Another point of view


Blair Defeats Brit Army

The Brit Army, until recently the only institution that Brits respected, has fallen to Blair's machinations and is no longer an effective fighting force. When Brits finally dump him it will take 15 years to rebuild.

After the Great Disruption of the 1960s many Brits lost their respect for authority figures – pols of course, but also doctors, churchmen, businessmen, and even the police. The Brit Army paid to keep its reputation with blood, courage and competence – the Iranian embassy rescue, the Falklands and the Gulf War victories.

Blair’s government has undermined this with a clever campaign to destroy the Army’s reputation with the Brit public and to undermine its morale. They prosecute Brit soldiers for actions that are normal in war zones.

To secure convictions of Brit soldiers, they bribe Iraqi civilians to tell lies:

The court martial of seven paratroopers accused of murdering an Iraqi teenager collapsed yesterday after the Royal Military Police investigation was condemned as "inadequate" and riddled with "serious omissions".

Iraqi witnesses attending the paratroopers' trial in Colchester were consistently found to have lied or exaggerated in statements. Michael Parroy, QC, one of the defence counsel, said: "They followed a trail of dollars up the aircraft steps to come here."

Judge Blackett said the witnesses had admitted using the case to obtain money from the Army. They "frequently spoke of blood money and compensation to what were patently exaggerated claims".

Defence lawyers suggested that politics had been at play.

Here's how these “politics” have destroyed the effectiveness of the Brit Army in Iraq (my emphasis):

Senior army doctors have warned that troops in Iraq are suffering levels of battle stress not experienced since the second world war because of fears that if they shoot an insurgent, they will end up in court.

The two senior Royal Army Medical Corps officers, one of whom is a psychologist, have recently returned from Basra, where they said they counselled young soldiers who feared a military police investigation as much as they did the insurgents.

One corporal said that troops arriving in Basra were confronted by warnings from the Royal Military Police. “They make it clear that any and every incident will be investigated. It is also made clear that if you shoot someone, you will face an inquiry that could take up to a year.

“The unpopularity of the war at home and a belief that firing their rifles in virtually any circumstances is likely to see them end up in court are sapping morale.”

Of course the war is made unpopular by prosecutions soldiers for atrocities. Would their grandfathers would have defeated the Germans and Japanese under these rules of engagement? It gets worse:

The combination of knowing that death might come at any time from a roadside bomb and that shooting back at Iraqis who attack them might result in their being court-martialled is putting immense pressure on young soldiers.

The doctors described morale in some units as very low with soldiers cynically suggesting they needed a solicitor with them before they shot back at any Iraqi who attacked them.

Many frontline infantry soldiers were in survival mode and had the impression that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is not supporting them and nobody in the UK cares about what is happening in Iraq, the officers said.

This explains why the Brit Army allowed the Iranians into Southern Iraq and why insurgents find Brit soldiers easy to kill – they daren’t shoot back. Not surprisingly, soldiers are leaving the sinking ship:

…. more than 5,370 infantry soldiers (bought) themselves out of the army in the past three years rather than be posted back to Iraq or Afghanistan.

That’s almost the entire fighting strength in Iraq. Here's what a falsely accused soldier an one of his officers think:

“The army is your family, isn’t it? You expect your family to look after you through thick and thin, but they betrayed us. It seems that in the army’s eyes you are guilty until proven innocent.”

“No one seems to care. We feel like we’ve lost public sympathy because of all these allegations”.

These men did this: Blair, his succession of Ministers of Defence, his Attorney General, the Brit army high command, the Ministry of Defence and its Military Police.

The Brits are comfortable and prosperous now, and not minded to replace Blair. But their economy is exposed to any of the many financial disasters facing the world economy.

When things get bad the Brits will elect another Maggie who will sort this mess out. But it won’t be quick - an entire generation of fighting troops and their officers has been emasculated.

The rebuilding of the now invincible US army after Vietnam took 15 years, so the Brit army will likely take the same. In the interim, the US must battle the evils of the world alone.

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