Hitherto, as you all know, I have never failed to disagree with libertarians such as Sean Gabb, in regard to British Foreign Policy. In particular this refers to our prosecution of wars in iraq, Aghanistan, and elsewhere, since the arrival of the national-socialist-imperialist Government of New Labour.
Watching the Fall of the Twin Towers, nearly nine years ago now, I was convinced that it was right of Blair, be he even a GramscoFabianof the First Order, to immediately stand at the side of the, indeed _our_ First Child, the USA. Whatever “evidence” of WMDs or mobil ice-cream-van-launchers, or weaponised dustbins ready to receive non-recyclable-waste in under 45 minutes or whatever, he was right to support the removal and encompassed subsequent death of the wicked muderer Saddam Hussein. If Blair had said “Britain must go into Iraq purely to kill Saddam Hussein - a horrible Untermensch which killed its first human victim on purpose with a provided gun while being aged eleven - and then we shall either go home or stay to kill more of his willing supporters and relations who have profited by him”, I would have supported that, and indeed it was one of the few right and good decisions Blair took in his life.
He did not need to lie about WMDs to convince me of a good and right mission for the Forces of an upright and moral nation. He should have trusted the People, and simply listened. In those days we would have supported him. I did anyway, even though he was – and is – a scumbag socialist. Go back to the headlines of 2002 and 2003 and 2004 even, and just read them.
But he did the unthinkable. On being found to have lied, he therefore shot us in the foot in full view of our enemies by going ahead on what most people decided were false-pretences. Without doing the obviously needed thing, and changing to what the real motive for the war ought to have been all along. It was almost too late, but not quite.If he had come clean immediately, half our enemies’ support would have melted away – it would almost have been enough to go on. And it would have been _public_ which is what’d have mattered. The next rubbish might then not have come about…..
Our enemies are primitve in some ways but clever and modern in others. They, like dogs, can smell fear and the stench of death. It is fatal to smell of fear and death. They know when the heart of a combatant is not in it: they know when the people at home are not “behind their boys”. This is invariably fatal, and it loses wars, always and everywhere. Look at Vietnam for an even more expensive object-lesson: the feeligns of the heart of the American People, as projected to the Enemy by the American media, gave off a certain smell. it may not have been the right smell in the end, but it did the trick and we duly lost, as was demanded.
Blair didn’t look: he is “post-modern”, whatever that means, but I think I have decided.
Sean Gabb said we have no vital national interest in these places, unless I have totally misunderstood. Although he is my very good and old friend, he is here quite wrong in my opinion: we, the British, and also British Libertarians as a an interested subset, do have such things. It is not in our interest, as liberals and libertarians, whether the prevailing state or us as a group, to for long allow a crowd of media-friendly, powerful and charismatic, sexy, mountebanks – with zillions of cheap guns, bombs, money, friendship with unfriendly regimes such as the USSR, and access to limitlessly-industrial amounts of modern plastic explosives, detonators and charge-shapers - to promote the idea that liberalism and non-invasive-individual-liberty of conscience, worship, thought, deed and word are a wrong thing for Man. It is our Jihadist duty to go after these buggers to the ends of the earth if need be. if we do not, then we set a bad example for those who would follow liberty.
Strong horse, weak horse. The late Osama Bin Laden will continue to remain fully dead throughout 2009 and 2010, but he did speak the truth on that one. We are not dealing all the time with samizdata readers here: those whom we hope to awake from their darkness in the fullness of time still, in a lot of cases, only know about mis-sold-nags and dust and disease.
This is a First World Army, trying to fight Third-World-Guerillas – admittedly in difficult terrain, but this is 2009. The problem of Afghanistan can only be:
(1) either that the wrong kind of campaign is being fought…we are trying to be even too reliant on vehicles and mobility in force, and should deploy more special forces at night on foot (but we don’t have more than five…)
(2) that the politicos in charge of “paying for it” don’t want it to succeed. They, which is to say: Gordon Brown and the Enemy Class, want us to “lose”. This, to them, is a morale-destroying-weapon to do with our very civilisation and sense of ourselves, both of which they hate. that oculd secondarily explain the lack of “kit”: the more dead young boys that are flown back, the better for the Enemy Class. (I always said they were evil droids, didn’t I!)
Given that Jeff randall is probably right about the mobility of anti-liberal, anti-Western-Canon terrorism, it probably does not matter in the end if we stayed in Afghanistan for “30 or 40 years” (perish the thought!) or if we left today.
I am not sure that Gordon Brown and Barack Obama, who [with the exception of many dedicated Danish Doctors and Nurses] deploy sadly almost all the forces that really matter, really really deeply want The West to win in Afghanistan, if indeed “winning” here now means anything substantive. It is a hallmark of a civilised people that they grieve quite a lot and voluntarily, and now in public, see Wooton Bassett (poor sods) over even what would a mere 90 years ago have been regarded as a paltry death-toll for even just one day of fighting. That we should now regard eight deaths in one day of fighting as politically and morally unacceptable, says a lot for us still as a people, and points optimistically to some kind of recovery of moral fibre and nerve, although I cannot yet define what.
It is too late now to “leave Afghanistan” without it looking to our enemies abroad, which are many but largely impotent, and the Enemy Class at home which is few but all-powerful, like a major defeat. To both kinds of enemy, imagery is terribly important for they are both primitive and pre-capitalist-neopastoralist, in their different ways. Both kinds of enemy will interpret our leaving as a major strategic victory for them.
What will happen?
Israel will feel weaker and more isolated, and may have to develop Nuclear Weapons.
The government if the USSR will feel more able to lift more firms’ wallets – both foreign and domestic – more openly.
OPEC, with USSR money, will be able to orchestrate demos at British “Unis”, by “students” who will shout that “Afghanistan was all about oil” while burning effigies of “George W Halliburton”.
Some institutional destruction will be able to be accomplished too, such as various Lieut-Colonels, of the remaining old British Army Regiments that survive, being arrested for “war crimes”.
The ID card programme will be accelerated, since “The War On Terror” “knows no borders”. Cameron will expedite this as fast as Brown would have done, and anyway all the Enemy-Classes’ political dinner-partners, all of whom “design” on “Apple Macs”, will need the bloody money, and quick, or they lose their cottages to RBS “Money-Sense”.
But, all in all, would we all be worse off if we left Afghanistan? Perhaps not. I do not know, do you?