So here we are at Christmas 2009. The harsh reality show has been underway since 2001 so what is the score as we look towards a new year? Well obviously in first position comes the USA with a total of 938, next the United Kingdom with 243, followed by Canada with 134. It has been like a snowball rolling down a hill. With each passing year the numbers increase exponentially.
Of course, I am referring to the horror that is Afghanistan. Those numbers are the death toll - mostly young men with their lives ahead of them. As more money, personnel and resources are pumped in, the casualty figure grows. But nobody is telling us about the killing of "insurgents" or those who are classified as "Taliban" fighters. We ought to know but is anyone counting and why is Taliban strength growing instead of weakening?
Ask the man or woman in the street why we are in Afghanistan and they will be hard-pressed to answer. It's something about preventing terrorism - but is this the way to go about it? And what guarantee have we got that all this investment, all this killing, all this hurt will ever achieve the desired aim. Talking, hands of friendship, agreement, mutual understanding - surely that should be the way ahead. Jaw jaw, not war war.
I have said it before and I'll say it again - BRING OUR BROTHERS HOME! More of us should be saying it. How many more coffins and body bags before Christmas 2010? Have we learnt nothing?
STOP PRESS Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (23) suffered third degree burns when he attempted to blow up a Christmas Day Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Oh dear! Personally, I would be all for executing this pathetic excuse for a human being after pouring vinegar over his burns. Endangering the lives of a plane load of innocent civilian passengers is both heinous and cowardly. But what has this got to do with Afghanistan? Should we send troops in to Nigeria or perhaps London where the evil creature was an engineering student? It will be interesting to see, as the days pass by, whether or not he had ever been to Afghanistan. Even if he had been there, his thwarted attempt at mass murder proves that air terrorism is an international phenomenon which knows no borders. Killing the "Taliban" and innocent Afghan citizens could surely never have stopped Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.