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  Europe
Biting the Hand that Feeds You
Rogue Afghan Soldier Kills 3 British Soldiers
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
I have always been against the wars in the Persian Gulf. Putting aside the political aspects and the allegations of profiteering, I simply don’t see what gives any country the right to invade another just because they think they might attack them or be harbouring those who would do them harm.

If you’re going to attack someone just in case they attack others shouldn’t we all be invading Germany? After all, they have dragged everyone into two world wars with their aggression. Who’s to say they won’t do it again? Come on; let’s send the troops over there, just in case.

I don’t like the look of the new family that just moved in up the street from me. Should I go up and kneecap them just in case they nick my car? I mean – their kids were a bit rowdy the other night; it must have been a nuisance to the people living next door, and who knows what they’re going to do next? Shall I go and firebomb their house? They are harbouring those kids, after all.

The problem is, now that we’re over there, we have a responsibility to tidy up the mess we’ve made, which is why our troops are training the Afghan police and troops so that they’re properly equipped to keep the peace. I guess it’s only right; if you knock a drink over at someone else’s house you’re obliged to at least ask for a paper towel.

So, our brave British soldiers remain in harm’s way, cleaning up the mess that stupid politicians have made while said politicians stay safe behind a wall of armed security guards. There really is no justice in the world.

Every time I turn on the news and see a report of another British soldier being killed a little piece of me dies. It’s the injustice of it all that gets me. These are the people who have more courage in their little fingers than most of us could ever hope to have. These are the people who stand up and say that they will give their lives to keep us safe and protect our homes. I feel like sending them over there as they have been is an abuse of their protection.

The new Government has promised to bring our brave soldiers home as soon as possible, but since David Cameron is leading that new Government I won’t be holding my breath. All I can do is hope and pray that for once he keeps his word.

The latest incident in Afghanistan has highlighted just how crucial it is that our soldiers are brought home as soon as possible. On Tuesday, a rogue Afghan soldier who was being trained by the British military killed three British soldiers in a rifle and rocket-propelled grenade attack. This incident, which took place in the Helmand province, highlights the dangers our troops are facing – not just from those they are fighting, but also the ones they are training to replace them when they are finally brought home.

On Thursday, a man claiming to be the killer contacted the BBC’s Kabul Office. He said his name was Talib Hussain, that he was 21, and from the Ghazni province. The reason he gave for the attack was the conduct of the soldiers stationed there, saying they had been killing civilians, including children.

He claimed that he had been working alone, and that he joined the Taliban after the attack. The BBC’s correspondent challenged him about his accusations, pointing out that the Taliban had killed civilians – including children – in their own attacks. Hussain responded that the Taliban were Mujahideen fighting for their own country.

To be honest, I think that’s a reasonable response. That’s not to say that I condone what he did – quite the opposite, in fact. I condemn all acts of violence, whoever the perpetrator. However, it must be borne in mind that we are in reality an invading force. Many would respond in the same way if it was their country that had been invaded. When the Germans invaded France during the Second World War, the French resistance killed many German soldiers and were lauded as heroes. The only difference between us and them are the reasons given for occupying their country.

Bush and Blair tried to justify the invasion by saying that Afghanistan produces and distributes a huge amount of illicit drugs. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Colombia produce their fair share as well? Why haven’t we invaded them?

They pointed out that Afghanistan produces terrorists. I think near-enough every country in the world produces terrorists. Spain has ETA, Germany had Baader Meinhof, and the Oklahoma bombing that took place in the US was committed by a US citizen.

There’s no universally accepted definition of terrorism, but most people would regard it as a politically and emotionally driven attack designed to create terror. I’m sure the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan were utterly terrified when US planes were bombing the hell out of them. Again, I would ask – what’s the difference between us and them? Osama bin Laden ordered attacks on American soil; George W Bush then ordered attacks on Iraqi and Afghan soil. He ordered the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein – a perfectly legitimate leader of a sovereign nation. The reason given was that Hussein was a dangerous man who could suck other nations into war. So, Bush’s solution to this was to suck other nations into a war. It’s like you taking your dog outside and shooting him in the head.

“Why did you do that?” Your wife demands.

“Well, he’s getting a bit old, so I killed him so he wouldn’t die.”

I don’t mean any disrespect towards the soldiers serving in the Gulf. What’s happening over there is not their decision and not their fault. They’re just doing the job they chose, proudly serving their Queen and country. I’m proud of each and every one of them.

I also do not want to disrespect the memories of the more than 200 British soldiers who have died in this war, and I realise that if we just walked away now then these brave men and women will have died for nothing. However, they should never have been sent there in the first place. They should have been here, at home, safe, ready to be called upon if needed. An army should be for defence not attack, a shield not a sword. Maybe when our elitist politicians finally realise this we could look forward to a future without war. Wouldn’t that be nice?



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Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.

 

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