British veterans against Cameron’s war on Syria

London Veterans for Peace demonstration, 8 December 2015, photo by Sven Schaap/NOS

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

British veterans return their medals in protest

Today, 19:40

Four war veterans of Veterans for Peace today returned the medals they received for their service in the British Army. The members of the veterans movement threw the medals on the street in front of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of Prime Minister Cameron.

They also refused to be bound any longer by the oath of allegiance which they had followed when they were hired. The veterans did this to protest against the bombing that the UK since last week does on ISIS targets in Syria.

The ex-soldiers hope that other British citizens will be encouraged to ask the government to oppose ISIS in a different way. …

“I could no longer allow innocent people to suffer from the decisions of our government. It is now up to the people to show the government that they also do not trust them,” said protest leader Ben Griffin. He was previously deployed to Macedonia, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq and then resigned from the army.

D-day veteran for peace Jim Radford demonstrating today, photo by Sven Schaap/NOS

Veteran Jim Radford, the youngest participant in D-Day and now an activist and musician, has serious doubts about the results of British bombs. “Bombing does not resolve any conflict. In Vietnam more bombs fell than in the entire Second World War and see what results they had there. The British government only aggravates the desperate situation in Syria.”

Also veterans who were not at the protest gave their medals to protest leader Griffin to leave them at the residence of Cameron. Eg, Iraq veteran Dave Smith and his father, who served in Northern Ireland. Smith became disabled in Iraq in 2005.

Since the announcement last week of the bombing of IS targets in Syria, over sixty new veterans have joined Veterans for Peace. Griffin says he also receives messages of support from the British Army.

The veterans will act again in the future to show their dissatisfaction with the British mission [in Syria]. Iftikhar Mersa lost his medal for his service in Northern Ireland years ago, but will request a replacement copy to leave at 10 Downing Street.

It is not the first time that medals are left at the door of the residence of Cameron. Last summer protesting members of Veterans for Peace already laid medals down there.

This video from Britain says about itself:

War Veterans Discard Medals in Rejection of Militarism and War

13 July 2015

“We are members of Veterans For Peace UK, an ex-services organisation of men and women who have served this country in every conflict since the second world war. We exist in the hope of convincing you that war is not the solution to the problems of the 21st century. We have come here today to hand back things, given to us as soldiers, that we no longer require or want.”

Syria air strikes: Why the Government should have invested war money into infrastructure, education and student support services. It is ‘infuriating’ that, on the same day the Government decided to bomb Syria, Jo Johnson announced funding for disabled students in higher education is to be cut, says the NUS international students’ officer: here.

Turkish army invades northern Iraq while US planes bomb Syrian army: here.

Developments have proceeded rapidly following the decision by the German parliament on Friday in favour of military participation in Syria. Just a few hours after the vote, the German frigate Augsburg was under way for Syria. According to a spokesman for the Mission Command in Potsdam, it has been alongside the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle since Sunday. At a Luftwaffe (air force) base near Kiel, German Tornado combat aircraft are being prepared for their deployment to Turkey: here.

Syria-Iraq: civilian deaths, British denials. The British government’s response to scrutiny of its current military actions is evasive. But mounting evidence of civilian casualties makes this untenable± here.

31 thoughts on “British veterans against Cameron’s war on Syria

  1. Can the veterans sell their medals for the money that government and their financiers make from military? no! the veterans are making a plea to conscience? and goodwill of sanity? the governing elite having long ago buried their conscience, the veterans show they have no idea as to who they are up against? what the British public do not get much to their collective shame is they are represented by a ruthless governing power? whom are answerable to being front men to what the public requires them to do? that is appease their stupidity?


  2. Wednesday 9th December 2015

    posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

    Ex-soldiers furious at decision to bomb Syria

    EX-SERVICEMEN marched solemnly towards Downing Street yesterday where they threw down their medals in “disgust” at the decision to bomb Syria.

    Members of Veterans for Peace (VFP) met at the bottom of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square before descending on No 10.

    There they held up medals — for service in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Northern Ireland — before announcing reasons for throwing them on the soaking ground.

    Dan Lenham, who was in the RAF from 2002 until 2014, said they were returning awards for “participating in previous attacks on the Middle East.

    “These invasions, occupations and attacks have caused great devastation, killed hundreds of thousands of people and have led to the destruction of societies,” he said.

    “Bombing is never a solution, it is time to stop.”

    Mr Lenham and other VFP members warned that launching air strikes on Syria will not be effective in stopping Islamic State (Isis), which claimed responsibility for the massacres in Paris last month.

    MPs voted 397-223 last week to join the US and France in bombing Syria despite widespread criticism that military action would be counter-productive and would instead worsen the death toll and number of refugees whose lives will be wrecked.

    David Smith, who served in the Royal Green Jackets, said: “I want to express my utter disgust at the decision to unlawfully bomb Syria.

    “God help all those who are likely to suffer as a result of this action. I renounce all forms of state-sanctioned warfare and violence.”

    Iraq vet Kirk Sollitt told a gathering crowd: “You cannot sow bloodshed and reap peace. I no longer want these medals.”

    One of the former soldiers threw away medals on behalf of his war veteran father who was disappointed with decisions to go to war in the Middle East after he had served in Palestine.

    The set of medals were attached to an old photograph of them both.

    Downing Street said yesterday that RAF warplanes are now flying five missions a day over Iraq and Syria, up from two a day over Iraq before the vote.

    The Stop the War Coalition, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Muslim Association of Britain have called a big demonstration for Saturday calling on Britain to immediately stop its air strikes against Syria. It will assemble at 12 noon outside BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1.


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