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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back - For A Bit

Since I left I've moved house (again) and spent some time sunning myself in Iraq. On the positive side the army, and it's relationship with the general public has come back into the media. After some negative press about the military covenant there has been a resurgence in homecoming parades.

We, in the military, accept that not all of the campaigns which we are involved in are popular, but appreciate the increased public support which we are receiving.

How do you see it - civilian side that is?


Blogger Katy Newton said...

HURRAH! Welcome back, sir.

11:52 pm  
Blogger Chairwoman of the bored said...

And from me!

8:56 am  
Blogger Earth Girl said...

YAY, you're back and seemingly in one piece thankfuly!

I saw an interview with a soileder back from Iraq who made the point that the latest story line on Corrination Street gets more press coverage and interest from the public than the plight of Britsh Forces in war zones.

9:20 am  
Blogger Chairwoman of the bored said...

How do I see it?

I was neither for nor against the invasion of Iraq, but I couldn't see why we were doing it. Obviously Saddam Hussein was a monster to his own people, but a threat to us, I don't think so.

But none of that has anything to do with the military.

As I understand it, and please correct me if I am wrong, when someone joins the army, they make a tacit agreement to go wherever the Queen, as represented by her Government, sends them, and do whatever she requires them do do. If you don't want to do that, you don't become a soldier.

And if your family don't understand this, they persuade you not join up, or if they can't, they shut up.

Supporting our armed forces does not mean one supports the Government that sends them off to fight.

One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

9:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back US, good to hear from you (and in one piece).

11:07 am  
Blogger AFC 30K said...

I'd just like to welocme you back from a reader but rare commenter.

I was in the TA RE for 4 years and whilst I whole heartedly accept that this is not the regs I feel it gave me an appreciation of the military.

I did not agree with the war in Iraq - I think the troops were sent in on poor intellegence, questionable morals and almost certainly at the behest of Uncle Sam and their oil industry.

However, when our boys (and girls) are out there on active service it is our duty to support them. As the Chairwoman says we may not support the government who sent you but that does not mean we should not support you.

The vast majority of us can not really appreciate what our soldiers go through especially when the war does not affect our daily lives.

12:11 pm  
Blogger Z said...

I was against the war too, because it was illegal, poorly planned, entered into for revenge by the States (couldn't very well put US, could I?) and there was no exit strategy. If I could see that, why couldn't our government?

I completely support the troops and am grateful to you all.

And welcome back.

1:21 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

Hurray hurrah! We missed you & your blog.

I agree with the Chairwoman of the Bored.

3:36 pm  
Blogger DC said...

Ta all. Chairwoman - I totally agree with you about the going where we are told piece. I think what General Dannatt was talking about was that whilst we (the military) are living up to our side of the bargain the country weren't. The major problem these days is that such a small proportion of the population have any interaction with anyone in the military that we are increasingly becoming isolated from the society which we are supposed to represent.

5:59 pm  
Blogger The Boy said...

Hey US, welcome back. A very Happy New Year to you and Mrs S! Everyone well?

You where in Iraq? I'll be very interested to hear the inside of it.

You can support the soldier without supporting the war. All the bad press about the breach of the covenant has reminded people we actually do have an army, and one to be proud of. That can only be a good thing.

Oddly enough I was in favour of the war, its just a damn shame the victory was so badly planned.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Moggy said...

Indeed, welcome back, both to blogging and safety, for the moment it would seem.

Difficult question posed there. I agree with Chairwoman in that when someone joins up they do agree to become a servant of the state in deed as well as words. (But soldiers are voters as well so theoretically can change Government policies.) It seems to reflect the problem the liberals have got themselves into in the States, whereby it is disloyal to not support the troops, yet they are against the war in Iraq. Dunno what the answer to that is unfortunately. Yet. And I did the whole call-up for Telic 1 etc so having taken the Queens Shilling for many years, I jumped in with both feet despite having misgivings about the background. I'm not sure that you are quite correct in that the Army is increasingly isolated from society. They are after all an integral part of it, for example some 40,000 TA soldiers have been called up at one point or another, so extrapolate that and most adults in the UK will have been in the Army, the TA or one of the other Services, or will be related to or simply know someone who has been there, given the turnover in manning. I think the point is more one of perception, us and them. There is a huge groundswell of support there, just needs to focused and directed. Problem is the Government is too good at divide and conquer, and isolating the various sections of society from each other rather than integrating.

11:28 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot (most?) lads are natural soldiers at heart, and would join up for any war out of national defence. We'd like to support all soldiers' campaigns, but unfortunately we can't: reasons for this or that campaign could easily be found interesting along with actual campaign details, soldiers' stories and so on, but standing back most campaigns are desperately sad these days. They are not even in any general support of a rule of law, but sinister motives. And so far as the medals go - from your side you have stories of bravery - we hear them - but let's face it, it's all under massive air support, in planning, and as soon as things get 'too tough'.

Hearts and minds campaigns - they point to basic facts about military campaigns on the ground (nothing new): but you can't win hearts with bombing. The defence of innocents slaughtered for a greater cause is valid when unforseen, but it is not unforseen. And it's careless. There is little valour in warfare unfortunately now, though i'm sure it exists towards comrades. That's not enough.

The good people in the lands you fightin, it's their sons, called Taliban or whatever, who deserve to win. Because hating the enemy is all hype. I was with 'Taliban' when they fought off Russians. Really it's just the sons of the Land. Their government was strict, so it had to be, to survive corrupt competition..from abroad particularly. THey were and are heroes. But we will not recongise that. We continue to slaughter their children, and try to undermine their own values, like fascist dictators.

War is not only about the soldiers, but it's the main sustaining thing now for life in the army. I know about the good things in it for the men who join...the valuable 'upbringing' and experience. The challenge is, can you allow it to make you very sad and bear that grief.

1:32 pm  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

I definately think there was an oranised campaign by Govt and the Media to drive a wedge between the public and our military, thankfully it failed.
Trouble is, the Telly is now such an important piece of furniture now, that if the plight out the troops isn't highlighted on the TV, then they must be Ok, so they carry on watching Jeremy Kyle, X Factor etc.

There are some very subtle but disturbing things going on in the world right now.

Have a listen to former Lt Commander Brian Gerrish RN Ret

Brian Gerrish

Lord Christopher Monckton

3:06 pm  
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11:57 am  

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