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Iraq

Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
edited May 2009 in The bottom bracket
I couldn't find soapbox or a political kinda section but see the Brits left Basra today . Was on the Guardian website and was very drawn to this...how awfully sad...they will not be forgotten

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interac ... -iraq-dead
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  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    The people they shot might....!
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • nicensleazynicensleazy Posts: 2,310
    The boys and girls will not be forgotten! They have done a sterling job. It doesn't mater if you agree or don't agree with whats been going on, they are out boys and girls and need the support. Unfortunately, soldiers and the like are sent by Downing St, its not their fault!
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,228
    All I can say is, at least it's 'officially' closed. Now we can more fully concentrate our efforts in Afghanistan (more equpiment budgeted - only 1 tour to supply, more manpower - same reason etc etc).
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  • Stewie GriffinStewie Griffin Posts: 4,374
    The boys and girls will not be forgotten! They have done a sterling job. It doesn't mater if you agree or don't agree with whats been going on, they are out boys and girls and need the support. Unfortunately, soldiers and the like are sent by Downing St, its not their fault!

    Hear hear.
  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    Yes. The military lads and lasses deserve all our support since they get nothing decent from the MoD and the rest of the government (healthcare, salary, mental health support etc). Whether you agree with what happened in Iraq or not (or anywhere else) they are truly brave and professional.

    (I'm not in the military, but my OH was, for 12 years, so yes, I suppose I have an agenda!).

    Best put my soapbox away now...
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    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

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  • Rev\'d GatlinRev\'d Gatlin Posts: 190
    The eldest was in the cadets for a while before the inevitable grabbed the attention. They did a couple of trips over to Ypres to look around the battlefields and cemetaries and take part in the Last Post ceremony. We tagged along for the last trip. If you haven't been I'd recommend it. The work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is remarkable. The effort made to make sure that each and every casualty is remembered is honoured seems tireless. If ever the statistics on TV start to lose their poignancy get yourself over the channel and get a dose of reflection.

    And take your bike. Sunday morning was a lycra fest.
    If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
  • SpinningJennySpinningJenny Posts: 889
    +1 Rev\'d Gatlin (my, that's hard to type!). The CWGC are fantastic and do a wonderful job.
    Ned Flanders: “You were bicycling two abreast?”
    Homer Simpson: “I wish. We were bicycling to a lake.”

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • GavHGavH Posts: 998
    +2 Rev. The ceremony EVERY evening at Menin Gate would put most Brits to shame regarding how easily we seem to forget about the sacrifices made. I hear too many folk saying 'I didn't ask them to go to invade.' They don't seem so opinionated or blameless when you ask if they voted for the Govt (who sent us there in the first place) at the last election...
  • Le CommentateurLe Commentateur Posts: 4,174
    Can't help feeling that it's been a sad waste of all those young peoples' lives and potential, that counts for nothing in the longer term. :?
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    War (hu) - what is it good for?
    Absolutely Nothing.

    (Say it again)
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    Probably the shabbiest thing this country has done since Suez. The MoD seems the most corrupt government department with the "revolving door" of senior mandarins appearing on arms company boards of directors etc.

    The armed forces are equipped with what is expedient to provide rather than the kit for the job and (as ever) do daily miracles for little appreciation.

    If you expect the other business will turn out better, read Arithmatic on the Frontier by Rudyard Kipling; nothing changes.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    Our armed forces are the best in the world and totally deserve the backing of us all, regardless of your personal feelings/rights/wrongs of the conflict.

    A friend of mine had a son killed in Afghanistan and I also have friends serving there now. I believe it's a mis-guided conflict we will never win, but I do whatever I can to support our lads and lasses who are out there.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    edited May 2009
    Suprised front-line soldiers don't get paid alot more money - (at least twice as much) - of course, only a percentage of armed services fall into that category - but for the ones that do face substantial risk of serious injury or worse, they should get paid handsomely for it.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Mettan wrote:
    Suprised front-line soldiers don't get paid alot more money - (like 2 or 3 times as much) - of course, only a percentage of troups fall into that category - but for the ones that do face substantial risk of serious injury or worse, should get paid for it.

    There's no such thing as a front-line in these counter insurgency type conflicts, the majority of troops are under real risk even if they never leave their compound.
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  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    I personally am against this conflict, but I will always wear a poppy and give to the Legion. My Grandad spent WW2 in a Japanese POW camp, and when the war ended, got absolutely zero help from the government or military. Just like the WW1 soldiers executed for having shell-shock, those who were subjected to nuclear/chemical/biological testing, and those suffering from Gulf War syndrome, the government and military has always betrayed soldiers, and I hope that they will get the support they need back home.

