Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"I came into this world with John and 24 years to the day, he left us"

I defy anyone to read THIS piece on the BBC website and not feel like shedding a tear at the end of it. It's about Will Rigby who watched his twin brother, John, die in Iraq after being seriously injured by a roadside bomb. Will sat at his bedside holding his hand for ten hours until John slipped away. Brave men.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

This is a personal tragedy. 24 years old. He had hardly lived, and yet he probably witnessed more of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in his last months than most of us do in a lifetime.

Why are we in Iraq? Why did we go there in the first place? What have we achieved? We have achieved nothing. We have seen our servicemen coming home in body bags and we have seen posturing politicians lie about the reasons for this.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown should be arrested and charged with war crimes, and for causing the deaths of our soldiers.

We were lied to from the start, and we are still being lied to. This boy died for nothing but the vanity and ambition of one Tony Blair. That is the tragedy.

Anonymous said...

I often think of Rupert Brooke's intensely moving poem 'The Soldier' when I read of the death of these brave men (and women) -

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Anonymous said...

Powerful and heartbreaking.

And all in vain? British troops are on the retreat in Basra. Bizarrely, although not surprisingly, we've managed to make Iraq a more hellish place than it was under Saddam.

The likes of Blair, Straw and Hoon should be hauled in front of a jury, they surely have gallons of blood on their hands.

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

John Rigby used to live not far from you and me Iain.

Some cheap comedian used to joke about 'being proud of the place you were brought up in', and joked about the fact that small minds believed they were immortal because they were all from a certain place.

I feel bad about this chap dying, because I could well have seen him, or his brother, or his family, and he probably knew all the places my Mum and Dad, and Mrs S's family knew, because we all lived near there for many years.

Somehow, it is important to identify with someone from our tribe, to commiserate privately, and hope the politicians become aware of their disgraceful failings in that awful Godforsaken place. My heart goes out to his family.

Anonymous said...

You can bet your life that the persons responsible - Messrs Blair and Brown with many others - won't be shedding any tears. Rather Brown will be calculating how he can get himself out of the brown stuff and emerge smelling of roses

Anonymous said...

Bliar did not so much as loose a fingernail for Iraq. So much for his "blood price" matcho rhetoric -- he meant other people.

Frog march the lying charlatan ex PM to the Hague..

Don;t stand on ceremony or misplaced loyalty to the office

Richard said...

If a little less time was spent on shedding tears and a little more was spent on hard-edged campaigning for effective armoured vehicles, there might be less need to shed tears.

This intellectual masturbation achieves nothing. If you really want to save lives, a) get stuck in on the government and b) put pressure on the Conservatives to take defence procurement seriously.

The Hitch said...

What little faith I have makes me sure that One day Blair will pay.

There were times when people thought Hitler , Mussolini or Saddam Hussein were untouchable.

His huge arsed wife laughed
"we sleep well at night"

Do you fatty?
Sleep well knowing that our best are coming home in boxes or with limbs missing or disfigured by burns? or the millions of people who have had their lives destroyed?
That says a lot about your supposed commitment to Christianity, but you and that gurning **** of a husband of yours worship another god dont you?
Well I sincerely hope he exists and sticks a big red hot poker up your ****.
The Conservative party are just as much to blame for this holocuast.

Anonymous said...

The individual losses are heartbreaking, but also the sense that there is no end in sight for Iraq’s troubles.

The diary of the director of the Iraq National Library and Archive has made interesting reading in recent months, hosted on the British Library’s website. It gives a real insight into daily life for ordinary Iraqis. In his latest entry, Dr Saad Eskander announces it will be his last, setting out his reasons, but sounding as though he has just been overtaken by the despair of the situation in his country.

Anonymous said...

I know I have drunk two bottles of wine to myself but this is the single most upsetting piece of news I have read in a long time.

These people are bloody heroes.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace is tearful, and speechless

God Rest His Soul

Anonymous said...

when brown stands up and recites the names of 30+ british soldiers killed since the recess at the next pmqs maybe the rubbish in parliament will see what they have done.

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori

what these nulab scum have done is unforgiveable

Anonymous said...

Yes, I saw this when it was first published. Utterly tragic.

I wish I did think of Rupert Brooke's poem, but this case - as with so many - brings a rather different, and more recent, piece of verse to mind: Richard Thompson's "Dad's gonna kill me".

