General Dannatt has been vocal again. I do wish these unelected public servants would remember who they are. They are here to serve the public and keep their opinions to themselves.
I cannot state this point more often. When public servants think they are politicians, then democracy is damaged. And when this occurs in the Army or Police, I shudder. If he wants to speak out, then resign, and become Mr Dannatt.
But he has a point.
Regardless of his worrying mouth, is speaks some sense. So what has he said this time? He has said that there is an increasing gulf between the soldiers and nation, with soldiers no longer feeling appreciated.
There is, of course, an old saying that no one wants a soldier unless there’s a war to fight. Yet in recent years, this has changed, with soldiers doing much peace keeping and other ‘worthy’ acts.
But Iraq has soured all this.
Iraq has been a terrible war. In the main the British Army has been as professional and true as always. But the simple fact remains, we should never have been there. We should never have gone to war.
It is wrong for the nation to blame the Army for this. They simply follow orders. It is the politicians who should be held to account, for they forgot one of the central truths of democracy.
Democracies do not invade.
© Anthony North, September 2007
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