's national security problems to its continuing stealth 'policy' of MASS IMMIGRATION; some of the main immigrant sources are countries with an Islamic jihad presence, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Immigration to the UK increased to 580,000 in 2008.
End mass immigration, and among other things, thereby improve UK security.

8 December 2009 at 16:10  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Well there isn't another place in the world where crazy christian fundamental belief is more rife than in America, you would fit right into the bible belt. You could maybe even book yourself a place in the Westboro Baptist Church, you seem to share a few ideas anyway.

I just read it, it's the normal sort of nonsense that you usually spout. Didn't have to go to another site to get that, can just read your posts here.

The typical massive quote from someone else that you seem to think lends some weight to your views along with some misguided "logic" which has no real basis in logic at all finally all the points made lacking any real evidence whatsoever.

And in your closing sentence:

"Therefore, it is suggested, that Dawrwinism is not fundamentally an attack upon religion but an attack upon reason itself. It is irrational."

I would reply that this is nonsense as religion is based in faith. Faith has no basis in reason therefore your conclusion is a moot point.

8 December 2009 at 16:24  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...


The UK is no longer able to determine its border controls. Thanks to the Lisbon Treaty
the EU is given power to set immigration policies for all 27 members. We can't end mass immigration unless we extricate ourselves from the EU.

8 December 2009 at 16:25  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anti Christ,

His Grace is most appreciative of your observation on his perpetual state of dog-tiredness.

The forces of evil are at his door, and he has never known an oppression like it. Well, not since 2005.

8 December 2009 at 16:39  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Cranny wrote:
'The forces of evil are at his door...'

Are they the same 'forces of evil' that laid you low a few weeks ago, Cranny, or is it another lot? (We ask because we care.)

8 December 2009 at 17:34  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anabaptist,

They are one and the same, and will not be extinguished until justice flows like a river.

His Grace thanks you for caring.

8 December 2009 at 17:44  
Blogger Hermeneuticals said...

We can make a difference in Afghanistan! We would be mincemeat in Pakistan. We should be doing more in Luton.

8 December 2009 at 18:01  
Blogger OldSouth said...

I am old enough to remember, as a child, listening to Lyndon Johnson address the nation as he continued to increase the troop commitment of the US to Vietnam. Listening to President Obama's address at West Point was chilling, a true deja vue moment.

As a nation, we are still not recovered from Viet Nam.

My father's best friend Claude served with my father in the same Marine company on Saipan during that horrible battle of 1944. He was wounded multiple times, and always sent back to the fight. His older son was killed during a Viet-Cong 'truce' in 1969. Words fail to describe the agony endured by the family since that day, especially since 1974.

Claude always struggled with his wounds and experiences from 1944, but he had the consolation of knowing he had fought for a just cause, and that that just cause had prevailed. He had none of those consolations from the loss of his first-born son, sent to a war that Washington never intended to win.

We are at war. We did not declare it or seek it. It was thrust upon us. It needs to be won, and then we need to bring our people home.

I work with students born in 2001, and wonder if they and their friends will be posted to the reaches of Muslim Asia in the year 2020, because we refused to pursue peace through victory. If our leaders are not committed to victory, the troops should come home this week.

8 December 2009 at 18:26  
Anonymous Bag Lady said...

I agree with old south in that we need leadership which is lacking, in order to win this war, oh for another Churchill to come to the fore.

8 December 2009 at 18:44  
Anonymous Dobryden said...

'oh for another Churchill to come to the fore'.
Maybe if all the people who comment on blogs joined their local UKIP and started going round the houses, or giving out leaflets instead of expecting everyone else to do something, then something might happen. I've just looked at Littlejohn's column in the Mail and seen about 50 negative comments,and support for those comments in the form of 'green arrows'. These are obviously politically inspired attacks. Whatever you think of Littlejohn, he usually attacks the right targets and the Left doesn't like it and have combined to ridicule him. That kind of commitment to doing something, anything, for their 'cause'is the reason the Left has brought Britain to the state it is in. I know most of us would rather 'someone else' did 'something' but I don't think that's going to happen. And don't sit back and think Cameron is going to make it better because it seems to me he's part of the problem, because he's no different from any in the political class.

8 December 2009 at 19:19  
Anonymous James Langton said...

Dobryden, so Littlejohn & Churchill are closit UKIP supporters? Never new that before. I can accept Churchill might have done, given that he went tory-liberal-tory during his career.But Littlejohn??

Also why UKIP? It is a one -man band , one issue party. And it has no chance of winning the election at 4% in the opinion polls. Euroskeptics are better placed to work within the tory party.

8 December 2009 at 20:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Langton,

See Standpoint magazine and Bill Cash's article. UKIP intercepted 26 Conservative seats.

I want the Conservatives to win - (next) they will not win the first time around.

