Sunday, 5 August 2012

Afghanistan takes its toll...

Two dead and six wounded three seriously.

Our Prime Minister quickly dons his black suit and says how brave our boys are.

He says that he won’t pull out before the planned date sometime in 2013, he doesn’t mean ‘he’ he means the soldiers on the ground. He will steer clear of any danger.

The main stream media now has more horror, murder and mayhem to fill its front page headlines; it will print the gory details, the family grief, and the agony with unrestrained commercial delight coated with plastic elasticity.

As an ex-soldier I have a small understanding of the agony of the family and friends of those killed or wounded. I more fully understand the guilt felt by the members of the unit and sub-units to which they belonged. Many questions relating what could have been done better or differently will bring extra pressure on those remaining. The last thing the unit needs are the platitudes written by public relations guru’s and mouthed by the PM or Defence Minister.

There is lost amongst the stupidity of the media behaviour of making money from the public grief some real issues.  Likewise the absolutely idiotic reason for the troops being there in the first place, is crowded in myth and PR spin. The Government of Afghanistan is corrupt and the intervention of US forces ensured that any intervention plan would fail sooner or later. Anyone who works with them or fights with them are tarred with the same brush and shares their crimes.

New Zealand lost its innocence once it brought into the ‘seek and destroy’ attitude of US military policy, put simply it was a kill first and worry later. Of course it hasn’t worked and it never will. It didn’t work in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.  

Now we will spill real heartfelt tears and sadly heaps of crocodile tears as the country mourns its loss yet again. So be prepared for wonderful speeches in and out of Parliament, but also be prepared for more of the same shallow sympathy. What we need over this next short period is empathy and plan to move ourselves clear of the murderous strategic approach of others.     

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