War; or plain, calculated murder?

When contemplating writing about any serving member of our Armed Forces, there are two pointers I would normally use. Firstly, have they seen action at the sharp end; in other words, have they been shot at, and fired back: or have they been deliberately targeted by a hidden bomb? The second is, quite simple; are they of senior rank; colonel, general, air vice-marshal, vice-admiral?

If the second, they are usually political in nature, having scrambled up the greasy pole without struggle, used to sending the men under their command without proper equipment or protection: with the explicit knowledge of their political masters regarding these ‘money-saving’ tactics; but safe in the knowledge that the ordinary British ‘squaddie’ would sooner commit suicide than complain.

If the first, it becomes a trifle difficult. British soldiers are used to serving under truly ridiculous ‘rules of engagement’ authored by politicians who don’t understand that the opposition is doing their level best to kill any British serviceman. Ask any ‘squaddie’ who served at the front end in Belfast whether they consulted their ‘Orange Cards’ before firing back at some sociopath; ask if he felt justified in squashing some murderous clown before that IRA ‘volunteer’ killed a friend, or any more innocents?

All the same, as to whether Sergeant Alexander Blackman was justified in firing his weapon point blank at some wounded Afghani scum who had been trying to kill the Sergeant minutes before, I have no opinion. Other, of course that he was totally stupid in not confirming that all his mates’ helmet cameras were disabled!

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