Monday, 29 January 2007

Soldiers Still Dying in Our Name

I have a few friends in the British military, who not only act as a constant reminder that we are at war but also keep me informed of the latest developments that UK troops face.

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and personal matters, whether love or house buying or acting, have rather distracted me from the bigger picture of world affairs and illegal wars fought in far off lands. I had a rude awakening to the eternal fact that young men are still dying in our name, seemingly forgotten as they go about their work in Afghanistan (yes, we are still fighting in Afghanistan), suffering causalities as our media outlets prefer to focus on Home Office mishaps, reality TV brutality and British Airways strikes.

My friend’s company were in a vehicle that hit a landmine, one died instantly, most were blown from the transporter relatively unhurt but one was trapped under the burning vehicle, on fire himself. Unable to move the massive weight on top of him and seeing a comrade burning to death and in extreme pain, his fellow soldiers attempted to amputate his destroyed legs with the only thing they had to hand: a spade.

Imagine that: burning to death in some foreign land, knowing that death is at hand as your brothers try and hack off your useless limbs. The young soldier in question died before he could be saved and he is not alone. Every day brings fresh UK and US causalities and we go about our lives; protected from the continuous stream of young dead lost in a vain cause, seemingly taking the military dead for granted.

I for one will not forget them and what they have been asked to do and the price they have paid.


  1. Well, I know a lot of people in the U.S. military and I'm certainly hoping that we work to de-escalate the conflict in the coming years.

    The bond market here went wild last week on fallacious reports that Iran had fired an errant missile at a U.S. Navy ship in the "Arabic" Gulf there.... But the news was false and the bond markets recovered while the price of oil continued to dip.

    Some may think it might be necessary to attack Iran before they're able to detonate a nuclear device above ground.... I dunno about that.

    I do know that there is a plethora of reasons to exercise restraint and patience, not least of all would be repairing the overused U.S. Army and, to a lesser extent, the U.S. Marine Corps.

    The anti-war protests here won't stop the troop "surge" but is indicative of something larger: a super-majority of Americans oppose war with Iran.

  2. I appreciate everything you have said, but just think of the thousands (or actually tens of thousands) of innocent people who have been killed as a result of a war on terror which is war on an abstraction.

    They never signed up for it. Just got caught in the way, if you join the army you sign up and therefore know there is a possibility you will die.

    If we don't even get updates on our own military I hate to think how many innocent people have been killed.

    War is the EVIL, not the soldiers although some get towards that. And others don't.

    I'm gunna stop know it's depressing I like being in my own little bubble.

  3. Stalin wanted to execute 50,000 to 100,000 German staff officers, just as smitty dehaviland does. Instead it was only the top leadership who were tried at Nuremburg.

    "I was only following orders" did, in fact, cut it for the lower ranks. Those who would be killed if they did not follow orders.

    Just as low level terrorists are only following orders. They of all people would believe terrorism works, and it works on them. Mohammed Atta's sisters are still alive and well in Cairo, instead of being mailed, piece by piece to him, which would have happened had he decided not to proceed on 9-11.

  4. Smitty--What exactly is "illegal?"

    The law only exists as far as one can enforce it. Seriously. I'm not saying it's right, but in many cases the "Global Arrogance" can get away w/ what they want.

    I agree w/ Cranky Yankee on this point. I mean, it's sort of like a rabbit suing a fox for the "illegal" killing of its mate.

    And, tell me, are resource wars LESS evil than ethnic-conflict wars?

    Regardless, I'm hoping we work to de-escalate the conflict. If we must go to war with Iran (which is not a given) then why don't we all spend the next five years just talking about it--with everyone, including the Iranians?

    I do think the Global Arrogance should condescend to speak with their enemies, should they agree to multilateral talks. But yes, it's all heartbreaking.

  5. I love how they continue to tell us that the soldiers are fighting for our redom and they're defending us. All I've seen is that the American people are slowly losing their freedom as the war progresses, and not once has anyone mentioned exactly what they're protecting us FROM.

  6. Matt - That wasn't me. Col Dr has reappeared as Smitty and the cranky yankee without the picture. Don't pay ay attention to it.

  7. Fucking wanker!

    I take the moderation off and the twat hawk just goes on abusing, how low and scummy is that.

    Just fuck off and leave my blog alone with your bullshit and stop pretending to be other valued users.

  8. A soldier is a soldier. Now I would have been more surprised if said soldier had been killed by a faulty soft-drinks vending machine. However, soldiers sign their name up to go to foreign countries, to take arms and to fight. Some live, some die. 'Tis the nature of the job. Whether they do it in my name or someone else's, they are paid to get shot at and killed. Now this middle-class hand-wringing has to stop. Yes, war is bad and war is wrong and blah, blah, blah. Don't pity the soldier because he put himself there by signing up. Not like the poor sods who died in two proper wars who didn't have the option.

    'Nuff said, you pansies...


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