Wheel the Guilt Barsteward in Sgt Major

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, May 2, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Gents bear with me on this one

    We now have Admiral Sir Michael Boyce who in his day ranked as Gods 2 i/c saying words to the effect of
    'I'm not going to swing alone, I'll take the Guilt Barstewards with me.'

    Now I and all other members of HM forces know from Basic training that we will not obey illegal orders.
    We are now 2 years? down the line and they who must be obeyed are still arguing the toss as to if the order for War was legal.
    So Can I assume that if the war was illegal then all members of HM forces are guilty of supporting an illegal war and that they and their Lords and Masters will answer for this War of Agression ?

    And where does this leave "TOM" the poor bloody infatryman ?
    On reciving the next word of command does he wipe out his law books and try to decided if the command is legal in Accordance with ???

    On the streangth of the above how can any service man be required to obey any order ?
  2. Despite the crap on the left, the war in Iraq was legal. If the UK hadnt signed on to the ICC this wouldnt even be a topic of discussion.
  3. I do get the impression that legal or illeagal can be manipulated to suit public opinion and the governments agenda.

    I think the correct term is ' a crock of sh1t'
  4. toma, on what grounds was it legal? Legal for the US maybe but that doesnt make it truly legal. Are you saying its legal due to Dubbya saying so or what the remainder of the planet thought at the time and the evidence regarding WMD being a tad thin on the ground as an excuse? Regardless of Saddam being ousted, the definition of legal is somewhat foggy. Who decides? The bloke with the biggest gun?
  5. In the context of post westphalia and that of common christian law, one of the precursers to international law, it would seem that the war in Iraq was somewhat less than legal.

    However it should be noted that there really isn't much in the way of defined international law bar guiding principles. Even the world court is not fully subscribed to by the world.

    Really for anyone to be charged with breaking international law would be somewhat of a reach and nothing more than a political circus show.
  6. Saddam was in violation of 17 UN resolutions. Thats enough justification for me.
  7. I quote... ‘ the only area in the U.N. Charter where a state must legally accept a decision is Chapter VII, which deals with threats to peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression’*

    *Nye Jr, Joseph S. Understanding International Conflicts. (4th Edition. New York: Longman 2003) p.163.

    I quite agree that we should have gone to Iraq and am glad we did. However I do not agree with the reasoning for why we did.
  8. I think the invasion of Iraq has made that region a little more stable. Syria is out of Lebanon [save their intel boys]. Libya gave up its WMD programs. Both Afghanistan and Iraq are on the road to democracy.
  9. That doesn't change the fact that Iraq hadn't really done anything that required an invasion Tom.

    I always disagreed with Saddam's rule and his actions since I was old enough to understand what was happening.

    However I do also understand that we cannot and should not be invading countries without proper cause. I did not see Iraq threatening the peace in any country nor did I see them commiting any acts of agression.

    This I believe comes down to the idea of whether it was legal. By the values mentioned before of Westphalia and Christian law? No the invasion probably wasn't legal. By the UN charter? No the invasion probably wasn't legal.

    Will this go anywhere? No probably not. International law is neither consistant nor established.

    To say the invasion has made the region a little more stable may be somewhat premature though, from my readings into the situation and having spoken to a few Iraqi nationals (former) it would seem that the invasion has only given Iran more room to manoeuvre.

    What I do believe we, the royal we as I wasn't there, have done is helped an opressed people. We have helped a nation become better equipped to grow into this new world. Will this come back on us later? Maybe so. However I'm glad at least that the Iraqi people have the chance now to guide their own future.
  10. The Peace of Westphalia 1649 ?

  11. I am more conncerened by the effects of 'All this Talk' on the man at the bottom of the chain of command, the squaddei who has to go in and actutally do the dirty work.
    Will it come, has it come already when some 'Tom' hesitats, conncerned he is going to be the scapegoat for the actions he takes against the 'Enemy' in front of him and pays the ultimate price himself.
    Will some diplomat or 'support' organisation decide that he acted illigally and crucifies the poor bastard.
  12. So for the US, what was the causus belli this week?
    1. WMD?
    2. Self Defense?
    3. Regional Peace and Stability?

    1. Has been ruled out conclusively.
    2.& 3. Can be legitimated thus:

    United Nations Charter

    Article 51
    Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

    Oops!!! I imagine that W. and Co. will in the future enjoy the same freedom of movement in their retirement as Henry Kissinger currently enjoys. In case Fox News didn't tell you, he no longer leaves the country because there are a ton of warrants out for his arrest.

    Take a look at this link:


    and start compiling the laundry list. I hear the Hague is lovely this time of year...
  13. The trouble is that the no-fly zones (ONW, OSW) were also in violation of the resolutions since they (the resolutions) acknowledge the need to maitain the territorial sovereignty of Iraq. Somehow I think the supersonic F-15 fly-pasts to break windows might be a contravention.

    When are you Republicans going to grasp the idea that the World is not black and white?
  14. Two words: Abu Ghraib.

    It's always been the same. Try and get hold of a film called Breaker Morant. It's the true story of how British Forces during the Boer War court martialled three Lts from an Australian Cav regiment for carrying out practices that were generally accepted as the norm (COIN stuff), so Kitchener could escape any blowback and the British Govt could hopefully keep the Germans out of the war and sue for peace. We use it as a case study to teach concepts of ethical dilemmas in war and foreign policy.
  15. Quite right jon.

    As I mentioned on another thread, the brief unequivocal legal statement given by the Attorney General to CDS gave top cover to the whole chain of command right down to the last Tom.

    I agree that at some stage it could have become a problem if UK forces were still engaged in strategically aggressive operations based on the original legal opinion, which is looking increasingly questionable on what we now know. Fortunately that is not the nature of the current operation.

    The horrendous legacy for our country is that in the event of a genuine threat to UK arising in the future, both parliament and public opinion will be extremely cynical about any "intelligence" presented by HM government, and a future CDS may find it much more difficult to proceed on the basis of a similar legal justification.

    In reply to tomahawk6, signing up to the ICC has had far less attention here than it has had in the US. I do NOT agree tomy that "If the UK hadnt signed on to the ICC this wouldnt even be a topic of discussion."

    You need to understand tomy that there are patriotic and pro-Alliance citizens over here who are genuinely disgusted with what has happened, even if in different circumstances they could have supported military action against Iraq.

    IMO the roots of this lie in Kosovo, 1999. Another attack on a sovereign country for which there was arguably a moral case; but as we now know, also manoeuvring by Madam Albright supported by Mr Blair under the pretence of Rambouillet peace talks, designed to create the conditions to justify war. ("Military annex to draft peace agreement".)

    As in Iraq, a genuine case sullied by propaganda and fiddling of the "intelligence".

    Mr Blair got away with it in Kosovo; he had strong political and public support in UK, and was overwhelmed by grateful reception he got from Albanian refugees on his emotional visit to one of the camps in Macedonia. I believe that he genuinely thought it would be the same in Iraq, and that the end would once again justify the means.