Thursday, September 14, 2006

Deeper into Afghan dust 

Why is Poland so keen to send 900 extra troops to Afghanistan? Well, having Radek Sikorski as Minister of National Defence might be part of the explanation. Sikorski was undercover in Afghanistan with one or other of the western-backed guerrilla groups for two years during the anti-Soviet wars, as a journalist his official story says. He has played up on this background heavily in his adventures in Polish politics and has written many articles for neocon publications on the success (his words) of the US-Led invasion of 2001. A man therefore with something of an investment in a certain version of the world’s history, and with a personal stake in the idea of having a job to finish.

For our part I think we UK LibDems need to rethink our official position on the continuing Afghan adventure. In the leadership election the candidates all (I think) got us onto the ‘ finish the job’ line and therefore (notably unlike Iraq) we are tarred with the conventional government wisdom. But the original job was irredeemably compromised by the Iraq detour. And we still have not shown that we grasp the almighty complications of the Pakistan Factor in all this – something that could be important as we gain more support from British Moslems originating from that part of the world.. Can we debate this somewhere with light rather than heat as the consequence?

Inner West makes a good start at a discussion..

By the way, I had thoughts on Sikorski in an earlier posting, which included thoughts on Dave ‘Flipflop’ Cameron’s meanderings on foreign contacts for the Tories.

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