The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Afghanistan – time to withdraw

John McCain just admitted on BBC newsnight that during the Obama Afghan surge ‘casualties will rise.’

This is just not acceptable. Enough of our young kids who are serving in the army have returned in coffins.

No, it’s time to withdraw British troops from Afghanistan rather than spilling more blood for a doomed mission.

Even Des Brown, defence minister, is stepping down from parliament; perhaps he can’t stomach the stench of blood.

It’s quite simply time to withdraw.

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2 December, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , | 15 Comments

Three seminal moments: Race, religion, and war

I experienced three seminal moments in the last 5 days or so.

First was watching Question Time on Thursday evening with a friend and his wife, who are both Muslims. Their discomfort at Griffin was understandable.

Second, as I passed through Birmingham city centre on Sunday, there was a military display of some kind on near the Bull Ring. Some young Pakistanis turned away from walking towards the army display, shaking their heads. A teenage girl wearing a headscarf seemed particularly vexed. As an Ulster Protestant, I have much time for the army. The army is part of being British, but I realised then that something had been robbed from these young British Asians by Blair’s (he ordered it) and Brown’s (he paid for it) disastrous Iraq and Afghan campaigns. They can’t support the army, given our killing of Iraqi and Afghan innocents – the children’s blood being on Labour’s hands. British Asians are true British people and amongst the most hard-working, and they also have solid family values, strong community values, genuine morality (e.g. marriage being a bedrock of family), and high levels of entrepreneurship that we should be proud of.

Third, I watched the classic animated Japanese film “Grave of the Fireflies” for the first time. A story of a young brother and sister trying to survive in Japan during the end of WWII, despite devastating firebombing by the Americans of civilians. It is a very upsetting film, and yet beautifully made, and at the end I must admit that I did cry. Watch it and dare say you are “pro-war”.

We haven’t moved much further beyond the 1945 firebombing of civilians, have we, though? At least we will not repeat the disastrous mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan by bombing Iranian women and children too; at least I hope we won’t (whatever you think of Ahmadinejad). War, race, and religion may be intertwined but, as an evangelical Christian, I for one cannot support the bombing of innocents that was a central part of the wars on the Afghan and Iraqi people – and nor will I support the same being inflicted upon the Iranians.

27 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

We need to look after our soldiers – in or out of the army

I grew up, as a child in awe of soldiers, who were on the streets of Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s. I still respect them, so I am dismayed to see our boys dying in Afghanistan. Poor equipment and bad strategy from London exacerbates the situation.

I wonder, though, what will the next Government do to support our boys when they leave the army? Yesterday’s front page of the Guardian revealed that there are more ex servicemen in prison than there are soldiers in Afghanistan.

We need to do something to help our boys settle back into civilian life. Labour is failing in this regard.

26 September, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , | Leave a comment