The Twelfth in Basrah, Iraq by the Irish Guards

Troops in Iraq also held Twelfth celebrations with a touch of humour by staging protests demanding the parade be rerouted.


Basra LOL 1

  • jpeters

    seems like they have more of a sense of humour about it than any one on this site, kind of shows how farcical the usual events of July in NI really are

  • Funny

    I’ve heard reports that the fella wearing the Irish soccer jersey got a hidding from the marchers after the event 😉

  • jpeters

    yeah and the recent explosion at basra cop shop was attributed to the RIRA

  • Barracks “Humour”

    These barracks high-jinks are great craic altogether aren’t they?

    Like the time 70 RIR squaddies were photographed with a Drumcree-support banner.

    Oh, and the charming home-made picture mocking Karen Reilly displayed by British soldiers in Palace Barracks’ canteen.

    What japes!

  • jpeters

    BH

    its only a set of pictures for christs sake and the IG is quite a different outfit from the RIR

    these pictures are meant to be funny they dont support any position hence the riot police protesters and lack of authentic collarettes.

  • Outsider

    The comment about the suicide bomber has not exactly aided your cause and it has again painted a picture of nationalists as militant racist thugs.

  • jpeters

    outsider jokes spelt J-O-K-E-S
    surely we are entitled to a bit of humour even the gallows kind? Seems to be the point the IG are making

  • feck

    Great to see the lads talking a break from shooting at kids to reenact one of the occasions when they would have been shooting at kids.

  • Outsider

    Jpeters

    First of all the pictures obviosly do support the order, secondly whats funny about suicide bombers and what post 9 contains.

  • Kloot

    The comment about the suicide bomber has not exactly aided your cause and it has again painted a picture of nationalists as militant racist thugs.

    One comment is all it takes to label an entire community these days eh

  • jpeters

    Outsider

    1. if they support the order fair nuff, i dont, but i can appreciate attempt at humour

    2. humour is like eveything else ie in the eye of the beholder, i would refer you to this link, there are a couple of sample jokes at the bottom, i couldnt suppress at least a grin http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/comedy/article2076042.ece

    3. post 9 is not funny dont think it was intended to be

    humour especially the blackest sort emerges from black situations most people would go mad if they took situations as serious as you do.
    cases in point
    Catch 22
    Spike milligans various war books
    the history of the troubles according to my da

  • Outsider

    Would a white person get away with those jokes?

  • jpeters

    norn irish ones might!
    humour is situational, ethnic minorities and regional subgroups especially can get away with irreverence (ie turning popular stereotypes around and making light of serious problems)and it often makes for great comedy. Would the world be a happier place if they didnt do this, definatley not, can people of moderate intelligence share the joke while acknowledging the severity of the problem. usually yes.
    i for one think political satire has got worse in NI the further away from the troubles we have come. Do i want the troubles back. no. did i laugh at the time. yes!

  • Frank Sinistra
  • jpeters

    FS

    i agree but original point still stands, naked hatred does not equal humour

  • Is that page a piss-take?

  • Lorraine

    interesting thread this one for an anti-monarchist, republican like me. history and politics aside i think the humour of the occasion demonstrates a maturity which should be emulated in this part of the world, added to, and who knows through time the twelfth might just become a big party occasion for all – except misanthropists who never want to have a good time.

    nice one IG

  • jim

    check out some of his mates

  • jpeters

    lorraine

    may be we should send the tourist board to basra to take notes?

  • Aahh sure they all do it …

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6556643.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/61734.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/911134.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/911380.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6559397.stm

    … and it’s all just a bit of fun. Lots of larwfs!??! by honourable armies with histories of respect for their neighbours.

  • Frank Sinistra

    His mates are nuts. Another Irish Guard, Daz, proudly has footage of the UFF shooting at the PSNI on his site and the parading Guardsman has an imaging calling the PSNI scum. These loyalist squaddies are a strange breed of violence endorsing bigot.

  • jpeters

    Anonymous/FS

    not sure seeing the point in were you are going in this, dont think soldiers anywhere are known for their nuanced political views, they are usually kids with guns on an ego trip

    the above photos are about as subtle as you will ever get them and are innocent enough in their own right

    (i have to say though that a comedy sketch based on growing right wing feeling in the german army could be quite funny and very tastless)

  • jp

    I hope someone in the O’Toole staff has the decency to inform this young man he has been linked to this secterian / republican site.

