From London daily The Morning Star:
(Friday 23 March 2007)
BRITAIN’S ruling classes are quick to bang the drum of patriotism and lavish warm words upon the armed forces.
Their cheerleaders in the popular press churn out copy praising “our boys,” while castigating those who would rather their lives were preserved from endless overseas adventures.
The callous rulers are inevitably painted as courageous and patriotic statesmen, while, all too often, peace campaigners find themselves charged with anything up to and including treason.
Ever since that tragedy, Ms Gentle has been doggedly campaigning for an end to the carnage and for the government to treat the overwhelmingly working-class soldiery with respect, rather than merely showering them with weaselly rhetoric.
This is the deluded Prime Minister who came to power suggesting that his was “the first generation able to contemplate the possibility that we may live our lives without going to war or sending our children to war,” before becoming the Premier who stood on HMS Albion in January and declared that we face a generation of war against a shadowy array of “extremists,” terrorists and “rogue states.”
And yet, when it comes to the treatment of those very people who are sent to fight and die for the prestige of well-protected politicians and the ultra-rich elite that they serve, something akin to amnesia sets in.
Ms Gentle petitioned the Ministry of Defence for three years for it to return her son’s dog tags after his death.
They finally arrived two weeks ago, still stained with his blood.
Nothing could better sum up the nature of a government which cares not a jot for the flesh and blood victims of its imperialism.
Mr Blair refuses to visit the wounded or to attend a single military funeral.
His ministers neglect the basic equipment and dwellings of service personnel and they refuse to provide adequate medical and psychiatric care for the soldiers maimed and damaged by their policies – while wasting £100 billion renewing Britain’s weapons of mass destruction.
Britain’s rulers have always treated their soldiers as cannon fodder and still they expect unquestioning “patriotic” support for their strange compulsion to play tin soldiers on the world stage and expect them to fall in behind the US warmongers as their loyal auxiliary forces.
They must not be permitted to keep doing so.
Armed forces are necessary for defence only and people across the country are waking up to this and demanding that they are brought home.