Spanish Pundit (II)

abril 12, 2007

What are the armies for?

Filed under: Iran,reflexiones,UK,violencia — Nora @ 11:14 pm
The liberation of the 15 British sailors have made them appear in lots of TV programs and media.

Benedict White, from a Conservative’s blog, has made a great following up of one of the very bad consecuences of this deal: the permission given by the Government to the soldiers to publish their stories to the press. Only three of them are not going to publish anything regarding their forced stay in Iran. You can read:

  1. Captured sailors given exceptional permission to sell their stories.

  2. Iran Hostage Aftermath, the fury grows.

  3. Hostage crisis, stable door bolted after horses have bolted.

  4. For the three who retained their dignity.
  5. Iran Hostage Crisis, who knew about selling stories?
  6. Iran hostage Crisis Des Browne accepts responsibility!

Des Browne is the Defense Secretary. And this attitude has really angered other army soldiers and military people and families:

Families of dead soldiers told Browne: Stay away from ceremony | the Daily Mail [h/t A Tangled Web]

The families of four British soldiers killed in Iraq delivered a humiliating snub to Defence Secretary Des Browne by asking him not to attend a ceremony on the return of the bodies to Britain. The rejection is the latest blow for beleagured Browne who is facing heavy criticism for allowing 15 soldiers captured in Iran to sell their stories. A petition has been set up on the No 10 website asking for heads to role in the cash-for-stories fiasco.

After that Blair has spoken about the deal: BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Navy deal not good idea – Blair

Tony Blair has said “in hindsight” the navy’s decision to allow sailors held captive in Iran to sell their stories to the media was not a “good idea”. The prime minister said he was not involved in the decision, which he said was taken in “good faith” as the freed personnel were “pursued” by the media.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Des Browne said he took full responsibility for allowing the stories to be sold. Mr Blair said that he did not think such stories would be sold in future.

Asked if he had played a part in allowing the freed captives to sell their stories, Mr Blair said: “I didn’t actually know about the decision until after it was taken.

But really that is not the point.

“The navy was trying to deal with a wholly exceptional situation in which the families were being pursued by the media to sell their stories. The navy took the view that it was better to manage the situation rather than let it happen.

“With hindsight was that a good idea? No, precisely because people would then misrepresent that somehow the navy were encouraging people to sell their stories, which they weren’t doing at all.”

Conservative Leader Cameron has called this decission a dreadful one. It certainly is.

Anyway, Browne’s fighting to keep his job!!! (h/t An Englishmen’s Castle, who thinks that this is not the most important error made by the Blair Government, referring to the troops’ lack of funding for protecting the soldiers and other personnel).

Jihad Watch has reported that Iran is going to make movie and book about the UK sailors.

EURSOC reports about “two bishops – one the Army’s top priest – have praised Iran’s “mercy”
and “forgiveness” in releasing the men and one woman last week.

Beer n sandwiches: This decision will, in my opinion, undermine morale in the armed forces
and make our military even less effective than they are now. Sailors in
a similar situation in the future will have yet another variable to
distract them resulting in hesitancy and reduced effectiveness.

Also in Not Proud of Britain.

Pub Philosopher reports:

Although the Navy has now changed its mind and banned any deals with newspapers,
it is probably now too late. Faye Turney’s story is already in print
and other former captives have made arrangements with newspapers to
sell their stories, for which they will be handsomely paid.

Publius Pundit:

The Islamic Republic of Iran announced it produces nuclear fuel on an
industrial level. Reza Aqazadeh, the country’s vice president and head
of its Atomic Energy Organization said that the 3, 000 centrifuges from
Natanz are merely the beginning. “When we say we have entered
industrial scale enrichment, (it means) there is no way back.
Installation of centrifuges will continue steadily to reach a stage
where all the 50,000 centrifuges are launched.” (IRNA)

Woman honor thyself:

Mr. “There was no Holocaust, let’s kill all Jews and
Americans” successfully kidnapped British citizens, subjected them to
brutal psychological tactics, managed to coerce phony confessions out
of them for the media, blackmailed the U.K. for the release of a
high-ranking Iranian terror coordinator in Iraq, and laughed in the
face of the Geneva conventions all in a day’s work.

And not a single shot fired.

Yep. That is.


The origin of the modern State lies precisely in the need to defend ordinary people from external (from other countries) and internal menaces. For that mission, at first they employed mercenaries, who played that part only for money, with all the problems that this could bring for the normal people to have defenders who were more interested in the booty than in anything else. The kings of the late Middle Ages, in a process of making a stronger State, began considering this as an unfavorable stand.

As a result, in the Modern Age, they began recruiting by force, considering this a much more reliable for the security of the State-Nation that the previous system, as the people who were the actual fighters were the same ones who were more interested in its own survival.