  • IG… are they derived the Royal Irish Rangers ? Weren’t the RIR a re-named regiment in an attempt to seperate itself from the disgraced name of the UDR who in turn were just a change of cloths and name from the B Specials bigots?

    “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose”

  • jpeters

    anon

    think you might be incorrect
    Rangers and guards are old regiments dont think they are connected to RIR/UDR

  • I always mix up all these groupings (RIR, UDR, UDA, Adair of the UDA, Tim Collins of the UDR ) what w all their badges, colours and history.

    wiki gives the following… “The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was an infantry regiment of the British Army. It was a locally raised, part time and full time unit, intended to carry out security duties within Northern Ireland. It was amalgamated in 1992 with the Royal Irish Rangers, forming the Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ulster_Defence_Regiment

  • Joe

    the above photos are about as subtle as you will ever get them and are innocent enough in their own right

    Does that include the “Kill All Taigs” one and the one of a masked gunman surrounded by Ulster and Union flags?

  • Matt

    Havnt seen or blogged on this site for a year or two and if this is anything to go by, boy am I glad.

    Ths site has descended from an informative political debating outlet, commenting on current affairs from a variety of media establishments…. to one that posts a personal page of a youngster out serving his country, so that a group of sectairan neanderthals, living in 1972, can make some quite appalling comments.

    Classey.

  • Sean

    Matt
    i think the sectarian neanderthal here is the one with the bebo site with a kill all taigs picture proudly displayed for all who care to see

    the fact that he is serving his country is neither here nor there. Why does serving his country suddenly confer upon him enough nobility that we should overlook his overt racism.

  • Cahal

    Matt, his website has a Kill All Taigs picture on it. Who is living in 1972?

    If an American soldier’s website had a Kill All Niggers picture on it, I’m sure it would be of interest to Americans.

  • curious

    “to one that posts a personal page of a youngster out serving his country,”

    Matt, he may be serving his country from an “Orange Prod Norn Iron perspective” but I can assure you it is forbidden by military MOD law to have Orange, AOH or any other society meetings or parades within military barracks wearing the uniform of the British Army.

    Indeed I would go as far to say his C/O will be made to explain why this parade was allowed to go ahead knowing that a great number of Catholics who also serve in the Irish Guards will be offended.

  • OIlibhear Chromaill

    Given the penchant of the British Army to commemorate its famous battle victories with banners and the likes, the choice of ‘Rising Sons’ as the name of their merry band is unfortunate and downright insensitive as it links to the UFF massacre at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel…..

  • the other

    Yea i really think that the guy wearing a Roi tap is offended ffs its 2007 people get along you just alot of old geezers wanting to call everbody a bigot Also maybe he copied those pictures of another bebo which is possible and didnt look at all the pictures and if most of the people on this site say that they have never been sectarian at some time in your life then about half of you are laying

  • observer

    british soldiers celebrating British history, good lads.

    The only thing sectarian about this is the nationalist hatred as displayed on this board of anything british

  • Roisin

    the other,

    [i]Yea i really think that the guy wearing a Roi tap is offended[/i]

    And what do you think of the ones wearing helmets with RUC written on them, do you reckon they’re really serving officers of the now rebranded RUC?

    Your powers of deduction are awesome.

  • me

    given danes possible sectarianism towards his fellow irishmen i wonder how the local population of basra are being treated by dane and his mates. i would wager with scant respect

  • Fraggle

    Doesn’t this army have some of physical standards for it’s soldiers. Quite a few of the larpers pictured look overweight.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>and lack of authentic collarettes.
    Posted by jpeters on Jul 16, 2007 @ 01:33 PM<

  • billymac

    Matt – Couldn’t agree more. This site has degenerated into petty griping and uninformed speculation. Some people will get up at 6 in the morning and travel for miles to be offended by the manifestation of 300 (or is that 800?) years of oppression under the orange jackboot of the gerrymandered and corrupt six county statelet. Others trawl squaddies sites on bebo. Plus ca change, as the cheese eating surrender monkey’s might say

    BTW – It’s only sleggin’

