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Now tell us something we don't know

Posted by Richard Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is General James Bucknall, in an "exclusive interview" with The Guardian. One can't help but smile at the self-importance of the newspaper, retailing nothing more than a statement of the bleedin' obvious. After all, even without the benefit of a brass hat and knitting badges, just this morning, we were able to say:
As coalition forces move out and Afghan security forces take over, the Taliban will move in. We will end up with a north-south split, and civil war – within a year of our departure.
But God knows why the paper thinks we should be impressed by a general who has nothing more to offer than what we can work out for ourselves. What might be impressive is a soldier or a diplomat who actually understands something of the geopolitics and comes up with a plan that has a chance of succeeding.

In days of Empire, we had such men – even Abdur Rahman was impressed with Curzon. In this piece, The Guardian does enlist Sir William Patey, Britain's ambassador to Kabul, but he does not strike one as a man of vision, any more than is Bucknall. We are doomed to be served by midgets, attended upon by newspapers which could not even recognise greatness if they saw it.