Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 01 Aug 2015 12:34:13 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Cossackgirl Nikki Noodle (51);o))You nearly made me reconsider going away for the whole of the silly season!(53)W_H I agree with your excellent post. One might add (from a different angle) that the recent Pakistan - India terrorist outrages pour plenty of ghee onto the clenched-teeth way these two nuclear states are facing one another. Nobody strike a match!One extra point: a while back I heard a BBC interview with a very bitter Pakistani military leader, complaining that, after years and years of being pressed by the Americans to provide support for the Taleban and Bin Laden, it's not so easy to turn all the regional administrators around to the diametrically opposite policy... Wed 15 Jul 2009 18:36:25 GMT+1 David_McNickle BS 62, Thanks. I asked a friend in Cincinnati and he got all left wing/right wing, Republican/Democrat about it. He usually does that, even when discussing food or baseball. Wed 15 Jul 2009 16:24:13 GMT+1 David_McNickle mittfh 64, You get a lot for 2p. Wed 15 Jul 2009 16:21:08 GMT+1 mittfh Here's my 2p worth:As with most of the situations recent governments have put us in, there's no easy answer.On the one hand, the media, public and even military seem to regard every troop fatality as an avoidable tragedy - and many in the public and media would prefer our troops brought home ASAP.On the other hand, the government is very unlikely to admit defeat and bring the troops home - besides which, look what happened to many African countries after the Europeans who had been in charge disappeared PDQ...While troop deaths are regrettable, surely the possibility of being killed by "the opposition" is the main occupational hazard of the job? In conflicts in previous decades / centuries, when fighting was much more 'hands-on' and the risk of being killed was much greater, I'm sure there wasn't as much soul searching over something that's almost inevitable. Perhaps it's the combination of modern technology making our troops 'safer' (usually by launching attacks at a considerable distance from "the opposition"), the ambiguous purpose and impact of the conflict (The Taliban are hardly a signficant threat to those of us in mainland Britain), plus the guerilla warfare strategy of "the opposition" that create far more uncertainty and ambiguity than in previous conflicts?Apparently one of the main causes of casualties in the current conflict is roadside bombs. In addition to reinforcing vehicles to better withstand this type of attack, has anyone considered alternative strategies - such as some form of vehicle-mounted detector for IEDs, or even more simply by varying the routes used to travel between locations, so there's no guarantee a truck will move close enough to an IED to trigger it. Wed 15 Jul 2009 12:40:23 GMT+1 theotherdaughter David (11) Of course we do - we're British like God!Re the aims for being there - is this the classic example of 'we have no plans, therefore nothing can go wrong'?Just a thought.tod Wed 15 Jul 2009 12:06:49 GMT+1 Big Sister Yes, David, very much along those lines. It's been an ongoing discussion between us since the invasion of Iraq as one of my friends has three sons of draft age. But the discussion was much like the one we're having here - the futility of trying to 'win' in a country like Afghanistan being the main line of discussion (very much a la Vietnam) but with a recognition that there is a real problem out there which can't be ignored (very unlike Vietnam). Wed 15 Jul 2009 10:31:13 GMT+1 David_McNickle BS 60, I'd like hear the comments of your American friends. Are Americans getting as fed up as they were about Vietnam? Wed 15 Jul 2009 10:26:57 GMT+1 Big Sister Well, David, that is interesting. The Canadian casualties, pro rata, on those figures are twice those of the British, and the British casualties are, pro rata, twice those of the US losses. I haven't seen a Canadian take on the matter, but I'd imagine they're not happy. I know there's a sense of outrage in the US and have just had a lively weekend of discussion of the matter here with my American friends. Wed 15 Jul 2009 10:20:22 GMT+1 David_McNickle Interesting figures in the Indy today (assuming they got that right). Canada has 126 fatalities out of 2,800, Britain has 185 out of 9,000 and the US has 723 out of 60,000. Of course, we all know that British troops are worth more. Wed 15 Jul 2009 10:14:35 GMT+1 David_McNickle fJd 43, The box contained cherries. We bought them in France.And Dickie was in a dinosaur film as well. Wed 15 Jul 2009 09:47:10 GMT+1 David_McNickle ia 56, We used to have an Omar bakery in Cleveland. Delivered right to your door. No Google/Wiki needed for that info. Wed 15 Jul 2009 09:43:33 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 49. DI_WymanYou're apparently better informed than anyone else:The BBC here Taliban emerged in the early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan.A predominantly Pashtun movement, the Taliban came to prominence in Afghanistan in the autumn of 1994. And Wikipedia says:The Taliban movement is headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. Mullah Omar's original commanders were "a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and