    Save the condemnation for the governments.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    Generally it's governments who cause wars and the poor souls in the armed forces who have to fight them. Be it a just cause or not.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • GavHGavH Posts: 998
    Like everything else, the 'support' our troops get is still subject to govt spending. Cases of troops wounded in Iraq or Afghan and being returned to Selly Oak Hospital in Brum, only to be verbally abused by people are not exagerrated. It wasn't that long ago that we had dedicated Military hospitals. Wonder where they went and why?

    Currently, the campaign in Afghanistan is costing us an average of ONE British fatality per WEEK. More shocking is the average of ONE traumatic amputee per DAY.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Abuse towards anyone shouldn't be tolerated.

    Why not extend the thoughts to everyone involved? Not just soldiers from the same Island you live on? Or at the very least, UK soldiers and the people they killed/hurt?

    I doubt they were particularly happy about being involved in a war in Iraq either...
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • +1 for the battlefield tours.

    Spent a few days around Ypres & The Somme, including the Menin Gate ceremony. All very moving, especially when you see the gratitude of the Belgian people even after so many years.

    Shame the military is taken for granted in this country (especially by the politicians).
    Ride On ...
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Disagree with the above - the military are not taken for granted in this country by politicians or the general population. There are few countries (especially outside of Europe and the Commonwealth) who remember their war dead like the Brits do. We take poppy day very seriosly in the UK.

    I lived in a Japanese city for 3 years where there was no war memorial and no popular day of rememberance. With the exception of a handful of peace parks (Horoshima for example) the war dead not remebered. Ok, it's a different culture and it is more complicated than that BUT it does underline the fact that very few people remember the war dead like the Brits. I think it is linked to our national identity myself - quite unlike Japan.

    That said some wars are remerbered more than others. How often do you hear about the dead from the Boer War - where the Brits invented the concentration camp...? Popular history is selective. I wander if the Iraq war dead will remebered in a hundreds years, when the Tommies and Harry Patch will still be remembered?

    It's all very well saying lets support or lads and lassies but I think that is rather obvious and over jingoistic (very Daily Mail) and it doesn't help. My brother in law is in Afgahanistan now and he knows that they cannot win, and that lives are been wasted. My brother in law doesn't want your support - he's too busy! He would rather that political/popullar pressure had been even greater and that the government had listened in the first place. If you are against this action, and especially Iraq, then just say that you oppose - stop sitting on the fence by talking about our 'lads and lasses' (which sounds patronising anyway). Make a choice and stick to it. Just to clarify, I am not against the miltary (as people) - just miulitary intervention more generally. And I do wear a poppy - largely because of the loss of family members in previous generations.

    Wear you poppy with pride (sure) but don't support or even lay off criticising a morally bankrupt military action.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    Dave_1 wrote:
    I couldn't find soapbox or a political kinda section but see the Brits left Basra today . Was on the Guardian website and was very drawn to this...how awfully sad...they will not be forgotten

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interac ... -iraq-dead

    Combat operations may have been completed, but there are and still will be a sizeable number of Brits remaining in the area. The govt spin machine will leave this little bit out of the news.
  • GavHGavH Posts: 998
    passout wrote:
    Disagree with the above - the military are not taken for granted in this country by politicians or the general population. There are few countries (especially outside of Europe and the Commonwealth) who remember their war dead like the Brits do. We take poppy day very seriosly in the UK.

    I lived in a Japanese city for 3 years where there was no war memorial and no popular day of rememberance. With the exception of a handful of peace parks (Horoshima for example) the war dead not remebered. Ok, it's a different culture and it is more complicated than that BUT it does underline the fact that very few people remember the war dead like the Brits. I think it is linked to our national identity myself - quite unlike Japan.

    That said some wars are remerbered more than others. How often do you hear about the dead from the Boer War - where the Brits invented the concentration camp...? Popular history is selective. I wander if the Iraq war dead will remebered in a hundreds years, when the Tommies and Harry Patch will still be remembered?

