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Hold The Line

 

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The last two weeks have been distressing. Jacob David George took his own life as a result of moral injuries sustained in Afghanistan. It pains me to think of the darkness that must have engulfed Jacob to push him across that final line. This week our parliament has voted to involve the UK in a new round of Iraqi blood-letting. For our Chicken-Hawk politicians to vote to pour more petrol on the fire we started is a punch in the face to all of us who served in Iraq and who witnessed that bullshit first hand,

We are directly responsible for the situation in Iraq. After the Gulf War of 1990/1 our war on Iraq continued. We carried out a decade of bombing and siege warfare that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s. In 2003 we prosecuted an illegal invasion of Iraq during which a huge amount of infrastructure was destroyed, we then dismantled the civil service and military. During the occupation which followed we took a society in which Sunni and Shia lived together and manipulated division to murderous effect, hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed and tortured, whole swathes of residential areas were destroyed. During and since that occupation we have propped up a sectarian government who’s policies have marginalised and alienated the Sunni’s to the point of armed rebellion.

I served in Iraq (Baghdad) in 2005. I was involved in blasting my way into peoples homes with explosives. Once inside we would drag the people out of their beds and split them up. Women and children would be held at gunpoint whilst the males were interrogated. My task at this point would be to ransack the home taking money, computers phones, paperwork and weapons (it was usual at that time for Iraqi families to have weapons for personal security). Once the interrogations were finished we would drag all the males out of the home cuffed and hooded and take them back to our base where they would face further interrogation before being handed over to be tortured. I will never forget the looks from the people in those homes, especially the children, as we carried out those “operations”. I often wonder what happened to the young boys who witnessed the humiliation of their fathers. How could we blame them if they now fight with ISIS?

The be-headings carried out by ISIS were disgusting, but the primary aim was provocation. They were designed to elicit a response from the west. What ISIS craves most is confrontation with the west to raise there credibility and boost recruitment. The rational response to these acts of terror would be for the UK and US Governments to issue travel warnings to their citizens, don’t go to Iraq and Syria. Despite what our politicians say ISIS does not pose an existential threat to the UK. What can be predicted is what the CIA calls blow-back, attacks provoked by our own action in the middle east  (9/11 and 7/7 are examples of blow-back). The depressing thing about blow-back is that just as in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya the majority of casualties are civilians.

If you listen to our Chicken-Hawk Foreign Secretary Hammond you will hear him imagesstate that the RAF is required to participate in this new Iraq war because they are capable of “precision air-strikes”. Does he seriously expect us to believe that US and French aircrews do not have the same capabilities? Precision weapons are limited by the intelligence available. During my time in Iraq we had access to a huge intelligence gathering operation yet still on most raids we would not find who we were looking for. That didn’t matter because whoever we did find would be detained as an insurgent anyway. Post interrogation it was assessed that only 10% of the people we captured were involved in the insurgency. Over the intervening years it has become standard procedure to claim that any males of military age killed by coalition forces are insurgents or terrorists. The point is that it doesn’t matter how accurate our bombs are or how skilled our Special Forces are, if the intelligence is duff civilians will be harmed. Since the US began this new round of air-strikes dozens of civilians have been killed, dozens of homes destroyed and the Iraqi Army has reported that 73 of their soldiers have been killed

David Cameron can’t stop bragging about the prowess of British Forces yet the track record post 9/11 is damning. Defeated in Basrah, replaced by the USMC in Helmand and then we come to Libya. In 2011 the UK alongside other NATO members launched an air-war on Libya. This war has been held up as an example of British military success by the Chicken-Hawk Hammond. What he failed to mention is that as a result of our action Libya is now a failed state with Islamists in charge of Tripoli. Is this his future vision for Iraq?

It is beyond belief that whilst our newspapers are full of horror stories about ISIS our politicians are bragging about how our new coalition includes Saudi Arabia. This is the country which pushes Wahhabi doctrine throughout the world whilst Saudi nationals are major financial contributors to countless Jihadi groups including ISIS. In August of this year whilst the western media focused on the execution of three journalists the Saudis executed on average a person a day.

At times like these it can be difficult to know what to do, it seems that the establishment have all of the cards in their hands. Now is the time for us to double our efforts, we may not be able to stop this new war in Iraq but we must hold the line and begin to push back. We must confront the warmongers at every opportunity.