madrasah teachers,"[8] and the rank and file made up mostly of Afghan refugees who had studied at Islamic religious schools in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of the Taliban movement were ethnic Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan[9], along with a smaller number of volunteers from Islamic countries or regions in North Africa, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.I love your take on Northern Ireland:'We 'fought' for something like twenty seven years in NI to prevent the insurgents gaining a foothold and to a greater or lesser degree it has worked.' Yeah, they're the government now! Oh dear, my 52 has been referred to the mods, someone doesn't quite understand freedom of speech. Wed 15 Jul 2009 09:32:06 GMT+1 Hawk No, it is not time to stop the war. The Taliban is a dangerous ideal that must be stopped. Already they have become a threat to Pakistan in the swat valley. Could you imagine if they got hold of Pakistan's nuclear weapons? People would then be asking why we stopped the war against them. Yes, it is very sad about the soldiers dying out there, but with all due respect, they are soldiers and they know (as well as the families) the risks of the job. War is war and people get killed. There is nothing pretty or humane about war. With that said my blessings go to all those families of those who have lost loved ones in the job of making this world a safer place. Wed 15 Jul 2009 06:43:38 GMT+1 U14056677 A referendum on this question would make the three political parties positions on this, impossible. Tue 14 Jul 2009 23:35:24 GMT+1 Robert Nield A much biggest issue, facing the international community, is the instability of the region - meaning both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The great danger, for all of us, arises from the fact that Pakistan is the most volatile and potentially unstable of all the world's nuclear powers. This fact presents a risk that, at some point in the future, Islamic extremists might gain access to some of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. This is not a fantasy scenario; after all, few seriously thought about the possibility of a 9/11 style attack beforehand - which is partly why it was successful. It therefore behoves the international community to take very seriously the threat posed by Pakistan's nuclear weapons - a country with very close links to extremists who were willing and able, with a handful of operatives, to inflict a serious wound in the American homeland itself. This alarming possibility helps to justify the reason for military intervention in Afghanistan. The consequences of failure might be unthinkable. Tue 14 Jul 2009 23:32:43 GMT+1 invisibleatheist This post has been Removed Tue 14 Jul 2009 22:20:14 GMT+1 nikki noodle @50 Cossackgirl - I always look forward to your ideas, and am glad you have taken the time to post again!!n-n Tue 14 Jul 2009 20:54:26 GMT+1 Cossackgirl (7) Not visiting Germany during World War 2 did not disqualify Winston Churchill from having opinions about the situation. Many contributors to this thread are very well informed and their comments, from different sides, are worth reading. A few points:1/ Britain is in Afghanistan as part of an American-led NATO campaign. There are troops from several other NATO member countries on the ground, but they are based in different parts of the country and do not face the same level of insurgency. Helmand is the hottest province and I have read that the British soldiers are fighting their best and greatest war since way back when. The casualties are heartbreaking, but politically this is different from the Iraq fiasco. 2/The Taleban are nearly overwhelmingly Pashtuns - an indigenous Afghani tribe; they have the right to live where they live; when driven out they live and regroup in border regions of Pakistan.3/ The Taleban - nasty fanatics, not to be tolerated, a Dark Ages regime - all true. But please, not the opium card: when in power the Taleban were burning and destroying poppy fields (drug-taking is against their strict morals, see?). Not many people know that.4/ Every invader of Afghanistan, Brits, Soviets, whatever, always ended up withdrawing ignominiously. By and large, Afghanis are a scattering of militarized tribes and do not want any outsiders there, no matter what your excellent motives may be. They want everybody OUT. Whether NATO can afford to leave that territory to the inevitable follow-on is a hard question. Certainly not before they try to install democracy onto a mish-mash of tribes who understand dictatorship all right, but hardly much else. This whole operation is going to be absolutely awful, except for the alternative... Tue 14 Jul 2009 20:20:47 GMT+1 DI_Wyman invisibleatheist (10)re Denying the insurgents a foothold? They are Afghans, they live thereNot quite true, the vast majority of insurgents are not Aghans but those that have been recruited to a dying cause. They come from Pakistan, Bradford, Birmingham, Washington, Paris, Berlin, Rome.....etc..etc.The Afghans hate them as much as the 'West' does and want their soverign state rid of them and they are glad we are there to help acieve that.If you stop them (the insurgents) gaining a foothold they will give up and accept peace.We 'fought' for something like twenty seven