Analysis comment

Military veteran demands a reckoning for politicians and ‘top brass’ responsible for disastrous Afghan fiasco (video)

Audience member who served in Afghanistan says people she was protecting have been executed and demands politicians and military leaders to blame are held to account

A former soldier received applause from the audience on the BBC’s Question Time programme last night for an impassioned and moving speech outlining the human cost and waste of the military adventurism of successive UK governments – and demanding that those responsible, both politicians and military leaders, for the catastrophic fiasco of Afhghanistan pay a price, so that future generations are not thrown into the same pointless disasters:

The woman told viewers that people she had been protecting in Afghanistan had already been executed by the Taliban – and that the only way she and her former comrades could look at their service with anything other than shame is if those responsible are made to account for their decisions.

Accountability of those in power has ceased to be a thing under the Tories – of both red and blue rosette. If this country is going to be worth calling a civilisation, let alone a democracy, that needs to change.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. These HORRORS were enabled by Tony Blair with its polyps Jack Straw & Arsetair Campbellend.

    Jo Biden like SIR Keith Starmer are only only continuing the “BAD NEWS” which was “predicted and PREDICTABLE”.

    1. The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours. In the aftermath of the decision to return Afghanistan to the same group from which the carnage of 9/11 arose, and in a manner that seems almost designed to parade our humiliation, the question posed by allies and enemies alike is: has the West lost its strategic will? Meaning: is it able to learn from experience, think strategically, define our interests strategically and on that basis commit strategically? Is long term a concept we are still capable of grasping? Is the nature of our politics now inconsistent with the assertion of our traditional global leadership role? And do we care?

  2. I saw that contribution by that female soldier and she was very impressive and her words were heartfelt. She was utterly scathing about the top brass including the current head of the army who she obviously holds in contempt. Although BoJo and Co obviously held a bad hand when Slow Joe Biden decided to cut and run she was implying mismanagement was obvious in the UK top brass for months and years previously. This one is not going to go away.

  3. Her “demands” will never be actioned and those responsible will never be held accountable.

    Nothing will ever change…

    1. Sorry all, but as a vet, you take what you get. I was young and wanted action. Bad thing are inevitable when you take up arms. Afraid you just have to live with it and pray for forgiveness. We were paid, sometimes. Put out fires, busted strikes and then worse. Don’t believe the ads especially if your are of a non male gender. Cover ups, denials, evasion. Tactics for pseudo war and psyop media with all of their 5 placepeople. You get your boots and step into the shit. It gets deeper then it’s entirely up to you. Think on, bad or very bad or no! X

  4. The Taliban have seen the way Trump and his little poodle Johnson can get away with lying with impunity so guess what, they are quick learners.

  5. Blair: ‘God will be my judge on Iraq’ …..and Afghanistan. God gives us the means to give create a ‘fair judicial’ process to be. judged by his peers.
    Do hear the same ‘god’ that George Bush heard, shouting for Blair WMD to be subject to an investigation before the ICC in the Hague Chilcot report could used as evidence,especially as the entity does not repent .
    The LOTO reveres and wants to emulate his success.
    (George Bush, who said God told him to launch the Iraq campaign)

    1. Well he’s damned if there is and he’s damned if there ain’t, but I doubt very much that there is a god, unless it is a toddler playing in it’s sandpit! I wonder which one of the one point something Million deities it will turn out to be!
      Nah! Best the Warmongers go to the ICC Impunity must END NOW, no time for toddlers!

  6. When you get into a war you don’t always win. If you sign up wit the armed forces you might have to fight. The number of British casualties was less than 500 in 20 years is 1 every 2 weeks – which is a bit more than one might expect in accidents.
    Remember how the British press reported the bloodbath when the Taliban took Kabul last time?
    50,000 dead. Me neither, because our brave journos had got the hell out long before, but it was thought a bit of a laugh when Najibullah was hanged.

    1. ITs good to see that no one on here advocates more of the same to settle an invasion that could never succeed..War never wins and only makes more money for the death brokers and arms sellers.Such a contrast to the House of commons were war war seems to be the case.IT would appear that once again the elected are in conflict with the public and thats before the people will have to pick up the tab for gung ho mps who have ensured that our abandoned former industrial towns are given the job of housing thousands of traumatised refugees from Afghanistan.and other parts of Asia subjected to western imperialism….ITs an absolute disgrace that once again we go back to the future…!

  7. A good reason the left should support proportional representation for Westminster, is it’d make gaining the cross-party consensus for these military interventions not necessarily impossible, but much, much harder to achieve.

    Look at the Netherlands, 17 parties won seats in their 2021 election and the largest party, VVD, gained just 21.9%. Imagine the US or anyone else trying to control that system … they couldn’t.

    The McCluskeyite dreams of a true red socialist govt having free rein under UK FPTP is fantasy politics. Even had Corbyn squeaked home deep down we know ‘crap coup’ Blairite PLP would’ve made his life hell.

  8. The US, on its own figures spent a staggering $2261bn on war in Afghanistan. This in a poverty stricken country with an annual GDP of just $20bn!

    The insane economics of these interventions should have all citizens’ outraged, but the MSM hide the truth and keep the lid on things because they are part of the same elite that profit from war.

    There’s a decade old video clip online of Assange saying exactly this, probably another one of reasons the elite hate truth-teller Assange so much.

  9. The twaddle being spouted in the HoC at the “debate” was painful to watch. Some of the tosh almost made Johnson sound a bit realistic. The whole fiasco, with its concomitant deaths, was entirely predictable. There were a few politicians pointing this out at the time. Who can remember their names?

