Stop the war (which hasnt happened yet) protest!

#1
If in two or three years CMD (assuming the gov. lasts that long) decides to invade Somalia/Syria/Iran and the situation in said country that posed no direct threat to the UK would you actively protest against it?

i'm pretty sure that unless we were threatened directly by one of the above countries my feelings would be that we should stay the hell out of it and although i might send a stern letter to my MP i'd feel reluctant to go on a protest march.

so how many of you would march (or already have marched) in protest to UK military involvement somewhere?
 
#2
To paraphrase Carry on Up the Khyber, " I'm British mate I won't do anything"
 
#3
To paraphrase Carry on Up the Khyber, " I'm British mate I won't do anything"
what are you talking about? i already said i'd write a stern letter to my MP.

if(when) Iraq starts coming apart at the seams and the Coalition of the Willing decided it was time to go and visit some old friends again i'd be going crazy, but i'd still think twice about protesting. i'm not sure if its because i dont like a lot of the types of people i usually see protesting or because at a genetic level it seems un-British.
 
#4
what are you talking about? i already said i'd write a stern letter to my MP.

if(when) Iraq starts coming apart at the seams and the Coalition of the Willing decided it was time to go and visit some old friends again i'd be going crazy, but i'd still think twice about protesting. i'm not sure if its because i dont like a lot of the types of people i usually see protesting or because at a genetic level it seems un-British.
You asked what we do, would we march I have told you, I doubt I will do anything. Simple reason being is that it doesn't matter the Politicos will do what they want, as they have forgotten who they really serve.
 
#5
Isn't this a bit like the episode of Father Ted, where they protested with signs saying 'Down with this sort of thing'?

It's too vague and hypothetical.

Firstly, 'No direct threat to the UK'- Define please. Mainland UK, or do you include overseas posessions like the Falklands?
If you mean UK national interests, that's even worse. Who defines those? The Government of the day.

Secondly, 'Threatened directly' - The management of Iran has been publicly threatening the Little Satan (that's us) on a nearly daily basis since the 1980's. They torched our Embassy a few weeks ago. Pretty threatening stuff to me, but by your argument should we already be at war with them? Instead we just keep an eye on them, and try and keep them away from things with sharp edges.

Thirdly 'invade'- There's a very wide spectrum of military leverage available. Would the same moral objections exist to sinking a Somali pirate with a precision munition as to sinking a Syrian flagged warship doing a Gaddafi and shelling its own coastline? I don't see us having the appetite, budget or capability to go empire or nation building for the next half century or so. 'Invasion' of a foreign state is quite remote. Doing a bit of sanctioned Wog -slapping is much more likely, without needing boots on the ground.

You are better off taking this on a case by case basis, and base it on the evidence or your own moral/ethical requirements. Not many people objected to us shooting up Iraq when they invaded Kuwait, 'cos it was clear who the bad guys were. Thousands objected to the later piece of adventurism because of 1) No immediate threat and 2) A deep smell of corruption coming off the evidence that the Labour government put out.
 
#6
Three (at least) different scenarios.

For example, take Somalia. Say the pirates attacked and captured a UK registered cruise liner. Somalian government refused to get involved and pirates tarted executing British captives. Grounds for military action - I would say so. What if famine turned into genocide by ruling class and UN sanctioned a full scale invasion?

Syria.. In desperation, the Syrian government, egged on by Iran, attacks Turkish troops delivering humanitarian aid along border. Turkey requests NATO support against invading forces. NATO obliges - do we decline to support an ally because a few hundred un-washed protest?

Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, tests a prototype and then block Straights of Hormuz to all international tankers. Launches a conventional missile at Jerusalem and demands Israel hands back all captured territory. Says next rocket attack on Israel or transitting ship will be nuclear. What do we do - nothing?
 
#7
Isn't this a bit like the episode of Father Ted, where they protested with signs saying 'Down with this sort of thing'?

