MarineIt’s a real conundrum living as we do in an age of omnipresent information (in this case an audio-video record of an event that in earlier times would never, ever have been known to anyone other than those directly involved) whilst warfighting remains the same as it has been for a thousand years: hell on earth (some of us know this from direct experience).

Now we bring hell in to people’s sitting rooms and in to police stations and in to solicitors’ offices and eventually in to the courts.  And when we do bring the battlefield in to the sitting room, we’re mortified at what we observe and so we send our soldiers to jail … for doing what in the end is their job … to kill the enemy; to survive to fight, to protect and preserve the lifestyles we so cherish.

It’s mad when you think about it.  Look, I’m not arguing for the execution of battlefield casualties.  I’m just saying that that c*nt who Marine A shot would no sooner look at you as cut off your head given the chance, film the proceedings and stick the results up on YouTube.  Marine A knew all this and destroyed his enemy, your enemy and mine too.  Remember, neither Al Qaeda nor the Taliban do the Geneva Convention.

I’m just grateful that Her Majesty’s Royal Marines are on our side.  That is all – to use a maritime term.


PS  This is a  corollary to my post above following comments I have received by email and elsewhere.  It was right that Marine A was arrested and tried; what he did was wrong.  Look again at the second sentence of the third paragraph above: “I’m not arguing for the execution of battlefield casualties.”  My point is that it is extremely difficult for any of us here to put ourselves in the situation of that Marine from sitting rooms in Hampshire.  God knows what was on his mind at that moment of madness; what he had seen and experienced before then; what he thought he was doing in Afghanistan.  Bear in mind too that we live in a country now where our own politicians, thanks to European human rights laws, are able only to deport a tiny fraction of the foreign criminals who reside amongst us – and we know the nature of some of those criminals, don’t we.  Our political class has a lot to answer for in terms of their propensity to launch soldiers in to foreign adventures whilst at the same time paying lip service to our own homeland security; they send mixed messages to our society … “You go over there and kill the bad guys and we’ll faff about back here with the ones walking our streets …”.


  1. I’d support one of our soldiers any day, they’re just doing what they’re trained to do which is fight: never a nice thing to have to do.

    What upsets me is that our armed forces have to do the bidding of our useless corrupt politicians, it must be very demoralising for them. I agree with moraymint we should protect our borders and stay out of other counties unless they threaten to invade. Although oddly enough we are being invaded by the back door.


    1. moraymint · ·

      Indeed, flyer, we are being invaded by the back door as you say. As Migration Watch points out, “By the end of the next Parliament the [UK] population will have increased by 3 million – the equivalent of Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Aberdeen combined. This underlines the absolute need to have a net migration target and stick to it”. Fat chance of that, of course …


  2. Hysteria · ·

    another unintended consequence of the internet and 24/7 news cycle. We are seeing more things exposed to the sunlight than in any other era – and we don’t like what we see. The economic shambles, law making debates, use of child labour to make our cheap stuff – the list goes on. Finding out what REALLY goes on in the middle of armed conflict can be added to the list.


  3. Mark Deacon · ·

    Only one thought on this.

    All our politicians made to sit at the front line, handed a gun, pen and paper to create rules and lets see how many they come back with. Now if they don’t come back I think we can safely assume they had thought of a rule and were busily scribbling it down. Chances are if they came back they realized there is only one rule in war “kill or be killed”.


  4. No money in protecting our borders
    The corporations want the resourses in these far away countries
    And our soldiers pay the ultimate price
    A big part of my family are royal marines


  5. Juliet46 · ·

    I, like the majority of people in this country, am not qualified to judge this man’s actions; I have never been in his hell of a situation. One thing I would ask though, partly in response to your statement “Remember, neither Al Qaeda nor the Taliban do the Geneva Convention.” how many prisoners of war have been taken by Al Queda or Taliban forces? As you say, our people are expected to fight with one hand tied behind their back.


  6. Some of this I dont understand. I doubt this is the first time something like this has happened..and I dont suppose it will be the last time either..Why was it filmed and put in the hands of the media for people like us to judge a situation of which we have no experience. Rules of war are fine..my old man had a huge interest in such things…but they can only work if all sides agree.Maybe the soldier was already suffering when he took such action….he will almost certainly suffer for the rest of his life and will spend forever trying to answer the ‘why?’ and ‘if only?’ questions. I feel for him..his family..and friends


  7. For many, especially those without a Service background, your comments will appear strange. I am afraid that too many “Hollywood” films have portrayed either a totally unreal or sugary view of the battlefield and left the public with unreal expectations on what they want to see happen on the field. I remember the difficulty in explaining to a young graduate on why soldiers fired two round at a target – after all he had seen John Wayne shoot a silver dollar spinning in the air with a single shot from a hip fired handgun!

    However, from the facts made available in the media the seven (7?) serving officers on the Court Martial found the Marine guilty. In the dim and distant past I have witnessed, as an officer under instruction, the inner workings of a courts martial and was satisfied the process was brutally fair and honest.

    Whilst I feel for our young men and women who are placed in harms way and feel bad tempered at the interference of absurd and ridiculous lawyers in a place where rules made in the cold light of day don’t necessarily match the full high emotions of the battlefield this Marine broke the law. Perhaps the law is wrong; if the enemy doesn’t fight within the lawyers rules then how can we expect our people to fight with one hand behind their back?

    MM your other comments about deporting criminals and illegal immigrants although I believe are worthy of a separate, stand alone piece I don’t necessarily think these two topics go together other than to attack our rubbish politicians.


    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks and, yes, my logic goes a bit skew-whiff at the end – which is unusual for me, known as I am in my family from time to time as ‘Mr Spock’! I’ll leave the post as it stands though. So much of what’s happening in our society today which I observe as being dysfunctional or sub-optimal can so often be traced back to the failings of our political “elite”. Have politicians always been this “rubbish” as you say, or is it a case of ’twas ever thus? In a democracy is it truly the case that we get the type of government and governance we deserve?


  8. Paul Luciw · ·

    Please remove me from this subscription list




    1. moraymint · ·

      Paul, thanks for this. I assume my post has offended you in some way for which I apologise; it wasn’t my intention. I think you can remove yourself from receiving notifications of posts here, but please let me know if there’s a problem with the process. Email me separately if necessary. M


  9. Where do you start with this topic. Where do you end. What a mess.

    It’s a bit like seeing some shifty-looking bloke walking down the street with a pit-bull on a leash – you have to wonder why he looks around so much and why he feels the need to own such a vicious animal – presumably to protect him in his house, because he knows the kind of company he keeps.

    Similarly, ever wonder why airport security in some countries (UK, USA, Israel) is freakishly In Your Face whereas it’s almost imperceptible in more advanced countries (Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway…) ?

    It’s because what goes around comes around. Some countries have not been in the habit of stomping around with steel toe cap boots in the faces of weaker nations.

    So what are we doing in these far off lands in the first place ? It seems the inhabitants understand we’ve not come along for their benefit.


    1. moraymint · ·

      Yes, that’s an interesting take Faz. If some aliens decided to invade my country to instil their values on my way of life, I’d fight them tooth and nail. I don’t really blame the Afghans for wanting us off their territory. I blame our own cretinous political class for inserting us in to Afghanistan in the first place. We’d do better just to control our own borders. It would be a damned sight cheaper too … in blood and treasure.


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