Sunday, July 19, 2009


How long will it take before the public decide that the people who lead our armed forces are running out of excuses? A cabal of senior army officers and retired ex soldiers backed up by anti govt. newspapers and populist politicians have been telling us for months now that the reason for our lack of success in Afghanistan is Gordon Brown, I don’t buy it.

Our soldiers are ‘the bravest’ ‘the best trained’ ‘the most professional’ ‘they are second to none’ etc. etc. you can pick and mix from any of these bombastic claims and even add some of your own; then sit back and consider the following; do you really believe this stuff? who decided these things? what criteria was used? Do you trust the opinions of right wing newspaper editors and retired colonels when it comes to a conflict like this, I don’t; would they use the deaths of soldiers for political ends? Cameron and Clegg already have; Salmond doesn’t count we already know that he is capable of using anything, to him nothing is sacred.

I feel that I am being lied to by the Army leaders; I admit up front I’m not a military expert but neither are thousands who are joining the argument; most of us only have the Army’s word for things and someone once said that “the first casualty of war was the truth” Our Army enters Afghanistan with the world’s best personnel (everyone agrees on that) we have Planes; Helicopters; Tanks; Armoured cars; Sophisticated computer technology; Smart Bombs; Big Bombs; Wee Bombs and every other hellish method of killing people devised, oh and did I mention that we are fighting a 3rd. world rag bag force with soldiers who could be some of our troops grand parents.

Is it not valid to say to Sir Jock Stirrup, General Dannatt, Lord Guzzle Gutbucket and the rest of the top brass who are making excuses; why can’t we beat these people/ the odds are overwhelmingly in our favour; they are fighting us with home made bombs and ancient rifles, what is your explanation? I have a feeling that some of these brass hats want to make sure that they can shift the blame for their ineptitude and lack of candour on to Brown to protect their own reputations. “We only have 30 helicopters that’s why we can’t win” is their cry; hold on here; the Taliban don’t have any helicopters or tanks or planes, what is going on? Something is not right about this we need to hear the truth.

Meanwhile the grand lies continue and war is glorified by hypocritical pomp and flag waving; today’s news suggests an upsurge in young male recruits; what does this tell us? The truth might sound something like this and it wouldn’t help to recruit anyone.

“Today two 18 year old British Soldiers were killed in a Taliban ambush, we don’t really know how they faced death and we are not going to make up any stories; they might have been brave and heroic and they might have died in terror we don’t know but we grieve for them and we will no longer send youngsters; not long out of school to meet such a fate” they wouldn’t dare would they?

We need to draw a line under this ASAP and stop the fighting; also in Iraq; my belief is that if we started telling the truth about war and armed conflict we would take a big step towards ending it; we might start by agreeing that in future when America suggests any adventure to us we say F**k off, and then clean out the military hierarchy. When I see a coffin containing a dead soldier and witness his distraught family and friends I am enraged; when I hear and see the propaganda machine swing in to action I despair; reacting with pity and sorrow is natural and heartfelt but it’s not enough we all must resolve to put a stop to it.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should spend a bit less time on your bitter anti SNP hate campaign and a bit more time trying to persude your OWN party to find a way out of this unending war.

It does not matter how many tanks, bombs, guns and troops you have, you will never "win" this war in the conventional sense. You would have to kill just about every Taliban in the country and then the rest in neighbouring Pakistan.

Alexander the Great could not really beat these folk (I think he just about gave up after 4 years). The Russians gave up. This is Vietnam all over again.

The Taliban have nothing to lose - no jobs to go back to, no real wealth, often nothing but the clothes on their back. There are about 60 tribes in the country. They have no concept of orgainsed democracy as you or I understand it.

You have to remember they may well be a bunch of religous nutters, but it is their country. What would you do it the position was reversed and they were over here killing your family and friends ?

My heart sank when I heard Des Brown say a few days ago 'it took us 28 years to sort out Northern Ireland'. In that case it will take Labour about 2800 years to sort this mess out.

So how about you spend your energy and get Brown & Co. to stop the shooting and try and some talking.

As a Labour Party member you have to take your small share of the blame for this mess - you campaigned to get Blair and Brown elected !

Anonymous said...

The public never made excuses. That was theLabour government.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

I have rarely come across such a blatant missrepresentation of the facts as this.

I can only conclude that you are interested only in having a go at Labour and those who have lost their lives on both sides mean nothing at all to you, very sad.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

Anonymous. Monday, July 20, 2009 3:41:00 AM

Our modern state of the art highly trained brave heroic etc. etc. Army, cant fight a 3rd. world force who are throwing stones and home made bombs at them and you blame the Govt. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

You say "I have rarely come across such a blatant missrepresentation of the facts as this".

But which bits are factually incorrect ????

David Duff said...

