Wednesday, May 31, 2006


If you get chance, go read this post at StupidChurchPeople.

I believe that the UK's entrance into Iraq was on false information, and more than likely had a hidden agenda. Yet as someone who values life, regardless of race, sex, religion etc, I was deeply saddened to see a comment from someone who frequents this blog. If you read the comments on the above post you will see what I mean, I hope he will retract it, but this is not what we are about.


dinsy said...

Yeah, I read it , can't comment cos if you don't have a blogger account, they don't care what you think over at StupidChurchPeople - not one of us I suppose.

So people join the forces to defend do they? Then why don't they quit and take what's coming when they find they are prosecuting an illegal war on defenceless people and are hypocritically using the very weapons (of mass destruction - depleted uranium) they are whingeing that their opposition are trying to get their hands on?

I think any of the forces currently fighting in Iraq,except the Iraqis, deserve what they get.

And I would post this over on SCP if I was a blogger.

Dave said...

On the film Fahreineit 911 it is clear that a large part of recruitment came from poor and deprived areas where people could not break free from the poverty. Due to the removal of industry and manufacturing the armed forces will be an even more attractive option, add to that the military brainwashing that happens, I maintain, despite your comments, that most people joining the armed forces do not join for the sole intention of killing other people.

The role of the British military is to defend, and once you are in you cannot just leave, no matter how illegal the war is. You have to serve 12 months notice, maybe as well as them quitting, we should all stop paying our taxes, the government could not pay the military then.

I cannot condone spitting on the graves of anyone, I wonder if they would do that if that soldiers wife and children were stood there as well.

I find it difficult to take any side on this, war sucks, and those who give the orders are never the ones to die. I cannot say they deserve what they get, but I also do not have to condone what is happening.

dinsy said...

Perhaps you would point out how my comments give the impression that I think people join the military "for the sole intention of killing other people" - I certainly did not state that, nor do I think it. If I have implied it, I am sorry for my careless use of words.

However, whatever reason people join the forces for, killing is part of the job spec, it's why they get given guns, and to complain afterwards that you didn't join up to kill people is a little disingenuous.

You mentioned the Falklands Conflict over on the SCP blog, that is in no way comparable to the war in Iraq. Argentina invaded british territory, british people wanted the protection due to them from the british government, you went out to the Falklands to defend those people from a foreign invader. Whatever the politics about why britain claims the Falkland Islands, or the political capital made from the whole situation, the fact remained that that land was british, elects a member to the british parliament and was invaded by a foreign army.

Situation in Iraq is a little bit different I think. In fact it is the complete inverse. Iraq governed by Iraqis, foreign nations (US/UK) chose to invade. How do you construe that as being "defence"?

You say once you are in you can't just leave - what about that SAS guy who quit a few months ago that you blogged about his integrity, he expected prison but it didn't stop him from quitting. You can do anything you want to do, you just have to be prepared to take the consequences, he was. Whenever people say they have no choice, they mean they have chosen the least unpleasant option. If that is to stay in the army and kill or be killed, they have still made that choice.

You mention the recruiting in Farenheit 911 - do you also remember the woman who was extoling the US military, saluted the flag day and night as she raised and lowered it, most of the males in her family had been in the army, thought the war in Iraq was fine, then her close relative (son i think but can't be sure) was killed and she changed into an anti-war protestor overnight. What a hypocrite.

A friend of my joined up just before the Falklands, his mother was all for it - until he got sent to war and potential of being killed, then it was "My son joined the army to see the world, not to fight people, he shouldn't have been sent."

It's fine to join the military for what you can get out of them - but unless you happen to be in at a time of non-conflict (rare these days) sooner or later you will pay for it - either through your own death or through killing someone else. You can base your chance at a better future on the pain and blood and death of those you are opressing, and whose lives you are destroying, and you can even justify it by telling yourself that you wouldn't have had an education otherwise, but at least be honest about it - both those who make that choice and those who condone it.

Do you remember the politicians he interviewed, they all thought it was great that young people joined up to fight for the good of America, but not their own children. And still the StupidAmericanPatriots fall for it.

I do not support spitting on graves (whether the family are there or not), but I would have no quarrel with anti war protests at military funerals.

Dave said...

Though you never said people join the military for the sole came across that way to me, I just wanted to emphasise that defence, security, driving fire engines, stopping drug trafficking etc are all part of military operations.
Unless things have changed, killing people was never on the job spec, defending people, as in the Falklands as you rightly point out, was. I have included an update on Ben Griffin below...
Justin Hugheston-Roberts was the solicitor for Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith who was sentenced to eight months in prison for refusing to follow orders in connection with a deployment to Iraq.
He said: "As part of my day to day job, I am approached regularly by people who are seeking to absent themselves from service. There has been an increase, a definite upturn."
Gilbert Blades, an expert in military law who represents soldiers at courts martial, said the numbers leaving due to their views on Iraq were often obscured as they were not counted as conscientious objectors.
"One can't help thinking that what's behind every absence is the problem in Iraq and I would think that if the real truth was told, then the Iraq problem has contributed to a huge number of people going absent," he told BBC Radio Five Live.
Our correspondent says there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from military personnel that they are demoralised by the continuing conflict in Iraq and the fact that, despite their best efforts, there is little improvement in the situation there.
Ben Griffin was a member of the elite SAS. Earlier this year he told his commanding officer earlier he was not prepared to return to Iraq because he said he saw American forces carrying out what he thought were illegal acts.
He was allowed to leave the military and he now says: "I was disturbed by the general day-to-day attitude of the American troops. They treated Iraqis with contempt, not like human beings. They had a complete disregard for Iraqi lives and property."
Mr Griffin would never have considered deserting but he says his views are shared by many others in the British military.
He told the BBC: "I can't speak for others but there's a lot of dissent in the Army about the legality of war and concerns that they're spending too much time there".
He says Iraq is different to other conflicts because, in other operations, the main aim is to improve life for the local population and he believes that is not what has happened in Iraq.
Mr Griffin says: "There's contempt for the locals. We don't even know how many have been killed."
His advice to others is not to desert - but that if they have doubts, they should follow their conscience, speaking out if they think that the Iraq conflict is wrong.

