My quote of the day: from Charles Moore in the DT, on Afghanistan


David Davis

I have called this one _MY_ quote, because I know that a majority of libertarians, especially in Britain, think we ought not to be militarily involved in Afghanistan – or anywhere else for that matter. Therefore I will not annoy and insult these people by calling it the “Libertarian Alliance Quote of the Day” (although it ought to be.) I take responsibility for it instead of the august think-tank for which I have the privilege to be allowed to blog.

These libertarians, and others, know that I have never failed to support war in Iraq, or Afghanistan, and that I say [regularly] that the West _must_ take war, if need be everywhere that is required, to all those who cheerfully, frankly and materially oppose individual liberty anywhere. The people the West is trying to resist are not “insurgents”. They are not even “terrorists”, which is why the notion of “The War On Terror” is so glib, shallow and meaningless – these people are willing soldiers for a cause, they really believe what they are saying and they mean to destroy us: they are the willing agents of purposeful and committed deconstructors of everything they think we stand for and love.

Here’s Charles Moore:-

If we truly want to win the war in Afghanistan, we need to challenge its opponents much more fiercely. Politicians such as Nick Clegg, who congratulate themselves on asking the necessary, awkward questions, need to be interrogated about what they actually want. Do they want the first defeat of the most powerful military alliance in history at the hands of a small band of fanatics armed with little more than rifles and IEDs?

Do they have any conception of what such a defeat would mean for the world order, for the stability of countries in the region, or for civil peace in every European city? Do they not understand that this fight will be seen all over the world not as a battle for control of some jagged mountains, but between values, and that, if our values do not win, they will lose?

Please read old Charlie Moore on the whole thing: he puts some sharp perspectives on war, its roles – good or bad they may be – in intercivilisational conflict, and where we ought to go from here. I already said a couple of days ago that the alternatives are only (and ever) victory or defeat, and what it will mean. He’s probably read Sir John Keegan. I doubt most of our present politicians have even heard of the bugger.

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4 responses to “My quote of the day: from Charles Moore in the DT, on Afghanistan

  1. it makes so much sense to me we have to win for sure,it seems like the moral is failing evryone or almost at every level of command,hopfully it will change as the president come out with the strategy,thank you.

  2. Charles Moore’s approach is absolutely correct of course. He identifies subtle propaganda such as Brown’s regretful lauding of the dead soldiers as being something that will inculcate the opposite of panic (rather than the absence of panic.) But then if Brown is a Jack Jones prodigy then I guess it goes with the perfidious turf and all that would be inculcated by a Soviet agent. In fact the whole lamenting of the dead might seem to have far more to do with mind massaging the living than honouring the fallen.
    Yes, the current campaign reminds me, as mentioned before, of chickens running around in a hen house and being picked off at leisure by enemy snipers. There needs to be better intelligence, strategy, equipment, and get it done. They are dithering while the other side are killing. So what is going on?
    I think the Iraq invasion went wrong when Bush was persuaded to have a low intensity presence after the initial push to Baghdad. They let the city run riot. They became to be seen as worse than Saddam by those who initially welcomed them with joy and open arms. That strikes me as being enemy action within one’s own planning committees rather than just mistakes. It is the war of Democrats vs Republicans being fought out in another country, or in the Afghan context, the enemies of a free Britain using the war to destroy the credibility of those who are for liberty. Perhaps one never should have gone there and rather just let them slaughter each other. But, whatever, the way it has been handled is distinctly fishy, defeatist, and anti-West.
    The energy that has been put into discrediting Kharzai would have been far better used against real horrors. Such as Iran.
    Moore says: “In the end,” Mr Brown said, in a phrase which confirms his gloomy psychology, “we will succeed or fail together.” It is almost as if some members would be happy with failure.

    I could not agree more.

  3. chris southern

    You don’t beat an idealogy by force of arms, it has never in history worked.
    You starve it of finance and people if possible, conquest/invasion is the last desperate roll of the dice.

    Invading a country (region, state or whatever newspeak has renamed them this month) will never solve the problem, it will only drive it else where as well as allow those few to recruit from the countries that are seen to do the invading.

    If you have no alternative but to invade then you flood the area with troops and destroy the threat completely (leave no stone unturned and salt the earth). These are lessons that the romans left us, you cannot buy peace forever, you cannot dictate to others whome dissagree with you and not expect some form of retaliation and you cannot afford to leave a power vaccume (look at what happen in Iraq.)

    To sum up, the politicians bolloxed everything up a long time ago and now they are forced to use the military on mass, except they aren’t using it one mass and are still fannying around with politics.
    When you release the dogs of war you take them off the leash and trust their training, you don’t just give them a longer leash)

  4. (Don’t know how I switched a protege for a prodigy, but perhaps its got something to do with Freud.)
    Yes, wars etc are won and lost in the mind. One shouldn’t need to do a Roman if it is all making sense to most.