I was recently surfing around blogspot, which I never do, and came across an incredible interview with a Labour MP concerning the Afghanistan War that I will be heavily excerpting here. The original interview can be found here and it ends up the blogger performed the interview himself.
My title is based on the fact that this MP says Afghanistan could be the British Vietnam, but of course Afghanistan has already been someone's Vietnam - Russia. So, Afghanistan might really be the British Afghanistan. Right, anyway, the article.
Afghanistan could prove a British Vietnam unless we pull out from the dangerous south immediately, a senior British politician has warned.
Labour MP Paul Flynn in an exclusive interview described the current international campaign in Afghanistan as a “mission impossible”, and sharply criticised US-led counter insurgency and counter narcotics policies in the country.
Support for the Afghan war is dramatically diminishing amongst British public and politicians as the country four years after the ouster of the Taleban is still teetering on the brink of anarchy and collapse.
“We are sending troops to defend Karzai, and his brother is a crook. If that becomes publicly recognised, the support for the war will drain away. That is a reality. We are propping up a very nasty regime. Not Karzai himself, but all his henchmen who run the provinces.”
Paul describes Afghanistan as a rouge nation that could not be run as a unified country. “To come to the sober conclusion, it can’t be run as a unified country. It will always be run by warlords, cooks and so on. And the best thing what America must consider is to deal with crooks.”
Paul recalled Russian MP’s warning at the outset of US invasion that America and its allies would face the similar fate Russia met in the 1980s. “When we first moved in, a Russian MP laughed and said well you conquered Afghanistan. He said we conquered Afghanistan in six days and we were there for ten years, and we left, 15000 Russian troops killed.” He also noted that there was a whole series of 200 years of invading armies coming in and leaving their death bodies behind – a calamitous fate, according him, awaiting foreign troops in the country at present.
British Secretary of Defence John Reid at his trip to Afghanistan early this year said that his troops would come back within three years “without firing a single shot”. Describing his remarks as “idiotic”, Paul said: “In any conflicts we go through this process where everyone underestimates the problem. In the First World War we said we would win by Christmas, and we were there for four years then.”
When asked whether a British pull-out would mean British soldiers who died in the conflict so far died in vain, he replied: “Yes, they died in vain. So we mustn’t say we should wait for others to die in vain.”
posted by Ahmad Khalid at 4:24 PM on Sep 09 2006
There is lots in here about the drug trade that I do not agree with completely, but I think it is a telling reference of how the British are feeling about our wars.