Rookie (1950 / Lahore, Pakistan)

July 2009 - Poem by NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD

July 2009 has been the worst month for British Casualties in Afghanistan
so far, scream the UK newspapers

You might as well face it
rethink your remit.

This war is unwinnable
And, the reason for that is very simple
You wouldn’t accept Foreign boots on
your own soil, would you?

You’re dealing with the very proud Afghans
They happen to
have some unwelcome members
of Al-qaeda and the Taliban amongst them.
But, you’re essentially in their Country. Re-
member that! Why should they tolerate one
set of Foreigner over the other? They’ve known
no peace through the Centuries and definitely
none since the Soviet invasion of the 1980s.

Then you entered the scene along with the
Americans in 2001 with no clear cut vision
co-ordination or direction. Later, NATO joined
in - and, you hoped it would relieve you of
some of your self-imposed burden.
It didn’t!

And, don’t expect any loyalty from the Afghanis -
especially if their people are bombed and maimed
indiscriminately all in the name of democracy, freedom
and security
Whose security, anyway?
Not theirs!

And, without loyalty in a hostile Country what hope have
you of achieving anything of any meaning?

The lessons of history haven’t been learnt
Afghanistan has always been made up of
disparate groups and obscure tribal systems.
No power-no matter how Mighty-has ever
been able to dominate them. They are

Instead of helping rebuild Afghanistans infrastructure
Revitalize it’s economy
Give its people job security
or, at least the hope of a better future
the West invades it
and tries to impose democracy
on a Country that has far greater needs

After the failures of the Victorian era
why charge into Afghanistan, again?
To prevent terrorism spreading from that region
on to the streets of Britain?
To promote Human Rights?
Destroy heroin?
Protect women?
Educate girls?
The goal posts keep changing

Whatever the rationale
Its been a dismal failure
You’re in one hell of a quagmire
The govt. in Kabul is arrogant and corrupt
Yet you support it!
And, which ‘reasonable’ Taliban are you hoping to talk to?
These half-baked ideas thought out by UK’s Foreign Office
just won’t work
The MOD can sit safely tucked up behind its desk
and talk till its blue in the face
...All, to no avail
Meanwhile, mostly innocent Afghan civilians
and young British men will meet their end

The MOD must accept that no foreigner can impose its values on
another Country.
It should think up a face-saving exit strategy


Ofcourse, as expected no prestigious Western media outlet published it
All of them are too ashamed to admit that their Govts. indecisive and shortsighted policies are doomed to failure

Yet, it can’t be denied that
Between July and November there’s been a cataclysmic shift in the UK Govt’s agenda. No more, ridiculous gung-ho boasts, like: ‘We’ll be in Afghanistan for the long haul, ’ or, ‘We’ll stay there for thirty - maybe, forty years. We won’t cut and run. No, Sir. Not, until the job is well and truly done.’ Instead the desperate US and its allies are talking openly about exit strategies. The new UK army 'Field Manual' goes even further. It advises its officers to bribe the Taliban insurgents with bags of gold...especially those men with blood on their hands, and get them on ‘our’ side! (No kidding!)
America, Britain and NATO are prepared to try anything!
At the same time, they’ll recruit and train an Afghan Army to take care of its own Country while a hotchpotch and illogical reason is worked out for the West to insist
that it has won the war decisively
and, therefore can now go home safely

Comments about July 2009 by NAYYAR SHABBIR AHMAD

  • Prince Obed de la Cruz (12/9/2009 6:14:00 AM)

    quite long but well narrated! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Poem Edited: Thursday, March 25, 2010

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