Sunday, November 09, 2008

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, on parade in Dacca, Bengal 1933 (from the photo collection of Brian Harrington Spear)

On the phone with my grandfather back in England today he brought up Obama's election in the context of the Rememberance Day commemorations he'd watched this morning.

"He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan, doesn't he? He'd better have a plan to do more than bomb them (the Taliban): your great-great uncle Charlie was on the North West frontier with the Norfolks in the thirties doing the same thing our boys are now. Nothing changes."

I suppose this is my grandfather's version of Vizzini's advice to the Dread Pirate Roberts: "never get involved in a land war in Asia".

75 years later, British airmen parade at Kandahar airfield: fighting the great-grandsons of their great-grandfathers' adversaries.

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