Sunday, October 24, 2010

The battle for humanity.....


L/Cpl Amy Thomas (above) dispels the myth that all Royal Military Police Officers are ugly......

As you sat there, your rifle and the pistol on your hip became the centre of attention:

'I hear you're a man of faith?'
'Where did you hear that?'
'People talk.'
'Clearly they do.'
'But if you're a man of faith, what do you think God would say about you carrying guns?'

You are a quiet, unassuming man, and one thing you have never been completely comfortable with, is carrying a 'gun'. As far as you are concerned, the only reason they exist is to kill, thirteen bullets in a magazine means that with thirteen pulls on the trigger, thirteen people could be killed.  

'You look pretty cool, with that pistol, is it loaded? Can I touch it?'
'No you can't touch it, yes it is loaded, and no, it is certainly not cool.'

When you were a boy, you used to think carrying a gun would be 'cool', that it would make you feel 'hard' and that it would cause people to respect you, until you were given one, until you looked at it and realised that for the next 160 days, you would have to carry it, and that you could be in a situation where you might have to fire it.

'What do you mean you don't like guns, you're in the wrong job, what are you doing here?'
'Perhaps you're right.'

When he asked you that, you refrained from saying what you thought, you wanted a quiet life whilst you were out there, you didn't want to ruffle any feathers, you were depending on these people. What you wanted to say, was that you will carry them, as you are ordered, but when you carry them, you don't have to like it and you certainly don't have to be proud of it.

When people ask you about your view on guns, you always remember a scene from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, The Siege of AR 558.  A Starfleet operating base is under attack by Jem Hadar, and Doctor Bashir takes up a firing position, he checks the settings on his phaser rifle, making it ready to fire and a soldier says to him:

'I can see you've done that before.'

He replies:

'Too many times, it's funny, I joined Starfleet to save lives.' 

It's a sad state of affairs, but in such a situation, not even the strongest, the most morally centred amongst us is immune from having to take up arms, or to being so effected by what they see, that they become jaded, cynical and apathetic.

'Our commitment to defeating this policy of ethnic cleansing, our commitment to allowing these people to return to their homes in peace, that commitment is total. This is not a battle for Nato, this is not a battle for territory; this is a battle for humanity, it is a just cause, it is a rightful cause.'

Mr Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Great Britain.


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