JAccuse! Top General lambasts moral cowardice of governme

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Arandale, Apr 13, 2007.

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  1. J'Accuse! Top General lambasts 'moral cowardice' of government and miltary chiefs.


    The article is in today’s Daily Mail by General Sir Michael Rose.

    Amongst other things Mike Rose says here’s a few choice morsels.

    Blazing with moral outrage, Rose wants Tony Blair - before he leaves office - to be held to account for Iraq.

    How have we come to this? The released Navy captives whimpering about losing an iPod and unsightly insect bites.

    This Faye Turney (the female leading seaman held by the Iranians): first of all, she was smoking, that is what offended me. She’s in uniform and she is smoking as the Iranians approach. "What is going on? It may seem a small thing, but people who are about to go into battle don’t look relaxed sitting in a boat as if they are on a Mediterranean cruise." Once captured, the 15 sailors and marines displayed a woeful lack of military fibre, according to Rose.

    "There were junior soldiers in World War II who resisted heroically, in far worse circumstances. Or in the Falkland Islands.

    "What made young men in the Scots Guards or the Paras charge with bayonets in the middle of the night when they had run out of ammunition, against enemy machine guns? "They had a choice - just as Leading Seaman Turney did. "But they took the right choice. They had a pride in their regiment. And a lot of them died. But as Wellington said: 'To live in disgrace is the worst thing of all. To die glorious is something to be envied'."

    He is also unimpressed by the argument that the captives were in fear of their lives. "Isn’t every soldier in fear of their life who goes out on patrol in Basra? Of course he is, but does he give up? No."

    "There would have been an initial inquiry into what had happened: if there had been any blame attributed, negligence or failure to comply with standard operation procedures, then charges would have been brought." "Yes, there should indeed have been charges, and the senior officers should have been asked how come they allowed this situation to occur.

    General Rose attacks the "moral cowardice" of politicians - from former Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Portillo to the Blair Government - for the erosion of the military ethos as well as for paring our forces to the bone.

    "Politically, they needed to cosy up to Europe, and they were too busy selling the Army’s assets, such as their married quarters, to pay for immediate crises," he says bitterly. Worst of all has been the "slithering" of Tony Blair. Rose accuses him of being disingenuous about defence spending and of misleading Parliament about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.
  2. Great to say it now but, again, why didn't he say this sort of thing, especially his criticisms of "paring the Armed Forces to the bone" when he was serving?
  3. Can hardly be accused of 'Moral Cowadice' when HMG has no morals.

    Rose never really commited himself when serving. I don't know too much about him so i will refer to a Padre who knew him and other Generals well.

    On Rose 'He's a cnut'

    On Wheeler 'He's a cnut'

    O Jackson 'Good bloke, but he always has to take over from cnuts'
  4. I do not know the general personally but I presume he did not speak on this subject whilst he was in post was that, besides most of it had not occured, that it would not be the 'right' thing to do.

    Sense of duty and integrity do not work well in todays political and media centric world, but do not mistake it for apathy or weakness,
  5. I am not a fan of the hate and so have not read the article - only the words you post here.

    I struggle to see the direct link between the behaviour of the sailors (which I agree was below standard) with the standard of leadership set by succesive PMs and SofS. This would seem to smack of poor leadership somewhere in the CoC that has set the expectations and the behaviours of these soldiers, sailors and officers. Is Rose arguing that cuts such as selling off married quarters have a direct and significant effect on fighting power more remarkable than poor leadership?

    For me, its a muddled argument coming from someone who could have spoken out when it might have made a difference.
  6. Of all the commentators so far on this I have the most time for Gen Rose's comments. His reputation preceeds him and the fact that he is well and truely retired and doesn't seem to be using this to further himself makes his contribution all the more valid IMHO. Tim Collins comes across as still being so bitter at the way 'he' feels he was treated that I think anything that comes out of his mouth seems like a sly dig.

    I was interested by this quote:

    Very well said when your in the rear looking on, eh Sir Haig?
  7. Always have time to hear what Gen Rose has to say; it's only a pity that this was such an awful interview. I got the feeling that the journo lost her notes on the way back to the office and winged the write-up.
  8. Cheap shot, both Wellington and Rose had / have more than enough experience of the sharp end.
  9. Didn't someone post that Rose has a book in the offing
  10. Why is it ironic? Wellington as a young officer lead from the front and as a general oversaw the defeat of Bonaparte and his army. I rather think he was doing his job and the quote reflects his opinion.

    Also, what on earth has Haigh got to do with it?
  11. As someone who served under Rose when he was a Lt Col, I think he's OK and I agree with what he has written.
  12. I agree, something has been lost in translation.