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Thread: Stand by Royal Marine 'A' now

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Stand by Royal Marine 'A' now

    Three weeks Royal Marine 'A' was found guilty of murder, having shot dead a wounded Taliban fighter in September 2011; he awaits sentencing this Friday. The context of the incident comes from a remarkable civilian:
    Anthropologist and filmmaker Chris Terrill, the only civilian to have won a Royal Marines green beret, was on the front line in Afghanistan at the same time as the Marine A incident took place.

    Not only that, he was embedded with the marines at the same place as it occurred – a remote patrol base deep in the Helmand valleys and set in what was described at the time as “the most dangerous square mile in the world”.

    Riddled with IEDs (improvised explosive devises) and crawling with Taliban insurgents, the patrol base was nicknamed “Rorke’s Drift” and its setting was dubbed “IED Central”.

    Four marines were to die here with dozens seriously injured. Chris Terrill speaks of his time with the Royal Marines serving in this “living hell”.

    Chris made a documentary series a few years ago, as he followed RM training and then combat in Afghanistan. He is a remarkable man.

    His last words say so much, my emphasis Ordinary people doing extraordinary things on our behalf.

    I don't want to concentrate on the murder conviction here. The accused is cited briefly on the why and what. He now faces life imprisonment and there is a campaign for clemency - which after reading Chris's comments I have signed.

    Fuller report:
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-06-2017 at 07:24 PM. Reason: 4963 views

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Blackman had to be prosecuted so that others could serve with honor.

    Hat tip to WoTR for this lengthy commentary by Professor Anthony King (whose name has appeared before on SWC IIRC) following the appeal court's decision last week and the likely release of Marine 'A'. As reported by the BBC:

    He concludes:
    Legality is not only important for the armed forces. It is also vital for individual soldiers themselves. Since the 9/11 attacks, Western forces have been asked to fight in difficult and dangerous conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no sign of these kinds of wars ending anytime soon. Often the strategic objectives and even the jus ad bellum (just cause for going to war) of these missions are not entirely clear. They are complex, confusing campaigns in which the chance of harming civilians is high. Consequently, it is even more imperative that soldiers are convinced that whatever the strategic uncertainties, they are engaged in a just and legitimate activities at their own level. Rules of engagement play an imperative role here in sustaining the professional ethos, reputation, and discipline of Western militaries and their individual personnel. The prosecution of Sgt. Alexander Blackman might be regrettable, but the alternative is unconscionable: It is to condemn Western soldiers once again to the ignominious criminality which were routine in Kenya, Algeria, or Vietnam ó and to ignore the rights of victims. Blackman had to be prosecuted so that others could serve with honor.

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