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Why do we send our young men to a war that is not ours!!

(18 Posts)
Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 22:56:20

Think about the terrorist trouble there was from the Red Brigade and The Bader Meinhoff groups. was it the 1960s or 70sthat has passed. Maybe the extreme Islamists will pass as well. (As hopefully will the Christian fundamentalists.)

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 22:50:29

Ah Ariadne A hint of the wonderful Wilfred Owen! smile

annodomini Thu 17-Jan-13 22:46:08

The saddest thing about the invasion of Afghanistan is that the 9/11 terrorists were mostly Saudis. Afghani Islamism in the form of the Taliban isn't exported except perhaps to Pakistan. But the use of Afghanistan as a training base for Al Qaida has drawn the fire of the US and UK (among others) on that unfortunate country. When 9/11 happened, I was teaching many Afghani refugee students who were aghast at the news and worried about what would happen to their country and its people as a result. Concerns which have proved to be fully justified.

FlicketyB Thu 17-Jan-13 21:54:02

Nanaej, you have put it beautifully and poetically.

Sometimes war in other countries far away does affect us. Many,many Islamic terrorists have been trained in Afghanistan. The man behind the group who attacked the gas plant in Algeria and killed, among others, British citizens, received his initial training in Afghanistan. So have a number of our home grown terrorists.

'How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is, that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here, because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing..' Neville Chamberlain's words in 1938, but because we did not oppose the Nazis then they felt they could with impunity take over Europe and we would do nothing.

What people forget is that when deciding whether to opt for war or peace, the peaceful choice kills people as well. When I was opposed to the war in Iraq I knew that by my opposition I was condemning to death people in Iraq whose lives may have been saved by the war.

nanaej Thu 17-Jan-13 20:19:39

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

by Martin Niemoeller Well known but still potent & many other 'groups' could be added to this poem too..there are other translations.

I am strongly opposed to going to war for expediency ( to keep an oil route open) but do think real injustices / genocides / oppression needs strong challenge by allied forces ( I don't mean as per WW2).

If all other diplomatic/negotiated opportunities have been explored & fail to change/ improve a situation then war may sometimes be the only solution. Sadly and tragically many young men, as well as women, suffer and die, and if they must be sent to fight let it at least be for a just and successful cause

Ariadne Thu 17-Jan-13 20:10:32

Your last two sentences say it all, anno and I would join you in recommending Pat Barker!

"That old lie..."

annodomini Thu 17-Jan-13 20:03:23

This thread led me back to the bitter poetry of Siegfried Sassoon, who survived World War I physically but not mentally. Read Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy. War is never glorious except to those who don't have to be directly involved. Margaret Thatcher was losing popularity before the Falklands campaign, but on the back of it she won the 1983 general election. Not glorious but is it ever justified? The motives for going to war in 1939 had nothing whatever to do with 'the final solution'; everything to do with Hitler's expansionist aims. He had to be prevented from crossing the Channel. I think we would probably all acknowledge this.
As it happened, the defeat of Hitler was also a defeat for Nazism, although its spirit lingers on in the likes of the Greek Golden Dawn. Will we ever crack Islamism (not the same as Islam) by taking up arms? An ideology is not easily defeated by force. Education is the only hope.
Sorry, I am wittering.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Jan-13 19:32:10

Cheelu I was about to comment on this but reading the above posts every one else has already said it for me on this subject!

glammanana Thu 17-Jan-13 18:28:34

cheerlu this is something very close to my heart as everyone know's,both my boys have done tours of Irag & Afgan and other Countries where there has been conflict,we are a family who are blessed with the fact that our boys came back to us and I am truely thankful,but I cannot stop my boys doing what they wanted to do in life it was their choice and I am very proud of them for what they did.So many did not come home and I have the utmost respect for their families who lost their loved ones three of whom I knew personally as they had stayed with us over the years.All military make the decision when they join up and put their lives at risk the same as all our Emergency Services do in normal everyday life.

j07 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:23:02

I don't think it's fair to blame it on our politicians. There are some evil people out there. We need a safe world for the future.

Ariadne Thu 17-Jan-13 18:21:12

absent It is all down to St Augustine! I never could understand the twisted thinking surrounding the concept of the "just war".

We must not be maudlin over these young people who die unnecessarily; we need to fight the powers that send them. "Dulce et decorum" eh?

j07 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:20:49

Sorry Ariadne. You have already used that quote! (great minds smile)

j07 Thu 17-Jan-13 18:19:27

Because wherever there are evil men in the world like this one they must be fought against.

No man is an island.........................

Ariadne Thu 17-Jan-13 18:18:35

I meant to include Afghanistan in the "spurious conflicts" comment!

Ariadne Thu 17-Jan-13 18:17:38

First, let me say I cannot approve of the spurious reasons used by our governments (both lots) for joining in recent conflicts, such as that in Iraq, where they have ridden on the tails of the US. THAT is indeed a matter for distress.

However - "No man is an island". These countries may not be what you call "ours" (we haven't got any anyway) but the knock on effect of trouble say, in the East could be very serious for the Western world, of which we are a part.

There is no conscription in this country; soldiers know what they have signed up for, and carry on and do it. When the rationale for joining a conflict is faulty, they still carry on because they have promised to do so. THAT is a matter for great distress, and they and their families deserve our respect, sympathy and anger on their and their families' behalf.

We felt this sort of despair serving in Northern Ireland during the height of the troubles.

absent Thu 17-Jan-13 18:14:57

Old men have always sent young men to die. However, ever since the Falklands conflict – it was never, apparently, a war – in 1982, our Prime Ministers rather relish the idea of a "good war". Iraq – over in a few days and a loathsome dictator deposed – was Tony Blair's plan. Cameron had a go with Libya and I think we should watch that Mali doesn't escalate. As for Afghanistan – longer than World War I and World War II put together – and has it achieved anything? (Rhetorical question.)

War is never the solution to other countries' problems or to those of our own country. The concept of a just war is a complete joke and no old men should send young men to die ever again – but, of course, they will again and again and again and …

Ylil Thu 17-Jan-13 18:08:20

Well they are all volunteers, not conscripts, so I guess when they sign up they know there is a possibility of going to war.

Having said that, I do feel strongly we are wasting their lives in Afghanistan because I think whether we leave now or in a year, nothing will have been achieved. The Islamist activity seems to be more focused in Africa.

cheelu Thu 17-Jan-13 17:59:55

Is it right that innocent young men ie British soldiers are sent to fight a war in other countries that have nothing to do with the UK. Fighting other countries battles and loosing their young lives in the process.

Government decide they want to get involved in other countries arguments and then send these young men to do the fighting--I wonder if they would make the same decision if it meant they themselves would be sent to the front line and actually be risking their own lives.

I feel very strongly about this, maybe I am not wording it too well but bottom line is why are we loosing our young men to fight a fight that is not ours!!!!!!!!