Saturday, January 29, 2005

There seems to be something wrong with our bloody army

Apropos Admiral Beatty's famous remark, here's a deeply depressing insight into the British Army officer corps & its political masters.

The Brits are trying 3 of their soldiers for
hazing captured Iraqi looters.

The essential facts appear to be:
1. The soldiers are a Corporal and 2 Lance Corporals.
2. The events took place when, 1 day after rotating out of combat, their unit was ordered by their officer to "work hard" armed & persistent looters they'd captured.
3. All of the soldiers had been cited for heroism - one for moving out of cover to take out a sniper, one for defusing an IED, one for leading a charge on an Iraqi mortar nest.
4. Blair, with the trial in progress announced, without qualification, that the soldiers were being "
brought to account."
5. The officer in charge of the soldiers has not been brought to trial because he
"could not have known" the consequences of his orders.

The abuse was mild violence and & sexual humiliation. I experienced, and inflicted, worse as a 16 year old cadet. War is Hell.

Here are the truly guilty men.

1. The officers that failed to put Military Police in charge of the prisoners. You never put troops straight out of combat in charge of prisoners. Because, without a period to decompress, it's impossible to control aggressive feelings against people who've been trying to kill and sometimes killing you & your friends.

2. The officers that let the officer off the hook & the men that selected that officer for command. None understands basic management. If you give an order you are responsible for following it up to ensure compliance. That applies in every management situation - combat to clerking.

3. Tony Blair for denying British citizens the presumption of innocence.

4. The British public for not rising up against this parody of justice.

So now what? The British Army again turns out to be
lions led by donkeys. Fortunately the lions are now volunteers so can escape the circus. Perhaps to the USMC or Army, where they'd have professional officers. And a Commander in Chief who understands the responsibilities of putting people in harm's way.

Until this crowd of wankers is hosed out, the British should avoid further wars. And the US would be wise not to rely on the Brits.

And perhaps now is the time for Tony Blair to depart to Europe, where they don't have irritations like the presumption of innocence, jury trials or any of that Anglo nonsense.