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VFP ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM SERVING SOLDIERS

Fill Your Boots

Veterans For Peace received these questions a while back from serving soldiers via the Fill Your Boots Facebook Page. VFP UK Coordinator Ben Griffin has finally gotten around to answering the questions, his answers are by no means comprehensive. Comments appreciated…

 

1. Do you think it’s suitable to refer to the organisation as veterans when they clearly renounce all ties to service ? (Daniel – Unit not given)

Every member of Veterans For Peace UK is a veteran of the Armed Forces as defined by the Ministry of Defence. So we are clearly entitled to use the word. Your question implies that because we have anti-war opinions or even anti-military opinions, that somehow disqualifies us as veterans?

If you look into groups such as The Royal British Legion, Britain First, Fill Your Boots and the EDL, they have members who have never served in the Armed Forces claiming to be veterans . We on the other hand demand proof of service from all of our members. So you can rest assured that every person representing VFP UK has been vetted and is a veteran.

 

2. Being called “veterans for peace” do you feel like you represent the wider veteran community ? (Tom – Unit not given)

We have not and do not claim to represent the wider veteran community. If that was the case we would call ourselves Veterans UK. We represent our members and our aims, that is all.

 

3. Since the aim of any military intervention we conduct is to remove an aggressor and thus restore peace, how does V4P (who should know better than any that these people must be forced to any negotiation table or wiped out when they refuse any idea of negotiations) justify their actions of disrespect, media gluttony and misguided loyalty on a massive scale? (Charlie – Unit not given)

This question relies on three assumptions that in our opinion are not true.

  1. “the aim of any military intervention we conduct is to remove an aggressor and thus restore peace”.Who are the aggressors? Did Mullah Omar threaten the people of these islands? Did  Saddam Hussein threaten the people of these islands? Did Muammar Gaddafi threaten the people of these islands? No, it was the UK that played the role of aggressor. Did we restore peace in Afghanistan, Iraq or Lybia? No of course not.
  2. “these people must be forced to any negotiation table or wiped out when they refuse any idea of negotiations”.Are you aware of International Law, The Nuremberg Principles, The Geneva Conventions or the United Nations? Wiped out for refusing to negotiate sounds like genocide.
  3. “actions of disrespect, media gluttony and misguided loyalty on a massive scale”Media Gluttony? We have carried out numerous actions and events over the years, we could not care less if the media reports what we do. Who are you claiming that our loyalty is too? Surely you would have to know that before claiming that our loyalty is misguided.

The actual question is “how does V4P justify their actions?” This is simple. We believe that war is the most irrational and immoral activity that humankind participates in. We believe that war is in no way the solution to the problems of the 21st Century. We think that our nonviolent actions are proportionate and justified in opposing war and militarism.

 

4. Why do you feel the need to make up or add to the ISIS propaganda of the RAF bombing “women and children” in the 400+ air strikes we’ve done to aid Iraq with zero civilian casualties do you feel the need to spread BULLSHIT on national TV? (Jamie – Unit not given)

Throughout its glorious history the RAF has bombed hundreds of thousands of women and children. Why do you feel the need to spread the RAF propaganda that they have killed zero civilians in Iraq? Our pilots, our planes, our bombs have killed many hundreds of people in Iraq and elsewhere. Is it really ISIS propaganda to point this out?

 

 5. Aren’t all Veterans in favor of peace? Or is there a ‘Veterans for war’ community we should be aware of? (James – Unit not given)

I don’t know if all veterans are in favour of peace? It is an impossible question to answer. I have met 100s if not 1000s of veterans since leaving the army in 2005. I am yet to find one who has admitted to membership of Veterans For War. What veterans do disagree on is what peace is and how to achieve it.

 

6. As stated in a earlier protest in the capital, Ben and two other chumps openly admitted to murdering civilians and taking men away to be tortured, if they admit to this, would they plead innocent or guilty if they faced trial for their actions? (Robin – Unit not given)

I openly admit to attacking families in their homes and taking men away to be tortured. I left the army in part over this. I have spoken out since leaving the army about this. I would happily plead guilty to my part in this criminal enterprise. It is the British Army, MoD and successive Governments who have shied away from a proper investigation into my allegations which are backed up by numerous other witnesses. This  is because Generals and Senior politicians would have to admit their own roles in actions that amount to war crimes. In fact the MoD and Labour Government spent a great amount of money taking me to the Royal Courts of Justice and in a secret trial handing me a lifetime injunction. In order to cover up their criminal activity.

 

7. Why didn’t they protest when the war against Daesh actually started, in October 2014? What makes Syria better than Iraq for all these “protesters”? (Liam – Unit not given)

We did. We set up Veterans For Peace UK in 2011. We have campaigned tirelessly against war ever since. Check out our website posts that back this up. We are not involved in this struggle to get media attention. The media rarely reports on our frequent activity. In 2014 I was the only voice on national radio (BBC Radio 4 PM) arguing against the UK bombing of Islamic State.