  • the other

    Sarcasem doesnt work on the internet roisin wtf does it matter these guys are putting there lives on the line when they are out there the fact that people are makeing fun of them and are so sad that they have to dig up pages of a chat site used by teen and young 20 somethings is really sad. Almost everybody on this is looking to make the other religon seam like bigots its sicking you all need shot. If catholics and protesends can work together in a WARZONE then why cant we in owc. I,ll tell you why because people are always gooding to complain and make others live hell because they think they are some repbulican or loyalist when they are just some sad man who live because of drink and the daily wank because thats what he is a wanker who thinks he is makeing a difference when he is part of the problem

  • Roisin

    the other,

    [i]wtf does it matter these guys are putting there lives on the line[/i]

    The problem with what you’ve said is that’s the same sort of attitude that tolerated members of the UDR who were also members of the UVF et al. Even to this day the unionist population, by and large, ignores or negates that organisations’ involvement in a sectarian murder campaign, preferring the illusion that they were ‘heroes’ who ‘put their lives on the line’.

    The more things change, eh.

  • the other

    Roisin i do know that they were but you can not say that all of the people if any are part of the u.v.f or any gang of the sort. Also they are heroes how would you like it if iraq lunched one of these so called weapons of mass destruction againts the western world and yes i am aware that none of the weapons have been found. Also these men and women dont get to chose were they fight but are told were to fight.

  • Roisin

    Anyway, big up to Aughavey for bringing to our attention the type of sectarian loyalist death squad fetishist muppets the OO not only tolerates, but find amusing.

    And may the Good Lord protect the people of Basra from them.

    the other,

    [i]how would you like it if iraq lunched one of these so called weapons of mass destruction againts the western world and yes i am aware that none of the weapons have been found[/i]

    Get back to me when they find some then. I prefer to deal in reality not flights of fantasy.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>iraq lunched one of these so called weapons of mass destruction<>Also these men and women dont get to chose were they fight but are told were to fight.<

  • the other

    Roisin yet again i was being sarcatic i no there were no weapons that was just said to get the u.s.a public on the side of the war, and i will have you no the OO is changing there ways but if you want to be stuck in the way of old then i wont complain

  • Ulster McNulty

    Whether you love the orange festivities or hate them you have to admit it’s a bit ironic – the only thing these boys are actually doing is facilitating the imminent sectarian carve up of what used to be Iraq.

  • for shame

    At least the Brits still have their weapons and run this part of the six counties while the Provo traitors traded theirs in for police uniforms and pseudo ministerial jobs.

  • Alan

    “to one that posts a personal page”

    it is in the public domain – thats what bebo is for.

    “there is a very high proportion of Catholics there. Wonder if any had the balls to complain about these arseholes? but sure dress it up as a jolly old joke and you might just get away with it!”

    Well the guy in the FAI shirt seems to be enjoying it.

  • matt

    Big sense of humour by-pass for all you bigoted cyber warriors.

    I bet all the squadies, including the many many southerners, had a laugh with the protests and craic… a break from the hell theyve been thrust into. You see in places like that the camaraderie and common enemey bonds people into realising our differences here are so futile. Rest assureed the same fellas in sashes there will be bouncing about happily on st paddys day with shamrocks etc.

    So pathetic you sad people can do nothing and snipe about this bit of ironic humour from Irishman risking life and limb abroad.

    Hate reading this site. Reminds just how bitter some f**kers are and how far we still have to go.

  • Reader

    Prince Eoghan: The Germans deemed culpable of war crimes tried that defence at the Nuremberg trials you know, not with much success!
    Have another try. Specific Germans were tried for war crimes, not the whole German army. Similarly, it’s up to you to make a case against individuals.
    Prince Eoghan: As someone who has friends over there from Scottish TA units I know that there is a very high proportion of Catholics there.
    …many of them in the Irish Guards, which is considerably more mixed than the RIR. A lot of the guys in the photos are probably Catholic. Not your sort of Political Catholic, perhaps, but Catholic nonetheless. And without the Republican humourectomy.

  • George

    Reader,
    Have another try. Specific Germans were tried for war crimes, not the whole German army. Similarly, it’s up to you to make a case against individuals.

    I think Prince Eoghan makes a valid point to other about the Nuremberg trial. As German soldiers did indeed use the “we were told to fight” argument.

    As a result, a general principle of natural justice was revived, allowing for people to be tried for their actions regardless of whether they were acting under orders.

    Using the same logic, any soldier acting against natural justice is committing a criminal act.

    Is the British Army’s presence in Iraq naturally just?

  • Butnotforlong

    Did the Iraqi Tourist Board claim that “all the hotels were full” for this one?

