20 August 2022


While away from home, I reread General Sir Harry Flashman's account of the doings in Afghanistan in 1842 ... moved by the recollection that this very year is the bicentennary of the birth of that doughty and intrepid old warrior of the Empire.

There was, in one of my Devon churches, a memorial tablet to a young officer, a relative of the squire, who died in the terrible events of that catastrophe. My eye was often drawn to it ... and I still recollect how incapable imperialists are of learning lessons. The Brits learned nothing from the Afghan war of 1842 ... nor, subsequently, did the Russkies from their ill-considered intrusions ... nor, recently, the Yankies. And still we pontificate and interfere. Was it a couple of decades ago when that fool Blair, he of the Weapons of Mass Destruction, kept on about Women's Rights there ... and our up-to-date fools still do. As if the educational affairs of a far off country are any business of ours. And I gather we are sitting on some Afghan money, to which we solemnly and self-righteously proclaim that we won't give them access until they prove that they are Good Little Boys on our terms.

The pomposity, the mind-shattering arrogance, I find quite incomprehensible. 

Some 450 of our young people died in the last Afghan War ... I bet the American numbers were even higher.

And, as far as Education is concerned, what is so marvellous about our educational system?

There were a couple of decades after WW2 when any English girl (or boy) capable of deriving benefit could receive, free of charge if their parents were fairly unmonied, a superb education in Latin and Greek language and literature.

Not now.


Albertus said...

It seems to me thst, for the most parr, each country and culture should be allowed to develop at its own pace. As for uor"western" educational model, it has largely collapsed. In Holland, where i live, the educational system was "democratised" in the 1980's, then dechristianised, declassisised, and finally allowed to become either islamised or liberal-neo- marxistised. There is such a huge shortage of qualified teachers that the State is now contemplating reducing the school week to for days a week. 60 percent of the teachers are part-time: to keep the pupils busy, classes are given by outsiders in "making art from trash", and other non-sense. Chaos reigns. And we think that we have the right to force otherfaraway lands to accept our educational system and collapsed way of life?


Profoundly stupid in one respect: the US had every need to be in Afghanistan to ensure as much as possible any further attacks on its homeland at the hands of terrorists who have shown themselves highly competent at their wicked trade. The US never sought to rule it; though commendably it did its best to help women's wretched lot in a society alas dedicated to fettering and treating them in the most odious ways. Thus in your purplish prose you were naive and ill-advised.

Stick to matters ecclesiastical where your expertise and eloquence are appreciated even if one might sometimes share a different slant on a specific topic. But avoid foreign policy forays about which you're of course free to have views but not to inflict them on folk who admire your real brief.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Magister Johannes,

The savages - not the barbarians, who were tractable - have triumphed (temporarily).

There must be a supernatural intervention.


vetusta ecclesia said...

Harold Macmillan said he had only two political principles:

1 Never invade Afghanistan
2 Never mess with the Catholic Church

Deimater said...

What laughable arrogance, what condescending poppycock from The Contrarian. On his own blog, Father Hunwicke is perfectly entitled to 'inflict' whatever view he wishes on anyone who choses to read it. Anyone who doesn't like it can bloody well bugger off and write his own blog.

armyarty said...

Oh,Contrarian-how wrong you are!

The United States never had any reason to send in an invading army into Afghanistan. We had the ability to send in small military units to grab Bin Ladin. We could have- but we did not.

We intentionally let Bin Laden get away, exactly so that we could engage in nation building in Afghanistan. It was the pet project of Laura Bush.

We fought a needless and expensive war that has only strengthened our enemies,and left us worse off than before.

We refused to allow the King of Afghanistan to return there to convene the Loga Gira, which was what everyone in that country considered legitimate. Why- because the Bush family are evil.

I played a key role in the military response to the terrorist attacks on 9-11. I watched in utter dismay as the neo-cons and defense contractors, along with their allies in both major political parties, created a false narrative for war in Iraq and Afghanistan, all the while being in frequent, often daily contact with personnel of the Department of the Army Secretariat, The Army Staff, the NGB, and military leadership at every echelon.

The war was, as Major General Butler had said in a similar connection- a Racket.

A racket, I might add, that left several of my friends dead, and marked the end of American military predominance.

You might think that you can tell Fr. to be quiet, and tell his beads, but you can't do it to me. I know all about it.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Extreme pro-US naivety. If you believe that, you'll believe anything. It sounds like you need to read some John Rao.


Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

My reply of above was in response to The Contrarian.


Michael Ortiz said...

Quick quiz: How many regime-changes does Russia have in the last 25 years?

Answer: ZERO.

How many regime-changes does the USA have in the last 25 years?

Answer: Four, if you count the coup in 2014 in Kiev. Five, if count the Serbs in the 1990s.

As John Bolton recently said, it's a lot of work pulling off a coup.

Unfortunately, you get zero points for trying!

Vidi_Aquam said...

Hear, hear, Father! Thank you, Armyarty.

Farmer's boy said...

Michael Ortiz, Russian attempts or successes in implementing regime change or supporting illiberal regimes which have lost their mandate: Libya, Syria, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, Moldova, Chechnya. That's 8 off the top of my head. Plus operations of the Wagner group in Africa. In every instance typified by complete indifference to human suffering or even the accepted rules of conflict.

coradcorloquitur said...

Anyone justifying the foolhardy, even criminal "interventions" of the USA in the Middle East must be either culpably uninformed or in moral agreement with the evil-doers who are the Bush family, John Bolton, and Dick Cheney---to name the principal criminals. As Catholics, we should also be aware of the monstrous actions against civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki (cities with the larger Catholic populations in Japan) as well as the instigation of the US government against the courageous Mexican Cristeros in their fight against the Masons, many of them true martyrs for the Faith. All of this has the whiff of Masonic intrigue and secular ambitions, undeniable potent forces in the life of the USA. I say all this with sorrow, as the US is also in many ways a good, generous nation, and as an American who loves his country. But truth is infinitely more important than patriotism---for, after all, the One we call Master said He was "the Way, the Life, and the Truth."

John the Mad said...

The war in Afghanistan also cost the lives of 128 Canadian Forces members. Father, as a Canadian Forces veteran I think it just fine for you to opine on these matters. The Contrarian certainly demonstrates ample fidelity to his nom de guerre (as I suspect do I mine, without, I pray, the smarmy arrogance). God bless you.