The Curmudgeon


Thursday, July 09, 2009

It's How You Play the Game

The seventh significant demise in Afghanistan this week had ambitions to compete in the 2012 Olympics, a fact which has prompted Britain's leading liberal newspaper to indulge in one of its all-too-frequent bouts of reality soap opera. Trooper Christopher Whiteside was "a talented swordsman who had hoped to begin training for a possible place in the British fencing team on his return from Afghanistan", rather than in the security forces who will no doubt be making the Olympic village and its unfortunate environs bomb-proof, gun-proof, nuke-proof, bioweapon-proof and protest-proof by mugging everyone in the vicinity who isn't voluntarily carrying an ID card. Whiteside had been taking part in Operation Panchai Palang ("panther's claw"), a name presumably designed to impress any remaining Decent Afghanis with the awesome nobility of our intentions. As long as it is strictly necessary to be collaterally detrimented in a military operation named after a B-movie native expendable, I suppose it may be marginally less annoying if the detrimentors are courteous enough to translate.

The Secretary for War and the Colonies expressed his deep sense of personal loss at the death of Trooper Whiteside, whom he appears to have known rather well: "He was a courageous soldier who fought back from injury to rejoin the army, and it is clear his fitness, determination and sense of humour were hugely admired by both his comrades and his commanders," he said. "Their thoughts, and mine, are with his grieving family at this difficult time." The other six soldiers killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of the month include a lieutenant-colonel and five others whose lack of rank or Olympic ambition renders them unworthy of any but the most cursory attention.


  • At 7:09 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thats my son your talking about have a bit of respect

  • At 7:35 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    The disrespect in this post is directed at the newspaper article for its assumption that the death of a sportsman outweighs the deaths of other soldiers (a rather disrespectful idea in itself), and at the posturing of Bob Ainsworth.


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