Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Warming the Cockles...

If you were reading my blog in March 2007, you may remember THIS video of the reaction of the American public to US service personnel returning from Iraq.

In the same vein, click HERE for a similarly moving tale which apparently took place on an airplane. I have no idea whether it is true or not. But the point of me linking to it is that I can imagine it happening in America. I'd like to say I can imagine it happening here, but...

12 comments:

MattyT said...

Srry, Iain the only thing this warms is my anger. These servicepeople were returning from an illegal war fought upon a false premise ie direct risk to the USA/UK. There has been a horrendous casualty list on all sides, both combatants and civilians. Yes, of course they should be supported up to a point (ie before they lapse into gross illegality) as they have limited choice and are in any case propgandised up to their eyeballs but the sheeple should stop wallowing in patriotic nostalgia and direct their emotions to the governments whose mendaciousness has created the current appalling situation.

Akheloios said...

I remember the public questions before the 2005 election, which probably cost Michael Howard 50 seats. He railed against Tony Blair's decision to go to war in Iraq, but when asked directly if he wouldn't have gone to war, he replied 'Yes' and looked like a complete nitwit.

The war was wrong, illegal and immoral. If we were actually to do the right thing by the brave soldiers that sign up to defend our country we wouldn't have sent them into an illegal war in the first place.

Nearly 200 dead UK soldiers, and over 1,000,000 dead Iraqis as a direct result of this war.

Our soldiers deserve heartfelt praise for doing an impossible job and Labour (and the Conservatives) deserve nothing but scorn and vitriol for the shameful deaths of so many.

Dick the Prick said...

I dunno - I reckon it could happen here. I still say 'hello' to policemen (except when drunk) but then I don't live in London. Very nice story.

In a sort of vague response to the previous posts, I do think American politics does need to move on from any criticism of the war being an instant retort that in some way their patriotism is questionable. I can't remember the name of the village where the hearses pass thru down south, where they all stop and bow their heads - beautiful and rightly so.

2345 said...

The second sentence in your twitter updates is identical to 'troll' vocabulary.

Old Holborn said...

Iain

Kerry McCarthy MP (Lab) has just called the unemployed "unemployable" on her blog

Get over there QUICK

kinglear said...

I think the basic difference is that, in general, American Military appear to be respectful and polite ( at least any I have ever come across). Our younger ones tend to be a bit boisterous, but then, most of them don't travel in uniform anyway.

Rock Hunter said...

Iain, snopes has a short investigation into the story. They're always good for the truth behind stuff like this.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/lunch.asp

Vicarious Phil said...

I think Old Holborn needs to get out more.

The Aged P said...

Whether it is fictitious or not it sounds right because there have been hundreds of better sourced reports like this. Certainly on balance the Americans have a greater respect for those who have served going way back to 1945. Compare the GI Bill of Rights with what happened to my dad when he was demobbed - a cheap suit, a ten shilling note (50p to you) and bugger all in terms of educational opportunity.
Interestingly enough he despised Remembrance Day etc - he said it was easy and cheap for politicians to posture about the dead while their widows had to bring up children on a pittance pension and disabled veterans had to battle War Office bureaucracy to scrape a few extra pennies.....
Also fascinating how your blog produced such venom - I think the word "sheeple"is a bit of a clue. I have the greatest respect for pacifists who condemn all wars but I suspect some posters have a list of "good" and "bad" wars....WW1 bad, WW2, Spanish Civil War good etc. The problem with that is it depends on your political viewpoint because all wars are "political"...

richard said...

Iain

Check out the comment time-stamped 11/27 at 01:39 AM at www.stephenbainbridge.com/punditry/comments/arianna_huffington_and_me/

It appears that such stories do have basis in the truth about how the military are treated in the US. When I was in the University Air Squadron I used the great facilities for US and allied military at Minneapolis-St Paul airport, and was treated as one of their own. It is good.

MattyT, Akhelois

Your are ill-informed. The war was not illegal. If you think it is, then try to find the law that was broken. It does not exist. There is no law against making war, or that war has to be approved by the UN. Under what constitution could such a law exist in any case?

As for the morality of the war, if you look past the lies and ignorance of the anti-war (actually mostly pro-war/pro-violence, just anti-US) campaigners, the war was arguably completely justified.

MattyT said...

Richard @1:19:
I'm not a lawyer so rely on those who are for legal advice. On this occasion I even got it for free as Lord Bingham has recently stated his opinion that the war was (and is) indeed illegal. Others disagree: however, I prefer to trust the judgement of a former Lord Chief Justice to that of government legal officers under intense political pressure.

If, as you appear to suggest, it is not possible for a war to be illegal, why did Blair's governemnt seek to reassure itself as to the legality of this particular escapade?

If you wish to characterise those who opposed, and continue to oppose, the Iraq war as ignorant, lying anti-Americans that is of course your privilege but it renders pointless any attempted debate of substantive issues.

To an earlier commenter re venom: this is, on my part, directed entirely at the politicians who got us and our armed forces into this mess, and then starved the latter of the resources they need. I have the greatest admiration for all servicepeople but cannot tolerate the way in which their efforts and sacrifices are continually highjacked for political ends.

richard said...

Nonsense. There has to be a law for something to be illegal. There has to be a constitution to make that law valid.

The supposed debates about legality were nothing of the sort. They were considering whether the war was approved by the UN, and whether the terms of the cease fire had been broken (from the original Gulf War). However many wars have not been approved by the UN but the legality has not been questioned. The most obvious examples were the actions in the Balkans.

There is no law against going to war. The fact that some of the Nuremburg trials assumed there was does not mean it's true, it was just victors' justice, which unfortunately taints the rest of the trials which were based on the enforceable conventions, standards and practices of war, and on genuine crimes.