Your questions to Colonel Stuart Tootal

Stuart tootal
Afghanistan is reeling from another deadly bomb attack today — it’s yet another episode of violence that will surely be worrying local authorities and international forces, who are gearing up for presidential elections later this month. As the death toll mounts and more funerals are held – for ordinary Afghan civilians and allied forces – some are asking whether the efforts there are futile.

So today’s guest will certainly be interesting. Colonel Stuart Tootal will join World Have Your Say today. He was commander of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) in 2005. This included commanding the first UK Battle Group of 1200 soldiers to be sent to Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan in 2006. This article has more background .

Colonel Tootal will be in the studio for the hour so it’s your chance to put your questions to him. We’ve done many programs on Afghanistan and today you’ll be able to speak to someone who’s served and led on the front-line to tell us what it’s like.

And it certainly sounds bleak. One military analyst puts it bluntly: “Violence is going to go up. It’s not going to go down.” And this blogger says, “insurgents leave areas where American troops concentrate and then return when those troops deploy elsewhere” and adds that nation building in failed states does nothing to beef up security overseas.

But others say the sacrifice is worth it, that troops are making a positive difference, and the effort is even helping women’s rights.

Colonel Tootal will be waiting for your questions on the current mission. Is it working? What does “working” mean? When will we know when the mission has succeeded? What is life really like for soldiers serving on the front line in Afghanistan? So what would you like to ask him?

63 Responses to “Your questions to Colonel Stuart Tootal”

  1. 1 Tom K in Mpls
    August 5, 2009 at 15:19

    In my peacetime military past, I noted in all areas, foreign and domestic, you would perceive attitudes both for and against you from most people. Lets break it into four groups those that quietly want you gone, quietly support you, openly want you gone and openly support you. What percentages of these do you and your troops sense?

  2. 2 Evan Porter
    August 5, 2009 at 16:12

    What impressions will you take away from this battlefield and if you have sons or daughters, would you want them to join in the fight?

    Hearfelt answers, please – not Mod approved replies.

  3. 3 Evan Porter
    August 5, 2009 at 16:23

    If we really believe in what we’re doing for the people of Afghanistan, shouldn’t the burden of service be shared more equally across all lines of British society in this battle?

    Perhaps, instead of outright conscription, a form of ‘lottery’ ?

  4. 4 RightPaddock
    August 5, 2009 at 16:27

    1. Who are the enemy
    2. How do you differentiate between friend & foe, if their not shooting at you.
    3. Can the enemy be beaten
    4. If they can be beaten, then how will you know that you’ve done so.
    5. If they can be beaten, then how long will it take (best & worst guesses)
    6. Can the enemy be beaten without putting US/NATO boots on Pakistani ground

  5. 5 brinda
    August 5, 2009 at 17:39


    How was your (or foreign soldiers) reception in Afghanistan ?

    Has it changed over the years,,,,,,,,?

    What do the citizens on Afghanistan think ?Do they want this war,,,,,,,how supportive are they ?,,,,,would request a personal opinion from your experience rather than a generic /politically/ administratively correct response.

    I your opinion is NATO as an organization effective at all ?

    What kind of changes/improvement would you want to see in NATO ?

    Thank you.


  6. August 5, 2009 at 18:19

    ever run into Blackwater workers or was it impossible to not run into them?

    August 5, 2009 at 18:56

    Historically and in my own understanding, part of the reason why British soldiers have won in many battles was through being ethical in battles rather behaving like rogues due to their training that breeds their professionalism. They have been known to collaborate with friendly populations and sometimes engage the hostile ones in order to win hearts and minds. Obviously, In Afghanistan you are part of multinational fighting force whereby you are a cocktail made up of different brews and politics even though there is an advantage of high tech equipment than previously available.

    From your view point as a soldier in a modern day British Army, what can you say about your the army.

    In this war, Who has won or lost in terms of the actual fighting and politics of the conflict?

    Sir, what does it teach you about the future of conflicts?

  8. 8 Alassan Jallow, Tunisia
    August 5, 2009 at 21:01

    Hi Colonel Tootal.
    Ramsfeld refused to send to Afghanistan enbough men and weapon, the same thing he did in Iraq.
    My question is: “Don’t you think that the war has been lost in both Iraq and Afghanistan, so sooner or later you will pull your forces out of both countries? “

  9. 9 Mick Flowers
    August 5, 2009 at 21:49

    Stuart. How do you feel that NiNE Ridgeback armoured (anti mine withstanding vehicles) were in Dubai and have been since 16th July. ? Lives could have been saved! Also the helicoptor situation?

