HUMINT: Diary of a Brit

A British soldier, Gunner Lee Thornton, in Iraq called on the Prime Minister to "stop putting our lives at risk" days before he was killed in a diary extract that was released by his parents yesterday.

Someone suggested two points about this tragic event

1. He died because he was a sitting duck.
2. This family believes that their son died for a hopeless cause, one that was practically hopeless from the start because the Shia and Sunni are such backward Islamist hillbilles and expecting them to get their sh!t together is expecting too much.

Below are my rebuttal points.

HUMINT: Your commentary has two important observations that deserve further consideration. In the first case you suggest Britain's tactics are misguided. They've definitely changed their tactics to meet the threats that have evolve there. Despite their best efforts, in their area of ops, the situation appears to be degrading for a number of reasons outside their control. You are well within your rights to question their tactics as well as political motives. The right questions could save a great number of lives and prevent immeasurable pain for the families. I think it is however important to remember, decisions in war save as well as take lives. Decisions that save lives rarely make the news. Decisions that take lives make headlines these days. That natural imbalance is retarding perception of this war's cause and effect around the world.

Your second point, which I believe is motivating your first, is that the cause of this war is defunct. Your second point is a political and social position - which, in my opinion is as amoral as anything you are accusing the British government of doing. Your callous generalization about the hopelessness of millions of Muslims is both shortsighted and wrong. Consider the commonly held view of African American Slaves prior to the American Civil War - was Lincoln wrong to send thousands of men to die for the cause of liberty and national cohesion? No, he was not. Consider the commonly held perception of women before they were enfranchised - were they worth the effort? The list goes on...

The cause is to put an end to despotism in a region fated to receive trillions of petroleum dollars in the coming decades. Democracies (successful ones anyway) are able to progressively dissipate capital to the betterment of all mankind. Despots dissipate wealth in blood and fire. I seems to me that this soldier died for a cause beyond his contemplation and for that, the leadership in Britain is to blame. That they are so incompetent in their articulation of these wars is a travesty. That the families of the fallen do not believe that the choice their sons and daughters make to serve their society are worth every ounce of their blood - is a crying shame. I do not and will not believe this soldier died in vain. His family are in pain and that pain clouds their rational judgment to the point of being wrong.




  • HUMINT: Diary of a Brit

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