Monday, 4 June 2012

'Moral Duty' Is A Poor Excuse


A British soldier from the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, has been killed in Afghanistan.

He was part of a patrol to disrupt insurgent activity in the south of Nahr-e-Saraj district in Helmand Province, when he was killed by small arms fire.

The soldier becomes the 417th member of our armed forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began and his death comes just hours after another soldier from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, was killed on Friday.  He was named yesterday as Corporal Michael John Thacker.

This weekend I watched Rory Stewart's programme Afghanistan - The Great Game, which was broadcast on BBC2 earlier last week. Both parts should be compulsory viewing for all politicians even though I tend to agree with this reviewer. Although Stewart has been criticised for admitting he spent only 32 days walking in Afghanistan, it's 32 days more than any other MP has undertaken.

Yesterday morning, on the BBC's The Big Questions programme, many of the audience were of the opinion that British Forces should intervene in the Syrian conflict as they believed we could save the lives of civilians and it was our moral duty to do so. Only the SNP's MSP Humza Yousaf appeared to have a grasp of the situation there and stated the conflict should be resolved by the Arab nations and not the West.

It is not our responsibility to inflict our culture and systems upon other nations using military force.  History proves that we have done far more harm than good using the excuse of 'moral duty'.


Jo G said...

I saw the programme you refer to earlier in the week Subrosa and founding it very interesting indeed. There was much of Afghanistan's history I did know.

The Syria business is one I have watched closely since Gadaffi fell. I've also listened closely to lunatics like Clinton (Mrs) and Hague and believe they are more than keen on a new project in Syria just like the one in Libya where we were meant to be enforcing a no fly zone but were actually using our considerable firepower on behalf of rebels we did not even know. Mind you, at least UN Observers went to Syria. When Libya asked for them on day one the request was ignored.

I have reached the point where I don't believe a single word I hear out of the mouth of a politician. It isn't a good place to be in matters such as these. There are conflicting reports about who is behind the appalling killings in Syria. Frankly it is difficult to know who to believe when lies and politicians (especially Western ones) are such friends.

You only have to look at the current situation on the Lockerbie Case. The Scottish Government is still sending people to Libya to talk to other people while, in the Megrahi Case, the questions surrounding his conviction pile higher by the day yet Salmond steadfastly refuses to address them or to use the powers he most certainly has to instigate an Inquiry. Furthermore his willingness to behave as a puppet for the UK Government and Westminster where the lies over Lockerbie were originally dreamed up, has been a shocking thing to see.

Since the very start of this "Arab Spring" there have been rumours of Western involvement behind the scenes. Nothing would surprise me.

Jo G said...

And isn't it ironic that as we go on lecturing the world about real democracy, especially at Arab nations, Palestine remains ignored as does its right to its own state?

Brian said...

I was impressed by Florence of Belgravia's assessment, more so by the Russian General who advised small scale involvement by special forces. The problem is that a big army seeks a big solution to justify its existence - as does the Foreign Office which has a tendency to meddle and create work for itself.
Turning to Syria, given the choice between an Arab tyrant and fundamentalist Islamists, I take the view of Dick Cheney in the Iran-Iraq war that it's a pity they both can't lose. The Arab Spring was started by secularist democrats then hijacked by religious nutters.

JRB said...

With the coalition forces in apparent disarray as to when they are collectively, or even individually, actually going to leave Afghanistan, and the dark cloud that now hangs over their ‘training’ role of Afghan military and Afghan police, neither of whom can be trusted by our soldiers.

The insurgents in Afghanistan, whatever their political persuasion, must be rubbing their hands with glee. All they need do now is sit back, relax, enjoy a glass or two of sweet tea, and every now and then simply send out a few men to ambush a patrol, take out a ‘squaddie’ or two, thus keeping all coalition forces in a state of heightened alert. And so the deaths will continue.

As for Syria … Obama obviously needs some quick fix to secure his next term in office. He may see military intervention in Syria as just such a necessary vote winner, also as a snub to Russia, and a warning to Iran. But never could it be described as an altruistic intervention on humanitarian grounds.

