During my very brief period of junior Officer Training at Catterick, killing was never mentioned. Defending the nation maybe, but not killing as such.
We were taught all sorts of 'Officer-ish' things, such as how to respect your men, how to make your men respect you, and how to 'command'. The course was more about what an Officer should be, rather than how to wage war. The only thing I do remember being taught about 'warfare' was to 'Know your enemy, go in hard, and go in strong'. Wise words that very few follow.
So, it came as a surprise to all of us who'd had any military training (of no matter what level) that an ex-Officer should discuss his number of 'kills'. I had never previously heard any present or past serving Officer talk of such things.
This ex-Officer recently wrote "While in the heat and fog of combat, I didn't think of those 25 as people. You can't kill people if you think of them as people. You can't really harm people if you think of them as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board, Bad taken away before they could kill the Good".
The young man involved has been rightly reprimanded for his insensitivity, and there have already been international repercussions. He, of course, denies any intent to gloat or provoke; but of course he would say that, he doesn't think! He now needs to mind his back wherever he goes; probably for the rest of his life.
People of influence need to be very cautious of what they say or write in public. Jeremy Clarkson is a good example having fallen foul of his employers concerning his unpleasant words about an American actress. And we all know how poor J K Rowling has been 'cancelled' for telling basic truths about gender.
I do hope that the young man involved has learned his lesson, and will guard his tongue (pen) in future; especially when it comes to matters about his own family.
Any expectation that the individual concerned will mind his tongue (or pen) is, I suspect, a rather forlorn hope. I fear that his spouse and paymasters will not let him off so lightly - after all the size of the advance reflected the expectations of seriously salacious revelations on an ongoing basis.ReplyDelete
As to the "kill quota" comment, this is a gift to any of the many terrorist groups and hostile states around the world looking to justify their anti-western stances.
Firstly I must apologise for the WHITE highlighting, I have no idea what happened!Delete
I fear you are right. The man involved will no longer be allowed to 'mind his tongue'.
I do agree that some thoughts are best kept to ourselves - if only for pragmatic reasons. That's what's so refreshing and wonderful about children: They will say it as it is. So, maybe, Harry may be commended on stating openly the glaringly obvious. Namely that today's long distance warfare has become rather abstract. As (un)real as a video game.ReplyDelete
I just knew you'd have a good word to say about his writing. No-one else would!Delete
Yeah, well, you "know" wrong. That single remark of his does have merit to be considered. Particularly in the context I put it. Never mind.Delete
I remember my father telling us about his officer training. It seemed to involve a lot of instruction on correct dress, table manners and when and who to salute.ReplyDelete
We were even told how to walk. Straight back, look directly ahead, etc.Delete
Of course the individual concerned has not learned his lesson - with the promise of millions of dollars waved in front of him and his greedy spouse, he'll already be thinking up the next round of lies to titillate the gullible public.ReplyDelete
What WILL they do when the world becomes bored with all their whining?Delete
We are all bored with them and have been for a long time. The world looks away and does something else like I am doing today.Delete
I believe his book has been very popular. Of course, it was ghost written.Delete
Genuine question, Cro: Why do you give the saga so much headspace, such a continued airing on your blog? You, clearly, are not bored. Indeed one might say you appear very interested - unlike yours truly,Delete
The reply Cro gave totally side-stepped my comment. As if I cared about the book!Delete
It just happens to be one of the most talked about subjects of the moment. To pretend to ignore it is futile. We all know what is going on, and although I can't stand the couple, I still think it's worthy of comment.Delete
I obviously mix in different circles. I have never heard anyone talking about it. Perhaps you are referring to the media. You have talked about it before. Even once was too much.Delete
My next H & M comment will more than likely be when HER book is published. Until then I'll try not to mention them.Delete
Prince Spare accused the press of stirring things up over his unwise military talk but experienced former military leaders were the first to lambast him. Perhaps he should have apologised for his stupidity but apparently he never does or says anything wrong. It's always his father or brother's fault or the newspapers.ReplyDelete
Saint H could never do anything wrong. Nor, of course, could Saint M.Delete
I think I must have the wrong end of the stick on this post. The 'ex Officer' is explaining how a soldier must think if he is expected to kill another human when he's been taught all his life that it's wrong to do so. I'm not sure it's a boast. Open to correction on this comment.ReplyDelete
The point is that one doesn't mention 'kill' numbers, in no matter what context. It simply isn't done.Delete
That IS the point, and I don't understand why it is even a point of debate.I was in the Army for seven years in the early 80s, just after the Vietnam war. There were a lot of Vietnam veterans. A lot of them. The army didn't seem to know what to do with them. They tended to drink a lot, smoke a lot. It sounds like a stereotype, but it wasn't. The ones who remained in the army were doing it for the pensions. The ones who were horrified by the war simply, quietly, left service, pension be damned. Now I can tell you that for all the drinking and carousing, they were always a close knit bunch, looking out for each other. I served with them and when they had been drinking, or smoking pot (I was a smoker back in the day myself), you heard the stories. Hard stories. Funny stories. But one thing that you never heard, ever was a body count.ReplyDelete
That has always been the case in the UK too. RAF Fighter pilots often painted small pictures of the planes that they'd shot down, but that was a 'traditional' thing to do.Delete
What would I tell, if enough money were on the table?ReplyDelete
Temptation is a terrible thing.Delete
We just need to let said person run his course. In time, he'll run out of steam Did you read the book? I have not and have no plans to do so.ReplyDelete
No, I wouldn't read it. But so much has been written and said about it that I almost feel as if I had.Delete
My neighbour who has a bookstore told me she sold exactly two copies of the book, one in English and one in German. And she had ordered quite a lot of them and even opened her shop at 0.01 AM on the first day she was allowed to sell the book!ReplyDelete
Hilde in Germany
That's encouraging. I hope that continues!Delete
The only ones I know who brag about kill numbers are serial killers in TV shows. Bragging about the real thing just isn't done.ReplyDelete
I cannot imagine what he was thinking. Regardless of his intentions, it's a part of any solder's past that stays unmentioned.Delete
Agreed but doubtful when we think of the young man concerned I think.ReplyDelete