  10. August 5, 2009 at 23:49

    Dear Stuart Tootal,

    The coalition forces in Afghanistan seems to be a long way from achieving its goal, that of eradicating Muslim extremists in this country.

    1- In the case of Iraq, more than 200,000 thousands troops of different nationalities were sent. Why can’t the same number be sent to Afghanistan to finish the job as soon as possible?

    2-The US policy in Iraq has somewhat succeeded in appeasing the different warring factions, what approach do you suggest to make Afghan people come to peace among themselves?

    3-How much is it still a priority for the coalition forces in Afghanistan to capture Bin Laden and his other associates?

    4- Do you agree that the British forces in Afghanistan are underfunded?

    5- Why do you think that the burden of fighting in Afghanistan is mainly shared by the British and the American forces, as other nations are relatively contributing less troops?

    6- To win this war, what should be known most, Afghan territory or the mentality of the people there?

    7- Concerning intelligence, how cooperative are Afghan people in/ from the regions where you fight?

    8- Do you share the view that the coalition forces should stay in Afghanistan whatever it takes in terms of resources and time?

    • 11 RightPaddock
      August 6, 2009 at 11:52

      @Abdelilah Boukili in Morocco – re your point 5, yes the US & the UK are the biggest contributors in absolute terms.

      But over the last five years, on a per capita basis the country that has sent the most troops to Afghanistan is Denmark, they currently have about 600 troops on the ground. The Danes have sustained the highest rate of casualties and their forces have suffered the highest proportion deaths of all contributing nations. The population of Denmark is 5.4 million, the UK is almost 61million and the US nearly 304 million.

      Other countries that have made and continue to make significant commitments in the provinces bordering Pakistan include Canada and the Netherlands.

  11. 12 T
    August 6, 2009 at 05:05

    Why are we still there?

  12. 13 Deryck/Trinidad
    August 6, 2009 at 10:57

    1. What measures were taken at your time to allay the fears of the different ethnic group?

    2. Can the Afghans ever govern themselves without the presence of the NATO forces there? If yes, how can it be effectively done?

  13. 14 Ramesh, India
    August 6, 2009 at 11:23

    Colonel Tootal,
    Have you western military personnel given weight to the fact that all the areas in Afghanistan wre rarely under the single control from kabul? You know what I mean, I hope!

  14. 15 Uzondu Esionye
    August 6, 2009 at 11:44

    This subect is highly sentitive in my opinion, just from reading the questions that have been asked on the blog. These are the questions, in my mind, that colonelTootal should try to answer.My concern is that there are lot of positive news that are not coming out of Afghanistan, andf this is what we need to look at. I am living in a country that is struggling with it’s recovery and development process, andI can safely say here that it takes serious actions at times to put an end to wicked people ploting activities.

    I hope colonel Tootal can bring to us some positive achievements, that are not ussually told on the meanstream media.

  15. August 6, 2009 at 12:48

    If there is Mission to Train Afghanistan to run Democracy To run Govt to run University Hospitals Schools Police force or build Roads and build Hiways Electrical Power Plants build factories employment and then leave?Looking into
    IMF loan without any significant achievment seem highly abnormal objective.
    Is it working ? What have you achieved ? Are you developing them slowly while developing own Mission at highest Speed ? When do you think Allied will
    Leave ?

  16. August 6, 2009 at 12:58

    If there is Mission to Train Afghanistan to run Democracy or To run Govt to run University Hospitals Schools Police force or build Roads and build Hiways Electrical Power Generating Plants build factories employment infrastructure (away from Taliban Culture )and then leave?Looking into IMF loan without any significant achievment seem highly abnormal objective. After 100 days report card or after second 100 days report card or 3rd what do you think you have to give your achievement report card in Afghanistan. After decades , the country seem poor with lowest GDP/capita or literacy rate or trained Hospital education
    Govt staff ?

  17. 18 Nigel
    August 6, 2009 at 13:43

    Good day Colnel,

    Can you beat the Taliban militarily?
    Can you beat the wish of the Afghan people to be free from occupation and free to live their lives and pray the way they want in their own country?
    Have you noted that the two are connected?

