Afghanistan: What a shocking legacy

Joseph Bulmer

To say that I am shocked and ashamed is an understatement.

Our politicians’ cavalier attitude towards the debacle in Afghanistan is shameful and highlights the low-grade standard of our politicians and, so called, world leaders.

It would seem that we are governed by political pygmies.

Not since the days of Lord Carrington have we seen an honourable politician, when he fell on his sword due to circumstances not even within his control.

Since Blair and Bush started this horror over 20 years ago, with no apparent exit strategy in place, 452 British lives have been lost and £40 billion spent – and God knows how many of our courageous troops maimed and traumatised.

Add this to all those slain in war-torn Afghanistan.

The initial motives were good and there is no doubt that the achievements were significant, which make it all the more heart-breaking for everything and everyone to be abandoned at a moment's notice.

It was heart rendering to hear Ben Parkinson, the soldier who suffered more than any other with his horrific life-changing injuries, on GMB the other day, say, that he now didn’t understand what on earth it all had been for – the pain, the suffering – any of it.

Trump, the first to order troops out of the war zone, has had no experience of combat - and certainly no idea of the consequences - and neither have Biden, Johnson or the arrogant and hapless Raab – I best not say what I think about his behaviour here!

How can they make life-changing and life-ending decisions without the knowledge or empathy required?

It should have taken thought and planning, over an extended period of time, to achieve anything like a positive result.

What they have done, and are totally responsible for, is carnage on an unprecedented scale.

Johnson positions himself as a knowledgeable scholar of history, and in particular, the World War Two era.

This surely should have alerted him to the basics of having to have an exit strategy before you even involve your troops in war.

This is so very basic, and I am sure he could have explained it to ‘Sleepy Joe’ in words of one syllable.

We have been in this ‘special relationship’ since before I was born and yet ever since Blair came into power, it seems that our leaders have been enthralled by whomever is President and been happy to play the dutiful poodle.

When did we stop having opinions and some semblance of honour?

Even Blair has now called Biden’s withdrawal as an 'imbecilic decision', which of course it is.

I suppose he now feels brave enough to speak out because his job doesn’t depend on it anymore and he doesn’t have to worry about what the USA leader thinks.

Cynically, he also no doubt realises that it will be a popular bandwagon to jump on now, as it is clearly what we all think.

It is so very sad that it appears that these days politicians are now far more interested in their own self-aggrandisement rather than serving their countries and trying to maintain peace around the world.

The Taliban have already started to gouge women’s eyes out, cut heads off, rape and torture where and when they want – and if you think otherwise, you are not following the blow-by-blow reports coming out of Afghanistan.

The shambolic exit now taking place with people being crushed to death trying to find any way they can out of the country, including hanging on to planes as the take-off, which will surely mean their death – is so appalling it beggars belief.

I remember watching similar images of America’s exit from Vietnam, which was another mismanaged debacle.

Biden has just torn up any kind of rule book and decided – we are leaving today!

Blair says we 'risk relegation to the second division of global powers'.

Sadly, I think we have been languishing there for more years than we care to think – and if things continue as they are, we are unlikely to get a promotion!