There’s been a great deal of noise lately about supporting the troops. Sporting events like hockey games and (American) football like to genuflect ad nauseam before the flag and visiting veterans. Canadians and Americans and by Jingo our British cousins do it too. I’ve talked about my reasons for disliking this practice elsewhere. Recently the Sports Without War campaign successfully flipped the practice of “support the troops” night by spoofing the Maple Leafs organization website.
It fooled me. I couldn’t believe it. It also perfectly expressed how I was feeling about the jingoism of the moment.
I was more than a little heartbroken that it turned out not to be real. But what is real is the objection of one British man who, having served in the SAS in Iraq, refused to serve again and now speaks out against the deployment of soldiers. Ben Griffin calls it for what it is:
We pretend that we wage war for higher, noble causes. We claim that our armed forces fight for Freedom, Democracy or Human Rights.
This is not the case. We wage war according to Policy. It is a choice determined by Government. This policy is influenced by those who gain the most from war. Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.
You should read his position in full. It is beautifully written and thoughtful.