  18. 19 david sant
    August 6, 2009 at 14:06


    • 20 Helen
      August 6, 2009 at 15:57

      A diplomatic solution is usually a certain pespective on a certain aspect in any situation when and if there are negotiations and the involved parties agree to cerain tems. Or at least hold to a willing,if wary,stance of cooperation. You make a good point but begin with an hypothetical that occurs after the”conflict-part” of the situation is finished. Can someone address that point at this point?Rather than heated violence being the rule of the day there,isn’t it more like a simmering conflict that at times boils over and is not persistently violent?Projecting a diplomatic outcome seems a bit too far in the future,I would think.

  19. 21 Melchoir
    August 6, 2009 at 14:16

    Hello! Are the coalition forces driving away some faction of the Talibans from Afghanistan to places like Somalia?

  20. 22 VictorK
    August 6, 2009 at 14:52

    Why expect an ex- or serving soldier to be able to answer political questions?

    Afghanistan is about using military means to achieve a variety of political ends. All of those ends are questionable (can Afghans maintain a democratic & stable regime? Can a government installed & maintained in power with the support of a military occupier, i.e. a Vichy regime, ever be legitimate? Do foreign powers ever have the right to forcibly dictate how others should be governed? Is it reasonable to undertake a military campaign in the knowledge that the Muslim civilian populations – whose co-operation is essential for victory – never support non-Muslim armies against fellow Muslims? Are women’s rights a sufficient justification for overthrowing the established government of a country? Since Al Quaeda & the Taliban are not synonymous, for how much longer can the assault on Afghanistan be justified by reference to a separate issue? To what extent is the Afghan adventure a propaganda exercise, in which Western powers sacrifice the lives and wealth of their people in order to appease global Muslim opinion? etc).
    We need politicians to address these questions, not soldiers.

  21. August 6, 2009 at 15:16

    Afghanistan is a quagmire. But the Taliban needs to be decimated. Otherwise the tentacles of terrorism will spread far and wide. America needs full support of its NATO partners to defeat the Taliban convincingly. The Taliban know every inch of the land and are very difficult to dislodge. Failure to uproot the Taliban now would come to haunt America later on. Nato members realise that but governments have spending constraints. Military priorities in Afghanistan will surely have to take priority. But political leaders need to have the backbone to realize the stark choices!

  22. 24 patrick Odadi
    August 6, 2009 at 15:31

    The war against Taliban and the pseudo groups. Is very complicated, few things make it complicated it is extremely hard and actually next to impossible . To now civilian and combatant is very complicsted mqthemqtics everybody wants to win the war, the insurgents uses civil as human shield or ideology to make the NATO allies feel bad that they are only they are mainly killing civillians. The whole concept of making the NATO allies looks like bad guys has two fold underpinings one the public will empthathy with Taliban especially from the the arab world and the pseudo. secondly it wants to inculcate a sense of quilt among the NATO menbers. qnd rally the nationalities of NATOS allies on their side.
    The Taliban wants to perptuate their prsence inthe region and they will use any means to do even it is malicious and unorthodox
    The NATOs allies must continue, there is no war without civiliqn casuality especiqlly in the that region where it is very difficult to know the combatant and civilians.

  23. 26 sibghat shakir
    August 6, 2009 at 15:41

    hi,honestly and having past experience of british troops in Afghanistan( 1842, 1878 and 1919) in mind can you tell us that british in particular and Nato forces in general will eventually be able to end the series of calamities which ruined the lives of Helmandis?
    what were their (british) destiny at that time, i think you know better than me.do you see this time different?

  24. August 6, 2009 at 15:49

    Col. Tootal:

    People who had been silent now cry out for British forces to leave Afghanistan and for the West to abandon an “unwinnable” war. I would like your comments on two considerations. (1) Afghanistan may never have been conquered, but current efforts on our part are not a war of conquest. We attempt to prevent the Taliban from conquering or reasserting control. Nothing is perfect, but pre-Soviet Afghanistan was not so bad. (2) It is not that there are a number of fights, any one of which can be abandoned. To think that is to misunderstand transnational fighters like al Qaida. The “battlefield” includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq … all the way to North Carolina. Is not the fundamental need for a grand strategy for starving insurgencies out by removing the conditions of unresponsive governments, stark financial inequalities nation-by-nation, etc.?

  25. 28 Elias
    August 6, 2009 at 15:50

    The million dollar question I would like to ask Col. Stuart, ” from all your experience in Afghanistan could you truthfuuly say the war is winnable”?.

  26. 29 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    August 6, 2009 at 15:51

    Dear Col.Tootal.Are your NATO troops winning the war in Afganistan or may say against Talibans in particular and who are they losers NATO/TALIBAN ? .How much co-operatives are you with Afgan national army in Taliban drives?