years in NI to prevent the insurgents gaining a foothold and to a greater or lesser degree it has worked.By denying the enemy the freedom of movement and propoganda you will win. Tue 14 Jul 2009 19:45:01 GMT+1 Richard_SM Repost of my #47, which clearly makes uncomfortable reading for some.Ref 42. Atellus "...which by definition involves improving the lives of the Afghan people."And waging war on their country is, by definition, killing the Afghan people. That's hardly improving their lives. Nor is maiming them, leaving them disabled and unable to support their families.As for your earlier claim that you "won," - this is simply not true. Britain and America have failed miserably in achieving their objectives: bin Laden is still at large. Despite having advanced weapons systems, laser-guided missiles, well-trained and equipped troops, all controlled using the latest satellite technology; the best officers West Point + Sandhurst can produce have been outwitted by tribesmen for well over seven years. Tue 14 Jul 2009 18:58:06 GMT+1 Richard_SM This post has been Removed Tue 14 Jul 2009 18:37:24 GMT+1 U14056677 And according to today's Guardian a majority favour getting rid of nuclear weapons. Tue 14 Jul 2009 18:12:11 GMT+1 Richard_SM This post has been Removed Tue 14 Jul 2009 18:11:20 GMT+1 Sindy TR - are you really in favour of government by opinion poll? Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:59:18 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn David (36) Yes, I did see the photo yesterday, I just didn't equate it to you. Clever use of the juxtaposition of Cricket class box by Eddie eh!Looks good and original. Wheres the glass box though?PS, don't forget Dickie's brother David taught Charles Darwin all he knew as well. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:21:23 GMT+1 Mike 15. invisibleatheistIf you read my comment, you will notice that I made no observations on the reasons why we went there in 2001. However, now I will. The fact is that when you kick someone's door down, even if it's to turf out a burglar, good manners dictates that you should stick around and help the occupant replace it. Alternatively, do as Bush and Blair did and walk away, leaving the burglar to come back in while your back is turned.Question: how do you know we're not there for the Afghan people? What are we there for instead? Are you aware of oil deposits in Afghanistan? Or perhaps they have a plentiful, yet so far untapped source of mineral wealth? Please do enlighten.I supported going to Afghanistan because the Taliban are nasty little misogynistic, koran-bashing drug-dealers whose opium is a regular feature of our city streets and whose perverted theocracy has produced many of the hate-mongering "clerics" that have arrived on European shores to preach to gullible minds in the hearts of our biggest conurbations. You see, the stated reasons why we are there are all intrinsically linked to improving the lot of the Afghan people. If we want to remove opium from our streets, put an end to the export of extremists from that country and promote stability in Afghanistan's neighbouring nuclear power, then we must improve the lives of the Afghan people through security, economic stability and growth and health and social reform. If we want to reduce our drug problem, curb the fostering of extremism and the commissioning of terrorist acts in Britain and reduce the danger of anarchy in Pakistan (remembering that a large portion of our British population hail from that nation, thus making it of national interest to do so on a personal as well as a geopolitical level) we can do so by first doing the same in Afghanistan, which by definition involves improving the lives of the Afghan people.I really fail to see your point. Assuming you have one. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:18:49 GMT+1 lordBeddGelert 12-jeremyyoung, you make a good point, but as an ex-serviceman pointed out on newsnight last night, when people aren't dying in burst of 4 or 6 or 8 the newspapers are entirely consumed with 'Big Brother' and coverage of the Afghanistan war is relegated to page 17...So if not now, when ? Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:17:52 GMT+1 David_McNickle IA 37, As I remember, OBL got his money from being in a rich family. I have a Swiss Navy knife.dd 39, C'mon share the joke. Or will it be deleted? Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:16:21 GMT+1 darkdesign 'Remember the Alamo' I know a joke about that. I'll, er, keep it to myself. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:13:07 GMT+1 lordBeddGelert further we get the Grand Old Duke Of York to march our forces up to the top of the hill only increases the humiliation when capitulation to the inevitable takes place.. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:12:56 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 32. Richard_SMThe US didn't want OBL captured and put on trial, with him shooting his mouth off about how the CIA funded him, providing him with all the munitions he wanted. And anyway, it wouldn't have satisfied the vengeance urge for blood letting overwhelming the States after the shock of 9/11. Bush could have attacked Switzerland with little more excuse. