|War is different|
Every day journalists assail us with stories of outrageous injustices. One day it’s a city trader that suffers misogyny in the form of her meagre bonus; the next a gay couple are denied a cake by bigoted Christian bakers; or the BBC axes an ageing woman presenter; or somebody says something hurtful about the latest transgender celebrity etc, etc… Each victim bathes in the limelight of their victim-hood and accompanied by a phalanx of lawyers tearfully yet bravely returns to the fray to right the terrible wrong they have suffered.
What a wonderful time it is to be a victim in Britain. You can be Abu Qatada and despise Britain and its people, raise money for terror and advocate murder and you’ll still be gifted half a million pounds by the British taxpayer to fund your totally committed stellar legal team. And with the anti-Semitic weird beard in mind, is there a single lonely and forgotten victim left to worry about in our brave new Britain? After all if we are so generous as to lavish money and our finest legal minds on a foreign inciter of murder, who then is so hateful and despised that won’t we gather them to our caring bosom?
Well it turns out that if you’re not in one of the designated victim groups you could be Jesus Christ himself dangling from a cross and our caring liberal elites will only stop to test if you’re still alive with a handy spear. “Hmmm, he seems to be in some distress, that chap on the cross. But he is a man after all, and a Jew, and a Christian. The very trinity of evil! So that’s okay then. Just another oppressor getting a taste of his own medicine!”
Here’s the story of another (for progressives) trinity of evil. He’s also a man, and a soldier, and a patriot. In short a very untermensch to our caring liberal elite.
Sergeant Blackman, who killed a badly wounded Taliban fighter, has now spent 18 months in prison. The judge who sentenced him to life with the stipulation that he serve at least 10 years did so in the full knowledge of compelling reasons for clemency and also blatantly lied when sentencing to justify the injustice of jailing him.
The judge at his court marshal, Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett, acknowledged Sergeant Blackman’s distinguished record but then again how could he not, it is entirely unblemished. In 14 years of service with the Royal Marines he undertook 6 operational tours and just days before the incident in question a report described him as a “strong team player” with “heaps of potential”. A later appraisal from the year of his arrest noted Blackman’s “tremendous professional knowledge and experience”.
The killing happened after a patrol led by Sergeant Blackman was sent out to look for enemy after an attack on their base had been repulsed. As they moved through a cornfield they came upon a badly wounded Taliban fighter. After chatting about what to do they took some steps to avoid observation and Blackman killed him with his sidearm.
Ugly, isn’t it? And wrong. But it did happen in war.
Consider the circumstances:
Mitigation of Stress
Sergeant Blackman killed the Taliban fighter at the end of a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan. The marines lived under constant threat of death in an isolated outpost in up to 50 degree heat. During that time 23 servicemen from 3 Commando had been killed and Blackman’s own unit witnessed the limbs of some of their dead hung from trees as Taliban trophies.
On top of all that Sergeant Blackman was still mourning the death of his father who had died just before his tour of duty began. The psychiatrist who prepared the pre-sentencing report noted that the Royal Marine’s “increasing paranoia” due to grief for his father.
At the same time that Sergeant Blackman was on trial in 2013 a mother, Natasha Sultan, who had killed her own baby was spared jail, because according to the judge she was in “a maelstrom of fatigue and mental disorder”.
Now I don’t want to underrate the torment this poor woman suffered at the hands of a six-week-old baby, but I do think that if the court system recognizes post natal depression as grounds for leniency that they might do the same thing for a soldier who has lived under the incomparably greater stress of a war zone for months.
Mitigation of the Nature of the Enemy
It does matter whether or not the enemy wears a uniform or poses as a civilian till he’s within range to kill. All our senior soldiers in their comments on the case of Sergeant Blackman pretended that there is no difference between fighting uniformed soldiers who adhere to the Geneva Convention and savages who only take prisoners in order to torture them to death. This pretense originates in the multicultural taboo on discriminating between cultures.
In war soldiers very quickly shed such dangerous rubbish and quite naturally they will be less inclined to take prisoners if the enemy doesn’t. This was clearly on Sergeant Blackman’s mind when he said after he shot the Taliban: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you cunt. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us!”
Afghanistan is just about as dirty as wars get. But all war is murderous.
The Second World War was the “good” war. The war that even most liberals accept was a regrettable necessity. It was also a war fought by mass civilian armies not cynical professional soldiers, but as Max Hastings details in his excellent Overlord, “Both sides habitually shot snipers who were taken prisoner”. This was because sniping seemed somehow unfair and snipers themselves took no prisoners. But it wasn’t just the snipers. As Hastings goes on to say: “Among scores of Allied witnesses interviewed for this narrative, almost every one had direct knowledge or even experience of the shooting of German prisoners”. And the prisoners most likely to be shot were those who were thought to be doing the same, so: “Many British and American units shot SS prisoners routinely”.