  27. 30 Ibrahim in UK
    August 6, 2009 at 15:59

    Do you think it is important for a soldier to understand and agree with the reasons for going to war?

    It is often claimed that terrorists blend in or disguise as civilians. In a situation where the absence of intelligence means you cannot tell civilian from combatant, what are the instructions on dealing with a perceived mortal threat?

    Is your loyalty to your country or your conscience? i.e. if you were ordered to do something your values objected to, would you do it anyway?

    In your time in Afghanistan, how difficult is it to communicate and enact the change in the political definitions of “Victory”.

  28. 31 Anthony
    August 6, 2009 at 16:01

    How do you stop a generation of kids brainwashed since they were in the crib? It seems like the violence will NEVER stop.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  29. 32 John in Salem
    August 6, 2009 at 16:54

    In your honest opinion, what will it take in terms of time and resources to train and equip the Afghani military to the point that they can take over day to day security operations without the need for ANY reliance on NATO forces?
    I don’t want the military P.R. answer – I want your personal assessment. Are we talking years or decades?

  30. 33 archibald
    August 6, 2009 at 17:05

    @ victork
    The last thing we need is another politician to do anything related to a war. The only thing they seem able to do is start wars. Politicians should be made to fight in the wars that they mandate. This would drastically reduce the frequency of said wars, in my humble opinion.

    To your guest; What do you think is the greatest obstacle facing those who wish to bring the conflict in Afghanistan to an end? Politics and politicians, or is it the old paradigm of insurgent armies who have the support of the people, both being hard to vanquish?

  31. 34 Steve/Oregon
    August 6, 2009 at 17:21

    Why is it that people prefer to talk to officers regarding the war. This man is a colonel he will give you the answers he is told or what the books say or what some policy says….. you want to know the real truth to answer these questions talk to a few noncommisioned officers or some privates. They might not wrap it colorfully in big words but you ask them and they can tell you REAL answers.

  32. 35 Tom D Ford
    August 6, 2009 at 17:53

    How is that Unocal pipeline coming along?

  33. 36 patti in cape coral
    August 6, 2009 at 17:53

    I have the same questions as Ibrahim in the UK, as well as the same one as many others, do you think the war is winnable?

  34. 37 nora
    August 6, 2009 at 18:03

    DRONES–how do you feel about their use in elimination of opposition leaders?

    Do you worry that the remote bombing has a unifying effect for the people you are trying to defeat?

    How are the soldiers who get it wrong and inflict civilian casualties remotely effected, in mental health, in service promotion?

    Is modern warfare the answer to anything in this region?

  35. 38 Justin from Iowa
    August 6, 2009 at 18:17

    It has been proven time and time again throughout history, you cannot win a war against guerrilla warriors without the support of the people occupying the ground you are fighting for. Until allied forces in Afganistan start treating Afganis like our OWN citizens, we will continue to “lose” there.

    There can be no victory if we become what we fight against.

  36. 39 Dmitrii
    August 6, 2009 at 18:23

    Dear Colonel,

    My name is Dmitrii, I’m from Russia. I wanted to ask you what do the united forces in Afghanistan consider as an end of operation? And what time do they think it will take?

    Thank you

    Best Regards,

  37. August 6, 2009 at 18:26

    How well have the different countries’ involved in Afg & Iraq been working together or is there a rivalry between forces?? Who is really in charge when there’s a difference in opinion or strategy? How are the different countries’ forces field operating procedures and treatment of soldiers after discharge similar or very different?

    Thank you for your service to the Afgani people.

  38. 41 Jesus in Buenos Aires
    August 6, 2009 at 18:28

    Col Tootal:

    Could you describe how was the cultural encounter between a British soldier and the people of Afghanistan?

  39. 42 dan
    August 6, 2009 at 18:38

    Both my brother and I are training to be officers in the US Army. What would the one best piece of advice that you would give us on leading men in combat, specifically in an asymmetrical warfare environment i.e. Afghanistan?

  40. 43 Will, British Columbia
    August 6, 2009 at 18:38

    I’m curious as to your opinion on reconstruction efforts, ie, roads, schools and other infastructure projects. How receptive are the Afgan people to these projects and is there a difference between the rural and urban populations?

  41. 44 Wassie Goushe
    August 6, 2009 at 18:44

    Col. Tootal,

    Taking into account that a stable Afghanistan will conservatively take a decade to achieve, do you think the mission in Afghanistan will have the political will in the West years down the road to see it through

    Are countries like Pakistan correctt in attempting to position for more than once possible outcome?

