David Cameron’s character is being tested. His premiership will be judged by his strength in standing up to the bellicose Generals.
The question was asked yesterday by Stuart Alexander, the father of Afghan casualty number 368. He wrote:
“Who or what are the Taliban? From what I have been told, this was not a ragbag peasant army. The most likely opponent, often very highly trained, could be Iranian, Chechen or Pakistani, not Afghans. So what does that do for the argument that, by waging war in Afghanistan, we are protecting Britain from a 9/11 or a Mumbai terrorist attack? Where does 7/7 fit into that? How much is the enemy already within?’
The lame excuse that sacrificing British lives in Helmand avoided deaths from terrorism has long been exposed as a self-serving lie. The Taliban never have had terrorist ambitions. Only by conflating their motives with those of Al Qaeda was a fiction created to make the lie plausible.
Cameron, Hague and Fox have confirmed that 450 British troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan this year. The Generals have said not until 2012.
The choice is clear. Surrender to totally impractical demands for war without end that will lead to more British soldiers dying in vain or begin the withdrawal and start serious peace talks with the Taliban.
David Cameron knows that his decision is right. Has he the guts to face down the generals?
Falling out of nuclear love
A week ago, Ministers and Heads of Delegations of Austria, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta and Portugal, met in Vienna. Their aim was to enhance co-operation and contribute further to the discussions on environment, combating climate change as well as developing safe and sustainable energy systems without necessarily relying on nuclear power.
Ministers and Heads of Delegations reiterated their utmost sympathy for the plight of the Japanese people as well as their solidarity. They underlined their readiness to learn jointly from this event.
They are joining the domino collapse of confidence that has already changed the minds of Malaysia and Thailand. Next month in Strasbourg the Council of Europe’s 47 countries will discuss the issue.
Fessenheim is France’s oldest nuclear station. It’s located on the borders with Germany and Switzerland. Already demonstrations have taken place demanding its closure. This could lead to major fractures in European harmony.