    It's all very well saying lets support or lads and lassies but I think that is rather obvious and over jingoistic (very Daily Mail) and it doesn't help. My brother in law is in Afgahanistan now and he knows that they cannot win, and that lives are been wasted. My brother in law doesn't want your support - he's too busy! He would rather that political/popullar pressure had been even greater and that the government had listened in the first place. If you are against this action, and especially Iraq, then just say that you oppose - stop sitting on the fence by talking about our 'lads and lasses' (which sounds patronising anyway). Make a choice and stick to it. Just to clarify, I am not against the miltary (as people) - just miulitary intervention more generally. And I do wear a poppy - largely because of the loss of family members in previous generations.

    Wear you poppy with pride (sure) but don't support or even lay off criticising a morally bankrupt military action.

    Your post is highly contradictory. Support our troops who have died by wearing a poppy once a year, but don't support them if you don't agree with the war they are engaged in? That seems to be the thrust of your post. The soldiers themselves, even the VERY senior ones do not choose which wars we fight, the government does that for us. So, rather than worry about being patronising why not just support the people who are doing a job rather than throw that sacrifice in their face. As Jack Nicholsons character in A Few Good Men said, "I'd just rather you said thank you and went on your way."
  • StarwaspStarwasp Posts: 59
    The soldiers are just doing a job. Given the political insecurity and the range of threats to our interests in the world, it is a pretty essential job, too.

    If you want to have a go about what is going on, don't point your finger at them, or indeed at the Government of the day. Point your finger at the electorate, who re-elected the Government who took took us into Iraq.

    If the demos felt strongly enough that our army should not be in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, then they would have voted in an alternative party and policy.

    We live in a democracy and sometimes this involves accepting things that you personally disagree with.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    Starwasp wrote:
    If the demos felt strongly enough that our army should not be in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, then they would have voted in an alternative party and policy.

    We live in a democracy and sometimes this involves accepting things that you personally disagree with.

    Our first past the post electoral system means that letting in other parties is very unlikely.

    The turnout at the last election was about 61%, which means that between them, the two parliamentary parties scraped about 40% of the registered adult population between them.

    http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/ge05/partycand.htm

    So although voter apathy wins again, the re-election of the government is hardly a democratic mandate for the war.
  • StarwaspStarwasp Posts: 59
    What makes you think that not voting is apathy....it could be a free expression of views.

    As regarding your concerns over the quality of the mandate, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, it may be a poor mandate, but it is a better mandate than the alternatives. And it is the only mandate that we've got.

    To put it another way, more people demonstrated in London against the ban on fox hunting than against the Iraq war. Does that make them right?
  • mmitchell88mmitchell88 Posts: 340
    Starwasp wrote:
    What makes you think that not voting is apathy....it could be a free expression of views.

    The problem here is that there is no measurable difference between not voting for a political reason and chucking the voting form in the bin/using it to wrap vegetable peelings/wiping one's bottom/forgetting it was the day to vote when you REALLY wanted to actually vote/etc.

    Or...Occam's Razor in a political setting: Why should I assume someone is 'freely expressing views' when a more likely and far more plausible explanation is that they just couldn't be arsed? :?
    Making a cup of coffee is like making love to a beautiful woman. It's got to be hot. You've got to take your time. You've got to stir... gently and firmly. You've got to grind your beans until they squeak.
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  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    Starwasp wrote:
    What makes you think that not voting is apathy....it could be a free expression of views.

    As regarding your concerns over the quality of the mandate, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, it may be a poor mandate, but it is a better mandate than the alternatives. And it is the only mandate that we've got.

    To put it another way, more people demonstrated in London against the ban on fox hunting than against the Iraq war. Does that make them right?

    Oh, I wasn't complaining about democracy. Quite the opposite - I believe in extending democracy through use of referenda, like the Swiss do.

    I also believe that there are limits to what democratic mandate allows a government to do. For example, if Hitler had won a free and fair election in, say 1943, would that have given the Nazis the right to build the concentration camps (assuming it was a stated policy)? Just because a government is elected does not mean that it is morally entitled to invade another country, unless of course there is a very good case for self-defence.

    Are you sure about the figures for marching against the ban on foxhunting? The Countryside Alliance suggests 400,000 turned up, whereas even the government and police admitted that 750,000 turned up for the anti-Iraq War demonstrations, with the organisers putting the figure at 2 million.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    johnfinch wrote:
    Starwasp wrote:
    What makes you think that not voting is apathy....it could be a free expression of views.

    As regarding your concerns over the quality of the mandate, paraphrasing Winston Churchill, it may be a poor mandate, but it is a better mandate than the alternatives. And it is the only mandate that we've got.

    To put it another way, more people demonstrated in London against the ban on fox hunting than against the Iraq war. Does that make them right?


