Thursday, April 12, 2007

Putting the world to rights

I really hate watching the bodies of service personnel being flown home, but today I am seriously angry about it.

Not only have four kids died fighting a war which was unnecessary at a time when the military have never been worse off, but it's such a stark contrast to the fiasco over the 15 sailors and marines who were held hostage in Iran.

They come home and we have to read tripe such as

But, speaking of the moment they were reunited, he told how he wept and begged the 26-year-old for a hug. Arthur said: "I missed Topsy most of all. I really love her, as amumand a big sister. Not seeing her and not knowing if she was safe was one of the hardest parts of the whole thing.

"Then on the sixth day, when I was just about giving up hope, I was pulled from my bed in the early hours of the morning.

"They led me down a corridor and into a room, where I saw Topsy in a corner.

"I can't describe how that felt...just every emotion rolled into one. I ran up to her, threw my arms round her and cried like a baby.

First of all, what happened to 'name, rank and serial number'? I can't imagine how appalled I would have been if I had been in a prisoner of war camp in, say, Japan during WW2 and I saw British troops acting like this.

But to then make matters worse by selling their stories? And such cringe making stories at that, just makes me angry. Yes, we can all blame Des Browne for making such a disastrous call by allowing them too, but what made those sailors who did think that it could possibly be a good idea?

Anyway, four people who won't be selling their story are the four who have been brought back from serving their country in boxes. How many years have we had troops fighting in Iraq and yet we are continually hearing the news that yet more are dying. The British forces should be properly armed and smashing these terrorist gangs. And yet we hear today that troops doing their tour are going to be serving for 15 months instead of a year.

They've closed down military hospitals, troops numbers are being slashed still, they're not paid or armed properly and nothing really brings that home like four people coming home in wooden boxes.

Oh, I know that dying is the risk that you take when you join up, and there are perks to the job which should compensate for that. But I still think that if you are prepared to risk your life to fight for your country (or to satisfy a couple of egos and get some oil in this case) then the government who sent you there has a duty of care to make sure you are protected as much as you possibly can be.

But hey, I could be wrong.


james higham said...

I couldn't agree more, which is all very boring for you, if you needed an argument.

Trixy, meanwhile, check out this post:

Ruthie said...

They've just extended the term to 15 months here in the U.S., too.

I hear you're a fellow shoe fan.