It's too vague and hypothetical.

Firstly, 'No direct threat to the UK'- Define please. Mainland UK, or do you include overseas posessions like the Falklands?
If you mean UK national interests, that's even worse. Who defines those? The Government of the day.

Secondly, 'Threatened directly' - The management of Iran has been publicly threatening the Little Satan (that's us) on a nearly daily basis since the 1980's. They torched our Embassy a few weeks ago. Pretty threatening stuff to me, but by your argument should we already be at war with them? Instead we just keep an eye on them, and try and keep them away from things with sharp edges.

Thirdly 'invade'- There's a very wide spectrum of military leverage available. Would the same moral objections exist to sinking a Somali pirate with a precision munition as to sinking a Syrian flagged warship doing a Gaddafi and shelling its own coastline? I don't see us having the appetite, budget or capability to go empire or nation building for the next half century or so. 'Invasion' of a foreign state is quite remote. Doing a bit of sanctioned Wog -slapping is much more likely, without needing boots on the ground.

You are better off taking this on a case by case basis, and base it on the evidence or your own moral/ethical requirements. Not many people objected to us shooting up Iraq when they invaded Kuwait, 'cos it was clear who the bad guys were. Thousands objected to the later piece of adventurism because of 1) No immediate threat and 2) A deep smell of corruption coming off the evidence that the Labour government put out.
fair point, it is too vague. rather than trying to define all the different countries, threats (real, potential or perceived) and different levels of response my question should really be;

if you personally disagreed with UK military intervention somewhere would you protest? if not why?
 
#8
fair point, it is too vague. rather than trying to define all the different countries, threats (real, potential or perceived) and different levels of response my question should really be;

if you personally disagreed with UK military intervention somewhere would you protest? if not why?
Very good answer. If you are asking me, personally, would I have the courage of my convictions, then I would hope so. Wouldn't we all.

There's a big difference between protesting and participating. In my green-suit role, I'm like everyone else-subject to military discipline. If I were ordered to participate in something I disagreed with, that's a matter for me, my conscience and the Padre-SO LONG AS IT IS A LEGAL ORDER.

That's one of the things that stunk about Iraq. Your average Tom will obey any 'lawful order'. But who defines lawful-Ultimately the CoC is advised by the UK Legal system. For Iraq, the legal system was lent on by the politicians, (Lord Goldsmith) and flip flopped.

Despite the hot emotions, I'm pleased that the UK population never took its resentment out on the troops the way the US did on its Vietnam veterans, and pinned the blame squarely where it belonged. -Blair, Campbell and the rest of his horrible spivvy crew.
 
#9
Very good answer. ......

If I were ordered to participate in something I disagreed with....SO LONG AS IT IS A LEGAL ORDER.

That's one of the things that stunk about Iraq....the legal system was lent on by the politicians, (Lord Goldsmith) and flip flopped.

..........

Hard to agree more.

Of all the heinous things Blair and Brown did (bankrupting country, creation of a welfare dependancy class, selling soul to EU, starting the breakup of the Union, surrendering to the IRA, etc) the single most awful thing was delierately lying to its armed forces about the legality of a war. Asking your soldiers to kill when for you when you know it may be illegal is the ultimate betrayal. I believe the Army did their job in Iraq with great skill, restraint and professionalism but ultimately history will look on the war as being at best a great folly and worse, a crime against humanity.

I have no faith in the Establishment enquiry into Iraq. The panel are specially selected and have shown a lack of tenacity and rigour in questioning witnesses. They will produce an assinine and largely non-judgemental report, hinting at errors of judgement, better processes and procedures but not placing the blame at anyone's door.

The rest of the world will not take a stand against the US and in turn the US will not accept blame any way. Tony Blair will not get held to account for this wrong but the best that I can hope is that some other "crime" gets punished. Rather like Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion, I hope something similar happens to Tony "I'm a straight kind of guy" Blair and his wicked witch of a wife. Sooner or later their greed and grandiose sense of entitlement will set them up for something for which they will be punished.
 
