On 8 August 2009, General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army, told us that the politicians might be putting the lives of our soldiers at risk in Afghanistan for the next forty years!
He was quoted thus by The Telegraph:
"This is nation building - not the starry-eyed type, but nation-building nonetheless. It is not just reconstruction: jobs and simple governance that works are key, and there has to be a strong reconciliation element to the latter...
The Army's role might evolve, but THE WHOLE PROCESS MIGHT TAKE AS LONG AS 30 TO 40 YEARS. There is absolutely no chance of NATO pulling out."
Long enough for tens of thousands of ours and hundreds of thousands of theirs to lose their lives for the Nation Builders, eh, Dave?
In November 2008, Corporal Daniel James, General Richards' personal interpreter, was convicted of spying for Iran and jailed for 10 years.
The Guardian told us this:
"After a three-week trial in which he presented himself as a patriot and a peacemaker rather than a spy, James enthusiastically recounted his experience as a SALSA TEACHER, BODY BUILDER AND AS A YORUBA PRIEST PRACTISING BLACK MAGIC – picked up on one of his regular trips to Cuba.
James, BORN ESMAIL MOHAMMED GAMASAI IN TEHRAN, came to Britain aged 15. He went to a private school in Brighton, LEAVING AT 16 WITHOUT ANY ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION. He took on a number of jobs, including as a croupier, club owner and salsa dancing instructor.
'I made myself Danny James, the King of Salsa', the jury heard him describe himself.
He changed his name by deed poll in 1997 and has dual British-Iranian nationality." (5 November 2008)
On 24 October 2008, The Times added:
"The army interpreter accused of spying for Iran while serving in Afghanistan told the Old Bailey yesterday that he was a VOODOO PRIEST WHO HAD USED BLACK MAGIC TO PROTECT HIS MILITARY BOSS from the Taleban in 2006."
Wikipedia informed us thus:
"The court heard allegations that JAMES BELIEVED HE HAD BEEN DENIED PROMOTION BECAUSE OF RACISM and jealousy, and also that he had debts of £25,000 and had mortgages on four properties in Brighton."
What, was he bent as well as barmy? Interestingly PC folk the top Generals are employing these days, don't you think?
I guess if you are inclined to lick your lips at the prospect of another four decades in Aghanistan, you might also be likely to entertain the notion that it's OK to employ a salsa-teaching, body building, race card-playing, black magic-practising voodoo priest called Esmail Mohammed Gamasai who left school with no qualifications, spied for Iran and used to live in Brighton.
As opposed to employing a regular British Tommy to do the same job, that is.