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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/12/nsas112.xml" target="_blank">British Soldier's View of Iraq</a><br><br>
Thought this might be of interest to Flagger, Rowan's Dad, and others who find the "view from the front" issue an interesting one.<br><br>
A relevant quote: "During a week's leave in March 2005 he told his commanding officer in a formal interview that he had no intention of returning to Iraq because he believed that the war was morally wrong. Moreover, he said he believed that Tony Blair and the Government had lied to the country and had deceived every British serviceman and woman serving in Iraq."<br><br>
Very interesting, particularly since this the U.K.'s <i>Telegraph</i> isn't exactly "liberal American media."
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Mr Griffin expected to be placed under arrest, labelled a coward, court-martialed and imprisoned for daring to air such views.<br><br>
Instead, however, he was allowed to leave the Army with his exemplary military record intact and with a glowing testimonial from his commanding officer, who described him as a "balanced and honest soldier who possesses the strength and character to genuinely have the courage of his convictions".</td>
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We know where the commanding officer is at (I know - horrible grammer - feeling 60ish tonight)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">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 don't win the hearts and minds of the people, you can't win the war.</td>
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That was a powerful interview, and I almost feel like crying because the people that NEED to listen to his words, won't.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"I can remember coming in off one operation which took place outside Baghdad, where we had detained some civilians who were clearly not insurgents, they were innocent people. I couldn't understand why we had done this, so I said to my troop commander 'would we have behaved in the same way in the Balkans or Northern Ireland?' He shrugged his shoulders and said 'this is Iraq', and I thought 'and that makes it all right?'<br><br>
"As far as I was concerned that meant that because these people were a different colour or a different religion, they didn't count as much. You can not invade a country pretending to promote democracy and behave like that."</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Mr Griffin said he believed that the Americans soldiers viewed the Iraqis in the same way as the Nazis viewed Russians, Jews and eastern Europeans in the Second World War, when they labelled them "untermenschen".<br><br>
"As far as the Americans were concerned, the Iraqi people were sub-human, untermenschen. You could almost split the Americans into two groups: ones who were complete crusaders, intent on killing Iraqis, and the others who were in Iraq because the Army was going to pay their college fees. They had no understanding or interest in the Arab culture. The Americans would talk to the Iraqis as if they were stupid and these weren't isolated cases, this was from the top down. There might be one or two enlightened officers who understood the situation a bit better but on the whole that was their general attitude. Their attitude fuelled the insurgency. I think the Iraqis detested them."</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Mr Griffin, who lives in London, denies being a peace activist or a member of any political party, or having an agenda designed to bring down the Government.<br><br>
But he said: "I do believe passionately in democracy and I will speak out about things which I think are morally wrong. I think the war in Iraq is a war of aggression and is morally wrong and, more importantly, we are making the situation in the Middle East more unstable. It's not just wrong, it's a major military disaster. There was no plan for what was to happen after Saddam went, no end-game."<br><br>
• Mr Griffin did not ask for or receive any payment for this interview.</td>
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What a incredible article. Thank you for sharing it here Charles Baudelaire.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gethane</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That was a powerful interview, and I almost feel like crying because the people that NEED to listen to his words, won't.</div>
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That's exactly how I felt after reading the article too Gethane!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Take Care,<br>
Erika<br><br>
Hannah<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/candle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Candle">-Rest in Peace Sweet Girl
 