"I admit up front I’m not a military expert"

I know, Councillor, I know, but it's so embarrassing when you insist on demonstrating it in public. Why don't you just stick to the complexities of South School, a convoluted subject which you actually appear to have mastered all on your own. I mean, if you go on over-reaching your abilities like this you'll be banging on about quantum mechanics next!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 20/07/09
You misrepresented everything I said, a completely dishonest sham. You supply us with a pompous potted history and try to pretend that we can all learn from your wisdom while all the predictable points you make have already been made ad nauseam by me and many others.
Your target is the Labour Party not the stopping of any war, you are beneath contempt.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(David Duff) 20/07/09
I am no expert and I have not seen any evidence expertise from you in anything other than sneering. Its no substitute for debate but you are too far gone aren’t you; unable to land any kind of blow you are reduced to this nonsense; why do you other? you just look stupid with this kind of comment.

David Duff said...

Well I don't claim any expertise either but I do know a little of the army's ways having been a soldier for 9 years.

All I suggest is that on a particularly complex subject you do yourself and your politics little good by sounding off with a long list of opinions based on nothing but prejudice. For example, one fact that you seem to have missed is that when G. Brown was Chancellor he cancelled the order for a huge increase in the Chinook helicopter force. That does not make him sole the malefactor but he is certainly one of them.

This is one of those imbroglios in which the truth, or an approximation of it, will only emerge when teh historians are able to examine the documents - provided not too many of them have been shredded!

Anonymous said...

""Your target is the Labour Party not the stopping of any war, you are beneath contempt"".

I know it may be difficult for you to understand, and more difficult for you to accept, but you cannot blog away about how bad everything is from nuclear weapons to Iraq without accepting even a wee bit of the blame.

You ask us to vote for you and by implication Blair, Brown, Sheridan and the Alexander’s. These are the very people who are doing all the things you seem to object to.

You don't seem to be able to see this so you just insult me.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(David Duff) 21/07/09

This is not a sound argument I don’t feel unable to comment because I have never been in the army and I find that a patronising and silly suggestion.

I have cousins and friends who are either ex or serving soldiers two of whom served 24 and 23 years respectively; it’s simply not necessary to have served to be able to comment. Newspapers; magazines; TV and radio are full of comment from every walk of life about these matters.

I mean no disrespect to them but many soldiers are in the army because they like the idea of 3 meals a day some money and a uniform + the bonus of not having to think; making many of them the last people to be advised by.

This is like any other conflict; tactics and responses change continuously as do numbers and equipment; I am convinced that the top brass who are leaving are trying to shift blame because they have not been successful; they are not prepared to admit as I do and indeed you do to that this can’t be won. Iraq possibility but not Afghanistan where many of them regard war as a way of life.

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 21/07/09

You have crudely simplified the argument into “it’s all the fault of the Labour Govt.” I personally know the people you have named except Blair (Brown very slightly from many years ago) and there is not one of them who does not honestly and genuinely want to see the end to these wars; the abandonment of nuclear weapons etc. you are patently dishonest by ignoring that and trying to score points against Labour. Yes that is an insult.

Anonymous said...

Yoy say " I personally know the people you have named except Blair (Brown very slightly from many years ago) and there is not one of them who does not honestly and genuinely want to see the end to these wars; the abandonment of nuclear weapons etc."

I supose I just have to ask why do they keep voting to support the wars and renew the nuclear wepons and support the Leader(s) of the Labour Party who lead us into wars and nuclear madness.

They, like you, don't seem to want to make the connection.

David Duff said...

"I mean no disrespect to them but many soldiers are in the army because they like the idea of 3 meals a day some money and a uniform + the bonus of not having to think" [My emphasis]

Hmmn, I wonder what you would say of them if you had intended disrespect?!

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 15:36

This garbage is so crude and simplistic that it’s hardly worth replying to. I’m not going to give you any credence because your considered opinion is that people like Wendy Alexander, Douglas Alexander, Tony Blair, Jim Sheridan, Gordon Brown and of course me and all the other people who vote labour or are Labour members, want war and nuclear conflict; I’m sure anyone who reads this will spot what you are about; it’s not intelligent and its not rational, you are making a fool of yourself; best to remain anonymous eh?

Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(David Duff) 15:49

“Hmmn, I wonder what you would say of them if you had intended disrespect?!”

If I had intended disrespect I would have told them they wonderful; brave; heroic and patriotic and the reason for these qualities is because they are either in uniform or were once in uniform; that would be disrespect and treating them like fools; there is enough of that goes on already.

Wearing a uniform or having worn a uniform does not mean you will talk sense about military matters nor does it make you any of the things listed above.

Anonymous said...

Chloe Smith (Con) 13,591 (39.5%)
Chris Ostrowski (Lab) 6,243 (18.16%)
April Pond (LD) 4,803 (13.97%)
Glenn Tingle (UKIP) 4,068 (11.83%)
Rupert Read (Green) 3,350 (9.74%)
Craig Murray (Ind) 953 (2.77%)
Robert West (BNP) 941 (2.74%)


Cllr Terry Kelly said...

(Anonymous) 24/07/09
I believe that Brown is the outstanding politician of the day and despite the concentrated efforts of the reactionary right wing from all other parties and media sources he can still win. If these were ordinary circumstances I would be worried but they are not, they are extraordinary circumstances and the triumphant winners actually saw a drop in their vote.