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While the Armed Forces are trying to clear up their mess, world leaders are busy bickering in an emergency video meeting.....
Given a choice between a politician and a soldier, I would take the soldier every time. Soldiers can be strangely unworldly which is why, if they enter politics, they are taken aback by the lack of loyalty and the ubiquitous cowardice. Former soldiers like Ben Wallace, Tobias Ellwood, Johnny Mercer and Tom Tugendhat are trained to see men shot in the front; it’s the knives in the back they find hard to bear.
Each of them has spoken out in high emotion about Afghanistan. They have a visceral understanding of the consequences for real people’s lives, which can be a drawback. Caring about polls more than people is the mark of the true politician.
Yesterday, while soldiers were still trying to shovel up the mess created by politicians, there was an emergency video meeting of the G7. You can sort of imagine how it went.
Boris: Mr President, we understand the strain you are under at this immensely difficult time, but we do ask the United States to use her might to put pressure on the Taliban to extend the deadline for emergency evacuations from Kabul airport.
President Biden: Who are you?
President Marcon: What we ’ave ’ere is a clair case of ze moral responsabilité. We cannot abandonner our Afghan allies. La France, she will be leaving Kabul on Thursday before le petit dejeuner if America does not succeed to extend za deadline with za Tali-banne!
Pres Biden: Tally who?
Boris: Tally ho, actually!
Chancellor Merkel: I’m sorry, but Germany cannot take any more refugees. My successor will not win the election if thousands of Afghans are peturbing Bavaria.
Boris: With respect, Angela, it might have helped if Germany had stumped up a bit more dosh for Nato in the first place.
Pres Macron: Boof! British Trump!
Boris: I know, let’s issue a communique saying we are totally united in our commitment to making it look like we’ve done everything we possibly could, human rights, blah blah… Something about girls’ education? We’re entirely confident on our American partners to hold those Taliban barbarians to account…
President Biden: Is that a cat?
Compare and contrast with the situation in Kabul where stricken people know the darkness is descending. Jane Ferguson, Afghanistan correspondent for PBS, tweeted about what she had seen of the work of our own paratroopers.
I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
My only fear is that with the top guy from Israel now here trying to talk Biden into cranking up a war with Iran may get his way with a lot of help from the war mongers in the Congress from both parties.
- Niner Delta
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But hey, it's the only one we got."
Peace is that brief, quiet moment in history.......... when everybody stands around reloading.