Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lest we forget

This Remembrance Sunday, it is appropriate that the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is not only a time to remember those who gave their lives in conflicts past, but also those who continue to give their lives in conflicts present.

But Britain's campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have consigned so many of Britain's finest to unnecessary deaths. Recent investigations have revealed a catalogue of MoD failures. Indeed, of the 254 who have died, 88 of these were found to be the result of friendly fire incidents or equipment shortages, prompting claims that the Ministry of Defence has been negligent of its duty of care to servicemen and women. And that is only taking account those deaths which were followed by inquiry or inquest.

One would think that this Labour Government would feel some sort of moral obligation to honour the Military Covenant, which demands that, while our finest and bravest men and women in the military risk their lives in combat, the least the nation can do is to ensure that they are properly equipped. Yet the Government has displayed a complete lack of preparedness for the scale or consequences of the two conflicts. It ought to be a cause of very great anger that our service men and women are not only dying for lack of body armour, but also for lack of armoured vehicles, air conditioning, medics, and hydration tablets.

And it ought to be a cause of very great anger indeed that the Government wastes countless billions of pounds on futile and ineffectual policies while starving the MoD of the cash it desperately needs. But then Labour has never been the Party to trust with the defence of the Realm.

So while we honour those who fell in ‘the war to end all wars’, let us not forget those who continue to fall in today’s wars. And let us also not forget where the ultimate responsibility lies.

7 Comments:

Blogger Scott said...

I agree the Gov has been shoddy - largely thanks to Brown's refusal to up funding - but those ultimately responsible for the death of our troops happen to be Islamofascist scumbags, not pols.

11 November 2007 at 13:10  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

His Grace writes:

And it ought to be a cause of very great anger indeed that the Government wastes countless billions of pounds on futile and ineffectual policies while starving the MoD of the cash it desperately needs. But then Labour has never been the Party to trust with the defence of the Realm.

Which realm do you mean? It's hard to see how invading Iraq and Afghanistan has defended the UK or its interests. Muslims are a threat to us because they are here, not because of what they do in their own nations, but only "extremists" are calling for an end to Muslim immigration, let alone -- what will have to come in time -- the departure of those already established.

scott writes:

I agree the Gov has been shoddy - largely thanks to Brown's refusal to up funding - but those ultimately responsible for the death of our troops happen to be Islamofascist scumbags, not pols.

The term "Islamofascism" is both hysterical and mendacious, but one should expect nothing else from neo-conservatives. And unnecessary wars against scumbags, fascist or otherwise, are the responsibility of the pols who launch them, not the scumbags they are launched against.

11 November 2007 at 17:37  
Blogger AethelBald, King of Wessex said...

Labour has never been the Party to trust with the defence of the Realm

I would like to be remembered as one who suggested that it would be appropriate to spit on Blair's footsteps after (only after) he passes in public. In this way he would soon withdraw into a fitting private disgrace. I say this because I think Your Grace's comment above is unfair and I want to make it clear that I am not a Labour supporter.

The Tories have consistently supported both wars even when they had significantly less relevant knowledge than the government. In the current British system, it is more the leadership of the party in power that is inclined to chance its (read your) arm. Frankly, I find it hard to imagine that they would do any better, except by chance.

11 November 2007 at 19:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

When Gordon Brown was Chancellor he was reported to have said that he resented giving money to the military because they tended to vote Conservative. What a peevish and spiteful man is our Prime Minister. Having said that, perhaps the Lord has given us the Prime Minister and government we deserve until such time as we collectively come to our senses.

11 November 2007 at 20:50  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Today is the time to focus on those who have given their lives in the defense of liberty in days gone by. They have given everything that we might live as free people today and we should be thankful for their sacrifice.

It also should make us think about the fact that liberty does not come without a price. Just as they paid the full price, we too may be called upon to pay that price, possibly soon. It may be demanded of us in an undeclared war, the war that militant Izlam is raging against all of Western society. Let their sacrifice not be in vain that we simply roll over and give away all that they died to preserve for us.

11 November 2007 at 21:53  
Blogger Scott said...

Re: nedsherry

Actually, for the record, I believe these scumbags launched the war, not the other way round. (I forget the date exactly.. something in September, one year).

It's actually mendacious - and worse, sinister and laughable - to do what you're doing. We aren't to blame for everything, you know.

11 November 2007 at 23:30  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

@ Scott --

Actually, for the record, I believe these scumbags launched the war, not the other way round. (I forget the date exactly.. something in September, one year).

What was the Iraqi connection to 9/11? How well were al-Qaeda doing in Iraq before the invasion? We would have been far more justified in invading Saudi Arabia.

It's actually mendacious - and worse, sinister and laughable - to do what you're doing.

What am I doing, precisely? Questioning neo-con propaganda and invasions that aren't in this country's interests, that's what.

We aren't to blame for everything, you know.

Yes, I know. And never said otherwise.

12 November 2007 at 15:45  

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