Along the Pentland Road, 25 May 2017

Friday, 9 October 2009

Friday 9 October

An overcast day, with occasional rain since midday, accompanied by strong winds. These could strengthen to galeforce, according to the forecast.

Between 11 and 12 this morning, I was watching the service in St Paul's Cathedral, London, to commemorate the 179 British service personnel who died in the war in Iraq. The service marked the end of the British involvement in that conflict. Although I missed part of the address by the Archbishop of Canterbury, I'll go so far as to say that I probably agree with what he had to say on the matter.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is always easy to say what went wrong and how it could have been handled better. The war was commenced on the orders of politicians, and executed to the best of their abilities by the armed forces. The most positive outcome was the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, within a few weeks. The subsequent mayhem did show up the Achilles heel of going in guns blazing without a thought for the future. This was very much a Bush war, with George W. finishing off the job his daddy never finished in 1991. It is a commendation for the soldiers who were ordered in to do this dirty work that they did so professionally. It is a good thing that the home front rallied round to support. The war in Iraq was based on a faulty premise, namely the presence of weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be a weapon of mass delusion. But this is all hindsight. The deed was done, a regime change was effected. When will we see a similar ceremony for the boys, home from Afghanistan, or more to the point, not coming home? I don't want to think about that. It might not be in the lifetime of the current British monarch.

I have a lot more time for George W. Bush's successor, Barack H. Obama. But I did not believe my ears this morning when I learned that he had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What for?? What substantive achievement has Obama chalked up, other than going round talking to people and talking to people and talking to people. For goodness sakes, there won't be a donkey left with its hind legs on where that man has been and gone. I think it is too early - and I'm not the only one with that opinion.

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