Go, go, go like a soldier 164

In an interesting article at Canada Free Press, Philip V. Brennan not only defends (Chairman of the RNC ) Michael Steele’s view of the impossibility of US victory in the Afghanistan war, but gives a fascinating account of how the British found it impossible to win a war there in the 19th century.

Speaking of the war in Afghanistan and President Obama’s involvement in that struggle Steele let loose with this warning about U.S. Involvement in that strange and hostile region. (I won’t call Afghanistan a country because this collection of fiercely independent tribal areas is anything but what qualifies as a nation state.)

[Steele observed] that if Obama is “such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that’s the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? … Everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that.”

Wildly inaccurate, screeched both G.O.P. and Democrat Party critics … [one of whom] went on to cite the British experience in 1842 when, [the Democrat critic] insisted, the UK had scored a success. Either the Democratic strategist is woefully ignorant of what happened to the Brits in that year or he was flat out lying. He should try to tell that whopper to the descendants of the 16,000 British and Indian [retreating] troops who were cut to pieces by Afghani tribesmen at the beginning of 1842.

“A fearful slaughter ensued…  Without food, mangled and cut to pieces, each one caring only for himself, all subordination had fled; and the soldiers of the forty-fourth English regiment are reported to have knocked down their officers with the butts of their muskets. … More than 16,000 people had set out on the retreat from Kabul, and in the end only one man, Dr. William Brydon, a British Army surgeon … made it alive to Jalalabad. …  It was believed the Afghans let him live so he could tell the grisly story.”

If that’s a success story I’d hate to read one dealing with failure.

He goes on to quote this verse by Rudyard Kipling:

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains

And the women come out to cut up what remains

Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier

Go, go, go like a soldier …”

We sure hope no wounded US or NATO soldier will be driven to suicide by the wild Afghan tribes.

But we agree emphatically that victory over them is impossible, and the war should be stopped now.