Just pray to your God that Haig does not drag Britain along as if we were the USofA’s obedient little lap dog, as has been the case on far too many occasions.

Jo G said...

JRB, Hague is up for it. Of that there is no doubt.

The hypocrisy of the West as it meddles and plots and lies is truly vomit inducing.

JuliaM said...

Jo G: "I have reached the point where I don't believe a single word I hear out of the mouth of a politician."

Wise decision.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The political lobotoratti couldn't give a toss -they have a world to conquer,an investment portfolio to fill along with inflated ego's to support - the nitty gritty of blood, guts and pink mists do not register.

They talk tough because they're thick and curdled by corruption.

Jo G said...

Crinkly yes, which is why I kind of choked when someone earlier quoted Dick Cheney.

subrosa said...

It was a decent stab at informing the masses Jo.

I'm of the same opinion as yourself about politicians. They seem to take us as fools. Do they not realise, with the internet now available for most, that anyone can investigate their utterings?

The Lockerbie case angers me, but I did read somewhere today that Megrahi's son stated the family intend to appeal.

The West involved in the Arab Spring doesn't surprise me in the least. The west owes so much money to the Arab countries so obviously there are a few favours returned.

Don't get me started on the Palestinian business.

subrosa said...

It was hijacked before it got off the ground Brian.

subrosa said...

They all want out now JRB and quickly. The coalition countries have wakened up to the fact that their electorate aren't impressed anymore.

I hear Hague on radio the other day saying we would stand by any US decision. That means he'll be happy to play second fiddle.

subrosa said...

'Curdled by corruption'. Perfect description Crinkly.

Jo G said...

Not sure the Megrahis will be able to fund such an appeal Subrosa. It would take a great deal of money. Their financial position must be very different now I would imagine.

My preference is for Dr Swire to lead any new appeal. He is about the only person in this case who emerges with integrity. I think his involvement would bring a great deal of public pressure on the Judiciary and on Governments both north and south of the border who have, over the years, conspired together to ensure the safety of the Megrahi conviction is never tested.

Since Megrahi's release Mr MacAskill has changed the remit of the SCCRC so that it cannot refer any new appeal straight back to the Appeal Court. (It appears as if he was preparing for that very appeal by making sure the SCCRC would no longer have the power to make the decision and getting a judge back in control. Ironic when you think the SCCRC was set up to scrutinise cases free of political and judicial interference yet interference by both establishments in this case is off the scale.)

So any new appeal is going to have to be accompanied by enough public pressure to warn both the Scottish Government and our Judiciary not to even consider trying to pervert the course of justice once again over this case. I believe Dr Swire could bring that level of pressure through his own involvement in a new appeal and by the weight of public opinion right behind him. The Herald will also continue to call for justice in the Lockerbie Case and let's hope a few other Scottish titles start to do the same. It is about time.

The evidence that has emerged, even since the SCCRC made its findings known and those six grounds it uncovered, is truly shocking and proves that politicians, governments and judges were involved in obstructing justice from day one. That should terrify us all as should the fact that no political Party remains untainted. In 2007 there was such a Party, the SNP. Sadly it went on to work and to co operate with its political counterparts. Many of its supporters will never understand why that decision was taken or what deals were done with London to secure SNP co operation in such out and out criminal behaviour. (I say criminal because, in ordinary courts, ordinary beings go to jail for attempting to pervert the course of justice, for obstructing justice and for perjury.) It is a sad thing indeed that the SNP chose to support such conduct and to even indulge in such conduct themselves.

wisnaeme said...

Aye,I knew Michael. Cathy and wee Millie live next door to friends of mine in Kersley,Coventry.Yet an other family devastated by political gobsh*tes pursuing lost causes in the name of "expediency". Hell mend them.

subrosa said...

Wouldn't they get legal aid Jo? Others seem to wangle that.

I agree, the SNP has shot itself in the foot not declaring an inquiry.

That's politicians for you (or us).

subrosa said...

Hell mend them indeed wisnaeme. I can't imagine the suffering of Michael's family, or any of the others who have had the knock on the door.

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