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Blunderov
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RE: virus: SAS soldier leaves army over 'illegal' Iraq war
« on: 2006-03-14 03:24:42 »
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[Blunderov] Interestingly, Griffin was given a reference describing him as a
"balanced, honest, loyal and determined individual who possesses the
strength of character to have the courage of his convictions". Fair enough
in my view, but perhaps this admission on the part of the authorities is
really a cunning tactic to defuse any awkwardness that might arise from
future defections?

The Kendall-Smith CM begins this month; or will it be swept under the carpet
in this fashion too?

(Kim Howells reported remarks are staggeringly vacuous; Iraq is a mess, but
it is a GOOD mess? Some mothers do 'ave 'em.)

Best Regards.


http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=374282006


SAS soldier leaves army over 'illegal' Iraq war
CHRIS GREENWOOD

AN SAS soldier has refused to go into combat in Iraq alongside United States
forces after branding their tactics "illegal".

Ben Griffin, 28, left the army after three months in Baghdad over the
behaviour of US troops and the policies of coalition forces. He is believed
to be the first SAS soldier to refuse to go into combat and quit the army on
moral grounds.

Mr Griffin said at the weekend that he witnessed dozens of illegal acts by
US fighters who viewed Iraqis as "sub-human". He said: "I saw a lot of
things in Baghdad that were illegal or just wrong.

"I knew, so others must have known, that this was not the way to conduct
operations if you wanted to win the hearts and minds of the local
population.

"And if you can't win the hearts and minds of the people, you can't win the
war."

Mr Griffin, who was born in London and raised in Wales, said he told his
commanders in Hereford that he could no longer take part in a war that was
"illegal".

"I did not join the British Army to conduct American foreign policy," he
said.

Expecting to be reprimanded, court-martialled and branded a coward, he was
instead discharged from the army and given a reference describing him as a
"balanced, honest, loyal and determined individual who possesses the
strength of character to have the courage of his convictions".

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said that the department did not
comment on matters involving SAS personnel.

Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, this weekend admitted that Iraq
was "a mess" during a visit to the country to inspect the oil industry.

However, he played down the prospects of civil war and praised the
enthusiasm of ordinary Iraqis for change.

"People describe Iraq as a mess," he said. "But it is a mess that can't
launch an attack now on Iran; a mess that won't be able to march into
Kuwait; a mess that can't develop nuclear weapons.

"So yes, it's a mess, but it's starting to look like the sort of mess that
most of us live in."

The SAS has served alongside its American equivalent, Delta Force, in all
parts of Iraq, targeting al-Qaeda cells and insurgents. The Hereford-based
unit, formed in 1941 to conduct raids behind enemy lines during the Second
World War, is the principal special forces unit of the British Army.


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DJ dAndroid
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RE: virus: SAS soldier leaves army over 'illegal' Iraq war
« Reply #1 on: 2006-03-13 08:44:55 »
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I have to say, that the endless political discussions upon this board have left me a little cold. That's not a complaint mind you. I haven't added anything of substance in awhile so fair enough, continue, continue! I just haven't anything which I could add.

However this particular story caught my attention. Unfortunately I still haven't much of substance to add beyond a hearty 'Good on him!' & good on his Gov't to see perhaps that just letting this one go gracefully was the easiest and quickest answer.
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JD
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RE: virus: SAS soldier leaves army over 'illegal' Iraq war
« Reply #2 on: 2006-03-13 11:25:11 »
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The British Army Rumour Service (http://www.arrse.co.uk/) bulletin board has frequent denunciations of this sort from active servicemen and women.

I accept these soldiers' right to be appalled by US Army attitudes, but their political rantings carry no effect on me.  They can comment on soldiering with authority but politically we are equals.

Many non-Americans who fight alongside the US Army seem to be appalled by their gun-ho attitude. That is their style of fighting. Perhaps it is force of neccesity? Perhaps it has operational value?

The vaunted Black Watch tried softly softly in the Sunni Triangle and found out very quickly why the Marines are justifiably "trigger happy".

Also, embeded journalist like the superb Michael Yon (http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/) say that the "trigger happy yank" slander is complete bunk.

I suppose it varies from unit to unit.

There is also little doubt though that as a fighting force the US Army has improved massively since the Vietnam era (not just technologically). It seems they are good for invasions but maybe not for occupations?

Now let me think. What are examples of 'good' occupying forces.....

Kind regards,

JD
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RE: virus: SAS soldier leaves army over 'illegal' Iraq war
« Reply #3 on: 2006-03-13 17:41:38 »
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Once upon a time South African troops would probably have sufficed. When you have suitably equiped, motivated and trained troops, commanded by politically aware and militarily competent officers (and I mean staff rather than field officers), then JudeoAmerican levels of brutality are not required. Recall that South Africa was strongly motivated by a desire to avoid counterproductive hysterical reactions - and thus found better solutions which by and large achieved their aim*. The Americans - and Israelis - quite blatantly don't give a hoot about other people's opinions, and so don't bother to look for alternatives to (counterproductive) brutality. Good military strategy (Dankie Konstant Viljoen) requires encouraging your enemy to become your friend on your terms - or at the very least, allowing for the fact that you and your enemy are likely to have to work together at some time in the future*and so it is inadvisable to overstep the boundaries of "necessary unpleasantness". Once more, the opposite of the current "American approach".

*unless, perhaps, you have elected to fight an interminable and unwinable war on a strategy rather than an opponent - like "a war on terror" - or "drugs" for that matter or hope to eliminate your opponent through genocide.

**Imagine an alternative Universe where South Africa continued the war against terror until in late 2001 the USA decided that the Nationalists were helping to control terrorists like Nelson Mandela and provided support for them to do so. Now blink. Reality is even stranger. The ANC is working with American assets in an attempt to "manage" their previous allies, PAGAD, now transformed into "islamic terrorists."
« Last Edit: 2006-03-13 19:57:21 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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