The Nowzad decision looks more absurd than ever
Damning evidence shows that Farthing's dogs cost human lives
The damning evidence of Raphael Marshall, the Foreign Office whistleblower, on the evacuation of Afghanistan confirms what many of us suspected at the time: that the decision to prioritise ‘Pen’ Farthing and his menagerie came at a direct cost in human life.
Yes, the charity was able to crowdfund its own plane. But as Marshall reiterates, there was no shortage of planes.
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Kabul was a throughput problem. There were limited British troops available to escort people safely through the airport and process their paperwork, and limited time before the Americans pulled the rug from under the allied presence in the city. Every move had an opportunity cost.
This was obvious enough at the time. The Government eventually ended up singing from the “no trade-offs” hymn sheet, but the Ministry of Defence started out singing a very different tune before being brought into line.
No wonder Downing Street felt the need to lean on them: apparently the order to give Farthing (who ended up leaving his human staff behind in Afghanistan) special treatment came from the Prime Minister himself.
Sad to say it, but there is little doubt that this intervention was popular in the moment. Animals in distress is a message that hits the British electorate at a deep, sub-rational level, and elements of the media were at their mawkish worst.
But there is a danger to this sort of pandering. Fairly or not, neither the papers nor the voters are obliged to remember that they staunchly approved of something if they come to disapprove of it later. Just ask Tony Blair where the majority of the public that polled in favour of invading Iraq disappeared to.
Assuming the ‘no trade-offs’ bit wasn’t true — and of course it wasn’t — then at some point we were going to be able to start getting a clearer picture of what those trade-offs were; putting a number and, even more dangerously, names and faces on those left behind to face the Taliban.
Marshall’s evidence makes harrowing reading. It really brings home the extraordinarily difficult conditions under which British forces on the ground were operating, and the very real danger facing interpreters, embassy guards, and other Afghans who had cooperated with the occupation.
‘Pen’ himself doesn’t appear to have worried about trade-offs. As recently as Sunday, he could be found in the Observer saying that “animals in a cargo hold never got in the way of people getting on a flight. We had an aircraft with 200 empty seats on it — but that wasn’t my choice.”
The more you read, the more absurd the Nowzad decision becomes. Not only was rescuing domestic animals not a UK war aim, but it doesn’t seem as if they were in any danger anyway; a US-run animal charity is apparently not only still operating, but has been able to recruit Taliban personnel!
If this evidence bears out, Boris Johnson has taken a profoundly unserious decision with truly serious consequences. Not only will British allies have died, but potential partners in future conflict zones will have seen that London cannot be relied upon to look after them if the worst happens.
At least we got Geronimo.
but Henry, your not factoring in the warm glow of self righteous smugness that the performative virtue signallers got to feel for 5 minutes before forgetting and moving on to their next fix. Surely you can’t put a price on that, certainly its got to be worth the lives of a few Afghan men, women and children. Dont cha know the virtue signallers only care about refugees when they drown in the English Channel not when they are queuing for the last flights out of Kabul and watching Fido go first class.
I am for the poor animals. I know Afghanistan – I am glad they got the dogs out. Play your Zero Sum Game as you like – I do not care. Every thing cannot be weighed so every outcome is some utilitarian equation.
So How about it, you shallow and unworldly second guessers – Diminished economic activity from Covid Lockdown in the West cost 1.2 million children’s lives in the third and developing world – so are a few Afghani men more important that those, I mean lets have some false equivalents here – like your post is based on. Are some thousand British Grannies more important than the 1.2 million third world children – How about throw in the fact the Lockdowns did no one any good.
Just FO with sarcasm. Everything cannot always be ‘if it saves one life’ it is better. Life is too complex – FFS – look at the world – how about the 1.2 MILLION Rohinga in Bangladeshi Refugee camps who will never get a life – how about them? I mean – some Afghani men are so important to you – how about them? How about the South Sudan genocides? How do they fit in in your cosmology? Come on you great Humanitarian – fix the Fing World, blame the wrong doers…..
I’m not sure why everyone thinks there’s an energy crisis in Europe, if we could harness the power of your sanctimony it could heat the whole world. Thanks for making my point for me. Human beings are more important than dogs theres no false equivalence there pal, so how about you FO with your misanthropy and masterbatory moral indignation, who do you think you are ? the Woke?
