TA Soldier in Iraq War Protest

#1
Story from PA News this evening via Scotsman website
TA Soldier in Iraq War Protest

A Territorial Army soldier is resigning in protest at the war in Iraq and British and US forces’ continued presence in the country, it was announced today.

George Solomou, from the London Regiment of the TA, said his position meant he would have to refuse to go to the region if he was called up.

The 38-year-old, from Hackney, east London, who has been in the TA for five years and works for the emergency services, added that many soldiers were against the war but were scared of the consequences if they spoke out.

“I believe the occupation of Iraq to be illegal under international law,” said Mr Solomou, who is currently in the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the London Irish Rifles.

“Were I to be called up I would therefore have no choice but to refuse to go.

“I am resigning from the army in protest at the war and continued occupation of Iraq.”

The fact that no weapons of mass destruction had ever been found in Iraq meant there was no mandate for the war, Mr Solomou said.

“As we’re supposed to be defenders of democracy as soldiers, what are we now to do ?” he asked.

“You have to know that you have the right behind you if you’re going to go and kill other human beings.”.......
Full story at http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4012974
 
#6
tomahawk6 said:
The US Army has most of its problems from reservists. Part time soldiers with part time attitudes.
As the majority of both US and UK reservists have served their countries bloody well, I think your comment should be reconsidered. I would even go so far as to say an apology is due.
 
#7
I am well aware of the contribution by the reservists. The comment pertained to this thread which was commenting about a slacker TA member.
We have had our share of problem reservistsas well. Those we have trouble with exhibit the attitude I stated. Dont try to spin what I said as a blanket condemnation of reservists - because it wasnt.
 
#8
Considering the number (38,000) TA soldiers and God knows how many US reservists and National Guards, I think the low numbers kicking up a fuss is not a problem, this guy has spoken his mind as he is freely able to(thanks to us) and handed his kit in. Better hand it in than keep taking the money and refuse to mobilise if you ask me.

He's a medic so he wouldnt be killing people anyway, the problem here is the Press as ever :roll: Why is the Scotsman intrested in a Londoner from Hackney serving with the London Irish?
 
#9
Whitehorse - I did say the story originated from PANews, and I would cancel my order for the Scotsman pretty quick if they didnt cover general UK news! We have reservists in Scotland too, btw. :wink:

Thanks for clarification, tomahawk6.

In fact the actions of this man in resigning "with publicity" are extremely rare. I can't think offhand of an exact precedent: the nearest I can think of offhand was a regular Gunner who went AWOL in UK during GW1, and appeared on anti-war protest platforms. I am told his protest was featured on Iraqi English-language propaganda broadcasts aimed at deployed Allied troops: highly entertaining listening for them, but the actions of such people may actually have made the war more likely by encouraging Saddam to believe that the allies would not enforce their deadline.

The current idiot's claim that "many soldiers were against the war but were scared of the consequences if they spoke out" is IMO utterly disrespecful to any of his former comrades who had private doubts about the war. I believe it is entirely honourable to hold such views in a free society, but continue to serve and be available for mobilisation. I have known - and respected - people in this position.

An order to deploy is not an "illegal order" like an order to kill or mistreat prisoners. Noted that this man happens to be a medic, like the RAF reservist who was court martialled for refusing a mobilisation order.

Sure, its better to ask for discharge, than try to avoid mobilisation when ordered.

I assume he has actually been granted his requested discharge. The Army is entitled to defer release if a "callout order" is in force for any reservists - which AFAIK has been the case continuously since the early 1990s. I don't suppose he is considered a great loss from the ranks.
 
#10
I would say that a fair few reservists are not happy with the current Iraqi situation - but recognise that if you're in uniform you go when the brown envelope hits the mat. Waiting until then to discover your conscientous objector status is mercifully rare.

To be honest I wonder how much the press has spun this story, he's done the right thing by leaving and has exercised his right to free speech. I don't agree with what he said though.
 
#11
OK couple of points:
1: Does being a STAB allow you to have the moral highground to decide which ops to go on?
2: This is not the first time this has happened. At least one ex-STAB at least had the bottle to stand in front of his entire regiment and explain his reasons for resigning.
3: This tosser took the cowards way out by talking to the press and is not worthy to wear uniform, so he's best out.
 
#12
I'm not familiar with this publication but you have to wonder why they felt the need to publish this info? I mean if POD resigned because of the War that would be news but so what if a scab lifter decides it's not for him? More important is the amount of regular soldiers who are leaving because they are sick to death of deployments/tours/exercises that come around at a rapid rate of knots. But of course we aren't overstretched - that is a dirty word!
 
