So back to THAT BLOODY WAR. I mean not the Syrian one – where we're going to stay hands off – or the Libyan one (where we were hands on, but not touching the ground). Nor the Iraqi one, which is a war at 60-a-day fatalities (pretty much equal with Syria's daily death toll, though we can't make that comparison). Nope. Of course, I mean the Afghan war which we fought in 1842 and in 1878-80 and in 1919 and from 2001 to 2014 (or 2015 or 2016, who knows?). We wouldn't let them down this time, we said about the Afghans – or Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara said – in 2001. Oh yes we will.
We learned our lesson in Iraq where our belief in a bloodless victory – bloodless for us, very bloody indeed for them – came hopelessly unstuck. We died, too. Which is why the Americans went home. Vietnam was supposed to see the end of Western casualties. But we are not immune to death. No more in Afghanistan than in Iraq. So we are going home there, too. We may not leave behind a "perfect" democracy – the Americans were admitting years ago that we might not leave a "Jeffersonian democracy" behind. Ho-hum, no we're not!
And we must quietly abandon all the stuff about our being in Afghanistan to fight terror – on the grounds that if we don't fight it there, it will be heading for Kent on the Channel Tunnel – because it's a load of old cobblers. The 7/7 bombings had more to with our being there than our not being there.
The French have a unit in Afghanistan, but it did not prevent the unspeakably cruel murders in France last week. I'm becoming, I must say, a bit amazed at old Obama. He's been carrying on up the Khyber for so long that I suspect he has forgotten his own words of wisdom. More