Dehumanisation in war

January 3, 2015 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

I became aware of the existence of racist British Army soldiers when I saw one posting on Facebook that he couldn’t wait to go to “Afghan to kill some rag heads” so I looked into this issue and although I felt I should have opened a cookie jar containing honour, dignity and professionalism…how wrong I was. I found it full of snakes, lies, cover ups and abuse.

The murder of Baha Mousa springs to mind as a line in the sand where we may have publicly turned a corner for soldiers being exposed for abusing innocent civilians.

At least one of those who was cleared of this horrific murder is now back in the arena of combat and is, quite shockingly, staunch with his disgusting views. One such view is that “every Talib (Arab) deserves to die” – is this the kind of person we want in Afghanistan wearing a British Army uniform? I beg to question why someone accused of taking part in such a wicked crime is allowed back into the field of battle. Is the case he was prosecuted for the only situation of abuse he has been involved in? I doubt it.

I recall a situation where soldiers described how they verbally abused an elderly man in Afghanistan shouting profanities such as “Dirty P*ki” and mocking him as he was hard of hearing.

Another situation I can recall is where a soldier has confessed that he made a female in an Afghani marketplace expose her breasts so she could earn a bottle of water.

Images, so far unpublished, need to be exposed as do the videos available online which show soldiers beating young teenagers/men whilst others cheer, a soldier biting the head off a chicken, American colleagues throwing whimpering dogs off high places and so much more.

Soldiers who support the English Defence League, the British National Party, that use racist slurs about black people or who pose in front of EDL flags have no place in our armed forces. We allow these types to wander round sovereign nations where the very people they hate and despise live, with very little chance of ever being called to account for their actions.

I can recall a situation where children were given small pieces of explosives disguised as sweets, the soldier then went on to explain the first way to calm a situation was to use deadly force and then went down the scale to “talking them down” as opposed to using the scale the correct way around. He remarked that because children might throw a stone they are right to shot and killed.

The time for peace and justice is now. We need to have the MoD, the RMP and the British Army investigate the EDL – Armed Forces Division, the English Volunteer Force and other right wing groups that promote paramilitary violence and hibernophobia, which explains the horrific mocking of Bobby Sands MP and their postings about the Irish and The Troubles.

I recall speaking to a former Navy officer and he explained that the Officers Mess was regularly used to view what UK law would describe as “extreme porn” and he noted, that in particular, animals in scenes with humans were’t uncommon to see being shown in the Mess.

We need to see the MoD come out and publicly say they take these reports seriously and invest large amounts of money into making sure people who hold such extreme views are not allowed anywhere near the recruitment stage of the British Army, or indeed, HM Forces in general.

No person in this country of sound mind wants a war but we need to realise the act of war is only one issue to demonstrate about. The other is the horrific and disgusting treatment described above and, as requested in my forty odd e-mails to the British Army and the American government, answers as to why such abuse has continued without question and seemingly without punishment.

When I get those answers, and answers about the other videos/abuse images which haven’t been published that we have been happy to ignore, I will be able to sleep soundly.

Until such a time, I pray that the civilians they are meant to protect, yet scorn and bully, seek strength through whatever God they kneel down and pray to.

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This post was written by James Cole

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