  • Frank Sinistra

    Matt,

    The only complaint is the fact that this bit of ‘craic’ is contributed by a sectarian scumbag who also contributes ‘Kill All Taigs’.

    You can defend him all you like, either by distraction or nonsense but it doesn’t disguise the fact you are defending a hatemonger.

    I also add I extend similar sentiments to the soldier during his stay in Iraq that he wishes on others.

  • willowfield

    GEORGE

    I think Prince Eoghan makes a valid point to other about the Nuremberg trial. As German soldiers did indeed use the “we were told to fight” argument. As a result, a general principle of natural justice was revived, allowing for people to be tried for their actions regardless of whether they were acting under orders.

    Only when their actions were deemed to be war crimes. So a German soldier killing an Allied soldier in a “lawful” act of war was not guilty, notwithstanding the fact that the war itself was illegal (“war of aggression”). However, a German soldier facilitating the gassing of Jews was guilty of a war crime, even if he was “only obeying orders”, since the latter is a war crime.

    Using the same logic, any soldier acting against natural justice is committing a criminal act. Is the British Army’s presence in Iraq naturally just?

    Any British soldier committing a war crime in Iraq is guilty, even if he was ordered to do so. Simply being in Iraq and acting within the laws of armed conflict, however, is not a crime, even if the war itself is illegal.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    “Only when their actions were deemed to be war crimes”

    No, that’s the whole point. Nuremberg took justice out of the realm of such trifles as deeming what constitutes a “war crime” and firmly rooted it in natural justice.

    Natural justice is a greater law, above humanity’s grubby mitts. These are permanent, immutable laws.

    Humanity’s definition of what constitutes war crime varies, natural justice is always the same.

    So without natural justice we can have a situation where Winston Churchill advocates gassing the Kurds of Iraq (but is overruled and mass bombing of civilians is carried out instead) and this isn’t “deemed” a war crime but Saddam Hussein does something similar and is.

    With natural justice, things are either right or wrong, there is no deeming, they just are.

    If the British Army’s presence in Iraq contravenes natural justice, then all are criminals by their very presence.

    Which brings us back to:

    Is the British Army’s presence in Iraq naturally just?

  • Wilde Rover

    It’s good to see that, amid all of the suspicious car bombs and a country on a collision course with balkanization, the men with the guns can still have a chuckle.

  • matt

    Frank”You can defend him all you like, either by distraction or nonsense but it doesn’t disguise the fact you are defending a hatemonger.

    I also add I extend similar sentiments to the soldier during his stay in Iraq that he wishes on others”

    Surely a bigot like you can see the irony of calling someone a hatemonger then wishing death on them?

    My previous posts refer to the hate and venom thrown at this young man because of what he is. Also thge hate thrown at the RIR for what seems to me to be a harmless bit of fun, clearly enjoyed by all the soliders regardless of religion.

    To the site ownership –

    I must say Mick im shocked at you letting this one stay. This young man is now being subjected abusive messages wishing him death, clearly by some of your well read readership. Poor show all round.

  • Frank Sinistra

    LOL.

    The bastard has a ‘Kill All Taigs’ message on his profile.

    Spare me your angst.

    It is telling that you choose to support this bigoted cretin.

  • Summary:

    Pictures above: very amusing.

    Other content on his bebo page (especially the kiddy-style Nokia speak): very disturbing.

    His page seriously makes me wonder should I not re-evaluate my opinion of the army, and not in a positive way.

  • bango skank

    hilarious to see Provo supporters attacking the Brits for doing what they do. The Brits still have their weapons and their army. what did we get for surrendering ours?

  • I must say that I found the photos quite sardonic after a bit of reflexion.

    The idea of the Irish Guards – a unit with a long history of fighting Britain’s colonial wars, even at home – being on duty to maintain order in Muslim Basra under the auspices of the UN certainly was quite sarcastic.

    In this setting, acting as if they were on duty in Northern Ireland – with the Orange bits, and comparing Osama bin-Laden with nationalist march protesters while an Irish troublemaker loomed along the sidelines, and the old RUC tried to maintain order – struck me as quite funny, especially given the mindless nonsense that most military formations engage in when they try to be humorous.

    It all seemed a most sarcastic comment on their leaders, especially Phony Tony and Poodle Brown.