    1. Tony Benn, Ken Livingstone, GEORGE GALLOWAY, Robin Cook, Dianne Abbott, i think Kenneth Clarke too, are some of the names i remember. Only heard Jeremy say same on a very few occasions when he became known to the GENERAL public when he spoke up at the leadership contest.

      George Galloway was heard most frequently and clearly, especially because he accepted every invitation when they were made to appear on various programs. He of course also accepted the invitations of EXISTING Media to present his brilliant “Mother of all Talkshows”, on Talksport then on the equally Murdoch owned but newer Talkradio. That’s why even as a one man band attacked from every corner, even some on, George WINS, and stands on DUMPED Mandelson’s Evans & Starmer in THIRD place in Hartlepool i think.

      Even after dismissed at least twice from Talksport or Talkradio, George, like the often dismissed ridiculous Whale, accepted invitations to return. Whale is still on and some one on said they had an encounter with him FIFTY years ago during a strike. Sadly i try to avoid bunkers, so i’v never listened to him on Press TV or any other outfit or social media. I prefer to monitor the General Public, to hear the WIDEST flow of alternative views.

      I’m no fan of Whale, but George Galloway is a hero to me+++. Like Tony Benn who was communicating to the the general public using AMPLE opportunities up to the last few months of his life.

      Those are FACTS. I’m no fan of Barry Gardner, but at least he turns up on LBC and Talkradio. This very week he was on Talkradio. I agreed with what he was saying re Biden’s part in the Tony Blair George Bush Afghanistan TRAGEDY. But Gardner’s torturously slow delivery is almost unbearable. The voice is also one of the worst i’ e ever heard.

      On first hearing him, Gardners voice sounded like a hen doing an interminable passing of wind. And even then, so barely audible, if you wanted to know, the wind could have been seeping out or in.

      Could not help feeling that it was him Jeremy was trying to copy with his then excessively breathy whispery barely audible voice. DREADFUL!!! None in his team told him so!!! Similarly ALL in his team were happy with “decency” for Hodge, Starmer, Mandelson & Blair etc but NONE for …

      “Who can remember their names?”

  10. The political representatives Cleverly, Nandy and Stewart hadn’t been briefed on what to say last night and they were fucking atrocious. The three of them should, along with the rest who voted for occupation, be put on a plane and delivered to the Taliban.
    Starmer is even trying to drum up support for reentry. These people consider Saudi Arabia to be our ally. Saudi Arabia is what the Taliban and Al Qaeda model themselves on and they also support a proxy army in Syria that are even more extreme. Western foreign policy is so fucked up. I only hope that the public won’t be conned into any further madness on behalf of America and Israel.

    1. Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s twitter take on the HoC debate:

      ‘Nothing surpasses the drama-queen heights of British MPs standing up in Parliament to give melodramatic speeches about the glories and honors of war.

      And the more the UK shrinks in relevance and power, the more pathetic those pompous speeches become.’

  11. Your comments right on the mark. I thought Starmer was pushing for us to re invade at one point!! Then I thought he was going to suggest invading the US to force Biden to change his mind. Starmer is obviously nuts and a no hoper. Thanks for pointing out how much the US has spent, the figures are shocking. And to achieve the square root of f*** all.

  12. During 2011/12/13, Starmer was head of DPP and consistently refused to prosecute MI5/6 officers who were provably complicit in torture of suspects kidnapped by the CIA and flown to prisons in third party countries like Morocco.

  13. No-one doubts the bravery of soldiers who put their lives on the line carrying out the decisions made by political leaders.
    But I have always felt the rank and file military should have a trade union for matters of pay and conditions but not in the theatre of war.
    Some things are going wrong as quite a few ex-military end up on the streets, seemingly unable to cope with their experiences and civilian life.
    Perhaps political and military leaders should treat the rank and file as though they were family members?
    As for the MPs pontificating in Parliament on Wednesday (apart from 6 Labour voting against the Iraq War, including Corbyn then 12 voting against the invasion of Afghanistan, including Corbyn again) they are to blame voting for both, and of course the new crop including Starmer & Nandy would have likely towed the line and voted for both too, didn’t they vote to bomb Syria?
    The complete blame for this policy disaster is Right Wing Labour supported by the Tories then sustained by the Tories and backed by Right Wing Labour.
    Perhaps one of the greatest policy disasters of the 20th C and 21st C to date.
    Of course driven by Right Wing US Neo-Cons & Right Wing/Centrist Democrats.
    I recall a great quote from The Radical Socialist Feminist Network in The New Left Review the other year: Why do these Right Wing MPs continue to vote to bomb our Black and Brown sisters?”
    Diverse working people of the world deserve left wing democratic socialist parties who put citizens first.
    Solidarity to the genuine socialists on here and to similar readers.

    1. This debacle is going to make people less likely to support military intervention. But I hope it may also make people less trusting of media reporting which, on defense is little more than reporting, word for word, MOD press releases. Afghanistan has at least made people aware that the media either didn’t have a clue what was going on or they lazily didn’t ask.

  14. Great article on Novara media.
    If only we treated the people of other countries as equals and didn’t try to steal their land and resources perhaps then some would not hate the capitalist USA etc.
    As the article argues this tragic debacle offers a potential for a new egalitarian foreign policy.

  15. The ‘Universal Soldier’ has always been politician’s muscle & it’s a bit rich to complain after being part of an invasion force & occupied a foreign land.

  16. If the point of having a short-notice Question Time (on a Wed!) with zero publicity is that hardly anyone will see it (and then it can all be swept under the carpet), then this programme was a resounding success…

    ‘Look at Mr Johnson.
    Trying to polish a turd.
    Caused by Right Wing Labour/Tories.
    Superiority and dehumanisation in every word.
    Treat diverse humans as equals.’

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: