When The Knife began blogging two years ago, mostly to sound off about things that were bugging me, the fetchingly illustrated second ever post was about how we should get out of Afghanistan. More followed, with evidence. More recently, I was proud to be one of the first to note that David Miliband is actually still as big a dud as his useless brother, ****wit Miliband.
Well today The Knife’s favourite blogger (at the moment anyway), Dan Hodges, neatly combines the two themes, in the light of the latest Afghan deaths and a typically idiotic response from Mili-D, a man who was for his brief tenure, comfortably the worst Foreign Secretary of the last fifty years:
I missed David Miliband’s dramatic Today programme interview this morning, where he slipped off his chair and hit his head. From the sounds of it he must have caught quite a nasty whack too. Severe concussion can do strange things, and provides the only rational explanation for Labour’s former foreign secretary to go on national radio and call for talks between the Government and the Taliban on the day the Ministry of Defence releases the names of the six British serviceman killed by those fundamentalist psychopaths.
I doubt that your average Taliban fighter is a regular listener to John Humphrys. But I would be surprised if one or two of our troops on the ground in Helmand don’t tune in, or at least keep themselves informed of the nature of the debate accompanying their deployment. That said, I suppose it’s questionable whether a British serviceman about to go out on patrol actually gives a rat’s derriere what a politician sitting in a studio in White City thinks or says. But it can’t exactly be helpful to hear your political masters saying they think your government should be sitting down for a cosy chat with the very people who are going to spend the next few hours trying to blow your arms and legs off….
….It seems to me we have two primary obligations. They are, in order, to the British forces in the field, and the people of the country we invaded, legitimately, a decade ago. And at the moment I can’t see how our current policy fulfils our obligations to either of them.
Nor, for the life of me, can I see the benefit of sitting down with the Taliban. If we want them to stop blowing up our boys, then lets not give them any boys to blow up. Let’s get the hell out now.
Similarly, if we want them to honour their obligations under the UN charter of Human Rights, then there’s only one way we’re going to achieve that, and it’s at the point of a gun. The Taliban’s particularly nasty interpretation of Sharia law dates back a couple of millennia; they’re not going to be overturning centuries of belief after a few weeks chatting over tea and scones with the British high commissioner.
David Miliband is wrong. We should be shooting the Taliban. Or we should be leaving them to it. But there is no point in talking to them, because we have absolutely nothing meaningful to say.
Quoted at length because it’s so good. The weird thing is, Dan Hodges is actually a fan of Mili-D.
Bizarrely, the two Milibands are now in some sort of existential Catch-22, where whenever you hear one of them sounding off, complete with tics and grimaces, you wrongly assume the other must be better.
The other Dave, and his chums in government, have been having a bad time recently, quite rightly given their invertebrate tendencies, but if this is the best their opponents can do, they can sleep easy.