I have often felt that I must hold my tongue out of respect for former colleagues and friends, especially those that have passed away but I have come to realise that to withhold the truth would in fact be doing them a greater disservice.My grievance in this instance is directed at the Invictus games. An absolutely unbelievable, shameless PR stunt; show casing wounded, injured and sick servicemen to ease the conscience of the nation. Coining phrases like ‘Wounded Warriors’? Those men and woman are victims, brave victims of our governments corrupt foreign policy. War isn’t a game. It’s not a 2 minute silence in November, it’s not a ‘Help for Heroes’ Teddy bear in military fatigues, It’s not the latest ‘Call of Duty’; It’s real.
This wouldn’t sting so much had the whole event not been sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover! The very same company that manufactured the famously ill-equipped ‘Snatch Wagons’ used in Iraq and Afghanistan that claimed over 38 lives and caused untold injuries; an appalling irony. If we want to truly honour our servicemen and woman let’s start by asking REAL questions. Why are there so many Veteran suicides? Spiraling drug and alcohol misuse? An ever expanding Veteran prison population, many guilty of violent offences.
At home Islamaphobia is becoming as feverent as the hatered for the Jews in 1930’s Germany, Britian would rather concentrate on an unseen threat, many miles away in an oil rich land than on questioning the lies fed to us by the main stream media who possess no other mandate than to perpetuate the spreading of fear, to
divide us so that the wealthy may conquer us. War is a lucrative business.
Another terrible bi-product of the wars we have fought is the rise in fanatic extremism with radicalised Muslims ready to die at the drop of a hat. What conditions must these people face that would allow for such extreme measures to be taken?
RIP to all those brave, betrayed souls who have died since 2001 on operations, to the innocent casualties of war and to all those who could not cope in the aftermath, losing their own individual battles with mental health. When you’re told to ‘support the troops’ you’re being asked to turn a blind eye to these issues. Let us muffle the drums of war, give us the strength to build a positive world.
Daniel Taylor served with the Royal Artillery in Iraq he is now a member of Veterans For Peace UK