Monday 20 February 2006

Less than 0.05% but still measurable

Slowly nabbing the scoundrels
Probably just 20 out of 100,000 UK troops who have been through the Iraqi cauldron are responsible for the kinds of acts we saw in those despicable video broadcasts and papers over the last few weeks.
So far, only three soldiers have been arrested out of the probably eight or so that had their kicks at those teenagers; the cameraman being the first of the lot.
Well, far be it from me to be “quick to condemn and slow to praise”, but if any structure were present in the expression of remorse for losing the high moral ground – a lot more should have been rounded up quicker and perceptions should be changing on the ground.
The problem is not just the participants; the other soldiers who walked by when that fracas developed with live commentary coming from the roof are intrinsically culpable for acquiescing to what is not the culture of our respected defenders of the realm.
Equal airing, good or bad
If there is a medal for gallantry it should immediately go to the man who gave us the opportunity to feel sick to the stomach at watching a “director’s cut” of what people get up to in our name.
If we want all our good deeds to be shouted from the mountain tops and ramparts, then we should concentrate on just doing good deeds.
I do not subscribe to the censorship of material that portrays us in bad light if we have indeed been bad boys and someone has taken time to record those events for posterity, entertainment or eventual redress.
Tough does not excuse rough
Iraq is a tough place; people are losing their lives faster than the Taliban could have replenished their “Coliseum” with human fodder – it still does no present the excuse to exhibit inhumane and barbaric activity on the people we went to liberate.
Supposedly, the base instinct of man; be they trained as our soldiers or schooled in the depravity of hopelessness is to enjoy the pleasure of pack activity like wolves gnaw at a carcass.
We do not have the luxury to be protector and oppressor at the same time just because we were victorious.
If the training of our armed forces does not include the ability to quickly if not instinctively gauge the consequences of their actions; then a good few should be on a 101 course on Military Conduct and then the Art of War back-to-back many times over.
Not good is bad
I sympathise with the Minister for Defence, but I remember reading somewhere – a little leaven (yeast) leavens the whole lump – Oh! That was prefixed with “your boasting is not good” – even if it was 0.0005% what is not good is bad, whichever way you look at it.

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