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:11:20 GMT+1 David_McNickle fJd 31, But the Polish got a variation of the Enigma first. Or was it Elgar? Harrison Ford is just taking over from John Wayne. Of course, we all know that Dickie Attenborough won every war by himself, bless him. Seen my Glass Box from yesterday? Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:10:35 GMT+1 whitewasichu Glib answers by politicians. Conflict in Afghanistan has not been restricted to the past eight years. If the truth is to be known, ask an ordinary Afghan. He will tell you that there were no major problems in the country when they had an absolute ruler. They loved and respected him, The Taliban would never have been able to get a foot in the door, it would not have been tolerated.We must ask why there has been so much recent conflict in that poor beleaguered country. There are vast deposits of mineral wealth, Oil, Gas, Uranium, and Precious Metals of all description. Pre the soviet break up, there has been enormous pressure from VARIOUS NATIONS to have access to this natural wealth, which The Russians might have had some success had it not been for The creation of the multi headed monster THE TALIBAN, which The West in their wisdom armed and financed. We are now having to clear up our mess, and at what cost financially, but more important physically. So let us not labour under the mis-apprehension that this has all to do with terrorism.We must reap what we have sown, and it will truely be a most bitter harvest. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:08:39 GMT+1 normanmugabe The British army are fighting a war in a place many couldn't point to on a map and the British people are reduced to guessing what it's all about.The explanation from the man who gave us an end to boom and bust are unsatisfactory. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:07:11 GMT+1 MickOverall Reasons given for being in Afghanistan (insert Iraq if you wish):-bringing democracy-rebuilding the country-defeating terrorism-protecting the UKHere are some more from earlier imperial/colonial escapades:-fighting for the rights of small nations (First World War)-bringing Christianity/civilisation (pre-20th century wars)Of course this is a war concieved in Washington after Sept 11th 2001 to assert US global dominance. And of course Blair followed them poodle-like into Afghanistan and then Iraq. Brown is too cowardly to say "enough is enough" and pull the troops out, so we have a sad parade of the coffins of young working class lads who died for nothing other than the imperial vanity of the British ruling class and the strategic interests of the US.The US president may have changed but he still demands the "blood sacrfice" which Blair was quite happy to pay to his predecessor, George Bush. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:04:20 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref 1. Stephen, Leader of STROP "but we must now complete what we have started."What was it we started? We went in pursuit of Osama bin Laden with missiles and cluster bombs, despite the fact the Taliban had offered to hand him bin Laden for trial. #5 "but to suggest that we withdraw now cannot be an option" Why dismiss options? "What does that say to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - "You died for nothing"?Yes. They have died for nothing. They have died because of the rejection of bin Laden being put on trial. And those who die in future will also die for nothing - that's the policy you are advocating. Tue 14 Jul 2009 17:01:02 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn Hey McNickle,Just want to point out...The German 2nd war code machine was captured by the British from a submarine contrary to the latest film.D day also involved the British but no one informed Spielberg.However, the Americans have occasionally saved us from meteorites with the help of Bruce Willis. They have also saved the world on numerous occasions from aliens with the help of various actors. Oh, and lets not forget the terrorist threats personally thwarted by president (Harrison) Ford.Not your fault though they can't tell the difference between Hollywood and reality. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:57:34 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 29 D_McN Before my time, just. ;-) Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:56:39 GMT+1 David_McNickle ia 22, Remember the Alamo. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:53:06 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 19. funnyJoedunn'The issues seem to be;1)to not allow Afghanistan to be used any longer as a safe haven/training camp for those who would wish to harm America and Britain.' Such as Pakistan and Somalia perhaps.'2) While doing 1, build the infrastructure of the Afghan nation so as to make as difficult as possible for the former to take control again. This state would also be friendly towards and perhaps dependent on the west. This has been termed as Nation building.' We could build them a yellow brick road as well! LOL'A) can this be done?' Nope.'B) is nation building a justifiable action?' Nope'C) What if the threat just moves to another country?' What like Pakistan or Somalia? