Monday, February 26, 2007

Fighting shy

Every so often someone senior in one of the major political parties reminds me what it is I dislike about those parties. Today it's Liam Fox of the Conservative party who The Telegraph quotes as telling the government to either reduce the work load of the armed forces or give them more cash.

As Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, announces a further 1,000 British troops for Afghanistan – hot on the heels of last week's decision to pull 1,600 back from Iraq in May – the Conservatives will accuse ministers of selling the forces dangerously short.

In an Opposition debate on the future of the Navy, Dr Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, will call for an urgent review of what is expected of Britain's forces.

The fact is that successive governments have been "selling the forces dangerously short" - and that includes Dr Fox's Tory party. Why the hell should I believe they would do anything different in the future? After all, they are as committed as Labour to handing more and more control of our armed forces to the EU whose commitment to our armed forces is exposed by their lack of willingness to share the burden in Afghanistan where they hide in bunkers while the British, Americans and Canadians fight the war for them.

Fortunately, Dr Fox explains exactly why it is he is so concerned.

Is he worried about the lives of British soldiers, sailors and airmen?
Not in so many words.

Is he fretting over our inability to defend our nation and national interests?
Not exactly.

Is he concerned for our future ability to take on the forces of evil that threaten our stability?
Not as such.

"We are very worried that we will come to office and be unable to do the job set out for us in the last Strategic Defence Review," he said last night. "Either the Government should go and review the commitments made in the Review or give the forces what they want."

He's worried that the Tories might look silly. Bit late for that, Liam old boy. Anyway, I shouldn't worry too much - it's not as if you're likely to "come to office" any time soon. As The Telegraph points out, the Tories are not planning to make a commitment to more funding for the armed forces themselves. Oh no, sirree ...

The Tories – although fighting shy of making a commitment to increase defence spending themselves – say ministers have left the forces over-committed and under-funded.

No that the Tories would ever do that would they? In the same newspaper we see the reason why it is the world is undergoing conflict and war all over the globe and why a massive conflagration on the scale of WW2 is on the horizon. In an article about a film glorifying the early suicide bombers - the kamikaze - The Telegraph exhorts that "[m]ore Japanese are now rejecting pacifism, arguing that peace must sometimes be secured by military strength."

If there is one thing that history as taught us over the centuries it is that peace can ONLY be secured by military strength.

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