    I also believe that there are limits to what democratic mandate allows a government to do. For example, if Hitler had won a free and fair election in, say 1943, would that have given the Nazis the right to build the concentration camps (assuming it was a stated policy)? Just because a government is elected does not mean that it is morally entitled to invade another country, unless of course there is a very good case for self-defence.

    .

    Ah you can use counter-factual history to prove anything. Waste of time.

    I think any example of a totalitarian regime is particularly useless when looking at the role of consent for particular policies.

    The Holocaut in particular is a red herring given it's unique position in public collective memory.

    Consent's a matter of definition anyway. I would personally argue that apathy is a form of tacit concent.

    The protests against the Vietnam war can be seen as genuine indicators of active opposition to the war.

    The lack of genuine interest in the Iraq war can be seen as tacit consent.

    If people care enough, they'll do something about it. Within reason.


    I'm still surprised my suggestion that those who are shot by UK soldiers should also be remembered too has fallen on deaf ears...
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • finchyfinchy Posts: 6,689
    teagar wrote:
    I think any example of a totalitarian regime is particularly useless when looking at the role of consent for particular policies.

    OK, so let's look at a democracy then. Did the democratic mandate give the British government the moral right to test chemical/nuclear weapons on unknowing troops?
    teagar wrote:
    Consent's a matter of definition anyway. I would personally argue that apathy is a form of tacit concent.

    Could you try justify that view, please?
    teagar wrote:
    The protests against the Vietnam war can be seen as genuine indicators of active opposition to the war.

    The lack of genuine interest in the Iraq war can be seen as tacit consent.

    The London anti-war protest was the biggest peacetime demonstration ever, and there were more throughout the country. Don't forget that the Vietnam War activities in the US were fuelled by conscription. Had conscription existed now, I'm sure that the anti-Iraq War movement would have been bigger.

    I went to 4 demonstrations before and at the start of the war, but then once the invasions had ended, I stopped, because to be honest, I really do not have a clue whether it would have been better for allied forces to stay in Iraq or to leave (from the point of view of your average Iraqi civilian, that is. Obviously for a soldier it would have been better to be brought back home). It's nothing to do with tacit consent.
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    johnfinch wrote:
    teagar wrote:
    I think any example of a totalitarian regime is particularly useless when looking at the role of consent for particular policies.

    OK, so let's look at a democracy then. Did the democratic mandate give the British government the moral right to test chemical/nuclear weapons on unknowing troops?
    teagar wrote:
    Consent's a matter of definition anyway. I would personally argue that apathy is a form of tacit concent.

    Could you try justify that view, please?
    teagar wrote:
    The protests against the Vietnam war can be seen as genuine indicators of active opposition to the war.

    The lack of genuine interest in the Iraq war can be seen as tacit consent.

    The London anti-war protest was the biggest peacetime demonstration ever, and there were more throughout the country. Don't forget that the Vietnam War activities in the US were fuelled by conscription. Had conscription existed now, I'm sure that the anti-Iraq War movement would have been bigger.

    I went to 4 demonstrations before and at the start of the war, but then once the invasions had ended, I stopped, because to be honest, I really do not have a clue whether it would have been better for allied forces to stay in Iraq or to leave (from the point of view of your average Iraqi civilian, that is. Obviously for a soldier it would have been better to be brought back home). It's nothing to do with tacit consent.


    I wasn't providing my opinion. Just suggesting your argument was flawed.

    Consent has, at least in the work I have read and written myself, has often been distinguished between tacit and active consent. Active consent would be something like voting in a refurendum, or attending a supporting rally. Tacit is not doing anything to stop the action.

    Since you went to anti-war rallies you'd be opposing the action.

    I think it's safe to say that with governance, if there is little resistance to any particular, you can assume people don't mind/agree with it. Your mention of Vietnam conscription illustrates the point. People were particularly unhappy with conscription and so there were more people showing active opposition.

    By not doing anything to oppose a policy or action you are letting it carry on regardless, which, in practice, amounts to consent.

    You may personally object to it but that is pretty irrelevant unless that objection turns into an action in some form or another. What happens inside your head and what you say privately does not have an affect on society, untill it forms a public action, such as, say, voting, or attending a rally, rioting, or convincing others to support active resistance.

    Hence the tacit support for Iraq.

    You even said it yourself. When you were unsure about whether Iraq should stop you stopped resisting the policy, so thereby letting it continue...

    It's not practical for governance to have to find active consent. Nothing would get done.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
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