Thankyou for the spirited reply.
And I apologize for any rudeness – I cannot bear dogs suffering and get overwrought when thinking of it….
no worries pal, apologies for snapping back, sometimes these things get to us, they are emotive issues and the reporting is designed to polarise.
Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t. The fuss by the media at the time was ridiculous. And now you’re doing the same. Trial by media- again and again and again…..
Good Post – this writer wants to play this game – why not tell us what the Afghani thing was – I have gone over it since the 1973 Communist Party taking parliament, the 1979 kicking out the King, the 80 Russian invasion to help the commies in government being rebelled against, the KSA USA ISI fight against USSR, the formation of the Taliban by KSA Salafist Deobandi Madresses, the Taliban and Osama and Pashtunwali, the USA and West in Afghanistan till Biden’s Shameful leaving – and the Post Modernist 4th wave Feminists run NGOs and MSM destroying the nation and keeping it at war another 20 years more than needed ‘For the girls and women’ – and all kinds of stuff – and this article is about the injustice of evacuating the animals. F_O!!!
Write something to instruct and educate – not to just pick some tiny incident in the trillion spent and million lives messed up to bi* ch about – FFS!
3000 tonnes per day, where did that figure come from; And if you want to talk about mess the litter in any high street or indeed any beauty spot far exceeds anything left behind by bad dog owners (of which there are many).
One wonders if you despise the dog owners or simply the British.
I expect you have a wonderful uncomplicated relationship with your wife and children and so can’t understand the attraction of dog owning.
A dog gives you companionship, unstinting love and devotion. It never argues with you or insults you and is always looking to please you. It does, of course, seek to manipulate you to meet its wants but always with grace and charm. When my wife comes back home it is our dog who dashes down first to greet her and throw itself on her lap while her human children remain glued to their PlayStations or other amusements. There have never been rows with the dog which can’t be said of the rest of our family.
If you want a bit of uncomplicated love in your life you can’t do better than have a dog. Platonic love, of course, for sex you have to look to your wife.
it also makes sure you get enough exercise each day. Stoping at lampposts and picking up poo are small prices to pay for the pleasure of having a furry friend. I suggest you read up on the psychological benefits of dog ownership.
Its not for everybody of course, but what is? No problem if a dog doesn’t float your boat as it were.
I am not sure why anything I have said in praise of dogs leads you to believe I have a closed mind and are unable to understand why anyone should object to dogs. I am afraid that merely betrays your own prejudices and dare I say closed mind regarding dog owners.
Any sensible dog owner, however devoted to his own companion, will be well aware of the nuisance that dogs, even well trained ones, can present to others. Indeed, dog owners are particularly aware of the dangers ill trained and aggressive dogs can present to their own dogs that are much more at risk than most humans. Barking dogs are a nuisance indeed. I could go on with plenty of other reasonable complaints we could probably agree on regarding dogs. There are large numbers of dog owners who fail to train them adequately so that they are not a nuisance to others so I can quite understand as a non-dog owner why you should dislike them. The fault lies squarely with inadequate owners.
I can even understand the annoyance and dislike of children those without them ( and indeed those who have them) might feel if they encountered a number of bratty children. Again the fault of parents in most cases.
I have no problem with your dislike of dogs just your unreasonable bigotry against all dog owners. Fortunately, dog owners are not a protected class so you are quite free to express your disdain without risk, but you should not be surprised if some dog owners are equally disdainful of your closed mind.
I haven’t depicted you as close minded and bigoted you have done that yourself. You continue in your reply to project your bigoted beliefs as to what I as a dog owner think without any basis for such such claims.
However, it would appear that you simply enjoy trolling so I shall leave the conversation there as there is no point in attempting to open a closed mind that prefers to pretend every dog owner holds certain beliefs.
The British were always fond of their dogs, but there was a time when they had a perspective on the matter. A lot of English common law around wills and trusts was built on cases revolving around bequests to animal charities which were challenged by some greedy relative. The case would come before some crusty old Victorian beak who would inevitably find for the charity, but the reasoning would always be that kindness to animals engenders compassion in human society. It was never about the animals themselves. That’s what’s been lost today.
Utter bilge, beyond belief.
Best Post – I could not even read it is such Bilge, this is not serious writing…
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