Song – See It Through by Ryan Harvey

Ben Griffin served with the British Army and is now a member of VFP UK

  • Alex Hardman 28/09/2014, 22:54

    I think we must also think of ourselves and our own families. We can help each other ‘to be vulnerable’ so we can start again and reach out for help from people who care. We can do this

  • Roger Haydon Mitchell 28/09/2014, 23:27

    Your supporters might be interested in my latest blog post “What’s the alternative to meeting ISIS violence with violence?” http://rogerhaydonmitchell.wordpress.com/

  • Kenny Williams 30/09/2014, 20:48

    David Cameron has said that any non-violent organisations and truthers US!!! are as bad as ISIS.

    You couldn`t make it up, these words from the Levellers resonate with me.

    When these clay bodies are in grave
    and children stand in place,
    This shows we stood for truth
    and peace and freedom in our days.
    And true-born sons we shall appear
    of England that’s our mother,
    No priests’ nor lawyers’ wiles to embrace
    their slavery we’ll discover.’

    Be strong unite and expose these criminals.

    Peace and Love Kenny VFP UK

  • DR. A 02/10/2014, 23:22

    A very sad first paragraph.

    In the UK 6000 people commit suicide every year (more like 12000++ if coronial law is interpreted less strictly).

    How many of these are vets? No way of telling beyond the odd regimental tattoo. Remember these guys have had several jobs before they end up taking their own lives. The information handed to the pathologist by the coroner’s officer is a bare outline of the deceased’s life. When vets are identified (rare) from the info given us, many a time the cause of death is natural. But ‘natural’ occasionally means a PTSD patient dying of alcoholic cirrhosis as opposed to the unnatural alcohol intoxication. It gets even more confusing when you investigate a death in a vet with known long term PTSD and ischaemic heart disease. Did this death result from prolonged stress with cardiac complications?

    As you can see the no. of deaths that can be blamed on stress & by extension combat stress is probably underestimated.

    Thanks

    • Kenny Williams 04/10/2014, 20:24

      I was stunned to hear that in the Colchester Garrison ( I was based their for three years) many veterans are sleeping rough. A few local volunteers are going around and giving them food and a warm blanket etc.
      No sign of the poppy appeal people or the help for heros lot? Millions of pounds sitting in their bank accounts… nice.
      The government don`t want the public to hear about them, my best mate from childhood who served with me for many years was living in a skip in liverpool when he got out of the army! I had to get him off the drink and homed, unfortunately the young soldiers getting out now are not as lucky.

      peace and Love

      Kenny Williams VFP UK

  • Garry Harriman 07/10/2014, 12:30

    `For our Chicken-Hawk politicians to vote to pour more petrol on the fire we started is a punch in the face to all of us who served in Iraq and who witnessed that bullshit first hand`

    Poignant and appropriate terminology really. Isn`t petrol, or the core component of it, OIL, along with gas, the fuels of industrialized nations that are essential for the way we live today, that are in growing demand, declining and will eventually run out, that are the number one national security issue for all industrialized economies, and all linked to global financial stability due to the petro dollar, the main reason for national geopolitical policy in the oil age, and, indeed, the prime motivation for modern warfare?

    Garry Harriman
    RAF, 1987-2006

  • Garry Harriman 07/10/2014, 12:39

    `David Cameron can’t stop bragging about the prowess of British Forces yet the track record post 9/11 is damning. Defeated in Basrah, replaced by the USMC in Helmand and then we come to Libya. In 2011 the UK alongside other NATO members launched an air-war on Libya. This war has been held up as an example of British military success by the Chicken-Hawk Hammond. What he failed to mention is that as a result of our action Libya is now a failed state with Islamists in charge of Tripoli. Is this his future vision for Iraq?`

    The deceased Colonel of that oil rich Northern African nation, brutally lynched and murdered by NATO backed insurgents made a fatal error that will get anyone targeted. He wanted to economically unify Africa, divide up oil exports to the west`s competitor’s, but moist fatally for him, he wanted gold (Dinar) for oil tariffs. Anyone national leader that threatens the petro dollar by offering OPEC a more stable currency exchange to the in imperiled dollar are dead!

    • Kenny Williams 07/10/2014, 19:52

      Garry,
      Your on the right track brother. See my article “NATO War crimes”
      Unless everyone starts to see what is really going on we are doomed to be enslaved into a big brother state.
      This government answers to nobody, and gets away with murder everytime. The people need to dissolve government and start fresh with representatives that have no banking partners or corporate interests, that speak for their communities, NOT their paymasters… if you want to see how detached these worms are from reality watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlTggc0uBA8
      These silver spooned puppets have NEVER done a hard days graft in their lives, yet you are suppost to jump into the fire because they say so?
      Try having a chat with your local MP about our countries war crimes and see what happens? Oh it`s an eye opener!
      They really are pathetic little cowards frightened to speak up for you because they are scared to lose their over payed position (not job)

      Kenny VFP