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:51:54 GMT+1 David_McNickle S LoS 17, As I don't believe the US should be in either place, I don't care who else goes there. I doubt if anybody will win. Saying that GB being there will stop terrorists from being in GB is ridiculous. This is a smallish island for God's sake. The ones that are here were mostly born here. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:51:39 GMT+1 craftygavin Miss German's comments, although valid and very much in line with my own thoughts, are products of the way we perceive the 'war' in the Middle East and Asia. The media shows soldiers with battle gear patrolling foreign places. What the ex-soldier said in response to Miss German's views are - because it is the route down which we have already gone - more realistic. Stop calling it a war and do more popular features on the political and infrastructure rebuilding projects that NATO and peacekeeping aid workers are involved in. Blair may have 'sexed up' the need for a war; the media has a responsibility not to sex up our involvement in this sorry and unfortunate venture. The road to peace, after all, is to be peaceful. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:47:29 GMT+1 Joe Walker The government is not specific about its war aims because they are inherently flexible. This is why defeat for the coalition is highly likely. Ultimately, the only consistent policy the coalition forces have is to prop up a Western-friendly Afghan government. The fact that it will be far easier to do this if any opposition is destroyed and there is at least moderate public support for such a government is what drives the military action.Western government objections to Taliban extremism and cruelties would evaporate almost instantly if the Taliban were to come to a deal with the Afghan Government (which, don't forget, is really a proxy US-led coalition administration) that was acceptable to America and this coalition.Vague talk about maintaining human-rights in Afghanistan and even preventing terrorism in western cities as a priority are absolutely untrue. The specific goal is only to prop up in any way possible a West-friendly Afghan regime. If Afghan human rights can be maintained and terrorism prevented, this may be considered a bonus, but it is by no means a necessity. If it takes - as is highly likely - a cruel US-financed despotic Afghan government to do this, then so be it. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:47:12 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 17 Stephen, Leader of STROP'Please don't tell me what I think, and then argue against it. It does not aid debate.'QUOTE' suggest that we withdraw now cannot be an option. What are we then say to the next insurgents we try to control. Fight back hard enough and we will give in?What does that say to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - "You died for nothing"?'I made nothing up. Who are you and what is STROP? Google appears not to have heard of it. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:47:07 GMT+1 steelpulse This thread.I was fascinated by the discussion but wont comment as encouraged to do so. I cannot add anything useful.Olivia de Havilland Eddie can I bring some culture to the PM thread instead? No? I cannot?That is all right. I didnt think I could but I am ambitious. lolOK then back to Ms de Havilland. And discussing what we have in common.I stole my text from todays newspaper article on the above named. An actress 93 years young and still not talking to her sister actress Joan Fontaine 91 years young. Gone With the Wind one of her feature films. Yes but the ORIGINAL!This non-communicating has allegedly been going on for 40 years between these two? Yup! Almost half your life span, Eddie! LolI remember reading about the feud years back and the alleged reason for the fallout.But I suspect nobody but the siblings know the REAL reason. And it might not be real. The two may get together every few years for a big laugh at the publics gullibility.If it is true silence that song about never been such devoted sisters comes to mind. And woe be tide the sister that comes between me and myA rather famous male actor name WAS mentioned in the news piece. Perhaps another male name way back when or whatever? I will say no more.Except except. If the reason was human and other than the sisters it is no likely to be no longer with us so as one heads towards the great call to casting in the Sky why not make up, Golden Girls?Pride perhaps? I know. I am there at the moment but if Eddie says sorry nicely and gives me hints on Sequins favourite flowers aand promise not to let my missus know I asked for same - I willing to let bygones to be bygones. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:46:48 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 11. David_McNickleExactly. Poor, third world country, no match for the military might of the two most belligerant nations on the planet surely? A doddle. I also remember Kenya...14. Richard_SMYes he was, dismissive. But then he often is to women, especially those who aren't ex-public school. He's a bit of a Flashman. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:41:48 GMT+1 Stephen - Leader of STROP funnyJoedunn (19)Damn good assessment and excellent questions. Eddie, any chance you can put them to the powers that be? