Thursday, 8 September 2011

The British Army

The findings of an enquiry into the treatment of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers makes very uncomfortable reading for every ex soldier. There cannot be anyone who has served in the forces who has not met bullying NCOs and weak officers. When wars happen people get hurt.

Nobody is chasing the Iraqis who set fire to the British soldiers who had to bail out of their armoured vehicles in Basra. Nobody has ever charged the murderers of the six Military policemen who were caught out by a mob very early on in Iraq. I cannot excuse anyone who was party to the type of aggression that we have seen on the TV but war is war and bad things happen.

We cannot have the army under the same kind of pressure that we have placed the police under. They must be allowed to react without fear of subsequent prosecution. In Northern Ireland some of the constraints that we were under in the seventies were ridiculous.

What concerns me more are the actions of our politicians. This Iraqi was killed in 2003. Since then we have had a plethora of Foreign Secretaries who have stood up in Parliament and denied/excused/lied that these events happened. More and more it appears that the NoLab politicians under Blair/Brown did not have a clue what was going on.

I just wonder if one day Messrs Blair and Brown will face a judge because they really deserve the opportunity to explain to the public how they managed so much damage in such a few years and why they did it? 


SAB said...

I was very young at the time, but I always recall a news story (must have been early/mid 80's) about some soldiers in Northern Ireland that where in trouble because they opened fire on a vehicle that ran through a checkpoint. I mean what the hell are they supposed to do? They may as well pack up and go home!!... I've heard this kind of story happening over and over ever since through the Iraq war and Afghan etc. Must have cost the MOD hundred of thousands in compensation claims! I think it's right that our professional armed forces should be accountable for their actions, but the people pointing the finger also need to appreciate the circumstances soldiers find themselves in and the need to make instant decisions there and then int he heat of the moment. I mean it's life or death in the majority of cases, simple as that! You don't have time to consider whether the guy wearing the suicide vest walking your way is just out for a gentle stroll...

Julian Moss said...

I completely agree. The police and military should not have to be judged on decisions made in the heat of the moment by people sitting in comfortable chairs with the benefit of hindight.

Anonymous said...

If the soldiers were not in Iraq this could not have happened.
But they were/are in Iraq, they were/are obeying orders (no different to the Nuremburg finding)they have to bear the consequences of their actions as do the officers that turned a blind eye.

TB said...

There's a big difference between acting on the field and kicking the the crap (life) out of a prisoner.


bryboy said...

Lots of good points and tks for ur interest guys. The constraints placed on the soldiers in the field have always disadvantaged them. I also agree with Simon though..kicking the crap out of prisoners is cowardly! If those in charge had not turned a blind eye then it could not have happened and by 'those in charge'I also mean Foreign Secretaries like Jack Straw and David Miliband.