A Message to Our Boys in Iraq

Jenny Marsh—03/2003
The has been much said in the media about the need to support "our boys" in Iraq. This is a message to "our boys" from the perspective of an ordinary woman and a peace activist.

AS YOU ARE no doubt aware, Blair and Bush have decided to sweep aside international law, UN backing and world opposition in favour of an invasion on the sovereign state of Iraq.

Blair first tried to sell the need for a war to the British people by arguing that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. When these could not be found, he tried to link Saddam's regime with the Al Qaeda. When even his own intelligence service dismissed this, he moved on to the "moral" need for a regime change to "liberate" the people of Iraq, despite the fact that Iraqi mortality is so low directly because of illegal application by the US and UK of UN sanctions, and the use by these countries of hundreds of tons of depleted Uranium (a weapon of mass destruction) in the last Gulf war. Now it seems to once again have gone back to weapons of mass destruction. Both Blair and Bush seem to be of the opinion that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes a truth. (No doubt once Iraq is invaded weapons of mass destruction will be "found" to try to justify the invasion.)

To base a war which will involve many civilian casualties and flout international law on such a tenuous footing, is foolish at best. There is no justification for invading Iraq at this time because Saddam currently poses no threat to his neighbours, let alone the US and the UK across the world. Even Robin Cook who is in a position to know intelligence information, declares that Iraq has a feeble army that has only half the capability that it had ten years ago. But America wants a war, and what America wants, America gets… by economic bribery and by intimidation as the world's only super power. The fact that even US might failed to bend the will of the United Nations is a strong indication of the lack of justification for attacking Iraq.

Bush's response to France's legitimate blocking (what about Russia, Germany, China?) of his bellicose agenda at the United Nations was a severe reprimand: How dare any nation oppose the hegemony of the United States and its God given right to wage war on any country it pleases! America will not be stopped in its desire to rape the resources of another country to sure up a faltering economy (with all that overspending on military hardware to maintain its status as the intimidator it is not surprising that the US economy is now in poor shape).

Why would Blair push so hard for UN backing if at the end he tells us it was irrelevant anyway? This has all been a cynical charade by world politicians to appear to be acting diplomatically and within international law. Now their cover has been blown, we can see the "political" process for what it is… naked aggression towards a sovereign state. In our name, our leaders have decided to wage war against Iraq for the United State's financial agenda.

Today, there are tens of thousands of you in Kuwait and Iraq about to murder in the name of our country. And we, the British public, have been asked to support you. You are "our boys" out there and we feel an obligation to show you, now war has started, our support. Why? Are you somehow victims of the political process? Are you being forced to flout international law and murder Iraqis in the name of US oil interests? Of course not! It would be a whole lot easier for you to resign than it was for Robin Cook, a senior member of Blair's cabinet. Why should we support anybody who floats international law and public opinion to illegally murdering human beings in another country?

You know what you are doing. You are all adult men and women who have chosen not to defend your country but to be used as political pawns to attack another. We keep hearing on television interviews how you just want to get "the job done" and go home, as if you were digging a ditch or painting a house, not illegally murdering other human beings. "Our boys" must either be very stupid or completely indoctrinated by military training (probably a combination).

The same of course applies to America's boys. Sent in the name of the vicious old farts like Bush, Rumsfeld and Powell, these young men are under the illusion that somehow they are fighting on the side of truth and justice, and getting retribution for Sept 11th. Most are too young and naïve to know that government has usually perceived them as expendable and used them in the past for vaccine, chemical and radiation testing without their knowledge. Just asked the tens of thousands currently suffering from Gulf War Syndrome whether they still have unquestioned loyalty to Washington.

But the young men (and a few young women) like yourselves go off to war and murder in the name of old men. By doing this you are acting like automatons; people out of touch with their basic humanity because of thorough indoctrination into the arts of murder and obedience. And it is utterly cynical for you to hold your religious services and pray to God to support you in your murderous intent.

Those of us who oppose this illegal invasion of a sovereign state and the murder of innocent foreigners (who are only legitimately defending their country or cowering in the wrong place at the wrong time) certainly do not support "our boys"… the young, mindless killing machines that you have unfortunately become. War is not about "doing a job"… it is about taking human life and causing maximum damage to another people (in this case against the will of the UN). If a soldier views his role in a war as "doing a job" or a "day at the office", he or she is acting without any thought of the consequences of pulling a trigger or pushing a button. This is morally wrong.

There is nothing to be proud of fighting for your country's political aims when they do not involve defending UK (or US) soil in any way whatsoever. In fact, you should be feeling shame at the moment for your role in the murder of Arab people and rape of their resources. What you are doing is illegal and immoral, and one day you will be brought to account for your activities, either in this life or the next.