11 November 2011


This is Matthew Thornton, aged twenty eight, of the 4th Yorkshire Battalion. He was from Barnsley and died two days ago in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Blown to bits by an IED. He was the 385th British soldier to die there during the present military adventure that has also seen the premature deaths of 1648 young Americans. Can anybody tell me why?

On the eleventh day of the eleventh month we remember them all. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. But how many more young men must die before the so-called "leaders" on both sides realise that the route to peace in Afghanistan is not via the IED or the bullet but through difficult discussion, hard won understanding and painful compromise? Haven't we learnt anything?


  1. Sadly Yorkshire Pudding, the route to peace in Afghanistan or anywhere else will not be won “through difficult discussion, hard won understanding or painful comprise” for mankind is not mature enough to follow this route nor probably will be for centuries to come.

    We are what we are, like it or not, animals of passion, driven by desire, greed and what ever base instincts allow inhumanity towards our fellow man.

    Sad but true and we haven’t learnt anything!

    Anna :o]

  2. I totally agree, YP. In the case of Afghanistan, history is a strong indicator that attempts to gain any kind of control there is a non-starter. Meanwhile, as say, so many young people lose their lives needlessly to satisfy the vanity and self-serving of politicians.

  3. A sad waste - and as you say, for what? Karzai and his warlord cronies? Also forgotten on Remebrance Day are the innocent civilian casualties of war. How many Afghan women and children have been killed and maimed in 'unfortunate accidents' or as 'collateral damage' from drone attacks?

  4. Even if the powers-that-be came to a solution through talking, there will always be a minority who won't feel bound by that agreement. Sadly.

    Of course, no-one here NEEDS to join the army (navy, RAF etc). There are other ways to support your fellow humans (police, fire, ambulance service, HM Coastguard, RNLI etc...)

  5. The answer to your question is, no.

    Or, maybe some have learnt ... connected or not, I've read this week that Greece bought 5,000 million Euros-worth of arms from France and Germany last year. Food for thought.

  6. Even if we (you and I and others of our ilk) have learned something, the mainstream media are too busy publicizing the really important news like Kim Kardashian's expensive wedding, 72-day marriage, and quick divorce, Lady GaGa's latest fashion horror, Lindsay Lohan's descent into nearly perpetual jailbird status and the like to bother with a little thing like 2000 dead U.S. and U.K. soldiers half a world away and of little interest to their readers.

    You touched a nerve.

  7. People like Dick Chaney count on the fact that most of us learn nothing and devise ways for companies like Halliburton to profit from that. It's not even just our military that's been decimated, it's our National Guard. They've been redeployed (keep sendin' 'em back until they're dead or maimed or quit) several times. We need those people at home for the next natural calamity that hits.

    I want to be able to directly vote on all major issues. Have them posted and I can "like" or "unlike". I want an itemized tax bill where I can apportion my money to the programs I want to support, not just send it to the idiots to redistribute to their buddies.

    I want to know why everyone I know personally seems so smart, but collectively we are so f---ing stupid that we've gotten ourselves in a real pickle.


  8. Dick ChEney. Emphasis on Dick.

  9. HYPERCRITICAL After the guns and the bombs and the blood, discussion always happens anyway so why can't they just miss out the first phase?
    JENNY Politicians make wars but don't fight them.
    MICHAEL You're right. The headline figures never do seem to focus on civilians or indeed the Taliban casualties.
    MORNING AJ But in the end there has to be talking. It always comes down to that.
    BRIAN 5,000 million euros worth of arms? Perhaps to suppress anticipated internal uprisings and disorder or maybe their foresight was so blurred they just couldn't see what lay ahead.
    RHYMES WITH... The cult of the media personality has become a new religion, deliberately constructed to divert our thinking from the things that matter.
    JAN We dreamers and cynics need to stick together, in the full awareness that our simplest and most logical hopes for the future will, in the main, not be realised. Dick indeed!


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

Most Visits