War Games

I have steered away from this topic simply because I don’t want to cause any more trouble for the Marines than they are already in, but today I have to speak out in support of the five soldiers who face charges of murder.  Yes murder for doing their job.

Since 2001 we have sat and watched the news and seen the pictures of our lads being brought home in body bags.  Young boys who haven’t even reached their 20’s cut down by IED’s, snipper fire and now by ‘green on blue’ incidents.  Fathers, sons, brothers, sisters, mothers all killed or injured in the line of duty.  We have witnessed heroes in the making.. we have heard of acts of gallantry where one soldier has risked his life or given his life to save that of others.

You may ask yourself what is ‘Green on Blue’, well it is simple… basically is it those you have trained to do a worthy job turning their gun on you.  You see in Afghanistan, our lads have been training Afghans to be soldiers and Policemen.  Our lads have taught Afghans their knowledge, their expertise and they have been taught by the best and now some of those who have been taught are turning their weapons on those teachers.  They are killing our troops.

Common sense should tell you, that Insurgents would infiltrate groups and towns to become one of those people that are hand-picked to become a future soldier or policeman of the Afghan people.  Common sense told you that there was a high level of risk involved in teaching Afghans because you see, insurgents don’t dress up in uniform, they don’t have dog tags and papers showing they are members of the Taliban. The Taliban wear every day clothing.. they look and dress like every other Afghan.  The only difference being that instead of wanting to build a better future for the Afghan people, they want to rule the Afghan people with their sadistic idealogical rules.

The Taliban fight dirty, they will shake your hand and then shoot you in the back as you walk past.  Their objective is to kill.

The Taliban have NO hesitation in boarding a bus and shooting a 14-year old child in the head, all because she wants a better future for woman and schooling for girls.

The Taliban don’t want women to have a voice.  They treat women as second-rate citizens.. a gender that should be thankful that their men are prepared to care for.  Women are not equals in the eyes of the Taliban, they are inferior, and should they even think about being an equal they will be punished and that punishment is either by being disfigured or by death.

Women who are raped by men, are stoned, shot and killed because you see it is not the man who raped them that is in the wrong, it is the woman for allowing herself to be raped.

The Taliban don’t fight a clean war, they fight a dirty war and they don’t abide by rules of engagement.

War is dirty, it is not about Generals placing their troops in strategic places on a make shift battleground board and shouting fire.. it is real.. it is bloody and it kills.

Families when they hear of the news that another soldier has been killed or injured, suddenly find themselves praying that is not their door the military knock on to tell them their son or daughter has been killed.  Whilst praying they also know that it is the door of someone else whose family will be ripped apart because someone they love has either been killed or maimed.  Whether they know that family or not is irrespective because they each have the fear of receiving bad news and knowing that it could be their loved one next time a fatality or injury occurs.

Families united by grief who console each other and know exactly what war has done to their family.  Partners who have to tell their children, that their mummy or daddy is not coming home and they will never see them again. Wives and girlfriends giving birth to children who will be without a father because their father became a soldier, who has been killed by insurgents, namely the Taliban.

A soldier sees, first-hand, the true horrors of war, he sees them as he closes his eyes at night and those horrors can even torment him in his sleep, even to the point where they can wake up screaming through the nightmares they suffer when they try to rest… all because warfare is bloody…and because of what they have seen.

It isn’t like the films, it isn’t some actor standing there playing a part and then walking off of the film-set back into his trailer until the next scene.  War is about loss of life, horrendous visions of mutilations that troops see when they are in battle.  War is a soldier witnessing their best friend being blown to bits… war is knowing that it could have been you laying there dead.

War is soldiers having to watch their comrades die in pain, knowing there is nothing they can do.. War is having to protect yourself and take cover whilst trying to save the life of a soldier who has just had his legs, or his arms blown off because of an IED.  War is about killing the enemy before they kill you, whilst doing it with your hands tied behind your back and winning the hearts and minds of the locals.

Today, 5 marines, stand accused of killing the enemy.  They stand charged with murder.  Their crime, according to the chiefs, was not to adhere to rules of engagement.

Rules of engagement… yes in normal warfare rules of engagement work… because both sides under the Geneva convention agree to fight by them.  But we are not fighting a normal war, are we?  We are fighting terrorism?  Our lads are fighting terrorists, insurgents, people who want our soldiers dead or maimed by whatever means they can use, even if it means acting like friends until the time is right to kill.

Like anything, there is a counter argument that they did wrong by not adhering to the rules of engagement.. but place yourself in that position.. knowing that the person laid there would have killed you given the chance; knowing full well the person will, if he escapes, go on to kill your friends, your comrades, your allies and maybe even you at a later date.  These soldiers have seen the true horrors of war and it is hardly surprising if what they have witnessed and the horrors of what they have seen did not play some part in to the reasons why they didn’t adhere to the rules of engagement.  There is only so much bloodshed that any man can take before he starts fighting for survival. Sometimes you have to fight dirty, like the other side do, just to win.

Do those in higher ranks really believe that if it had been one of our troops laid on that ground, assistance by the Taliban would have been offered?  Of course not, they would have killed that soldier, they would have then rubbed their hands together and shouted victory, because they had killed another enemy.

Last night I and my husband signed a petition on the Government e-petition website which said:

Royal marine arresst

Responsible department: Ministry of Defence

Army personel get sent all over the world without moaning and they already do a fantastic job. They risk their lives on a daily basis and now they have got to risk being arrested for doing their job! They have already said the person involved was a insurgent. This is ridiculous so please sign to let the government know that what they are doing is wrong these marines should be given medals not a prison cell.

Today that petition stood at 16,368 people agreeing with that statement, before the petition was rejected.  It was rejected on the following grounds:

This e-petition has been rejected with the following reason given: (screenshot)

E-petitions cannot be used to request action on issues that are outside the responsibility of the government. This includes:

    • party political material
    • commercial endorsements including the promotion of any product, service or publication
    • issues that are dealt with by devolved bodies, eg The Scottish Parliament
    • correspondence on personal issues

E-petitions cannot be used for freedom of information requests.

The following explanatory notes have been added:

This e-petition contains information regarding active legal proceedings and for that reason can no longer appear on the site. Issues which are “sub judice” cannot be considered for debate in Parliament. This e-petition will continue to be visible on the site, but closed to new signatures, for 24 hours (until 12noon on 17 October 2012) at which time it will be removed.

There is a twitter account that supports the 5 Marines charged with murder should you want to follow them.  Their twitter ID is Justice for the 5 @Royal_Marine_7

The person these soldiers are accused of killing was a terrorist, he was an insurgent.  He was the enemy.

Like the picture above says, with the soldier standing there with a placard saying, “If killing the enemy is ‘murder’ then you should arrest me too!”  Pray, Ministry of Defence do tell me, are we going to arrest and charge every soldier with murder, who has killed the enemy, not just in Afghanistan but in every war or battle we have fought?


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