Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Will Not Fight For Queen and Country

 Ben Griffin is a British ex-SAS soldier who served in Iraq.

In February this year, as part of a debate at The Oxford Union, he gave a speech titled
"I Will Not Fight For Queen and Country."

This man has encapsulated everything I've been trying to say in my nine years of blogging.

Below is a slightly abridged transcript of that speech:

I Will Not Fight for Queen and Country.

Fight for Queen and Country, what does that mean? It is a jingoistic phrase dream’t up by some propaganda merchant intent on stoking the fire of that false religion patriotism.

The idea of fighting for Queen and Country is held tight by those who never have and never will actually fight. It is held by those who long to bask in the reflected glory of war. It is held by those who have no experience of the suffering that war inflicts. It is an idea held up by those who gain the most from war, Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.

It is a phrase that is dredged up again and again to stifle dissent and build unquestioning support for the aggression we choose to unleash.

We must look at what lies behind this decrepit phrase.

Who is it doing the fighting?

A well-trained and professional force that’s highest collective desire is to go to war, any war. This force does not fight for Queen and Country. it fights when it is told to fight. Even when the Generals believe that a certain war is illegal or un-winnable or detrimental to the long-term security of these isles, when it comes to the crunch they always want war.

What does the fighting involve?

Well if you believe the media or the citations written for medals awarded you might imagine that the fighting consists of bayonet charges, lone hand grenade assaults on enemy positions or modern-day spitfire pilots scrambling to some noble action.

In my experience the reality is a lot darker. Long periods of waiting punctuated by unforeseen moments of extreme violence. Having your legs blown off by an IED. A supposed ally shooting holes in your chest. Dying in a helicopter crash. Burning to death in a transport plane. Being beaten to death by an angry mob. Being shot in the face as you break into someones home.

The reality is setting up thousands of checkpoints in the country you have occupied, disrupting the lives of the people and then killing them when they approach too quickly or fail to stop in time.

The reality is raiding people’s houses, using explosives to enter homes. Detaining previously unknown males some as young as 15 and handing them over to be tortured. Whilst their families are left to fend for themselves, Traumatised by your action.

The reality is killing people from the safety of an attack helicopter or drone control room. As if you are playing a computer game, with no regard for the lives of people who have been dehumanised.

Haji, Raghead, Sand Nigger, Chogie, Argie, Paddy, Gook, Chink, Jap. Kraut, Hun. All terms used by our armed forces. The product of a society which still believes in its superiority over other peoples and cultures.

We pretend that we wage war for higher, noble causes. We claim that our armed forces fight for Freedom, Democracy or Human Rights.

This is not the case. We wage war according to Policy. It is a choice determined by Government. This policy is influenced by those who gain the most from war. Politicians, Generals, The Arms Industry and The Media.

These scoundrels always predict victory. Always insist that violence is the answer. They Ignore the inevitability of unforeseen consequences. The existence of Blow-back The fact that it is our own policy that creates our enemies.

They deny that we have been defeated to maintain support for current and future bloodletting.

The reasons they give for starting wars rarely match the reasons they give for continuing wars and rarely match the actual outcomes.

These scoundrels currently hold the noble position of backing a military junta in Mali against insurgents that we decided to arm in Libya.

Before that they celebrated the Arab Spring whilst turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabian aggression in Bahrain. Where weapons that we supplied were used by our Saudi allies to kill civilians engaged in non-violent protest. Their silence in this matter shines a light on their complicity.

In both Iraq and Afghanistan, once the reasons for going to war were found to be false, or unattainable or just forgotten, those with a vested interest in continuing the wars resorted to one of the oldest tricks in the book. They cultivated the myth of the soldier as hero. They told you that you might not understand why the war continued but that you should support the soldiers. They Told you that to stop the pointless slaughter would be sacrilege to those heroes that had already died.

I am a Human Being and my allegiance is not to Queen and Country but to the whole of Humanity. I no longer accept the lies which perpetuate war. I no longer accept that violence can lead to Peace.

Never again will I be complicit in the killing and torture of my Brothers and Sisters. Never again will accept the vile religion of Patriotism. I refuse to pull on that rancid uniform. I refuse to fight for Queen and Country.


Blogger AndrewM said...

He says it well but you have been also, don't sell yourself short. The trouble is you're both preaching to the converted; nobody who could prevent a war will ever read your blog. And I suspect the number of people who do read your blog is insufficient to make change. Although I'm speculating there, perhaps you actually have tens of thousands of followers. :-)

April 14, 2013 8:38 AM  
Blogger Vest said...

Ah well I tried.

April 14, 2013 6:04 PM  
Blogger Davoh said...

Ah, well. There are many concepts here, so; can only state my personal view.

IF, perhaps, a nation landed troops on this "country" ie Australia - with the express intention of 'invasion' - I, even at my age, would be one of the first to 'sign up' to an organised militia, acquire armaments and .. well .. head into the bush and, removing the finer points - kill the bastards.

So yes, i would fight (and kill) for 'country'.

However .. as far as am aware so far, nobody has tried that yet.

Also have to mention here - was of an 'age' which put me into the Vietnam 'lottery'. Missed out.

Did, however have the chance, choice (and education) to look into 'origins' of that stoush, decided not to "volunteer".

There are some of my contemporaries who condemn me for that choice. (gutless).

April 15, 2013 7:30 PM  
Blogger Ann ODyne said...

Thanks Gerry - after reading, I had to look up Ben Griffin and I am glad I did. What a great man he is.
I have joined the WikiLeaks Party for 14th Sept, just to show our government I am not in favour of their war killing people in other countries who are just like me.

April 29, 2013 2:49 PM  
Anonymous jooles said...

A very powerful speech from a highly honourable soldier articulating succinctly and disturbingly what we also believe. Thanks for sharing Gerry and thanks Ann for your link to Ben Griffin

May 07, 2013 11:32 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Yep, war has a habit of waking the not-so-somnambulist people up.

May 07, 2013 11:59 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

My nation's one lesson is that a draft wakes people up. But the profits of war seep into every legislative mind on the beer wagon of "jobs". So we step up the pitching of fear and the use of proxies. We fight horribly misbegotten and criminally misrepresented wars. Ben Griffin had the character to be a hero when he bought in to the sales pitch for war but to the horror of his masters HE STILL HAS THE GUTS TO BE A HERO WHEN HE HAS SEEN THE REALITY.

I thank him, and I thank you Gerry for giving that truth to one more mind.

June 21, 2015 5:21 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...


I thought you had forsaken this blog!!!

It is SO good to see a comment from you.

I will even resume blogging now!


June 21, 2015 2:24 PM  
Blogger Sir Marshall Stacks said...

hi gerry - ms ann odyne and I both hope you are warm and well.

June 21, 2015 6:37 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Hi, Ms O'Dyne and Sir Marshall Stacks !!!

Wow !!! Two more treasured voices from the past. I feel lifted up !!!

BTW, give my best wishes to HB if you bump into her. ;-)

Wishing you all the very best.

Rock On !!!

June 21, 2015 8:57 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Gerry, I ran out of sane people in the US so I had to come over here and read a bit.

June 25, 2015 2:07 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Speaking of "sane", I'm still searching for an adequate, useful, rational definition of sanity. Sof ar as i can make out, you're deemed sane if you exist within the bell curve of what's considered "normal". But what if what's considered normal is actually demonsatrably nutty?

June 25, 2015 4:29 PM  

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