#10
I find it very odd that the government is considering 'intervention' in mainland Somalia, on the grounds that they are legally prevented from doing more than occasionally shouting 'boo!' at a few pirates in international waters.

Oh, the wonders of international law: brassing-up pirates is bad; invading the nation they come from to 'help' the occupants is good.
 
#12
I suppose we could do it just to keep our hand in until somewhere worthwhile kicks off
 
#14
I find it very odd that the government is considering 'intervention' in mainland Somalia, on the grounds that they are legally prevented from doing more than occasionally shouting 'boo!' at a few pirates in international waters.

Oh, the wonders of international law: brassing-up pirates is bad; invading the nation they come from to 'help' the occupants is good.
Is there any oil in Somalia apart from that in the ships they've pinched? Seems to me the only export they have is shiny blacks with heads like lightbulbs, protruberant teeth & a pehchant for knifing people.
 
#15
If in two or three years CMD (assuming the gov. lasts that long) decides to invade Somalia/Syria/Iran and the situation in said country that posed no direct threat to the UK would you actively protest against it?
1) I wouldn't attend a protest march because of the type of people they attract. Between the anarchists and hippies, I'd be ashamed to be part of it. Plus it won't achieve anything.

2) We wouldn't engage in a major conflict unless there was a 'direct threat' to the UK. We're unlikely to be given the full details, so it's virtually impossible for us to judge whether it's worth going to war over. That is (or at least should be) why we elect people we trust to make these decisions on our behalf.
 
#18
It probably hasn't escaped your notice that the Regular Army is being reduced in size, to be replaced 1:1 by the TA. This will have a profound effect on the ability of the government of the day to embark on military adventures with a significant ground component. In other words, any op of any size will require an enduring and substantial programme of TA mobilisation. This in turn requires enduring and substantial popular support for said op. Most civvies see the last two "wars of choice" as dismal failures, not worth the lives expended. Hence I reckon that we will only do ops where they directly affect the UK or are overwhelmingly seen as the right thing to do.

My view of the next 10 years is that we will see the regs reduced even further below the current 82,000 target, to be replaced by more TA. It allows governments to save money and convince the electorate - who mostly never see a soldier outside the telly - that we can still respond to an emergency. This only reinforces the need for overwhelming public support before doing anything.

Should a direct and serious threat to the UK pitch up then of course all bets are off. The TA get called up en masse without teh ability to appeal and all sorts of emergency powers come into play. That hasn't happened since 1945.
 
#19
It probably hasn't escaped your notice that the Regular Army is being reduced in size, to be replaced 1:1 by the TA. This will have a profound effect on the ability of the government of the day to embark on military adventures with a significant ground component. In other words, any op of any size will require an enduring and substantial programme of TA mobilisation. This in turn requires enduring and substantial popular support for said op. Most civvies see the last two "wars of choice" as dismal failures, not worth the lives expended. Hence I reckon that we will only do ops where they directly affect the UK or are overwhelmingly seen as the right thing to do.

My view of the next 10 years is that we will see the regs reduced even further below the current 82,000 target, to be replaced by more TA. It allows governments to save money and convince the electorate - who mostly never see a soldier outside the telly - that we can still respond to an emergency. This only reinforces the need for overwhelming public support before doing anything.

Should a direct and serious threat to the UK pitch up then of course all bets are off. The TA get called up en masse without teh ability to appeal and all sorts of emergency powers come into play. That hasn't happened since 1945.

I think you will find that was about 1939 (and 1914 before that) - a subtle but very vital difference. Notably it was just after our littler (but no doubt very capable, leaner, more mobile etc etc) armies had their arses spanked.


Edited to add: No-one in government ever wants a much larger standing Army until their small army has just taken a beating!
 
#20
Wasn't it just before the Boer War that the British army was at it smallest??
 

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