    It all seems to show the real need of onlookers figuring out the message being sent rather than engaging in expected knee-jerk fashion.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “the choice of ‘Rising Sons’ as the name of their merry band is unfortunate and downright insensitive as it links to the UFF massacre at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel…..”

    Tediously tendentious even by your standards, Olly. I can imagine that you would believe the people of Greysteel do little else than scan the world’s media for any oblique or tendential reference to words that sound like “Rising” and “Sun” and then collapse in a tizzy of post traumatic stress. But then again I know some of the victims,who have more sense.

    Oh, and they don’t think the many Orange lodges and bands who use the style “Rising Sons of…” and who have used it for decades- like the 150 year old lodge “Rising Sons of Killegar” in County Leitrim, got into their time machines, came forward to the late 20th century, looked for a uniquely offensive title and adopted it 100 years before the bar existed, nevermind the massacre.

    But then, they have real lives, and real perspectives unlike the MOPE muppets out on this thread in force. Frankly in trying to be oppressed and offended you’re even embarassing to your own. Sometimes I wonder whether people aren’t just happier wallowing in their own ignorance and self pity rather than waste my time educating you.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>unlike the MOPE muppets out on this thread< >I wonder whether people aren’t just happier wallowing in their own ignorance and self pity rather than waste my time educating you.< >Prince Eoghan: The Germans deemed culpable of war crimes tried that defence at the Nuremberg trials you know, not with much success!

    Have another try. Specific Germans were tried for war crimes, not the whole German army. Similarly, it’s up to you to make a case against individuals. <

  • DK

    Trowbridge: “comparing Osama bin-Laden with nationalist march protesters”

    It looks like Osama was wearing a sash. Doesn’t that compare Osama to the orangemen? Anyway – they are obviously doing the whole thing as a joke – as the presence of the protesters and police show. It certainly made me laugh – and reminded me of Halloween in Derry where loads of people dress up as RUC and do roadblocks – sometimes jointly with people dressed as IRA.

  • DK

    Just checked the bebo site. One of his friends has a combat 18 logo. Maybe the joke of this parade was on him.

  • pauljames

    Can I claim my prize for invoking Goodwins Law on this thread?

  • D

    It’s ‘Godwin’ and, no, you can’t. In this case the comparison (To what extent is a soldier morally culpable when his defence is ‘I was only following orders’) is a reasonable one.

    It’s all off-topic anyway, I found the pictures generally unfunny and the guys bebo site downright worrying. Found it strange also, that he says ‘Kill all Taigs’ and then the taigs who complain get called b1gots.

  • POL

    Noticed they marched in the barracks.Why didnt they march thru Basra, could it be that they`re not wanted there either.

  • Dr Strangelove

    The one positive I can find in all this is that they are in Basra and not Belfast. We can do without members of the British Army who believe in the Kill All Taigs sentiment being based here.

  • jpeters

    rights and wrongs of OO, the 12th, KAT etc you guys are taking the subject matter here far too far, i mean its getting silly, i doubt this amount of political analysis went in assessing the motives of the ‘basra 12th’

    as for the bebo page the work of one guy and some pretty sectarian mates but you have to admit that they have only a passing connection to the photos we are supposed to be discussing

    for example
    1. they are talking the piss out of the RUC
    2. they are taking the piss out of the OO
    3. they are taking the piss out of nationalists
    4. they are taking the piss out of Bin Laden
    5. there is no anti catholic sentiment
    6. they are in Basra for f*cks sake!

    its an attempt at humour leave it at that, i didnt here this much crap when they did “avenues and alleyways” out there

    and this thread could been so much fun….. (for a change)

  • comedy dave

    oliber comheall

    “Given the penchant of the British Army to commemorate its famous battle victories with banners and the likes, the choice of ‘Rising Sons’ as the name of their merry band is unfortunate and downright insensitive as it links to the UFF massacre at the Rising Sun bar in Greysteel…..”

    you have been listening to comedy daves tedious link too much me thinks mate 😮

  • pauljames

    Cheers D
    I could mention the additional law about pointing out spelling mistakes, you b1got you!

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Darth, you make a great apologist for the British Army. There’s a world of difference between a 150 year old lodge in Leitrim which has always gone by the name of the Rising Sons and a British Army unit adapting the name as a ‘piss take’ on the situation in north, today, when they know well the connotations it has. They seem to have every angle covered in terms of being gratuitiously offensive – pity the poor Iraqis who have to put up with their schoolboy antics.

