Thursday, February 02, 2006

Britain's 100th Dead Perp

... but they're calling him a victim. A few thoughts spring instantly to mind:

  1. If you sign up for the army, you're putting yourself – quite literally – in the firing line. You can't turn around and whine, "I never knew there'd be a war! You didn't say I might die!"

  2. Everybody I know thought this was a stupid, unjustified and probably illegal war, with a near-certain messy outcome, before it had even started. What do you think that protest was about? If over a million people actually marched, it's likely that many times that agreed with the marchers, and it's a reasonable bet some of the dissenters were soldiers. Why, with the noble exception of Malcolm Kendall-Smith, did they all meekly assent to fighting such a war? Fuck military discipline! It's just a job. Quit and be a poet.

  3. Only a hundred? How many violent Iraqi deaths have there been since the war? A darn sight more than that. Apparently those people don't count. Nor, of course, do the ones – the many thousands – who died during our invasion. Some of them were soldiers, too.

Please, people. Heads out of the sand. A human is a human, no matter where they live. And armies are not a force for good.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But he was still a victim. Just as all the other people killed in this illegal war are victims. Do you really think that 18 year olds who join up because they don't see any other way out of dead-end towns are the 'perpetrators' of this war? Reducing a dead soldier (somebody's brother, somebody's son) by calling him a 'perp' is almost as de-humanizing as calling an Iraqi a 'rag-head'.
And why do you say that it's no good 'whining' about the realities of war: if you read the letter left for his parents by the soldier who was killed recently, you'll see that he knew he could die. I haven't read anything so sad about the war for ages.
Have a bit of respect for humanity, and try being a bit less pleased with yourself.

Sunday, February 05, 2006 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger The Peer said...

I can't agree with you. The invading soldiers who fought in Iraq were the perpetrators of the violence: Blair and his Generals didn't actually kill anyone in person (not that that makes them any less culpable). If they'd all refused to go: no war. Just as workers in any industry are the actual creators of wealth, with the power to hold governments to ransom (which they have whether or not they choose to use it, and whatever the law says), workers in the death industry are the actual destroyers of life, with the power to end war.
I know the word 'perp' is a bit glib. It was my angry reaction to his being called a victim. When we start calling suicide bombers victims – which in a sense I suppose they are – then the word will be ok in this context, too.

Monday, February 06, 2006 7:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the sense that an occupying army is not a victim of the war it is creating, well, OK... but you were talking about an individual, who in my eyes is a victim of several things, whether of the circumstances that resulted in his joining the army (poor educational experiences, social and financial reasons) or indeed of the specific conscious act of violence by another human being that resulted in his death.
Occupying armies aren't victims... but maybe their soldiers can be, on whatever side. Maybe you should go and read the letter to his Mum that was published in the Guardian and tell me then that he was a conscious perpetrator of violence who could and should have refused to go to Iraq. Cause it doesn't read that way to me.
Thanks for your reply - I do see your point: politically true on the wider scale, but hard to stomach your - as you say - glibness when you're talking about an individual person killed nastily far from his family.

Monday, February 06, 2006 11:01:00 AM  

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