 

8.Will you be giving up the pension from the armed forces? If not how about deducting the value of tour days you served from your pension as a % and giving it to charity? (David – Unit not given)

Imagine that you grew up thinking that McDonalds was great. When you got to 16 you decided to take a job at McDonalds. You worked there for 8 years and then found out that actually the food is really bad for you and also McDonalds destroys the environment through its never ending demand for beef. So with this new found knowledge you decide that you don’t want to work for McDonalds anymore and that you are going to campaign to let people know about the true nature of McDonalds.. Should you have to pay back all the money you earn’t during your time there?

Lots of our members receive War Pensions. These are given to veterans who have been physically and or psychologically damaged during their service. So if a veteran has been damaged during service are you saying that the pension requires them to stay silent about the true nature of warfare?

 

9. Why do you seem to time stamp when wars become unjustified? Was armed conflict required in WW2 for example? The Falklands? (Alfie – Unit not given)

Our membership have a wide range of opinions. Some of our members think that World War 2 was justified. Some don’t. We have found that all of our members agree that every war Britain has fought since 9/11 (2001) has been unjustified, unnecessary and have made situations worse. Also we are interested in the future not arguing over the rights and wrongs of past conflicts. We put it to the public that War is not the solution to the global problems of the 21st Century that there is no possible excuse for resorting to warfare.

 

10. What peaceful alternatives do they think they are to the Middle Eastern issues? (Tom – Unit not given)

What are the Middle Eastern issues? Why should Britain determine what happens to the people of the Middle East? I would say the biggest problem the Middle East has is that it is sitting on huge reserves of crude oil and that we along with every other country wants the oil.

We need to take a much longer term approach to our international affairs. We have to accept that problems cannot be solved over night and that military attacks cause more problems than they solve.

  • Mr_Twister-Morpheus 03/03/2016, 21:41

    Good answers Ben.

  • Gra 03/03/2016, 21:46

    Excellent responses Ben. If those are the best arguments they’ve got, surely they are neither engaging brain or heart, nor bothering to research the facts of the conflicts the UK gov commits UK forces to on behalf of their paymasters.

    Yours are the best examples ever of how an honourable man and former special forces soldier thinks, acts and responds to critics. Proud to know you brother.

    Peace

  • D 03/03/2016, 23:35

    I would still like to know if Ben Griffin picked his medals up after the first protest as he has thrown them back twice now making the hole thing a empty gesture?

    • admin 03/03/2016, 23:44

      Ben Griffin did not pick up his medals after the first protest. They were left on the ground and eventually picked up by a Police Officer. The medals found their way to an office in the MoD and remain in the possession of said office.

      If you watch the second protest you will see that Ben discarded the medals of fellow VFP Member Dave Smith. Dave is disabled and was unable to get to Downing Street. Dave wanted to take part and so Ben read Dave’s statement and discarded Dave’s medals.

      http://veteransforpeace.org.uk/2015/veterans-discard-medals-in-protest/

      • Gra 04/03/2016, 02:12

        Ben,

        It’s amusing to observe the assumption deployed by those still enamoured of shiny metal. Do they consider what it betrays about their own attitudes I wonder?

  • Graham Matthews 03/03/2016, 23:56

    Solidarity and strength to you
    Freedom of action and disclosure of individual experience are paramount to the Official Secrets Act.

  • Alfie - Unit Not Given 04/03/2016, 06:26

    Hi, could you point me towards the Lancet evidence that RAF weapons have targeted and killed civilians in Iraq?

  • John Boulton 04/03/2016, 21:53

    ‘Ben Griffin has thrown his medals back twice now…’ Ha! These people can’t even get their facts straight. ‘Unit not identified…’ Soldiers like to talk about ‘having the minerals;’ so why don’t these guys stand up and be counted and identify themselves, let alone their units? Peace to you all out there. Always amazed at the stauch defence/arguments in favour of war, made by those who will be literally slaughtered, against those who ‘don’t wish’ to see them get slaughtered! Deerghhhh!!!!

  • Nicola Beglin 04/03/2016, 22:48

    Such extraordinarily considered, intelligent and informed answers – which actually give such broad responses to a complicated world situation. It is really positive, however, that serving soldiers are connecting with VfP – they must have searched it out somehow?

    • John Boulton 04/03/2016, 23:40

      Thank you Nicola. It’s heartening that you picked up on the fact that Veterans For Peace’s message is also reaching serving soldiers. It’s easy to ‘preach to the converted,’ not that we aim to preach, rather, we simply hope to enlighten by speaking of our personal experiences. It is indeed the hard interactions that are of the most value; sometimes the truth of a situation is hard to accept, particularly when it highlights one’s own direct involvement in a process that is illogical, irrational and illegal. Peace to you.
      John Boulton, VFP UK.

  • Barry Ladendorf 09/03/2016, 14:32

    Great answers Ben. I am sharing these with others

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