David Lindsay said...

You have to admire the sheer brass neck of George Bush for daring to mention Vietnam at all. But remember what his lot used to call our lot when we said that Iraq was a Vietnam waiting to happen. And if the problem with Vietnam was American withdrawal rather than American interference in the first place, then does he wish that the Americans were still there? Surely not. For if they were, then, in his current exalted position, even Bush himself might actually feel the need to set foot there from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Each week CNN have a small slot to recall the names, ranks and photo of US service personnel killed the previous week in Iraq.

I do not live in the UK, but I would bet a pound to a penny that such a thought never even occurred to the ignoramuses who seem to infest the BBC these days. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

The sheer scale of NuLabours betrayal of our nations finest men and women beggars belief! The NuLab commisars smirk and swagger and lie through their teeth and think that they can get away with it? Loyal service and self sacrifice means NOTHING to them and you only have to look at the number of NuLabour commisars who have seen service in uniform!
To all you self serving, greedy, selfish NuLab traitors out there, you may well think that you have got away scot free? THINK AGAIN! You WILL be called to account for the blood on your hands! you WILL be called to account for the British soldiers that you have murdered by your vanity and ignorance! As GOD is my witness you WILL pay for what you have done!
Those brave and beautiful warriors will know no peace untill you are brought to account for your crimes!

Madasafish said...

Blair and Brown deserve vilification.

So do their supporters : Howard and IDS WITHOUT whose votes the Commons might have rejected the war.

Hypocrisy of the first order by most posters.

Anonymous said...

Dear Folks
Also remember that while many of us are not impressed by bliar and would like to see him stand in the Hague
98% of the house of commons stood for him in ovation on his last day

AloneMan said...

What is going on in Iraq, and has been going on since we invaded is tragic, interminable and wrong. What makes it all the more so is that it was all so utterly predictable.
Tony Blair and his government cronies bear a heavy and unending responsibility. But so, frankly, do Her Majesty's Opposition. I appreciate that we were lied to over WMDs but that does not abdicate Michael Howard, his team and those who supported him in utterly failing to bring the government to account in the months leading up to the war of their own responsbility in all this. I believe that as Conservatives (let's face it, that what most of us here are) we should ask ourselves, why, of all times, did our Party let us and our country down in 2003 ?

Chris Paul said...

This is tragic. There are thousands of tragedies all day everyday somewhere in the world. Few as poignant perhaps but tragedies nonetheless.

I opposed this war every step of the way. My first two demos against these inevitable? wars were in the last week of September 2001 in Melbourne. The flights (four) to get there had been quite an experience so soon after September 11.

Personally I don't think anyone in their right mind actually believed the constructions and risk assessments that Blair made from some very tiny shreds of "intelligence". Not anyone.

Despite this absolute unbelievability - there was an excellent counter dossier produced by LATW at the time - all but 139 Labour MPs, the whole PLDP, the odd Tory and a few extras voted for the war despite knowing the case made was thin.

Various reasons. Principally that Saddam was a bad man, that a tiny risk of collusion with terrorists was not worth taking, and the big one the idea of the USA and the special relationship.

On the day the war broke out I was in a small meeting with a junior minister and others and I was so calm yet vehement in thrashing the Blair dossier that this poor poor woman - in Manchester to discuss DFID and MPH etc really - almost literally ran for her train - half an hour before she really needed to leave.

I confess that I am pretty tired with the trotty lines of the rather hollowed out anti-war movement - much as I admire and respect some of those involved, and I still actively do meetings and demos as well - but also I'm sorry but I'm also bothered by Tories who point fingers on this one.

I don't believe for one minute that a Tory government with an absolute majority wouldn't have taken us into this war one way or another and I do recognise that, while we failed, the labour left and other sensible elements did get close.

And though the tone of this post is light I do worry at parties taking donations from industrialists with a vested interest in the propagation of guns and fear and even of course war. Perhaps this money could be returned with a polite explanation?

Unsworth said...

Awful. A grim reminder of the twenty-four hour courage of these astounding young men and women. They have no respite.

There may be a reason for our presence in these theatres of war, but I have yet to hear it. I take issue with Richard's comment to some extent. It's not simply that we should provide proper equipment, the real issue is why we might send our people into danger in these particular wars.

