Sunday, December 21, 2008

X-Factor “Song for Heroes”

Hat-tip thingy to respect’s Mac Uaid of all people. Not being an X-Factor type of person I was unaware that the 12 finalists had issued a Christmas single to raise money for wounded British Servicemen and women. The song and the message are really good. The record is probably going to be number one and is the faster selling chart record of the decade. The Chancellor has removed VAT from the sale. Check out the British Army website for more information on the worthy charity Help for Heroes and there is a link to where I bought the down load of the record for £1.25.

It was interesting to read said Mac Uaid’s despair about the success of the single. It says “something very depressing about the state of anti-war consciousness. No song opposing the imperial intervention has had even a fraction of the success”.

He would appear to think that all British servicemen and women (check out the video he is plugging) are murderers and torturers who got what they deserved. Thanks to the bravery of the same service personal it is a free country and he can say what he thinks. But he fails to realise the utter contempt that the overwhelming vast majority of the country thinks of such views. Especially the working class who he claims to represent.

You can attack the decisions and politicians who made those decisions but to denigrate those who wounded and disabled?

When are the Ultra left going to wake up and realise they are just wasting their entire lives with such nonsense? Mind you, you have to be completely and utterly off your head in the first place to think that you are helping your cause by such observations.


French Fancy... said...

What a shame you have to put all those riders on your profile - like it being your views and your views only that are in this blog. We're not in Stalinist times you know-what on earth could result from your blog being in the public domain without these riders being included?

I'm baffled really, but I hope you have a good Christmas, or perhaps you prefer the Winter Festival thing.

Anonymous said...

Shame Brown clearly did so little to help them when he was he starts to have a conversion?

Charlie Marks said...

What better way to support the troops than to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan. No more deaths or injuries.

Nahuatl said...

To french Fancy: This can result;

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a true patriot Charlie question of you ever putting your neck on the line for anyone else then..."what better way to support the troops than bring them home"..what pathetic crap. Your support is way up there with Brown's when he was Chancellor. I don't think you are qualified to comment. Stick to talking about dinner ladies pay. How about "what better way to support them" than for this Labour Govt to pay for proper equipment and Medical care.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
While I didn't agree with Charlie's comment. British involvement in Iraq may be drawing to a close (job and finish) but we are going to have to stay in Afghanistan for a while yet I think.

Saying that, Charlie can say what he likes (and no doubt will) and does not need to be a "vet" in order to voice an opinion. You can attack his views based on his opinions and how he backs them up on his experiences of life but you can’t simply dismiss them because he doesn’t have a purple heart. He will no doubt respond to you on his own behalf.

I think you are well wrong about Brown. At the danger of appearing to be making just political jibes I think that any reasonable person would recognise that this government has increased massively the compensation for wounded and disabled British servicemen and women. I don’t think it’s been retrospective, so there may well be a lot of disabled veterans of the “troubles”, the first Iraq war and the Falklands who are thinking “hang on, why are we being treated less favourably”? This would be a fair point but to deny that the present Government have not reacted sensitively to the concerns of wounded and disabled service personal is frankly nonsense.

Charlie Marks said...

Forgot to mention that Liam Macuaid is Irish - from the occupied six counties. The video was produced by an Irish republican group. The reason was because a young Irish singer from the six counties took part in the song and obviously this is contentious for many.

Now, I don't see what good can be done of continued military activities in Afghanistan. There was no military victory in Iraq, and there won't be one in Afghanistan. Another 40 years would be a disaster for all concerned.

And make no mistake, if this was a situation like WW2 where we were threatened with invasion and occupation by a fascist power, I would be putting my neck on the line.

Far from stopping terror attacks here in the UK, continued involvement in US wars will only put us at greater risk of attack. We've already had Iraqi doctors trying to blow themselves up here, how long before its Afghans? We need to bring the troops home quickly.

Anonymous said...

John...I can't be bothered to argue with you since you have your socilaist blinkers on.. the ones that don't allow you to see all the critiscm that has been published coming from the Forces themselves. I understand why you toe the party have to admit that this Governemnt and more precisely Brown when he was Chancellor have failed to adequately support the forces must stick in your throat.

John Gray said...

Hi Charlie
The fact that an Irish (or British depending on how they classify themselves) singer took part doesn’t justify anything. Neither should the actions of brain washed morons who call themselves doctors influence what our own foreign policy should be. We can’t pull out of Afghanistan until there is a lasting political settlement. I accept that there is no military solution alone. Afghanistan is different from Iraq and there is no way we can allow a return to pre 9/11.

Hi Anon
It’s a little shallow to say that you can’t be bothered to argue with me yet I know that I am wrong? I don’t agree with you. If I did agree with you I would say so and I would have had a go at the Labour Government as I have in the past over agency workers, public housing policy, trade union rights, public pay policy, executive pay, inadequate pension governance, inadequate health & safety policies, drugs policy, living wage, schools support staff pay, allowing high street loan sharks, two tier workforce........ It has not been perfect and things have gone wrong but on your point I simply do not agree with you.

Charlie Marks said...

"Afghanistan is different from Iraq and there is no way we can allow a return to pre 9/11."

