Friday, July 17, 2009

The Pasadena Defence

“Would you rather fight them here or in Pasadena?” Maybe we could beat them in Pasadena.
Michael Herr

Mr Brown held talks yesterday with President Obama and Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of the Defence Staff, about the latest developments. He said: "We cannot allow southern Afghanistan and the border areas to remain lawless places sheltering terrorism and the drugs trade."

He added: "There is a chain of terror running from the mountains and plains of southern Afghanistan and Pakistan to the towns and streets of Britain. People in Britain today are safer because of the courageous sacrifice of British soldiers"

The feared invasion of Pasadena by victorious Vietnamese communist hordes has not come to pass. And yet Gordon Brown feebly tried to resurrect it in his tortured (let's bring that word into daylight) explanation of the British involvement in Afghanistan.

We’re fighting in Afghanistan to protect ourselves in London. Then again, the Brits were already in Afghanistan for the July 7, 2005, tube bombings, so the only coherent explanation then would be that either the tube bombings would have been much worse if the British had not been in Afghanistan, and/or not enough British troops were in Afghanistan at the time to prevent them.

This kind of thinking dies hard, and is impervious to contrary evidence. Take the insane statement in the Globe and Mail by Lord Robertson of Whatever:

“Every member state in NATO — and there were 19 of them at that time — agreed that we had to do it, but that it was a big and challenging operation. The choice before us, and every democratic state, was simple and stark: either we go to Afghanistan, or Afghanistan comes to us.”
Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, The Globe and Mail, December 11, 2007

The logical possibilities that Afghanistan might come to us because we went to Afghanistan, or that Pakistan might now come to us, or indeed Saudi Arabia might come to us, as it already has come to New York, seem to be unspeakable and unthinkable. Given what happened on 9/11, an invasion and occupation of Saudi Arabia would seem to be in the cards, using the same logic.

The contrary argument seems to get very little air time, and the British opposition, which has a job to do, seems more obsessed with the quality and quantity of British equipment than interested in asking hard questions, and gives off vibrations of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The Pasadena Defence, like the Nuremberg Defence, isn't.