But in later years, citizens have protested about the burden that this service means for them, and had reclaimed the introduction of a professional system: that is, people trained and paid to defend the countries. Normal people who consider that have vocation and guts enough for the job, enroll and serve in the Army.

But this people are only spoken about the payment, the uniform, the semi-NGO’s work and not much more of what their job is. The real thing here is that, as Manuel Morales do Val writes in Crónicas Bárbaras, “modern Governments, and specially Spanish one, deny any talk about the first mission of the professional soldiers is: to combat, to kill and to die“.

Are Army people knowing really what they are asked for? And what is more important: is society willing to make this sacrifice and for what is it willing to sacrifice its soldiers?

I really think that we do not have these two points clear and I also do not think we are really not prepared neither psycologically nor physically to understand what this means.

These days the film 300 is telling, for the ones who want to hear it, that a king (with some tendency to foul language and bad temper) and his 300 personal guards fought bravely against the numerous Persian soldiers and probably would have won -with very little help of another less than 1500 soldiers of other parts of Greece- if a traitor would not have lead them directly to be killed.

But that is the point: if you are a soldier, that does not mean that you can be assasinated by terrorists, but it means you have to sacrifice even your life, for your country. And that means that probably you are not going to see your families again.

So I insist: are we willing to send our boysto fight for something, knowing they are going to be asked for the supreme sacrifice? And what for?

And that is the point: there are supreme -and real- principles and values, the West should defend. But are we willing to?

I am seeing that, as the time goes by, there is much less auto-critic in these subjects. We -at least some of us- tend to say “Ahmadinejad/Hamas/terrorists…are very bad” -and it’s true-. But,err, what is the West doing?

Military people are slighted as not being normal citizens, they are plainly warmongers, who enrol the Army because “they are the most violent in the school“, a sort of stupid Rambos. And they are slighted by the same people who are being defended by their own sacrifice, by people who are not willing to make that same sacrifice.

I remember a scene from the 2nd part of Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, in which Eomer is reclaiming attention of the ailing king Theoden, asking him what are they going to do now that the Saruman’s orcs are killing at will through Rohan. And then appears Grima “Wormtongue”, who answers him “Saruman’s a friend and an ally” and after that, he accusses Eomer of being a warmonger.

I really think that a very outstanding portrait of what is happening today: Government’s structures allied with not very recommendable people, “ailing” presidents and a society blind to its own menaces. And an un-understood soldier: he is the bad guy, the one who must be “forsaken for this land“.

But would have the Middle Earth been freed from Sauron’s grasp not being by these supposedly warmongers?

Lastly, I do not have to say what Spain would do in the same occassion, have I? Our lover-of-eternal-peace President… Ahmadinejad and the democratic state of Iran (pfffftttttt)… and the love for the rest of thugs that in the world there are…

And Spanish society? Not very optimistic. The heirs of Guzman El Bueno (that man who, asked to give in the fortress he commanded to the Moors by a Christian traitor who was serving them, to save the life of his own son, throw his own knife for them to kill his own son with it and not to surrender) are not in the mood…

Porca miseria…

NOTE: This does not mean that there are no people who support the Army, but no one can deny me that the feeling towards them have changed for the worse lately.

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The new Internet law

Filed under: internet — Nora @ 8:15 pm
Spanish Socialist Government is going to modify the Internet law. But the web surfers and the writers in the web were surprised (in a bad sense) when it was known that they had  introduced a new article, the 17bis, by which the General Society of Authors and Writers (SGAE, in Spanish) and other gestors of author’s rights could ask the internet providers to block some content, among others the transfers of archives between users (P2P).

But as a result of the unanimous reaction, which was totally opposed to this measure as a result as it is a frontal attack to freedom in the web* (which comes just at the same time as the “canon”, a new tax to make you pay more for the digital hard disks, just in case you copy material which is protected), a new law project has erased that article.

Anyway the Web Surfers Association has asked for an urgent meeting of the CATSI to make the Government inform them about the next modifications. They also want to study the lack of agreement surrounding the canon and other matters about the private copy.

*State Council critisized the project hardly saying that it was a special petition made by SGAE, in a late move and without giving any information to the consumers or to the tecnical consultive council for the information society (CATSI).

Related posts:Censorship made in Spain is coming?

Others writing about this:

  1. Tecnoliberal: SGAE: the worst enemy of the development and the society of information.And SGAE is unsuccesful (for the moment): the article 17 bis retired.
  2. Nobody expects the Spanish… SGAE.

By the way, we have known today that the Interior German Minister has proposed that the Police is given access to the PC’s, without knowing it the user. Wolfrang Shaeble sustains that “the terrorists do not use birds to communicate” and assures that the people are considering this just the sameway.

Big Brother, a little closer…

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