    No good either putting down observations which point out the dark side of the British and the Orange and the links between them as MOPERY. They asked for it – they or their pals posted the pictures. This is a discussion board, it’s where we comment on what we see. I merely posted a comment and that’s my opinion. I think men with guns should be more responsible than kids in a schoolyard, call that MOPERY if you like.

    The British Army is far from being the modern army of professionals it tries to portray to the world – it’s obviously a motley gathering of half witted bigoted buffoons as this series of pictures and the other links on this thread so amply illustrate….

  • Alan

    A brief look at many youngsters pages on bebo from both sides of the community will show similar banter and pictures for example here:-
    http://www.bebo.com/PhotoAlbumBig.jsp?MemberId=586016045&PhotoNbr=1&PhotoAlbumId=587813708

    note the psni badge same as on this guys but in irish colours calling them scum etc etc….thats bebo for ya!.

  • Frank Sinistra

    The Irish News has follow up today.

    The guy that posted the images and organised the parade – the kill All Taigs chap – wasn’t involved in the humourous aspects. Neither were any of those marching dressed as Orangemen.

    They had staged the parade to celebrate the 12th and other uninvolved soldiers decided to take the piss out of their efforts. They had no idea about the fake cops and protest until they started their march.

    So it seems the Kill All taigs guy doesn’t have a sense of humour either and he’s just a thorough bigot.

    A typical 12th story.

  • Andy

    Good stuff! Fair play to our boys out in Iraq for marking the Glorious Twelfth.

  • Sean

    Frank S

    Shhh you will just confuse them with logic and insight.

    they only understand the stereo typical taig response they exppect

  • King Arthur

    Someone has to teach the Iraqis about sectarian bigotry!

  • Wee slabber

    The average squaddie is an intellectual pygmy. The average officer is a pygmy with pips. The photographs show the innate stupidity and sectarian penchant of these idiots. That they were allowed to do it shows a lack of kop on by their “superiors”. Or maybe they were hunkered down in a bunker somewhere?

    Can’t wait until Martin Luther King Day to see them all dressed as KKK members. Or maybe they are saving the white sheets in case the Shia’s come a knocking in numbers!

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Now that I’ve considered this further, I realise I should apologise to Darth Rumsfeld and other unionist commentators for crassly raising the issue of the Greysteel Rising Sun massacre. Of course there’s no link between that and the Rising Sons of Ulster in Basra. Heaven forfend that the thought should cross my mind.

    After all this was only a jolly jape and a genuine celebration of culture in the desert….how could I get it so wrong?

  • DK

    Frank S – fascinating update: so the rest of the troops take the piss out of the NI section of the British army (or were they other members of the Irish Guards – the catholic ones perhaps)

  • darth rumsfeld

    “After all this was only a jolly jape and a genuine celebration of culture in the desert….how could I get it so wrong?”

    Olly, all right thinking people have been asking that question since you started posting

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I’m glad you’re so in touch with the zeitgest, Darth….. you’re the man!

  • willowfield

    GEORGE

    No, that’s the whole point. Nuremberg took justice out of the realm of such trifles as deeming what constitutes a “war crime” and firmly rooted it in natural justice. Natural justice is a greater law, above humanity’s grubby mitts. These are permanent, immutable laws. Humanity’s definition of what constitutes war crimes varies, natural justice is always the same.

    I don’t think you are clear about the concept of natural justice and its relevance to Nuremberg. Natural justice relates essentially to the existence and operation of legal processes and procedures (fair trial, etc.), rather than defining what is and what isn’t criminal. Nonetheless, I await a citation of the Nuremberg Tribunal’s statements on natural justice.

    PARTICIPANTS IN A WAR OF AGGRESSION
    Setting aside the theory and philosophy for the time being, your point essentially is that mere participation in an illegal war is of itself a war crime and that consequently, if one accepts that the Iraq war was illegal, British squaddies even of the most junior rank are war criminals, even if their own personal conduct within the war was exemplary.

    Since you have cited Nuremberg, it is useful to look at Principle VI of the Nuremberg Principles, which provides that “(i) planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; and (ii) participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentions under (i)” are war crimes.

    You will note that the emphasis is on planning and initiating. At Nuremberg, those indicted of these crimes were those held responsible for planning and initiating the Second World War (namely the Nazi leadership). A distinction was made between these leaders and the mass of servicemen who took part in the war of aggression, not having played any part in its planning or initiation.

