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London (Nov 14) – General Sir David Richards, former NATO Commander in Afghanistan and head of the UK Armed Forces has admitted that defeating al-Qaeda is not possible. The only hope is to try to contain them.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he claims that clear-cut victory is not achievable, and that Islamist Militancy will pose a threat to the UK for at least 30 years. General Richards is confident that the army can contain the farmers/military to an extent that “Britons could lead secure lives”…
“In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolized by troops marching into another nation’s capital… First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat (Islamist militancy) in the sense of clear cut victory? … I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.”
In the Generals, humble opinion the promotion of “education and democracy” is weapon enough against al-Qaeda.
This ultra-defeatist attitude has posed somewhat of a paradox for this writer, as I am sure it has for most other people. Obviously, being a fan of reading and education myself, it was obvious from the get-go that there was a snowballs chance in Kabul that what we view as victory would be possible.
The fact that this General is admitting defeat is one thing; it was going to happen eventually. The fact that he has the nerve to say that after almost a decade, billions of pounds and, more importantly, 343 British troops lives that victory is “unnecessary” is a bit of a kick in the teeth. This war was a sticking point for lots of people, myself included, it was unnecessary for us to be there. I did not feel like at any point I was in danger of speaking Persian or Pashto.
Gen Richards did at least acknowledge the 343 people who died while comparing the “pernicious ideology” of al-Qaeda to that of, Nazi Germany. That is not strictly true, nor is it particularly fair. al-Qaeda base their hatred on their perception of the way the West live, and on something as childish and idiotic as religion.
The Nazis based their hatred on race, kind of, like what we do now, only we mix it with religion. Not me personally, I like to judge people on a person-to-person basis, I am capable of hating all people, and I do not need some old fables and silly Gods to help me hate someone. I, for example, hate David Cameron. This hatred is based completely on the fact that he is a lying, manipulative individual who is hell bent on following Thatcher’s example.
Part of the problem through-out the 8 years or so that we have occupied Afghanistan is just that, an occupying force is always going to get attacked, just because our media absolutely insists that we are the righteous spreaders of democracy and freedom, doesn’t mean it is a good thing that is being embraced by the world. Why should farmers living in some dust town in bandit country give a damn about freedom and democracy? Particularly when it feels very much like they are being coerced into accepting it.
At least we have moved past step 1. This is running teeth first into a fight. Step 2, which we have just reached, is publicly accepting that one underestimated ones opponent. Step 3 is running in the opposite direction, which is bad for business, but good for not being killed.
Henry Hunter – WorldNewsVine