    August 6, 2009 at 18:51

    Western governments and a bigger chunk of other countries are against the growth and trade of narcotics (heroin) that is rampant in Afghanistan. Afghanistan itself is increasingly worried of addiction to heroin in its populations. There has been evidence that this vice plays a significant role in this conflict. What is your take on this and what is your impact in this area.

    Why is Helmand so different from Basra in terms of human cost, failures and successes?

    What is the greatest threat to your mission and the best means out of it?

    Lastly, why is it impossible to rehabilitate Talibans like in the Sunis or Bathists after the fall of Saddam’s regime in Iraq?

  43. 46 steve
    August 6, 2009 at 18:51

    The US caller was referring to Marijuana, which is harmless, yet illegal. Using marijuana as compared to using opium products is quite an apple and oranges situation. The Colonel was referring to Opium, which Afghanistan is known for producing.

    What would be the solution? To legalize street use of morphine products? That would drive down the value of it, but then the people who grow it in Afghanistan would not even have that source of income. Would Afghanistan be even more impoverished if they cannot grow opium poppies?

  44. 47 Kwame Mensa-Bonsu
    August 6, 2009 at 18:58

    Col Tootal, I don’t know if anyone has asked this question. But do you think Afghanistan, a deeply and complex tribal society, has in its DNA, the ability to be a stable country in any sense of the word, if not the Westerns sense of it?

  45. 48 Justin from Iowa
    August 6, 2009 at 18:59

    Steve, the better question is, is relying on poppies – and thus drug sales – a valid long term strategy for afgani agricultural production? As part of an “illegal” network, you are at the mercy of your transporters, processors, and sellers of that illegal product. How much value is the farmer actually extracting from that illegal good?

  46. 49 ira berajas
    August 6, 2009 at 19:10

    Get out .This american president got elected because we the people want out of those ‘illigal’ wars.We the people,dont want to engage in middle east policy making through military means.We the people do not want to stay there as an american permament military base for ever either.Yet,the British (which are now in the middle east medeling in other peoples affears,for over 200 hundred years) and the Americans seem to not understand that they are not the rulers of this world. Nato ought to be disolved and a European military force to be established,strictly based on self defense and not world policy making. Let see if the British could ever truely become part of Europe or if they are still under the influence of their past power hungry,land grabbing glory.We want out.

  47. 50 Brian from Ca.
    August 7, 2009 at 00:00

    My family and I would just like to wish Col. Tootal and the Brits, all the best and THANK YOU for your service.

  48. August 7, 2009 at 13:32

    Unwine war,
    still unwine.
    it need a tremendous change in strategy,
    as have see changed stragegy by pakistan with remarkable style
    regarding the dealing with insurgency in lawless areas.

    Nato force should take it as example and adopted the same, which leading to sucess.

    Remarkable time has passed but the war with them still stand,
    there are many other optoons on the table revolutionery stragey is the need of the time.

    Pakistan is front line ally in re war on terror consultation can be made with them.

    Should disregad the ground reality.

  49. 52 Steve
    August 7, 2009 at 13:42

    Col. Tootal: Your analysis on yesterday’s program was brilliant! I was a U.S. Marine in VietNam and then later a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. So few people in this country — indeed in the world — understand what must be done in combat. In fact, few people appreciate the tremendous sacrifices made and the hardships endured by military personnel. You did a masterful job explaining the situation. God bless you!

  50. 53 scmehta
    August 7, 2009 at 14:31

    It is working and working very well for the peace in the region as well as the whole world. Why? because this is the area/region from where we are going to win a decisive war against the global menace of terror.

  51. 54 Richard Kane
    August 7, 2009 at 18:26

    Urgent question:
    What do you think the effect of the delayed cancellation of ‘don’t Ask Don’ Tell’ is?
    The witch hunts and discharges of decorated airmen and ground soldiers continues in the US forces despite Obama’s promise to kill it and his position as commander in chief of all armed forces. Unit moral and cohesion under battle conditions, reenlistment rates, recruitment rates and the economic effect of wasted talent being discharged unfairly.