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:40:21 GMT+1 U14056677 We know all these arguments. And a lot more that weren't discusssed,The question is, why aren't we moving out now, given the view of the majority of people in this country?The West seems regularly to demonstrate that central to it's idea of democracy is to ignore the opinion of the majority.The equally worrying reply 'Yes, but how do we get the politicians to to do it?' Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:39:13 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn The issues seem to be;1)to not allow Afghanistan to be used any longer as a safe haven/training camp for those who would wish to harm America and Britain.2) While doing 1, build the infrastructure of the Afghan nation so as to make as difficult as possible for the former to take control again. This state would also be friendly towards and perhaps dependent on the west. This has been termed as Nation building.A) can this be done?B) is nation building a justifiable action?C) What if the threat just moves to another country? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:38:42 GMT+1 Richard_SM Ref 12. jeremy young "...the woman from the Stop the War Coilition [sic] and her attempts at rewriting history"What part of history did she re-write? Or are you "spouting nonsense?" Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:38:27 GMT+1 Stephen - Leader of STROP 10 invisibleatheistPlease don't tell me what I think, and then argue against it. It does not aid debate.Should we have gone in? No.Is the country currently in a state where we should walk away. Definitely not.D McN (11) I acknowledge the US presence in Afghanistan. Will you acknowledge that the US needed the UK both there and in Iraq? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:38:26 GMT+1 SisterHeavenly What a pleasant surprise to hear two passionate people with opposing views having a civilised discussion instead of a shouting match. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:33:29 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 8. AtellusSimplistic twaddle. Afghanistan's current plight is our fault allright, but not in the way you suggest. We have no right to be there, you appear to assume we do, and that we are there for the Afghan people. You're either painfully naive or an army apologist.7. angelicsunday Are you organising a coach trip? Can anyone join? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:31:35 GMT+1 Richard_SM You tell 'em Lindsey. At least Eddie listened, Jeremy Paxman was downright ignorant last night. They are blindly ploughing on with this flawed policy because they can't acknowledge you were right in the first place. They can't possibly admit they were wrong, withdraw, and pay reparations to the people in Afghanistan. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:31:09 GMT+1 nikki noodle It isnt as simple as that. The war 'in Afghanistan' is part of a wider war, a war to do with drug-money, people-smuggling, terrorism, and pipeline routes; by just withdrawing from the territory of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, all that would be done was choosing to fight this complicated war on other fronts.Other fronts are in Pakistan, Georgia, Calais and sometimes the streets of British cities. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:28:02 GMT+1 jeremy young The rights and wrongs of the war in Afghanistan can be debated at anytime, so quite why it had to be attached to a piece about the dead servicemen returning home is beyond me.However this paled into insignificance compared to the woman from the Stop the War Coilition and her attempts at rewriting history and spitting on the families of those who have died.Her claim in particular that the war in Afghanistan has destablisied Pakistan is sheer nonsense. Pakistan was an artificially created nation state in a region of tribal boundaries. It has never been particularly stable - after all President Zia staged a coup in 1977 before being killed in mysterious circumstances in 1988, the current government has only just been formned after another period of military rule. None of this has anything to do with the war in Afghanistan - yet for some reason we are all supposed to switch off our brains and not expect this woman with her dogmatic views to spout nonsense and inn sult those people who have lost their lives doing no more than their duty.And no I don't agree with New Labour's wars but I do have the basic decency to see that on this of all days it is not the time to give airtime to ideological opponents of the British Army. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:27:56 GMT+1 David_McNickle As an American, I can only say 'Vietnam'. If Russia couldn't win there with the number of soldiers they put in, what makes GB think they can win? Of course, by listening, as usual, Brits don't mention the number of Americans there as Britain always wins everything on its own. