Monday, September 18, 2006

Foaming at the Mouth

The British government has a foreign policy that I find difficult to understand. I'm prepared to accept this is because I am under-informed and a bit thick.

This policy is carried out by British soldiers who need to stand in dangerous places surrounded by people who hate them and have the means and desire to kill them.

You would hope that the Government, by way of gratitude, would move mountains to protect them for harm as far as humanly possible.

Then you hear about the flame-retardant foam

Available for forty years, requested since the Falklands War, fitted as standard to American planes. Without it, one lucky shot from a Kalashnikov can turn the wing fuel tank of a Hercules cargo plane into a fireball. Sounds like a no-brainer.

I'm betting some bureaucrat picked up an award for the false economy of not having the foam fitted when we ordered the planes. Hope he still feels as smug after the incident in Iraq last December when 10 agents of Government Foreign Policy died needlessly .

You might expect a speedy response from a shocked government to avoid a recurrence.

Now it's Mid-September - and I see on Channel 4 News nothing much has happened, and it's really down to pure dumb luck that it hasn't happened again.

Look, I don't agree with the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I have massive respect for the people who try to make these unpopular policies happen at risk to their own lives, thousands of miles away from their homes and families. They deserve our respect and they deserve the government's protection.

Get it sorted. Learn the lessons. Apologise to the families of the victims. But most of all, buy the damn foam.

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