Tony Blair on the invasion, in October 2001: We act also because the al Qaeda network and the Taliban regime are funded in large part on the drugs trade”. Consider the chart: Toenibbler is proved again a liar and a fool. Indeed the invasion was a disaster for “The West”, even by Afghan standards of resistance. Blair should have remembered we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender. If in late September 2001 the US had sent a courteous man with some photographs of US military might and a polite request to Mullah Omar, they could have arrested Osama much earlier. The quote is a classic example of Blair lying to tell British people what we want to hear; he lied to cover up the true justification- keeping in with the Americans- with cobbled-together rationalisations.
Quickly I find this chart is misleading, though the figures tally with other information. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan ruled from September 1996 to December 2001- not the whole country, but significant portions of it. I imagine Blair was blinded by George Bush’s insane view of us against them, the Bad people being entirely Bad, so could not realise that the Taliban found heroin production immoral, and reduced it; but I wonder what intelligence he had about Afghan poppy production. And were the Taliban seeking to suppress poppy production, or take it over?
The war has been a disaster. Islamic terrorism has moved to the Yemen and elsewhere, and the UK has squandered £37bn (or £19bn, depending whom you ask) for little result. This is a lot of money to keep in with the Americans, especially if the recent Commons vote on Syria has messed that up. British soldiers remain in Afghanistan. I would like to know why. The question should be, does their presence do good, proportionate to the costs? It is a pity that is a political question, rather than a practical military one.
Poor Patricia does not like the Pope. Here she is on the radio, going on about how the message of the Catholic church should be that homosexuality and abortion are sins deserving Hell, and if gay couples don’t just stop they will go to Hell. That first, anyway, and the Majesty of Tradition: love later, maybe. She sounds like a fishwife, as one of her usually sycophantic commenters said. I wondered if she was angling for the Anjem Choudhury role, for Catholics: he is a nobody who says things like “British forces murder Muslims so all British non-Muslims are a legitimate target” and so gets on the telly when they want to give us the shivers. Sadly, Patsy has neither the shock value, nor the interest.