Ben Griffin of VFP UK urges health workers
to join the struggle to end the War System.
Former SAS soldier Ben Griffin quit the army in disgust at the conduct of operations carried out during the occupation of Iraq. He spoke outside the Queen Elizabeth Centre in central London, as protesters gathered to await the Chilcot report.
He said Chilcot is “the establishment giving their version of the Iraq War. We have no confidence that it is going to be a full, frank or honest version of events,”.
Ben said, “Our government and armed forces unleashed a war of aggression on the people of Iraq. Then in a joint enterprise with the USA we executed an occupation that defied the Geneva Convention. There’s no doubt about these facts.”
“That invasion and occupation caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and sectarian violence has gone through the roof. The people at the top should face criminal investigations for what happened.”
Ben said that former Labour prime minister Tony Blair knew what the consequences would be before the war began. “He was briefed that terrorism would increase – and it has,” he said.
“We’ve had the 7/7 bombings here. But that pales into insignificance compared to the rise of terrorism in the Middle East.”
Ben Griffin addresses an International Peace Conference
Ben warned that those responsible would try to downplay the devastation their war unleashed.
“They’re going to try and paint this as a one-off,” he said.
“But look at what they’ve done since 2003. We re-invaded Afghanistan in 2006, sending 10,000 troops into Helmand Province causing death and devastation for no obvious outcome. We have attacked Libya smashing that country into pieces, leading to a state of chaos.”
“We have bombed Syria and Iraq again, and are currently aiding and abetting Saudi Arabia’s attack on Yemen, leading to thousands of people being killed and injured.”
“Iraq wasn’t the end of anything, in effect it was the start of a new era of UK military aggression.”
We need to win people to the idea that war is not the solution to problems the world faces. It doesn’t solve anything – it makes things a whole lot worse.”
Ben Griffin outside Chilcot
We need to be made aware that, far from being the land of hope and glory, the UK has been killing hope and innocent people- men women and children- in inglorious wars for at least two hundred years. The British Empire on which the sun never set was also the empire where the blood never dried, as the Chartist Ernest Jones remarked c. 1850 (see book by John Newsinger) The vast majority of these people, in faraway lands “we” invaded, have been and still are, non-white, nearly always lacking the advanced weaponry which “we” have deployed.
Nothing much is said on these lines toady in the media or in school history lessons, and “our” good intentions (cf. Mr Blair) are always assumed, nothing to do with oil, for example.