Posted on Dec 17, 2011 by


When people tell you they love history, test them. Ask the question: How long has Britain been at war in Afghanistan?  If you’re feeling kind, remind them of what Sherlock Holmes said to Dr Watson; ‘You have been in Afghanistan’….Indeed he had. Furthermore, he was in the Second Afghan war. When my other half asked Del, a work colleague, the question he was impressed to find he had no need to mention Holmes. Oooohh, said Del, since the 1800s.  Spot on. In 1839 when Dost Mohammed, ruler of Kabul, started cosey-ing up to Russia we decided, with the help of 8000 troops, to replace him with Shah Shuja. Sorted? No. Dost’s supporters slaughtered officers and their families. When we pulled out 6 Jan 1842, the Afghans promised to provide food. By the 13th, with Afghans laughing like drains, having no intention of keeping their word (why should they, we invaded their country), 26,000 of us had died of starvation or hyperthermia.  In 1878 the Afghans fell in love with Russia. Again. We went in. Again. Our troops were slaughtered. Again. Today, every day a news bulletin is put out that a serviceman in Afghanistan has died. Quel surprise. Like the man said; Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

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