  52. 55 Emma
    August 7, 2009 at 20:27

    At the some point during your program the Colonel was saying that is was difficult to set up a stable government, because of the tribes, and tribal conflict. What I don’t see is why a new government needs to be a European/American view of a democratic government. I have recently come back from a trip in Ghana, which viewing that it is a third world country, has a very stable democratic government. When they gained independence from the British, they set up a form of government that represents all tribes. Ghanaian people are very conscience of which tribe they are from, like many places in Africa. What Ghana has done has, is given every tribe a voice, they have agreed not to fight each other, and for the past seven years have had democratic elections that have all been successful. Would it be possible to set up a government in Afghanistan using such places as Ghana as examples of “tribal democracy”. It seems to me that we are wasting our time with the “traditional” definition of democracy. Would it not be more effective to sit down and lay out a new, modern democratic government that takes into consideration a different culture and people? To me it would seem that our position in the Middle East would be better used as a go-between between tribes and the teachers of 21st century democracy. Democracy like we teach it in school seems to be gone, there is really no country that practices the definition of democracy, if we don’t truly practice it how can we tell another country to except it!

  53. 56 Squaddie 667
    August 7, 2009 at 20:30


    1) Where are the rest of our NATO ‘allies’?

    2) Why does the media never mention our wounded comrades – don’t they count anymore or is the MoD afraid of telling the public the real truth?

    3) Chinooks sat idle since 2001, armour waiting in Dubai, delays in kit…why?

    4) Why no dedicated Military Hospital? Waking up on the National Health ward is no joke.

  54. 57 Dinesh
    August 8, 2009 at 08:31

    Are we sure about achiving anything without the co-operation of Afghans. Is the current Afghan president anyway adding value to the ongoing war against terrorism? What change is required to make more effective developments????????

  55. 58 John P (Edinburgh, UK)
    August 8, 2009 at 10:05

    I believe Britain is a violent Militarist Power that will continue to invade foreign lands because it has never honestly faced up to the Racism and Brutality of its Colonial past.

    The Golden Rule says “”Do onto others as you would wish them do onto you.”

    Does supporting one bunch of warlords in a civil conflict or invading foreign lands meet the obligation imposed by this ethical code. I don’t think so. No British person would like to have armed men from a foreign land invading and bombing our land under the euphemistic phrase “collateral damage”.

    When will British Soldiers stop serving, like brave some US and Israelis Soldiers, in unjust wars of aggression and invasion.

  56. 59 Jim Newman
    August 9, 2009 at 01:11

    Hello again
    And hello colonel. Question. Why didn’t the Afghans not attack Britain to pre-empt the invasion of their own country by the British? Surely they would have had the moral right.

  57. 60 VictorK
    August 10, 2009 at 10:23

    Nicola August 6, 2009 at 19:00, wrote “I am glad that now it’s English turn to die and perish on those dusty plains.”

    My comment is for WHYS and it’s variable moderating standards. You would not have published a comment expressing joy at Muslims perishing in, say, suicide bombings in Bagdhad, or a comment taking pleasure in Africans being slaughtered in Darfur. But this comment you regard as fit to be passed, as it would have – I believe – if it had been directed at any Western nationality. And yet you become angry and defensive when people criticise you for bias or double standards in moderating (and on that point, my previous comment on this was censored, despite not violating any of your stated guidleines).

    Please in future be as quick to recognise offensive and malicious national/ethnic generalisations whenever they occur, and not just when they relate to minorities.

    For a service that is, ultimately, funded by ‘English’ you really should know better.

    • August 10, 2009 at 12:20

      Hi Victor,
      You were right to pull us up on this. We have taken down the comment and it should not have been approved in the first place. It was offensive and that is something that should never find its way onto the WHYS blog.


    • 62 Jim Newman
      August 10, 2009 at 13:50

      Hello again
      And hello ViktorK. Steady on. We all know that if Saddam Husein was still in power none of the problems with Iraq would have occured.
      As for the variable moderating standards I’m not so sure. It seems to me that there is a very invariable censorership standard. It doesn’t quite conform to the rules that WHYS claims to adhere to but we have to live with that.
      Concerning the English perishing in those dusty plains. What the hell are they doing in those dusty plains anyway?

  58. 63 VictorK
    August 10, 2009 at 14:51

    @Madeleine: thank you.

    @Jim: I’m one of those who has come to regret Saddam’s deposition.

    WHYS have removed the comment for being offensive; I can’t expect any more than that and so I’ll draw a veil over the moderating issue.

    I, too, would like to see British soldiers pulled out of Afghanistan. There’s no UK interest there and their lives are being wasted in an impossible mission. Others will have their own reasons for being critical of the US, UK and allied presence, reasons that I can usually respect. But there are decent ways of expressing those reasons. That’s all.

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