…………………….. and with Hell we are at agreement.
Just a few days ago, we watched as the British Army sneaked quietly out of Camp Bastion, out of Helmand, and of course out of Afghanistan. We shall then see what we have bought with 453 British lives, along with some £30 billions in treasure. Will we see another ‘Peace in our time’, or will we see yet another sad truth that, having blown away the Taliban in double-quick time, we should have then said to the Warlords who have actually governed in that sad, sandy hell-hole, “Its yours now; you wanted it, you run it, because we are leaving now.’ But we didn’t.
We stayed, and we spent 453 lives, the flower of British youth, volunteers all, whether Regular or Reserve, in a veritable splurge of utter stupidity, much the same as the thinking which brought on the utter catastrophe of the Somme in 1916.
We have watched as the poppies were planted, ending just yesterday when the last of 888,246 ceramic memorials were planted in the grass of the Tower of London’s moat; but I still do not believe that most of this nation understands or even accepts the carnage which was the First World War. The Battle of the Somme, on the first day alone, cost some 58,000 British casualties. Some of the Pals’ Battalions, by the end of that Battle, had virtually disappeared; and for what, it may be asked? The trench line; established in the early days of the War, hardly changed. What was lost in one charge, was gained back in another. It was all a waste, of life, of treasure, of the very spirit which kept men fighting despite the loss of everything.
But what was perhaps the worst loss, out of all the casualties, all the change, of the revolutions and of the vast change resultant from the War to end all War, was the loss of the very spirit which may have kept an Austrian corporal from mesmerising an entire Nation into a belief that they could win that Second War, and wipe out the disgrace of the First.
I leave you with one final statistic; when the Taliban, evil and savage though they may be, were in power,another poppy; the Heroin Poppy was virually eradicated. Today, the Poppy fields have given the production of heroin a boost to eighty percent above the line when we went in!