Has anyone, other than me, noticed that we seem to have been at war for a pretty long time now? I’m sure we went to war with Iraq in 2003. I remember being unemployed for most of that year and I was repeatedly told (oddly, by recruitment agents) that the economy would probably not recover until the situation in the Middle East had become more predictable.
Then we seemed to finish with Iraq and went after Afghanistan. Except that, this wasn’t a new war – we were told it was all part of the same war. Don’t tell me the first one was about weapons of mass destruction and the second was about terrorism. I don’t really buy either argument. What I do buy is the idea that we went into two wars, neither of which actually achieved anything.
For a while we seemed to be eyeing up a new enemy. I can’t remember what happened at this point. Was it Iran for a bit? Or did we fancy another go at Iraq? It all becomes a blur for me – mostly because I stopped giving a shit. I stopped trusting politicians around 2005/6 and stopped believing the media around the same time. I realised that what I read in the media was not necessarily the truth, but merely what other people were being told. But I digress slightly. The point I’m trying to make is that every conflict in which we’ve been involved in recent memory has been pretty directionless.
At least, during the second world war, there was a goal. It was possible to see, from day to day, moving battle fronts and a march towards an endgame, upon which the allies agreed. These days, I can’t make head or tail out of what war is about. Is it merely a case of going to a mutually agreed battlefront and firing off a few rounds, simply to consume resources? I wouldn’t be surprised, given that we make such a fuss over one fallen soldier now, compared with the thousands that were dying in the second world war.
I’m not saying the death of a soldier isn’t something to be upset about, just that we seem to make a hell of a fuss when someone, on either side of the front line, actually hits something. Surely, this should be a common occurrence? Surely, with all those trained professionals on the front line, both sides should be making kills all the time. I just find it a bit odd that I can single-handedly hit more clay pigeons in a couple of weekends than the British Army can hit Taliban in 5 years. Or this this not the point?
So are we just firing rounds for the sake of it? Is war even meant to be won? Is this the door on which the government wants our attention so they can justify our decline in living standards and the vast increase in surveillance in recent years? Surely, it’s not right that we can mysteriously afford all this war through one of the biggest recessions in living memory. This isn’t adding up for me.