“Seven Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder over an incident in Afghanistan last year.
The arrests by the Royal Military Police relate to a killing that happened after “an engagement with an insurgent”, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
No civilians were involved.” – Source : Sky News http://uk.news.yahoo.com/seven-royal-marines-held-over-afghan-murder-201739065.html
See? I told you… I FUCKING TOLD YOU…
Cast your mind back to nearly two weeks ago, when i shared this with you… http://voiceinthecrowd.org/2012/10/01/natos-rules-of-engagement-and-tactics-are-endangering-soldiers-lives/
I’m sorry, did the MOD just have a brain fart? run this by me again? So we’re sending soldiers to fight the war on terror and kill insurgents, but if the insurgents don’t fire first, then its murder? The MOD may have just as well have turned around and issued a statement saying “Ho, lads, we’re sending you to Afghanistan, your going to have shit kit, shit food, barely any hygiene provisions, barely any contact with home, and if you do your job properly, your going to be charged with murder, any questions?”
Let me just re-iterate Article 51, of the UN Charter…
“Article 51 states ‘Nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of an individual or collective self defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the UN'”.
Sorry? NOTHING? absolutely NOTHING shall impair the inherent right to self defence?
Whether they open fire on you or not is not the issue, if they are armed and pose a significant threat, (and soldiers are not stupid, they wouldn’t open up on just anyone without due cause) then they are within THEIR human rights to defend themselves, using lethal force if necessary. END OF.
No “but they didn’t open fire” no “you must wait to be fired upon first” no bullshit rules that endanger lives, they have EVERY right to defend themselves if they believe “their lives, or the lives of those who’s duty it is it theirs to protect to be in danger” no if’s, no buts…
“As the alleged incident took place outside the country, it is understood the Royal Marines accused will not be subject to UK courts”.
Which means one of two things, either the poor fuckers are going to rot in an Afghan jail, or they’re to be tried in the Hague. Either way, its an unnecessary course of action, and smacks of scape-goat-ism. These poor fuckers, doing the job the MOD SENT them to do, are now being accused of murder for doing it. Either way, its a bit of a shit day out for the seven involved, as i suspect that no matter what the outcome is, they will still be deemed “surplus to requirements” and gotten rid of one way or the other.
“Here lads, thanks for your service, now be good chaps, take this golden handshake and don’t talk to any journalists eh?”
If the Hague is so desperate to fill their courts with “war criminals”, they should try taking a look at Blair and Bush for the illegal war in Iraq rather than your average British Tom on the front-line…
Has the MOD lost sight of why Afghanistan is currently occupied? To END the war on terror and restore Afghanistan to an independent, self-governing state… or at least that’s what we’re told, i’m beginning to suspect now that there may be an alternate reason for Britain’s continued presence there… Either way, locking up soldiers for doing the job they were sent to do is fucking outrageous. In fact, that doesn’t even BEGIN to cover it.
Shashank Joshi, defence expert at RUSI said this: ”
“(This) suggests one possibility may have been rules of engagement surrounding the surrender of insurgents were not obeyed,” he said.
“If an insurgent surrenders or makes clear his wish to surrender and is subsequently dealt with as if he were in combat or is summarily shot, that would constitute a very severe breach of the rules of engagement.”
He added: “Soldiers have to make split-second decisions, not only about whether an individual is an insurgent or a civilian, but also, if they are an insurgent, what level of threat they pose.
“I think the categorical nature of this statement suggests the MOD is fairly confident here it wasn’t such a grey area. That’s my reading of their statement, that actually this may be a fairly clear-cut case.”
BULLSHIT, there is NO way of you knowing that from an MOD statement. Lets be fair here, the MOD are not going to tell you the ins and outs of an ongoing case, their statement will be, at best veiled. Whilst your assessment of WHY the soldiers are on trial may be correct, your theory on it being a clear-cut case is conjecture, and nothing more. They’re hardly going to turn around and say “We have arrested seven soldiers today, and intend to make an example of them, and hang them out to dry, so we can be seen to do the right thing… Good Ol’ Blighty!”
If it is the case that the seven soldiers opened fire on surrendering insurgents, then a case for murder MUST be answered, but i fail to see how it is a clear-cut case. Soldiers, when fighting, fight for their mates, not for the Queen, not for their country, FOR THEIR MATES. Soldiers in a combat theater form VERY close bonds, and for witnesses to have come forward and contradict the accused stories, i suspect is unlikely, and if they did, its not going to make them the most popular or trusted person in the mess, so i doubt most people would put themselves in that position. Ergo, it is NOT a clear-cut case.
I cannot see how the MOD are going to prove that the insurgents were trying to surrender when they were killed, or even that they were. Lets be fair, insurgents are worth more alive than dead (from an intelligence point of view) and so killing them whilst trying to surrender makes no sense. Not to me, OR to any experienced soldier who finds himself in that position.
It is true that people react differently under pressure, and an inexperienced soldier, full of adrenaline, MAY make a bad decision and continue firing, but what are the odds of SEVEN people all going psycho at the same time? slim to none i would say.
Now, these were experienced, seasoned Afghanistan veterans, no doubt with a mix of “green” inexperienced lads as well, but for the most part, very experienced soldiers. Most had done at least one tour before, and so were well aware of the drills and codes of conduct and rules of engagement. Whilst human error is always possible, i find it unlikely seven experienced, professional soldiers could ALL make a mistake AT THE SAME TIME that ended with them on a murder charge. This for me, is the most telling part, the fact there are seven soldiers accused.
So, were in a situation which is either mass pre-meditated murder, or completely false and nothing else than a trumped up affair so that the MOD are seen to do the right thing.
My take on this is that no matter what the truth is, the soldiers will be charged and tried anyway. For in military law, for merely being charged with any offence, guilty or not, will ALWAYS land you on a section 129 charge of “conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline within her majesty’s armed forces” WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
This alone is punishable by several sentences, including but not limited to: a maximum of two years in prison or a Military correctional training centre, Dismissal from service (and a community service order) loss of seniority or rank. Meaning either way, guilty or not, these poor fuckers are going to have a charge on their service records, and possibly be punished for something they might not have done.
This is unacceptable. What the MOD have now created, is a morale-killing crusade. EVERY soldier now, will be scared to open fire. EVERY soldier will now pause before pulling the trigger. A situation which could have life-threatening consequences or worse. The NATO rule of engagement are bollocks. Ask any soldier who has served under them what they think off the record, and i bet you nine times out of ten that exact word will be used.
The rules are endangering troops lives and now they are exposing them to murder charges. Lets not forget, if the soldiers are tried in the Hague, they can be hung if it is deemed as a war crime….
Congratulations MOD and NATO, well played…
Editors Note: Two of the Marines have since been released without charge.
Please sign the petition to get them released : http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/980/743/044/
Or, alternatively, to show your support, and buy a t-shirt (£5.00 goes to Support Our Wounded Royal Marines) http://www.golden-rivet.com/products/fight-for-the-five-t-shirt