As if Harry's follies could conceal the crimes of british capital!

4 March 2008

Who cares about the eccentricities of a member of a family which, in addition to being one of Britain's richest, manages to live at our expense? Instead of partying in mock Nazi uniform, Mr Harry has chosen to taste life on the Afghan frontline - although not without a Gurkha unit to protect his "precious" person! So what? Why should he get any credit for it?

After all, by joining the army in Afghanistan, Mr Harry was at least defending his own interests - those of the rich and powerful. Ordinary soldiers and officers in Afghanistan and Iraq do not have that "privilege". They get neither the right to defend their own interests by refusing to go, nor even decent fighting gear!

Nevertheless, for several days, the media treated us to every detail of Mr Harry's "heroic behaviour". If this bout of hype was designed to revamp the royal image, the chances are that it only succeeded in rendering it even more ridiculous. But maybe it was also designed to help Brown sweep embarrassing questions concerning his wars under the carpet.

Indeed, it is now more than 6 years since western troops invaded Afghanistan. Yet, despite the West's huge superiority in weaponry and monopoly of the skies, they have been unable to consolidate the regime they created in Kabul. Not only have western allies failed to reduce resistance against their puppet regime, but they have failed to stop this resistance from gathering more and more strength.

The disastrous balance-sheet of this criminal policy is clear. Over a decade ago, the Taleban regime emerged as a by-product of the covert military operation carried out by the West in Afghanistan during the previous decade. In the same way, the 2001 invasion of the country looks set to produce another kind of Taleban, but one which enjoys a much higher level of support, due to the western occupation!

Much the same can be said of Iraq. This month, it will be 5 years since the first British missiles fell there. Today, the country is plagued by a bloody low-level civil war. Not one day passes without a host of terrorist attacks, with dozens of victims. The West's invasion has only succeeded in bringing to the fore various armed militias vying for power and willing to use any weapon, religious or otherwise, to defeat their rivals. And any idea that the western-backed Iraqi government might deal with these militias is absurd, since this government is, itself, an unstable coalition formed by such militias.

So, in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, the wars drag on, with no end in sight, to the point where the withdrawal of British troops, promised for April, is now cancelled. Meanwhile more and more high-ranking retired officers, in the US as well as in Britain, have come out with public admissions that these wars cannot be won.

Such are the realities that Brown would much rather keep out of the media. But any idea that Mr Harry's pantomime can conceal them is a non-starter!