Total of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan = 208
It's astonishing how predictable war behaviour is. Anyone old enough and with a good memory will recall that we have been here before. 'More troops' was the answer in the dying days of Vietnam war and the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. More troops were sent in. Again and again. More body-bags returned. Again and again. The insurgents always win.
Today's news is that there is call for 20,000 more troops in Afghanistan. I hate to be repetitive, I but have said in parliament and on this blog many times:
More troops = more targets=more deaths.
It's not hard to understand. The Russians had 120,000 troops. 15,000 were killed. What will our limit be? Public opinion in the UK has an emphatic view. 62% (and growing) want the troops home. Support for the war is dwindling.
More talk today of doing a deal with the Taliban. When will we have an official confirmation that pace talks started months ago in Saudi Arabia? The war will be over in two years. We are still haunted by the last deaths in WW1. One of them was the poet Wilfred Owen. Who will be the last person to die this time because politicians cannot confess that they made a mistake in 2006?
A poor defence was put up in the Today programme this morning for the election flop. 'Why only 150 votes in an area where there are 80.00 voters?' John Humphies asked. 'Because some voters go to big towns to vote' was the unlikely explanation from a Colonel Richardson. Can Afghans vote in any polling booth in the country? No wonder there is so much corruption. 24 British soldiers died and hundreds were seriously injured to ensure that there was a free election.
Were there sacrifices worthwhile?
A Swansea blog reports these alarming figures on the collapsing circulation of Welsh Newspapers. With two of them moving from being evening to mornings papers was meant to stop the rot.
Daily Post (North Wales) 33,938, -5.3%
South Wales Argus (Newport) 26,667, -5.6%
Evening Leader (Wrexham) 19,437, -8.1%
South Wales Evening Post (Swansea) 46,069, -10.1%
Western Mail (Cardiff) 32,926, -11.4%
South Wales Echo (Cardiff) 39,361, -11.8%