Middle East 11 June 2010 David Cameron worships at the altar of the military The Prime Minister has been over in Afghanistan extolling “our boys”. Print HTML The Guardian's Nick Watt reports on David Cameron's speech to British troops out at Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan, where the Prime Minister paraphrased Charles M Province: I want you to think of that great quotation that it's not the politician that brings the right to vote, it is the soldier; it is not the poet that brings free speech, it is the soldier; it is not the journalist that brings free expression, it is the soldier. So I want you to help me create a new atmosphere in our country, an atmosphere where we back and revere and support our military. Put aside the ahistorical (and neoconservative) nonsense about soldiers bringing the "right to vote" and protecting "free speech" -- is Niall Ferguson writing Cameron's speeches now, as well as advising the Tories on the history curriculum? -- and focus instead on the jingoistic and martial final sentence: "So I want you to help me create a new atmosphere . . . where we back and revere and support our military." Revere? When did the UK become Sparta? And should we revere our troops when they are involved in this, or this, or this? Or turn a blind eye? Before I'm accused of lacking patriotism or being "anti-armed forces", let me point out that I care about the fate of our men and women serving in Afghanistan and I am depressed and saddened by each and every pointless death. If Cameron (and Brown before him) really cared about the lives of our military personnel, he would withdraw them from Afghanistan, where they are engaged in a dishonest, counterproductive, immoral and unwinnable war. › Tory minister admits: cuts will hit the poorest hardest Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12. Subscribe More Related articles Letter from Donetsk: ice cream, bustling bars and missiles in eastern Ukraine The murder of my friend Giulio Regeni is an attack on academic freedom Beyond terror: how are the Paris attack survivors healing their “invisible wounds”?