Thursday, August 30, 2012


Many years ago a haunting song was composed by Pete Seeger evoking the heartbreak, loss and loneliness of a past generation.
"Where have all the flowers gone?"

When will they ever learn?

And it is only fair to allow the composer his own rendition -

In their time they knew their duty and its consequence.  The poor bastards died like flies for most of the 20th century.

These days, we are told, the individual grunt is ‘valued’ more – if only for the extra moolah expended in their training in this techo age.

There are swags of analysts these days telling us in microscopic detail how this time a military intervention into Afghanistan will have outcomes  entirely different from past efforts.
After all, didn’t the USSR, the mighty Soviet Union was supposed to decisively sort ‘em out before Christmas?
(What DID happen to the USSR?)

No doubt the Brits mangled the devils in (how many wars was it?) the nineteenth century.
But they were still strafing the hill tribes in the 1940s.

Before that “Great Game” Afghanistan has been subject to a continuum of conflict and futile invasion attempts.
And we wonder why your average Afghani gent tends to be a bit warry when crossed. 

Hubris, definition – excessive pride, overweening confidence, arrogant defiance of (Greece) the Gods resulting in nemesis.

I have attached the following document more for the honesty of the Afghani comments rather than the somewhat hubristic main article - 
Meanwhile this gent seems to make more sense –

The Afghani goodbye?
General Elphinstone’s entire army was the recipient of the Afghani goodbye in 1842.
General Gromov’s team in 1989
And yesterday to our sorrow five Australian soldiers were given the hint.

So when WILL we ever learn? - which is Gromov’s opinion about the Soviet mistake –
which url mysteriously won’t open for me in this ‘democracy’. Try -
extract from that article -
 On February 15, 1989 the last column of the Soviet troops left Afghanistan crossing the border bridge across the Amu Darya river. This column became a symbol of the end of the Afghan war. The last who brought up the rear of this column was Commander of the 40th army General Boris Grimov Today he is sure that the entry of the Soviet troops to Afghanistan was a mistake:”
Gen. Gromov said
"For those who took part in the Afghan campaign this date (December 25) is more notable than the date of the withdrawal of troops. We have many reasons for that. First of all it is 100% that we should not have done it. But the decision was made. For everyone who served in Afghanistan in the beginning, in the middle and in the end of campaign, this date brings back memories of that difficult and important time when they experienced many things including losses of friends and close people.  This date on the one hand unites all those who were involved in that campaign, and on the other hand, it is a reminder to next generations".

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