#13
I can't see what the fuss is about. If you don't accept the idea that you will be sent wherever your elected government send you, then you leave.

This guy's done that, so fair enough, he's been honest. I've more time for him than the tossers who go to Chilwell hoping their teeth will fail them, discover to their horror that they've passed and then spend a week at Grantham fabricating some sort of domestic situation to get themselves demobilised, before turning up at annual STAB camp 'as normal' and telling 'Chilwell' war stories in the TAC bar to the recruits.
 
#14
stabtastic said:
I can't see what the fuss is about. If you don't accept the idea that you will be sent wherever your elected government send you, then you leave.

This guy's done that, so fair enough, he's been honest. I've more time for him than the tossers who go to Chilwell hoping their teeth will fail them, discover to their horror that they've passed and then spend a week at Grantham fabricating some sort of domestic situation to get themselves demobilised, before turning up at annual STAB camp 'as normal' and telling 'Chilwell' war stories in the TAC bar to the recruits.
With you on that one Stabtastic. Shame he had to go to the press though.
 
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#15
He's been a medic from several years, wasn't into the fighting thing and was a very diligent medic who worked hard.

When the first compulsory mobilisations came about, he made it clear he wasn't going to be able to go as at the time he was going through Ambulance service training. Fine.

As the situation has gone on he spoke to the Regt and said he wasn't able to commit to being mobilised and would leave.

He has eventually bit the bullet and decided that his conscience forces him to resign in protest. Knowing this guy, he doesn't like publicity so I can only assume some bright hack leached onto the story somehow.

He has been naive and a c*ck for speaking to the press but he is after all only exercising his rights of free(ish) speech that he doesn't agree with his governments foreign policy and has voted with his feet.


ps - he won't be collecting bounty
 
#16
idlestab said:
OK couple of points:
1: Does being a STAB allow you to have the moral highground to decide which ops to go on?
.
We live in a democracy.He is entitled to an opinion His choice is to leave, fair enough.

His decision, just a shame he went to the Press who chose to run the story - slow news day?
 
#17
The main worry about this guy's actions seems to be the seeking of publicity, then. As also pointed out, that is his choice (right or wrong, wise or unwise) in a free country.

I wouldnt personally criticise the media for covering the story. It relates to a national campaign. The Press Association considered the story worth putting out, and that is also their decision: we certainly cant accuse them of muckraking/intrusion in this case.

The Scotsman's website is the only one I can find which actually picked up the story, but it would be wrong to conclude from that they have been anti the Iraq war. They are a quality national newspaper which has covered all sides of opinion, but if anything leaned in favour of the war, certainly in the early stages.
 
#18
Neck out six inches....

As I share his views and left the Armed Forces (partly) over the Iraq issue, I have no problem with the actions or views of this man except for this bit:

The 38-year-old, from Hackney, east London, who has been in the TA for five years and works for the emergency services, added that many soldiers were against the war but were scared of the consequences if they spoke out.
I reckon there was a 60%-40% split in favour of military action, based on a current affairs discussion exercise I ran in mid 2003. This was replicated in crewroom and mess opinion. However, those who thought the action was wrong obviously did not feel strongly enough to resign, in public or in private - they were merely stating their opinion. They are still entitled to privately disagree with something and still get on with the job at hand - the thought police haven't been issued with brain scanners yet! I think the opinion split was slightly more pro-war than that of the country as a whole at the time which is not surprising.

It is patronising and demeaning to bring the supposed views of others into the argument for his own reason to resign. He should not have brought the views of others - expressed privately - into it. Oops, am I doing that myself!? :? Probably not....
 
#19
He should have thought about his "protest" months ago, now is just pathetic. Wan*er :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

The London Irish must be disgusted, doesnt sound like an Irish name 8O
 
#20
MrPVRd, I agree, you put that point better than my attempt. And having thought about your comments, I would NOT condemn anyone simply for offering their resignation if they do not agree with military action. After all, the system doesnt have to accept their resignation immediately. As you imply, all credit also to those who decide to soldier on despite personal doubts.
hackle said:
...The current idiot's claim that "many soldiers were against the war but were scared of the consequences if they spoke out" is IMO utterly disrespecful to any of his former comrades who had private doubts about the war. I believe it is entirely honourable to hold such views in a free society, but continue to serve and be available for mobilisation. I have known - and respected - people in this position...
 

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