8 December 2009 at 21:05  
Blogger Nadia Marques de Carvalho said...

Perhaps we should just come to terms with the situation: afghanistan will never be a "success" for us, if it is, the word success then means an avoidance of failure. No country has ever succeeded, and we haven't even achieved much...ousting the Taliban from power few years ago only to see them securing 11 states out of the possible 34...the war (like you said) has become more or less paradoxical. Then again I guess Afghanistan is needed for strategic measures if we are preparing to attack Iran...

8 December 2009 at 21:11  
Blogger ZZMike said...

"The might of the Russian army, which was far larger and better equipped than our own, got chased out of Afghanistan."

As I remember, the only forces that didn't get their donkeys driven out of Afghanistan were Darius the Persian (6th C B.C.), but it was never a happy occupation.

Then along came Alexander (4th C B.C.), but he had no better luck than Darius.

5th C A.D.: The Hephthalites made a brief foray, but they weren't really interested in settling down and building malls.

13th C: Ghengis Khan (sometimes called "Builder of Deserts", from his experiments in Afghanistan)

18th C: Ahmad Shah takes over, making the modern Afghanistan, again characterized by revolting peasants.

19th C: Persians again attack, fail miserably.

1839: British invade; in 1842 only one man survives out of 28,000 Britishers.

1878: The British (an obstinate race) again invade. This time they have moderate success.

1880: The British leave; Afghanistan becomes Muslim.

1921: The British (slow learners) invade again, defeated again.

The rest is recent history - without much improvement.

I wish I could think of a good reason why any of us should be there (outside of "it's just something one does").

Nadia MdC: "... afghanistan will never be a "success" for us .."

Nor us, either (the U.S.). Somebody ought really to ask, "So then, what would happen if we all just struck our tents and went home?".

Life would be miserable for most Afghanis - those unfortunate enough to fall to the tender mercies of the Taliban - but then, if a people will not fight for themselves, why should others? (There have been news accounts of several thousand people fleeing an area because a few hundred Talibani showed up.)

It is a breakfast for dogs.

9 December 2009 at 01:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some commentators in america have noted that some of our servicemen are now on their fifth tour. Demanding this kind of commitment is inhumane.

If we are serious about this war then the public must make more of a commitment, a war tax should be levied to pay for it and draft must also be implemented to take pressure off our servicemen whom are on the frontline.

The public backlash from this will see our politicians rush to peace.

9 December 2009 at 07:50  
Anonymous Pratab said...

And not a single asian amoung them.

9 December 2009 at 08:53  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

The "British" asians are among the Taliban dead.

A dead Taliban fighter was found to have an Aston Villa tattoo:

"But it was a shock to hear that the guys we were fighting against supported the same football clubs as us, and maybe even grew up on the same streets as us," the Telegraph newspaper quoted an unnamed British military official as saying. 

For some time, Royal Air Force spy planes have picked up radio communication between Taliban fighters who speak with thick accents from Manchester, Birmingham, West Bromwich and Bradford, all cities with large populations of Muslims of South Asian origin.

9 December 2009 at 09:54  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

Without pressing you to be indiscrete, but a question if I may. Are your oppressors and tormentors perchance of the same ilk as those that silenced the Canadian journalist Mark Steyn?

And ZZMike, Alexander the Great did quite well. The Greek city of Ay Knanum (possibly Alexandria) on the Oxus River survived 200 years in the Hindu Kush before being over-run. It must have seemed very permanent to its inhabitants until the end. We should not forget that the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Holy Land lasted 198 years before being destroyed by the Saracen. Again, a child may have been raised in perfect security there, travelled to Constantinople and wondered at the power and wealth before his eyes - at least until 1204 and the greatest catastrophe in Christendom, the Fourth Crusade.
The Muslim now seeks to strangle the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople by denying the Orthodox Church eligible seminarians for the priesthood.

The work begun when Constantinople fell to the Turk in 1453 may be completed on our watch, to our eternal shame, if Christianity dies in the city of Constantine.

And one fears also for future of the Children of Israel.

9 December 2009 at 10:37  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Labour created Pakistan in 1947. Labour has cultivated Pakistani village elders in England to create the kind of communal politics the British used in India to divide and rule.

It is unlikely Britain will do anything to hurt Pakistan interests since their representatives have significant influence in key seats in Labour strongholds.

Britain has been colonised more so than when the strong Irish presence in Northern cities led Peel to repeal the Corn Laws to reduce risk of riots during the Chartist period

9 December 2009 at 15:47  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Knighthawk: "For some time, Royal Air Force spy planes have picked up radio communication between Taliban fighters who speak with thick accents from Manchester, Birmingham, West Bromwich and Bradford, all cities with large populations of Muslims of South Asian origin."
Thanks for this. So they are fighting the serpent in our midst, after all.

God Bless and Keep them - and force our government to supplement their numbers by fighting the enemy on our home turf as well. The idea above, on conscription, might be a good move!!

9 December 2009 at 20:23  
Blogger Bryan said...

Because Pakistan has a government which is attempting to bring its terroists to heel.

As for Luton? Be careful what you wish for.

10 December 2009 at 12:12  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older