I have just watched a report on the BBC News at 10. The reporter was in Afghan and speaking to predominantly US troops. It seems to me that the troops are now at the same stage as the US in Saigon at the end of that pointless conflict of interference.

If you are of a certain age you will remember the pictures of the dying days of the corrupt puppet government. The rooftop evacuation and the desperately sad (to me) sight of Huey’s being tossed overboard from US ships as evacuees overloaded the ships.

Tonight a US serviceman claimed that when on leave his friends didn’t even realise a war was still going on in Afghan, This is probably a comment on the state of US journalism but also echoes the attitude of US citizens at the close of the Vietnam debacle. Why do nations become embroiled in unwinnable wars sacrificing their sons for no reason.

Don’t get me wrong, I applaude the courage of the troops, I will not hear a crticism against any person prepared to don the uniform of their nation and ‘stand to’. No my problem is with the wealthy politicians who hide behind the freedom paid for by the blood of the nations sons.

The Huey’s of the late 70’s are a simile for the way the troops are regarded at the end of their usefullness (is simile the right word?) They served, became an icon of the time, tipped in to the ocean because it was convenient to discard them as it is the troops who deserve more respect and care.

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Comments
  1. Being younger than you 😉 I actually don’t remember those images at all, but I remember very little about Vietnam. i think there is a different word for what you are trying to encapsulate and I am probably going to spend all day thinking of what it might be.

    Afghanistan is one of those issues that fascinates me in the sense of wondering why on earth any power of any type tries to get involved in it, invade it, control it etc etc, No-one has ever managed it and you would think we would all have learned by now. Did I give you the link before to my post on it? Your last sentence in the third par echoes exactly Tony Benn’s sentiments in the video I posted.

    I have similar and yet different views to you regarding anyone who joins up – but the politicians? And maybe we should be considering their advisers in that as well? One does wonder who provides the advice to ministers, I think they should have far more history graduates providing the advice because I sure as hell wouldn’t tell people to wage wars in countries where there had been 100% failure rate in the past.

    • Perhaps metaphor?
      you are quite right about advisers. We are all told to learn lessons from the past, the only lesson that seems to be learnt is how to repeat the cycle of mistakes.
      Neither Victoria’s Tommy nor Russia’s Ivan could control Afghan. There appears to be no shift in the views of ordinary Afghans or their leaders. It is all such a waste.

  2. I thought about metaphor but there is something else and I just can’t remember it. Isn’t so much of war a waste? and even more these days when people aren’t even fighting to defend themselves but to impose their super correct values on elsewhere?

    Just remembered the link I posted before was for a Spaniard who described it as simplistic. Someone else’s simplicity is my brevity and conciseness.

    http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/those-who-dont-know-history/

    • I have just read the post and watched the video. So the current incursion is about oil then. No surprise as the US was the major player in kicking the whole thing off backed up by his favourite poodle.

      The video clearly lays out the thinking of the British Empire, look for the slightest excuse to invade, if you can’t find one then … invade anyway and make something up.

      Treat the locals with contempt, abuse them and their country then leave when there is little left.

      It is interesting that the Muslim empire old wedggie talks about was renowned for music and culture, things banned by the Taliban. Obviously, years of foreign interference led the Afghanis to think any Afghan government is better than any foreign government.

      Have you seen ‘The Kite Runner’ by any chance. The main charachter’s father appears whistful at times for the old days, if it was as described by Wedggie we can all understand why!

      Thank you for this link, really enjoyed it.

  3. You’re welcome. One of my shorter posts 🙂 but made up for by needing to watch/listen to the vid, which I really enjoyed too. I thought it was really well put together, and interesting. Of course, there are those who would say it wasn’t remotely true …..

    No not seen The Kite Runner – recommended?

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