I can't see any difference. Both were built on lies.

How many Afghans attacked the US? None. How many have attacked us? None. You know very well that the jihadist groups operating in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan were established by the American and Pakistani intelligence services during the 80's.

At first the war was about getting bin Laden, now it's about fighting the Taliban - or anyone who takes against occupation.

A political solution will come about if the UK withdraws troops and gives financial support to the Afghan govt and aid groups in the country. While foreign troops are present, reconstruction cannot take place - there presence prevents the Afghan government providing security. What the Afghan people need is and end to foreign domination and interference.

Anonymous said...

Charlie. You are asking the wrong question on Afghanistan...try this one instead..." How many terrorists trained in Afghanistan have attacked the US and the UK".
Whether its legitimate or not for us to attack Saddam or the Taliban is beside the point - their attacks on Kuwait, Iran and on 9/11and in London were not legitimate either. What would you have us do? Take Bin Laden to court? What a berk.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon/Charlie
Anon, I am afraid no, it is you that is asking the wrong question. Charlie would probably point out who many terrorists have been training in Pakistan and when will we be launching attacks against Islamabad?

The real issue is that if the West were to run away and leave Afghanistan to fight it out between themselves then it is probable that the Taliban will return and rule much of the country. We would then face the return of openly anti-west terrorist training camps never mind a battery acid curriculum for all girl schools.

Yes there is a chicken or egg issue regarding foreign forces. However, I think that there is no alternative at this moment to fighting the Taliban and that there is more likely to be a political sentiment if the Islamic fascists realise that we are not going away until there is one. I think it is wishful thinking at best to argue that if the troops were to be withdrawn that things would get better.

Charlie Marks said...

Anon: Osama Bin Laden isn't an Afghan. Might have been better if US and Pakistani governments hadn't have funded his like in the 80s, and if in future violent extremists shouldn't be handed large ammounts of money by these governments. Pakistan was encouraged to support the Taliban government, then when policy changed, oppose it. I suspect that US foreign policy will be more nuanced in future.

John: I take it we accept that in Iraq when UK forces ceased to actively engage with militarily against militias and instead focused on reconstruction work, training Iraqi police and military, that violence in Basra decreased and attacks on troops lessened?

Well, a similar strategy will probably be used in Afghanistan once the realisation that counter-insurgencies cannot be won militarily - though asymmetrical, the weight of the occupying power bears heavily on civilians and civilian infrastructure and feeds the insurgency.

So rather than ever defeating so called Islamic fascism - continued fighting will in fact lead to a wider war within the region which will last decades. I don't think we want to see UK forces in Pakistan or India, do we?

It's not a question of cutting off and undermining the Afghan government - something which in the past helped the reactionaries take power - and there's certainly not going to be funding for violent extremists like there was in the 80s when those blowing up schools and hospitals were lauded as heroes by Thatcher and Reagan.

The question is: escalate the war or negotiate for peace? The latter solution, whilst not exactly palatable, will win out, because there is no appetite within the armed forces or the general public for a forty year occupation of Afghanistan...

Anonymous said...

Charlie stick to dinner ladies pay and leave th hard decisions to the grown ups.

John Gray said...

Hi Charlie
Well...I heard an account yesterday about a British fighting patrol out in Basra city on the Today programme so I’m not sure that the 4000 troops are now honorary members of the VSO? But I take your point that there is a change of emphasis which may have been a reason for a reduction in attacks. Personally, I think that this opportunity for British troops to take more of a reconstruction role is due to the increased effectiveness of the Iraqi army.

I think that since Malaya we have realised that Counter-insurgency cannot be defeated solely by military effects alone. So the future for Afghanistan will always be political. I think that you in some way do accept that UN/US forces cannot just simply pull out. There does need to be a political solution and I think that this can only be reached when conservative Afghan elements realise that the Taliban (or Islamic fascists as I prefer to call them) cannot replicate their defeat of the Soviet Army.

Hi Anon
I suspect that Charlie will be laughing his socks off at your “dinner ladies pay” so-called gibe - it just makes you appear a bit of a tosser to be honest.

Anonymous said...


Charlie Marks said...

John: I don't it's likely that the occupying forces will leave any time soon, but that doesn't mean I think there presence is legitimate or beneficial. Thinking beyond the last century and the Soviet Union's role in Afghanistan, Britain has been defeated in Afghanistan before. The longer that the strategy of confrontation rather than negotiation continues, the more people will be recruited to fight in Afghanistan - and I'm not talking about NATO allies, here.

Anon: I have no more influence over dinner ladies pay than foreign policy, alas, and I concede that I am no expert on either. But that you fail to engage with my arguments says a lot about your own mental abilities...

Anonymous said...

Britain has been defeated in afghanistan before? I think there are few parallels with 1842. Who exactly are you suggesting that we are going to negotiate with? Its not Unison or Lambeth council.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Charlie may be a little vague about who he is but I don’t think he has ever claimed to be a member of UNISON or a member of my favourite London Branch. Personally I’m not that sure he is really 190?
Hi Old Man Marks
I think we can both agree that there needs to be a Political settlement of some sorts and the sooner the better.