I feel the need to write these words to express my sincerest support and admiration for the conduct of Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith; A doctor and officer in the Royal Air Force, who on the 13th of April 06 was sentenced to eight months in jail for refusing to go back to serve in Iraq, because he believes the recent invasion and military presence there are “illegal”. This man is most certainly not a coward. He has already served two tours of duty out there, and has previously been decorated for his actions; (He was also on £40,000 GBP a year, and has now forsaken not only this high yearly salary but also his retirement pension). He is in my honest opinion a most courageous man who has realised what we all instinctively know deep within our hearts, the plain and simple truth that the current ‘Coalition’ military presence over there has far more to do with oil money than the freedoms and liberties of the Iraqi people. Unlike the vast majority of us, he was fully prepared to speak out and even go to jail rather than act against his heartfelt convictions.
It was obvious from the very beginning of the trial that he would be found guilty of “disobeying orders”. Had the verdict gone any other way, then I’m certain that at least half of our brave lads and lasses stationed out in Iraq would have simply have downed-tools and come back home to their families and friends ASAP. Joining the armed forces to defend your home country or fight for a just cause is one thing. Being posted off to far distant places for dubious motives, (and when most of the indigenous population frankly don’t want you there), is quite another matter entirely. Naturally the current Iraqi government have requested our continued military presence in their country; it is after all the only actual reason that they’re in power in the first place. I’m most certain that these puppet politicians are now far richer ($$$) than they ever could have dreamed of being under the harsh regime of Saddam Hussein. Military history has demonstrated repeatedly that very often even the most professional of armies can be out-manoeuvred by ill-equipped guerrilla forces familiar with the local terrain and quickly able to vanish into the background. The once Great Britain has been taught this vital lesson numerous times in Her empire-building past, and the U.S.A. it appears has already forgotten recent historical events of what went so very badly wrong in Vietnam. Did nobody even think to mention any of these facts around the table when Tony B(liar) & ‘Dubya’ Bush were ever-so-eagerly planning their dubious “Operation Iraqi Freedom”? If I were compiling my own personal top-100 of Evil Bastards Alive in The World Today, then I reckon that Saddam Hussein would have rated quite highly somewhere in there. But to my knowledge at least 50,000 of our fellow human beings die needlessly each and every day in Africa due to either a lack of clean water, disease, starvation or ongoing civil conflict. And I don’t see a single coalition of military force keen to “liberate” any of those poor, desperate souls at this present moment, do you? Perhaps if they had 25% of the world’s oil reserves sitting right underneath their feet then things would be ever so slightly different methinks?
So as you lay yourself down to sleep in your comfortable bed tonight, please spare just a single thought and a prayer for Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith. An innocent man who’s serving yet another solitary evening behind bars merely for standing up for his honest beliefs, as we all should have done under similar circumstances. The excuse so frequently given by many of the really hideous Nazis placed on trial in Nuernberg was that they were merely following the orders passed down to them from their ‘leaders’ high-above. Is this honestly the kind of outdated & unquestioning obedience to authority that which we should demand of our armed forces, or would we prefer it that the army should actually be the conscience of the common people? With many U.S. Neo-Conservative politicians presently plotting military action against Iran, I would like to warn you all that the decisions we make in the coming months and years will have a profound effect on the future of both our species and our planet. Fundamentalists of all faiths have already been hacking away at each other with swords and axes for a thousand years now, without ever a single soul being ‘saved’ or any ‘victory’ being won. As a Pagan I can fully respect and tolerate the beliefs of all world religions, but I truly have no desire to be vaporised in a nuclear war over an argument that I simply cannot comprehend and which has nothing whatsoever to do with me. The only ‘positive’ thing about war is that it generates large sums of money. It’s no wonder then that the politicians generally keen start conflicts are often secret shareholders in international weapons manufacturing companies. I firmly believe that the time has finally come to see through the shallow lies we are being fed every day. To stop all this bickering and posturing about whether it’s better to worship God or Allah, and concentrate on the far more pressing problems of world poverty, pollution and the drastic climate change – Which will undoubtedly prove over the coming years to be the greatest TERROR the human race has yet encountered. The unjust sentence passed upon Flight Lieutenant Kendall-Smith is yet another small step on humanity’s seemingly inevitable road to ruin, and Thursday April 13th 2006 is I fear a most deeply tragic day both for freedom of speech and democracy. I am because we are! Martin Walkyier www.theclandestined.com