During the last ten or so years Blair and his colleagues have without conscience or concern repeatedly ordered military action. We have been duped repeatedly by these liars. Worse, government departments and supporting structures have lost all sense of morality and honour. This country is virtually busted. The role of politicians and political leaders is what, exactly?

I weep for our young. Greedy, mendacious, immoral old men send these children to fight and die, and leave behind them a spent and broken nation.

Anonymous said...

OK? What the hell are we doing still in Iraq?

Anonymous said...

Utterly wretched. But I don't understand Conservatives who now decry the war. I recall being attacked as everything from a naive hippy to a traitor (which is how one particularly disgusing female Tory MP described Charles Kennedy) for opposing it. It was clearly folly, and the vast bulk of Tories merrily went along with it.

Were you stupid or just plain wrong?

Anonymous said...

And what galls above all is the destruction wrought on our way of life in these Isles by this excuse for government. For it is this that our army strives to protect.

Read the comments on today's Telegraph poll from expatriates, including many ex servicemen. The sense of betrayal is palpable.

What would the founders of the Labour party, Fabians like Rupert Brooke, think if they were alive today to see what it has become? I think they would weep.

Anonymous said...

Have the orders from Cameron Central stopped coming through?

Unsworth said...

Anon 11:03 "Were you stupid or just plain wrong?"

Or were you repeatedly lied to?

I, too, objected to our involvement. But like so many - about a million who marched - my views were ignored by our 'elected' representatives and their co-conspirators.

The Hitch said...

I nearly fell off my chair
Twice in a week I agree with chris paul.
I prefer old style lefties to new labourites, far more trustworthy and patriotic

Anonymous said...

Chris Paul. 9.43 PM

"On the day the war broke out I was in a small meeting with a junior minister and others and I was so calm yet vehement in thrashing the Blair dossier that this poor poor woman - in Manchester to discuss DFID and MPH etc really - almost literally ran for her train - half an hour before she really needed to leave."

I had a similar reaction from my postman when I berated him about it.

Mulligan said...

I have to say I don't agree with their politics at all but the real socialist (Kilfoyle, Mahon etc etc) and Liberal Democrat MPs who stood up and basically predicted what would happen are the only ones to come out of this misadventure with any credit whatsoever. (plus the few Tory MPs who didn't believe the obvious spin and overstatement, nor consider the lack of any exit strategy)

The fact the many of the original supporters, including Conservative MPs, still take the line that we were right to invade, and would do so again shows how stubborn, out of touch and blase about other people's blood being spilt that you wonder if any of them deserve our vote.

Anonymous said...

Dear God. I have tears too. But, as someone says elsewhere, our tears don't help.

What would help is a strong economic policy for this country that would enable us to generate wealth to equip troops properly.

What would help is diverting some of the blatant waste on State services such as the NHS to an increased defence budget.

What would help is realising that bleeding hearts are all very well but talk and emotions are cheap. Actions, principles and strength are what the UK really needs.

Madasafish said...

As I have posted elsewhere, it only took about 6-8 hours work before the war, to assure myself that the claims of WMD were clearly rubbish. After all if the Daily telegraph before the war analysed SH's arms and found them out of date and crippled by lack of spares - through sanctions- then it was preetty bleeding obvious to anyone with intelligence who could be bothered to do the same research that the claims of WMD were rubbish. (Remember Scott Ritter?)

So my conclusion is we went to war for no reason but MPs wanted to go to war.

Full Stop.
Personally I think a few treason troials and life sentences are due... but I'm not that stooopid.. Lord Hutton would make sure they would all get off.

Old BE said...

I am ashamed to say that I took it on trust when Blair said we needed to go into Iraq. I stupidly assumed that a Prime Minister wouldn't take us to war for no good reason. I feel sick to my stomach that I played my part in allowing the government to get away with this travesty.

In the meantime, let's give our troops the equipment and support they need to stay alive.

In the longer term let this be a squalid lesson for "democracy".

Thatcher's Child said...

I went to the funeral of a 24 year old solider, killed in Iraq, only a few weeks ago.

What is worse than all those wasted lives is that the people who made the war happen are still able to be smug about their decisions and seem to think a few well publicised sorrows will make it ok.

I would like to publish a list of every MP who voted for this war in the national press and make everyone aware of how it took ALL these people to make the war happen. If you can't wait, visit, and pop in your postcode to see where your MP's beliefs lie.

If any of you have any real compassion for this waste of life, you will make sure they are not voted back into power.