Maybe like me, you’ve been feeling a bit ...uneasy about that Afghanistan case. You know, the one involving the British Royal Marines. Where there’s several Marines in a field with this Taliban fighter who’s seriously wounded. And they think about letting him live, only it seems such a bother. And then one of the Marines has an idea: “I’ll put one in his head, if you like”. But he’s told that’d be no good: “No, not in his head, because that’ll be fucking obvious”. So instead the second Marine shoots the Taliban fighter in the chest and kills him. And says “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you cunt.” And then he tells his mates: “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere, fellahs. I just broke the Geneva Convention.” Remember it now? You were uneasy too?
Well don’t worry. It’s a total one-off. An historical one-off. We have the word of General Sir Mike Jackson, GCB, CBE, DSO, DL. And he knows about these things because he was present and active in Derry on Bloody Sunday.
Maj Gen Thompson, who led 3 Commando Brigade during the Falklands War, told The Times that a five-year prison term would be more suitable than the life imprisonment sentence he's been given.
Brigadier Bill Dunham, deputy commandant general of the Royal Marines, says it was a “truly shocking and appalling aberration”. (“Aberration” means they don’t do this kind of thing often, Virginia.)
And today, Prime Minister David Cameron has weighed in:
“Yesterday, obviously our thoughts were focused on the story told in that court, that appalling story, but I just want to say, here today, that it in no way represents the incredible spirit, courage and history of the Royal Marines, an outfit that probably has one of the proudest military histories of anyone, anywhere in the world.
“And that is not just my view, I think that is the view of the whole country that we should not let that single incident in any way besmirch the incredible work of the Royal Marines have done over not just decades but centuries.”
And of course, as you probably know, during their time here,the British armed forces were never guilty of killing anyone when they could have arrested them. Nor shot anyone dead when they could have taken them to hospital.
So I hope all that has helped you stop feeling uneasy. I know it has me.
PS You can even listen to a recording of the Afghanistan event, if that's how you like to spend your Saturdays : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-marine-found-guilty-taliban-2711958