by D.J. Webb
After reading unpleasant news today, I have to say the first thing I would do if I were in power is to release the Marine framed for a “crime” in Afghanistan and sentenced to life imprisonment today . I have clarified repeatedly that libertarianism has nothing to do with the idea there should be no nations and no borders. There need to be borders so we can defend our nation and its culture. Freedom can only be realised as part of a free society, not a ragbag of individuals, and so that society needs to be defended. There are going to be foreign opponents of the UK that our soldiers confront in battle – it is irrelevant for my purposes that the stated objective of bringing democracy, sweetness and light to Afghanistan was unachievable from the outset and had no connection to our national interests.
Furthermore, especially elsewhere in the world, where cultural and civilisational standards are so much lower than in the European world, soldiers will find themselves confronting backward peasant militias influenced by extremist religious ideas, and it is hard to feel any genuine and unforced respect for such people.
Who in the UK is genuinely heartbroken that a member of the Taliban was finished off by a British soldier? My heart just did not bleed. Funny that. We always insist on operating by different rules to our opponents. Isn’t it time the Marine and those like him were given medals, and soldiers who **failed** to finish off their opponents got the reprimands?
There are plenty of unpleasant aspects to the story. Apparently, soldiers are micromanaged in the field by surveillance balloons and radios, and required to constantly report back by wireless on the health of the people shooting at them. I’m starting to wonder if there is too much electronic equipment in warfare if soldiers can be second-guessed in this way.
In warfare, there are bound to be occasions where someone – who had it coming to him – is finished off. If we can’t stomach that reality, we should consider halting our participation in foreign wars. Soldiers are selected from among the physically brave and gung-ho members of the English population, precisely because they are the type of individual who wouldn’t lose sleep over the death of a member of the Taliban.
I fail to see how a soldier can justifiably be accused of “murdering” an opponent who has just been shooting at him. It seems civilians who do not understand what war is are driving this agenda – and have managed to effect a miscarriage of justice against this Marine.