I think you may be confusing the fact of whether I think the war in Iraq is legal or illegal, my point is that the majority of the servicemen probably (as above proves) do not want to be there. You missed my point about the Michael Moore film, a lot of the recruits have little choice but to join the military if they want to support their family.

I cannot agree that the woman was a hypocrite, sadly through the most dire circumstances she had seen the awful cost of war, the fact that she changed to an anti-war protestor seems to show that she is not a hypocrite.

A friend of my joined up just before the Falklands, his mother was all for it - until he got sent to war and potential of being killed, then it was "My son joined the army to see the world, not to fight people, he shouldn't have been sent."

Your friends mother was sadly mistaken if she thought she should not have been sent, but this is what happens, recruitment interviews extol the virtues and benefits of the armed forces...I don't think a poster saying 'Join the army and get your legs blown off - or have new types of drugs tested on you' would gain many recruits'.

The vast majority who join up do not die or kill anyone else, they are part of the machine that sees its comrades die and the machine that kills others, but in some ways we are all part of that machine. I never justified my points on an education basis, but for some poorly educated people, the prospect of financial security is attractive.

You are right about the politicians, but was this not the point I made, that it is never the ones who give the orders who die, and I cannot find it in me to agree with the comment that American Patriots are stupid, I just cannot reduce people to stupid, blind and misinformed to the facts yes, unwilling to hear all aspects of the truth yes, but not stupid.

I do not think I would support anti war protests at military funerals, what does it serve? If people want to protest then go do it at the seat of government, has the person who has died not paid their dues, got what they deserve, why oppress and abuse their families. The anti war protests failed and still are, and I don't know, but maybe wars are never stopped by the people on the streets. It is the governments who decide when they stop, granted that may be from public pressure, or financial constraints, but they only ever stop when it suits them. The anti war protests failed because people will only protest to the point where it begins to cost them, they may arrested and use that to revel in their own ego's, but let them go and stand hand in hand with the Iraqi people. If 1000 anti war protestors had gone and stood in Fallujah, then maybe the military would not have decimated everything that moved there. I am sure the American military would not use depleted uranium if Michael Moore was on the ground, or Barbara Streisand, Susan Sarandon, Tony Benn or George Galloway.

Shieldsy said...

Could write loads on this one ... but will just stick to the one about protesting at funerals! Treat CL's comments with the contempt they deserve, but shocked at any sane person thinking that protesting at a funeral is a worthwhile or constructive thing to do let alone mentioning the words love, compassion, grief, sympathy, 'mourning with those that mourn'.

Even if we think some people's lives have been dispicable (and I don't think those who are serving there country in miltary obligation are), surely our response at a funeral should be 'father forgive them they didn't know what they are doing', not 'I want you to know that in my opinion your child/father/brother was dispicable and deserved to die'. Am trying to think of any situation where I think protesting at a funeral would be compatible with my christian faith and can't think of any.

dinsy said...

Dave, what either you or I think about the legality of the war in Iraq is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. It is the attitude of some of the members of the invading armies, and their relatives, about which I complain.

I don't think I missed your point about recruiting in the Michael Moore film, all I want is for the people making the choice to join the military to be honest about the possible consequences, and the possible cost to others, of their choice of how to support their family. (I thought they recruited mainly young, single people who would not have a family to support.)

If you don't like the word "hypocrite" to describe someone who totally changes their opinion on the right or wrong as soon as there is a cost to them personally, how about "shallow, selfish and turncoat".

The whole attitude of people who complain about a course of action as soon as there is a cost to themselves is reprehensible - it seems to be "other peoples lives, families, countries etc can be totally screwed up by me and mine, and as long as it doesn't affect me personally that is OK." It is total selfishness, I'm in the lifeboat, you can drown.

I'm sorry you missed my allusion to the "StupidChurchPeople" in referring to "StupidAmericanPatriots" - have you told the SCP bloggers they shouldn't call Church People "stupid"? One definition of stupid is "lacking in judgement", fits the behaviour in my opinion.

(BTW,I think the american military would be only too happy to use depleted uranium on George Galloway!)

Shieldsy, who says anti-war protests have to be along the lines of "your relative was despicable and deserved to die"? If the protests are along the lines of reminding people that being killed is a possible consequence of war, and wouldn't it be better of we weren't at war, then I don't see the problem. Protests don't have to be abusive or insensitive.

Do you think the families of the people who were killed in the London bombings have no right to protest at military funerals? I'm sure their loved ones would still be alive if britain had not joined in Bush's crusade.

I think it is covered by freedom of speech.

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