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Yup, if they weren't against the US before, they will be after they meet our soldiers. It's sad how much news doesn't make it through our press.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Danelle78</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yup, if they weren't against the US before, they will be after they meet our soldiers. It's sad how much news doesn't make it through our press.</div>
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That's one thing I really disagreed with the article about. When the guy said that all American soldiers are either trigger happy kill-the-muslim types or merely in the military for college money, I felt very disturbed.<br><br>
My best friend's husband, a man of very high integrity, was a member of the national guard who enlisted in that because he felt compelled to be a protector of his area and be able to help in an emergency. Many, many American soldiers have the same feeling...and got dragged into Iraq not because they sought it out, but because the military is desperate for bodies. I really doubt this man did anything unethical while he was over there, but I don't doubt that he was exposed to things (physical and psychological) which will effect him for the rest of his life...not to mention the fact that he's been disabled for over a year now, and had to give up the physical career he had...<br><br>
So pointing the finger at U.S. soldiers, and saying that they are the ones to blame, is a very false and unfair allegation, IMO.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jster</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So pointing the finger at U.S. soldiers, and saying that they are the ones to blame, is a very false and unfair allegation, IMO.</div>
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I don't think it's fair to take a sunshine approach to looking at our military as a whole based on your experience with one soldier. And to make assumptions that my post covers all solider is not a good assumption either. I have known many people over the years that were soliders. One that was a member of the Joint Chiefs.<br><br>
And it doesn't matter how nice and meek the are on this side, the majority of them aren't psychologically equipped to handle the stress that happens in wars. And that's when and why you see mass abuse like Abu Ghraib, and the atrocities that came out of Vietnam. Repetitive stress does and will change a person. In situation over there, you don't know who is going to be the enemy. It could be the man calmly eating lunch or the child running alongside your vehicle. And if it were my life, I'd shoot first and ask questions later too.<br><br>
This didn't make cnn.com that I could find:<br><br><a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4809228.stm" target="_blank">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4809228.stm</a><br><br>
But this did:<br><br><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/03/15/iraq.main/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jster</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That's one thing I really disagreed with the article about. When the guy said that all American soldiers are either trigger happy kill-the-muslim types or merely in the military for college money, I felt very disturbed.<br><br>
My best friend's husband, a man of very high integrity, was a member of the national guard who enlisted in that because he felt compelled to be a protector of his area and be able to help in an emergency. Many, many American soldiers have the same feeling...and got dragged into Iraq not because they sought it out, but because the military is desperate for bodies. I really doubt this man did anything unethical while he was over there, but I don't doubt that he was exposed to things (physical and psychological) which will effect him for the rest of his life...not to mention the fact that he's been disabled for over a year now, and had to give up the physical career he had...<br><br>
So pointing the finger at U.S. soldiers, and saying that they are the ones to blame, is a very false and unfair allegation, IMO.</div>
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But wait.<br>
People who sign up for the military, including the National Guard in the U.S., do so with the full knowledge that they could be sent to war. The issue, though, is not whether they were dragged to Iraq or went willingly, but how they acted once they were there.<br><br>
I have no idea how your friend acted (and neither, by your post, do you), but assuming he is as ethical as Christ in camouflage, even so, he was the exception and not the rule, at least according to the British soldier who <i>was</i> there. He was describing attitudes so often displayed by American soldiers that he found it safe to say that the attitudes were characteristic and typical (not necessarily <i>universal</i>). Unfortunately, what he describes is consistent with many aspects of this war and our handling of it.
 

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Last night I went to the podiumdiskussion where Cindy Sheehan (among others) was supposed to speak before she had´gotten so beat up in NY. I was so glad I had read the Brit's article before I went there - I felt that I was getting a clearer picture of what was really happening.<br><br>
It was an interesting evening. There was a young man there from Austin Texas (OK I forgot his name, I'm sorry!) who joined the army after 9/11 because he wanted to stop the violence - and what he learned from his experience over there. He said when they entered Fallujah it was really peaceful that they WERE saying "Yeah Bush!" He would swim in the waters near there with his weapon pretty far away no prob. But then the US troops wanted to base in the school house and the natives kinda sorta wanted to keep the schoolhouse for their kids - so they protested which brought down a rain of bullets - 14 dead and many injured and Viola! Full blown anarchy. He said the same about Baghdad. Peace - then US troop starting house searches.<br><br>
It seeemed that in Saddam's day the way to get back at a neighbor if you had a disagreement was to say "He said something bad about Saddam" So they would do the same to see if it worked with the US troops - and shonuf! They troops come tumbling into farmhouses and take away any males there. He was forced to do something like this and after finding no real weapons (basicaly one small gun for scaring away wild animals) he was told to arrest the 2 boys anyway. The mother was crying and kissing him and begging him not to take her boys away - and he said to his superior officer, "I don't think these are the guys!" Towit the officer replied, "They're bad guys anyway - take them in." Which fell just so in line with the mentality that the Britsh CO mentioned that the US troops say the Iraqis as "unmenschen". It seems that there is so much rampant bigotry there it is apalling.<br><br>
There was this other guy who is/was a German officer. And he refused to develop software that could be used in Iraq because he found it to be and illegal war. In the German military laws it is written that if a soldier finds that what is being asked of him is illegal they MUST refuse the order. Anyway - long story short - he won his case in court and is now scaring all kinds of folks because they don't want to take the chance that thousands of troops who are serving in Iraq (yes - against all that the Gov't says there are troops there - support troops but nevertheless there) might get the idea to do the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Curandera</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In the German military laws it is written that if a soldier finds that what is being asked of him is illegal they MUST refuse the order. .</div>
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Yes. And we all know why the Germans now have that law.<br>
Do we have to do the same thing before we get to the same understanding?
 

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Well, we could try analyzing nations psychologically and look at the addictive behavior of the US (mainlining oil) and realize that most addicts have to hit rock bottom before they realize they need help . . . denial is a very powerful thing . . . but maybe we should go there - too scarey . . .
 
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