Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weasel words to the front line

At this moment I have less respect for the British Government and our Prime Minister than I have ever had.

Gordon Brown's assurances that British troops in Afghanistan are adequately equipped stands starkly against statements of the most senior military personnel that have emerged in the last few days.

Mr Brown clearly realises that he is up against a wall here, and it would have been impossible for him to directly admit that he has ignored military pleas for more money and more equipment. However he could have at least said that he took on board what was said and would listen to the people who are in command in Afghanistan and also to the families who are bearing the grief of loss.

There are those too who wonder exactly what the conflict in Afghanistan is supposed to achieve. Some may even feel that this is a war by the 'Christian' western world on Islam especially since George Bush spoke of it in a term they find repugnant - as a crusade. I'm not hearing enough of what I would like to hear which is that the people of Afghanistan themselves want us to help them fight against extremists in their own country.

If Britain and America are to continue to have support for this conflict, they must clarify and publicise their aims and ensure that they are aims that are achievable and that the whole of our population can be comfortable with.

This is NOT expressing any lack of support for the troops themselves which is a very different thing. If our Government are going to ask our armed forces to go and engage in wars and conflicts for whatever reason, those troops have a total right to be properly equipped.

They also have the right to speak out if they believe that their comrades are dying unnecessarily because someone here wants to cut budgets, and so do the bereaved families. I salute those who have chosen to put their lives on the line for world peace and security.

I don't want to hear any more excuses and lies and face saving from our PM and members of the Government, I want to hear promises that they will do everything they can to ensure our armed forces in Afghanistan get the equipment THEY say they need.