Afghanistan War Coincidence With The 1800s

Royal Horse Artillery escaping from an Afghan attack
Anglo Afghan War
I don't really want to get into the world of politics with this blog but I came across something today which is one of those coincidences where history repeats itself - or at least it could.

I'll say first that I was against the invasion of Iraq and I'm none too happy either with the situation in Afghanistan today. And it's Afghanistan that this post is about.

Being British I can only talk about 'our' involvement and the horror of seeing mostly young soldiers being killed almost daily.

We British have, however, seen all of this previously back in the mid 1800s. This was at the time of the first Anglo-Afghan War. It was a bloody, savage war and an Army Chaplain, the Rev GR Greig, wrote in his memoirs of the humiliation felt when Britain finally pulled out. This is what he said:

"A war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government, which directed, or the great body of troops, which wagered it.

Not one benefit, political or military, has Britain acquired with this war. Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated."

Much of what the Reverend wrote in 1843 could be applicable today. Most of us aren't too sure of the purpose of troops being in Afghanistan, despite what the politicians tell us. And it does seem to be a possibility that there will eventually have to be a withdrawal, without much being achieved. The Taliban will once more gain control.

So have we learned anything from history? Probably not.

One recent article I read via the BBC News website does make me wonder about Afghanistan. What is this report about? Afghanistan may have more than a trillion dollars worth of untapped mineral deposits, a spokesman for the ministry of mines has suggested.

So Iraq has oil, Afghanistan has minerals. But the wars were about Weapons of Mass Destruction (which weren't there) and, er, making the world a safer place - or something like that. All a big coincidence, of course.

More Coincidences:
Hard To Believe Coincidence Story From The AA
Winning Lottery Numbers Same Twice In A Row
Attracting Birds Coincidence


  1. I think the BBC News website summed up the reasons for the war pretty well Mike.
    If you get the chance to watch the Oliver Stone movie "W" about the clown/puppet who supposedly started this war,you'll see where the next wars will be fought and why.
    It's spelled out when Cheney uses his big stick on the map,while Bush is daydreaming in class again.-)
    They just need an excuse now.
    Lets see...nuclear weapons of mass destruction in Iran...or should that be mass oil for the taking in Iran?

    1. Bush and Blair have a lot to answer for - and yet they got/get away with it. I think actually that Bush was manipulated by other powers. And now Blair is cashing in, it's reported that he has made multi millions since leaving government. Iran next? Could be, I'm sure a reason can be thought up - probably something to do with Israel.

  2. Don't even get me started on Bush. He stole two elections in this country, was controlled by Cheney, the man who just got a new heart (maybe the heart of a liberal?) and the entire administration was totally corrupt. Two countries were destroyed for Bush and Blair's folly, thousands lost their lives, and why are we still in Afghanistan? Minerals? Well, good luck with that.

    Iran? I don't think they'll invade that country- yet.

  3. Not just the British, but the Soviets also invaded Afghanistan with disastrous results. It's always been a technologically superior army going in and getting their butt handed to them. When will they learn?

  4. I don’t know if this blog is still being followed as it is a few months old. I would like to say that I spent nine years in Afghanistan and visited many villages during my stay. The afghan people were glad to have us there when we first went in and removed the Al Qaida and Taliban. There are still a lot of afghan people who believe we can help. I have read many books on the past wars in Afghanistan and they are a country that has never been beaten either by Alexander the great, Genghis Khan and as stated the British and Russians. One reason being you can’t defeat a religion that is joined as these people were during those wars. They are famous for warring tribes that join together if they feel the country is being attacked but will fight each other to claim land for themselves. The Al Qaida and Taliban hide behind women and children and the news is quick to report that allied forces have attacked and killed them. I can’t recall very many news reels of the afghan people cheering when we bring food and schools to them. The news reporters should stay out of the way and let the forces do their jobs, they have cost lives on both sides as well. I will agree that we should have waited or even not gone into Iraq as we have taken out the only country that kept Iran in check. I don’t feel that oil or minerals were the reasons behind the wars we didn’t even know until 2 years ago that Afghanistan even had anything of value in their soil more than likely found in a bomb crater. As for oil if we wanted oil from Iraq then why are prices still going up, hell we should just be taking it and driving down prices with the way the economy is right now. You can sit back and throw blame at Bush or Blair but they beat the hell out of what we have in the office now. When you have Israel telling the American people that we need to elect someone with balls, we are in a world of hurt. . We should worry very much about Iran if they gain nukes they will use them. Go on you tube sometimes and watch a nuclear test to remind yourself what a small one of them can do. You are not as safe as you think in your nice penthouse apartments, urban neighborhoods or even backwoods cabins. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but find out the facts don’t just listen to the news media they are worst liars than a politician.

    1. Thank you anon for your views and experiences - very interesting.