Saturday, 26 January 2008

Military's Sloped Shoulders

After a string of deaths and video evidence of ill-treatment of Iraqi's by British troops, a report by the army's Director of army personnel, puts it all down to the failure to train our troops in how to treat civilians in an occupied country.
"Troops were given scant information on how to treat civilian detainees and needed a better understanding between right and wrong" he concluded.
Am i missing something here? The young men and women we are training to kill and then handing over powerful weapons to, don't know what is right or wrong when it comes to dealing with people they are not shooting at?
Are we really supposed to believe that when our troops beat Baha Mousa, the Iraqi hotel worker to death, or killed a couple of teenagers by throwing them off a pier to into the Shatt al-Arac canal, or crushed the skull of Nadhem Abdullah with their rifle butts they did not know that it was wrong?
If the answer, as the military want us to believe, is no, then what sort of psychopaths are we recruiting into our armed forces?
With over 120,000 members of the armed forces having served in southern Iraq since the invasion in 2003, i agree that it is only a tiny proportion of bad apples involved with such abhorrent treatment of the people we are supposed to be protecting, but rather than make up lame excuses for their behaviour or performing half-hearted investigations, they should be dragged out to face the full force of the law and treated as if the attack had happened on the streets of Britain.
At some point in the future, these soldiers who are apparently completely ignorant of whether murdering someone is right or wrong, are going to be taking their place amongst us in civilian society rather than serving prison sentences although the likes of the army's Director of army personnel knows full well they won't be settling in their exclusive part of the town.

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