    It is arguable that Tony Blair, his Cabinet, other advisers (including perhaps military top brass) are war criminals by virtue of their having initiated a war of aggression on Iraq. But it is not arguable, based on Nuremberg, that every single serviceman and woman who participated in the war was guilty of this particular crime.

    “ONLY OBEYING ORDERS”
    Previously you have alluded to the rejection of the “only obeying orders” defence at Nuremberg. You will know that the disregarding of this defence was controversial at the time and since, but nonetheless, it was considered by many to be just, given the gravity of the crimes being tried (crimes against humanity).

    The laws of war have evolved since Nuremberg and the current law is articulated in article 33 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court (“superior orders and prescription of law”), which provides:

    1. The fact that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed by a person pursuant to an order of a Government or superior, whether military or civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless:

    (a) the person was under legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question;
    (b) the person did not know that the order was unlawful; and
    (c) the order was not manifestly unlawful.

    2. For the purposes of this article, orders to commit genocide or crimes against humanity are manifestly unlawful.

    You can see, therefore, that the disregarding of the “only obeying orders” defence is now qualified.

  • willowfield

    GEORGE (contd.)

    So with natural justice we can have a situation where Winston Churchill advocates gassing the Kurds of Iraq (but is overruled and mass bombing of civilans is carried out instead) and this isn’t “deemed” a war crime but Saddam Hussein does something similar and is. With natural justice, things are either right or wrong, there is no deeming, they just are.

    I think you are conflating two separate issues. Under international law, mass bombing of civilians – no matter by whom – is illegal. The concepts of international law which we are discussing are customary, and so apply to all, including Winston Churchill.

    The relevance to this of natural justice is that Churchill was not prosecuted for his alleged crimes, whereas the Nazis were, therby breaching the natural law principle that crimes should not go unpunished.

    This is an entirely independent issues to the question of junior soldiers’ guilt in respect of war crimes.

  • watching paint dry

    Thanks for those fascinating posts, Willowfield

  • willowfield

    If you’re not interested in reading about and discussing these issues, why do you waste your time on the site?

  • UFB

    “”british soldiers celebrating British history, good lads.

    The only thing sectarian about this is the nationalist hatred as displayed on this board of anything british”

    Whaaa? Brit history?

    A Dutch prince kicks the ballicks out of a French king on Irish soil and it’s Brit history?

    No harm to ye Observer but yer holes open

    ” Under international law, mass bombing of civilians – no matter by whom – is illegal. The concepts of international law which we are discussing are customary, and so apply to all, including Winston Churchill”

    Three words Willie

    Bomber Harris & Dresden

  • Cloned Poster

    What a joke, monty python would have been proud of such a display. Meanwhile I note that all British troops in Basra province are stationed at Basra Airport, which was mortared again today btw, for a quick exit, which will come very sooooooooon mr brooooooooonwe.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Someone has to teach the Iraqis about sectarian bigotry!<

  • curious

    USA and the GAY BOMB.

    Received a newsletter from the US Forces this morning, the main story was that it has been leaked that the US government has been working on a “GAY BOMB” that will release pheromones that will when breathed in or if it touches the skin, will arouse the recipients and make them desire the same sex,and will be a strong aphrodisiac and by doing so will limit their fighting ability, as they will be too occupied with other persuits to bother about killing G I’s. The sample of the bomb has already been tried out on a small number of Irish Guards volunteers and here is the result.

  • deemondo

    would it matter if it was st patricks day

  • angelface

    What a bunch of uptight whiners! No sense of humor, maybe if you were being shot at day in and day out you would lighten up a bit. I am glad they are all getting a little bit of humor in a dark place. Give them a break!

  • willowfield

    Looks like George ran away from this one – didn’t have the courtesy even to acknowledge the effort I went to to respond to him.

  • Wee Willy

    Does anybody wearin the green have a sense of humour?? or are they all the grassy knowle type. for God sake laugh at it and get your heads out of your aresholes. Conspiracy! conspiracy!conspiracy!

  • I agree, even the poster about “killing all taigs”.

    It seemed quite Pythonesque to me since the IRISH guards were participating in a Unionist march to achieve this result.

    Reminded me of when Michael Palin’s Arab suicide bombers appeared to save the crucified Brian in the life thereof – only to commit suicide themselves.