Mitigation of Being Ours
In addition to the rational reasons for leniency there is the sentimental one that Sergeant Blackman is one of ours. He joined up to fight for us and for 15 years he did just that in Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. If such a sentiment plays no part in the treatment of our soldiers, then we civilians no longer have the right to benefit from the patriotic sentiments of the soldiers who fight for us.
This sentiment incidentally was the main reason that most soldiers who crossed the line in past wars didn’t use to come before a court martial. Our leaders used to differentiate between ours and theirs, friends and enemies.
These days, it is the generals themselves who lead the baying liberal mob to prosecute their own men and show no mercy whatsoever to those convicted. In the words of head of Armed Forces, General Sir Nick Houghton, “murder is murder” and that showing clemency would “erode the moral ascendancy over our enemies”.
As regards his precious “moral ascendancy,” which is supposed to be the pre-requisite to winning wars, he’s got it the wrong way round. All your average Afghan cares about is not, “Which side do I like?” but, “Who is going to win?”. And when the locals see western armies “pussying” around with their enemies, working out who is going to win is pretty simple.
Also, I haven’t noticed that the reputation of the Taliban (or ISIS) has suffered much from endless news reports of their atrocities. And that is particularly true when you consider the “noble Pashtun warrior” shtick that flows like diarrhea from some liberal keyboards.
Mitigation of Self Interest
In the end though if the judge was indifferent to every other appeal to reason and sentiment, he should finally have considered our own self interest.
When Sergeant Blackman was hung out to dry on 6th December, 2013, what effect did he think such treatment would have on the future recruitment of gung ho young men to fight for us?
In his sentencing of Blackman, Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett said that he took some of the above mitigating circumstances into account:
“This was your sixth operational tour and your second to Afghanistan in under 14 years of service.
“We accept that you were affected by constant pressure, ever present danger and fear of death or personal injury.
“We also accept the psychiatric evidence presented today that when you killed the insurgent it was likely that you were suffering to some degree from combat stress disorder.”
But he was lying. How could he have taken any of these compelling reasons for clemency into account and then sentenced Sergeant Blackman to life as if he had committed the gory murder of a stranger on a peaceful London street?
The judge then told a another lie to further mask the injustice of the sentence:
“Your actions have put at risk the lives of other British service personnel. You have provided ammunition to the terrorists whose propaganda portrays the British presence in Afghanistan as part of a war on Islam in which civilians are arbitrarily killed.”
So how exactly does the finishing off of a badly wounded Taliban fighter provide proof for the terrorists that we are killing civilians? And of course before the killing of this enemy combatant our soldiers felt quite confident of receiving all their rights under the Geneva Convention. In fact the chances of a British soldier surviving capture by the enemy were already zero and it’s simply a vicious lie to suggest the Blackman endangered his comrades. Perhaps the judge needed to ease his conscience at his betrayal of this loyal sergeant with a disgusting slur.
Another vindictive twist of the knife was the judge’s assurance to Blackman that he would receive the same sort of protection from his fellow prisoners that sex offenders get. This is certainly necessary given that Muslims are over three times over-represented in our prisons. The irony is that Blackman is just as surrounded by enemies in a British prison as he ever was in Afghanistan. Not of course his enemies but only by virtue of fighting for his country.
Forget the potato famine, Bloody Sunday or the treatment of gays in the 50s. They are all history. Right now the fate of Sergeant Blackman is the greatest reason to be ashamed of Britain.
A patriotic soldier with a distinguished record of service did something wrong in the terrible context of the stress of war. General Houghton must know he was mouthing mendacious liberal pieties when he justified the court marshal sentence with the remark that “murder is murder”. It’s not. Not even in peaceful civil society. That’s why our courts often free women who have murdered their own children because of the mitigating factor of their post natal depression. So even in peaceful Britain murder is not murder. How much more is that true of a killing that takes place under the stress of a brutal war against a savage enemy?
And as lefties are fond of saying, “We are all responsible”. Sergeant Blackman fought for us. He was betrayed by those in power who sent him to fight in the first place. But we also have failed Sergeant Blackman by forgetting his suffering and by not fighting for him as he fought for us.
Free Sergeant Blackman.
Full credits go to “John Moloney” Free Sergeant Blackman