Afghanistan: against armchair appeasers and in defence of Dr Woo

Cracking bit in the Independent today,

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war is worse... A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

I thought of this quotation from John Stuart Mill this week, on hearing of the death of Dr Karen Woo and her colleagues.....their murders have acted as a grisly litmus test for so many sentient souls back here at home.

It's common for people who are in favour of our armed forces surrendering to the Taliban – for that is what pulling out would be – to accuse those of us who believe that carrying on fighting is the right thing to do of being "armchair warriors"....

...There's something really creepy and morally dubious about people who do well-paid, useless, selfish jobs (ie, journalism) demanding that brave people who have often given up well-paid, useless, selfish jobs (or in the case of Dr Woo, a useful, well-paid one with BUPA) in order to protect others should simply throw in the towel and concentrate on looking after Number One, like the rest of us.

People who volunteer to go into war zones, be it as fighters or as doctors, are not misguided and ignorant – they are simply far braver and more selfless than the rest of us. I can look at this difference, this lacking in my own character, and it makes me feel a simple, uncomplicated admiration for those who can do it. But other people – who once thought of themselves as idealists, perhaps, but who now have been castrated by comfort and consumption – feel (quite understandably) worthless when they look at the likes of Dr Woo, or at our soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they react by lashing out.

They spout on about the brotherhood of man 'til the holy cows come home, but actually they are simply cowards who would never dream of risking their own necks for anyone else's freedom. After all, they're not "our" wars out there in Iraq and Afghanistan, are they? As with Mr Chamberlain on Czechoslovakia, they're "far away countries of which we know nothing".

Dr Woo, her dead comrades, the soldiers – "meaningless" deaths are the last thing they die. They die while seeking to protect and defend people other than themselves and their loved ones. That's about as meaningful as it gets. Standing for nothing, standing up for nothing, giving in to anything for a quiet life – it is the armchair appeasers among us whose deaths will be truly, deeply meaningless.
In full

Julie Burchill: I'll be an armchair warrior any time, rather than an armchair appeaser - Julie Burchill, Columnists - The Independent
Nice, how will the defeatist liberals spout back against that. It would have been funnier if she stuck it in the Daily Heil.
I don't think I have ever before found myself in agreement with La Burchill, but I have to say that she is absolutely spot on in that article. The slow drip-drip of defeatism being fed into the bloodstream of the British public by a media that has switched from portraying service personnel as kill-crazy thugs to innocent 'boys' who need to be 'brought home' (so they can be ignored) will in time, I feel, be shown to be the principal reason that PM Cameron seems to be in a foot race with Obama as to who can declare defeat quicker in Aghanistan. Yes, the war is being conducted, manned, equipped, and funded in an arseways manner, but cutting and running is not the answer.
Someone posted the link last week but it's worth repeating

I expect MsBurchill to become " surplas to requirement " at the paper any day now

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