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:27:31 GMT+1 invisibleatheist 5. StephenSo now you are proposing the illogical 'we can't stop as that would make it all a waste of lives'. Actually, it's been a pointless waste of lives all along, and nothing will change that. Do we continue adding more lives to those already wasted just so you can't admit you were wrong?Your argument says yes we should. So, rather than actually caring about the lives of young men conned into joining the army at an age when they aren't capable of logically assessing what that entails vbut are impressed with the big boys toys, you want more to follow them. And that says nothing of the Afghan lives that have been lost. As for 'What are we then to say to the next insurgents we try to control' I'm astonished at the sheer arrogance of that remark. Try to control? Who are you to control others in their own country? How would you like it if thousands of troops occupied your country to control you? Imperial Britain still appears to be alive and well in some heads.The British 'tried to control' Afghans in the 19th century, and failed. The Russians tried to control Afghans in the 20th century, and failed. So far, in eight years, the US and UK have tried to control the Afghans, and have failed and will continue to fail. Time to learn the lessons of history yet, or are you intent on repeating them ad nauseam?Reality check: no one can control the Afghans, nor should try to. To fi9nish what we started, the only way is to hand over to Afghans and leave. If that disappoints your patriotic ferver, too bad.The situation now is a direct result of the US [CIA} funding and arming tribal Islamists to defeat the Russians who were attempting to prop up a socialist government [where women were not veiled]. They succeeded to such an extent that the country became a hotbed of extremists who brutalised the Afghan people, especially women. And if anyone thinks Afghanistan has always been an Islamist west-hating, chaotic place where any women were in danger, I knew a young woman in the sixties who regularly visited, hitch hiking round the country buying crafts, clothes etc. She was never molested, or threatened in any way, but welcomed wherever she went. Going back even further, a Victorian lady cycled across the country, totally safely. I forget her name, but there's a book about her travels available.4. DI_WymanDenying the insurgents a foothold? They are Afghans, they live there, how much more foothold do they need? It's the invading armies who are trying to hang on to footholds, and losing. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:25:33 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn (7)That just about invalidates the contributors to this blog then! Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:25:22 GMT+1 Mike The reason why we should finish the job in Afghanistan is simple - it's because we failed to capitalise on our successes in 2001. In 2001 we won. Hands down. The Taliban didn't know what had hit them and were completely routed. Had we stopped there and then and kept our troops in the country, the rebuilding effort would have been well under way by now and the Taliban would be a dim memory. But no! Instead Blair and Bush went off on a jolly to Iraq! And in doing so they sucked all the available troops out of Afghanistan, thus opening the door to a return of the Taliban. So if you think about it, Afghanistan's current plight is our fault, because we had solved the problem but then threw it all away almost in the same momemt. We owe the Afghan people a solution. We should stay until we've achieved it (again). Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:23:51 GMT+1 angelicsunday Perhaps Lindsay German would care to go to Afghanistan to examine the situation for herself before she pronounces so vehemently on what should and shouldn't be done there. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:20:25 GMT+1 T8-eh-T8 History teaches us that to prosecure a military campaign in Afghanistan is usually futile, and it is a very difficult place to attack, and a very easy place to defend. Clearly this is even more of the case if you are ill equipped and have no clear strategy, that anyone can see.What are we doing there?What are we achieving which costs such a high price? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:14:19 GMT+1 Stephen - Leader of STROP I refer you both to this article which better expresses than I why we must now stay.There is certainly space for discussion as to what our aim is, and when we can declare the conflict over. but to suggest that we withdraw now cannot be an option. What are we then say to the next insurgents we try to control. Fight back hard enough and we will give in?What does that say to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice - "You died for nothing"? Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:03:31 GMT+1 DI_Wyman No.But the mission will have to be altered so that it is one of denying the insurgents a foothold as opposed to the outright defeat of them. Tue 14 Jul 2009 16:02:28 GMT+1 U14056677 The majority of people in this country say 'Yes, stop now'.Do you really need to ask anyone else?Shouldn't you be asking the pet philosopher or the politicians etc, WHY aren't we withdrawing NOW? Tue 14 Jul 2009 15:56:49 GMT+1 funnyJoedunn (1)Can you remind me of...'what' we started and...'where/when' we will have finished... Tue 14 Jul 2009 15:52:11 GMT+1 Stephen - Leader of STROP No.Whether we should have started the conflict, and sent troops in the first place is an altogether different question, but we must now complete what we have started. Tue 14 Jul 2009 15:48:54 GMT+1