Banging the war drum

Sir Richard Dammit[1], head of the British Army, is reported as wanting some kind of celebration of the return of British troops from invading Johnny Foreigner in the latest armaments industry trade shows.

Let’s see now. Powerful country wages war of aggression in foreign lands. After huge losses to the victims of invasion, they are eventually beaten off and return home. What happens?

A historical parallel in Europe and within living memory would be German troops returning home in 1945. OK, it’s not an exact equivalent: it only becomes that if a victim proves stronger than us and we get bombed into the ground at home, too. So just a moral equivalent. Were the Wehrmacht celebrated? I doubt it. So why the **** should we expect to celebrate today’s moral equivalents?

Right. So that’ll be banging the war drums for the next arms show, which various folks are speculating might be in Iran. And it’s sufficiently out of character[2] with utterings previously reported from Sir Richard as to lead me to suspect he may have been .. ahem .. encouraged to speak on the subject by someone with an Agenda.

[1] Well, that’s how his name always sounds on the wireless, and it appeals to my inner schoolboy.

[2] OK, that’s a very tenuous speculation: I have no knowledge of his character on which to base it.

Posted on September 22, 2007, in uk, war. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I call Godwin’s Law.

  2. I missed Sir Richard’s latest contribution to our understanding of the Great British War Machine – it must have been while I was in transit from Norway back to glorious Devon!

    As far as a parallel on the return/retreat scenario is concerned, I would suggest that the Soviet departure from Afghanistan in 1989 might be closer to the mark. Here we saw an advanced military power beaten off by tough, motivated irregulars who enjoyed the support of elements of the local population (with varying degrees of coercion and enthusiasm) as well as receiving funding and kit from some shady foreign powers. I seem to recall that the Russian conscripts who were caught up in this sorry affair were largely ignored by their government and people on return.

    But perhaps you’re keeping that comparison back for the next great retreat, where it may be even more appropriate!

  3. John – an important difference there is the cold war: an equally-matched superpower behind the scenes. Same as in Vietnam. Agreed, it might be a closer parallel in some ways, but neither that war nor Vietnam was fought on quite such a monstrous pack of lies as WW2 and Iraq.

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