Straight Talking with Ian Mean

How many more of our brave young soldiers are going to have to die in Afghanistan?

Posted in Uncategorized by ianmean on June 10, 2010

Today’s front pages of the national press are filled with stories of gloom on public sector job losses and the possible effect on our pensions of the BP oil spill crisis. All quite selfish stories—how will we be affected by them?

Quite natural, of course. but where are the stories of our brave young men dying in Afghanistan? Laying down their lives so that the threat of terrorism here can at least be controlled.

I feel very strongly that we tend to undervalue the enormous sacrifice our soldiers make on our behalf, and we need constantly reminding of the fact.

A timely reminder for me came last night on the late BBC TV news when we were told of the death on Tuesday in Afghanistan of Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler who was 32 years old and came from Nailsworth.

And today we had tributes to this young man which were quite extraordinary in their praise for his bravery.

“Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler was in my eyes the perfect soldier”, said Captain Johnny Mercer of his regiment-the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. “He was a selfless man who would just as readily volunteer to empty the bins as go out on a patrol to disrupt the insurgents and protect the people as on the day he was killed. He was the man that men aspire to be”.

What an amazing tribute to a young man who has paid the ultimate sacrifice.

And likewise from his parents, Mike and Ann and brother, Steve who said: ”A consumate soldier, a skier, a luger, an athlete and a lover of life. He will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends”.

Need I say more.

The death toll since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 now stands at 294.

We simply cannot continue to see our young, brave men like Mark lay down their lives without a clear government strategy for getting out of Afghanistan. This is an unwinnable war and the sacrifice of young men like Mark Chandler must not be allowed to go on indefinitely.

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3 Responses

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  1. Shaun Shute said, on June 10, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    This is a war we cannot afford to lose. This is an unloseable war rather than an unwinnable war. What Mr Mean is saying is that we should surrender. God help us if Cameron thinks he can take the role of Commander in Chief of the forces. He has indicated today that he will decide the number of troops needed in Afganistan not the Generals at the front.

  2. Joe K said, on June 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Which is exactly what Tony Blair thought he could do, disastrously, when he failed to commit enough troops initially because of how it would look politically. That’s what happens when you don’t act for the right reasons.

  3. Eddie said, on June 11, 2010 at 8:40 am

    There is no such thing as an unloseable war Shaun. Look at the past. Every single attempt to do anything in Afganistan has been a failure. I see no difference this time.


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