Sometimes I don’t understand the mainstream media. Prince Harry has just been told that he cannot join his men in Iraq because of security concerns, and today, there is a story in the Daily Mail about the Prince’s ’secret new war role’. True, they don’t have a lot of detail, but do they not see the folly in revealing to the nation (and others besides) what they have learnt about where Harry may or may not be deployed in future? Yes, I know that there is an irony in my writing about it and drawing attention to the story, but I am getting fed up with the stories that regularly appear in the media. Some come dangerously close to compromising the security of British troops abroad. Perhaps those who write them do not think that our enemies also read newspapers.
Some families of soldiers killed in Iraq have been trying for a long time to meet Tony Blair. They have organised demonstrations, launched petitions, and done their utmost to get a meeting. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has been too busy to see them. As far as I know (please correct me if I am wrong), he hasn’t met a single one yet. Well, except for Reg Keys, who challenged Mr Blair for the Sedgefield seat in the 2005 General Election, stood on the platform with him while the results were announced, and delivered a speech denouncing Blair and his decision to go to war. I suppose, in a sense, that could count as ‘meeting’ Blair.
Anyway, how lucky for Shilpa that she managed to secure a meeting with the busy Blair. In his office at the House of Commons, no less. So it can be done, then? Perhaps the soldiers’ families should try harder.
Norman Kember is calling for ‘all possible clemency’ to be extended to the murderous thugs who kidnapped him and his group of Christian workers in Iraq last year.
Leave to one side the fact that he has demonstrated more concern for this bunch of animals than for the brave SAS men and other officers who rescued him from their clutches. He failed to thank his rescuers, only doing so after a wave of criticism.
Is the man mad? So he wants these kidnappers out on the street to capture and kill someone else? Does he forget that one of his party, Tom Fox, was brutally murdered by these men? Norman Kember is a Christian, and if there is one thing he should know, it is this: forgiveness does not necessarily mean absolution for the consequences of one’s actions. Yes, he can forgive them ‘unconditionally’, as he claims, but that does not mean that the law should not act to punish them for their deeds. The purpose of a criminal sentence is two-fold, punishment and rehabilitation. One could also argue that in a case like this, there is also a compelling need to keep these men away from civilised society, to the extent that that still exists in Iraq.
Does Norman Kember think that the mere fact of his forgiveness is sufficient to turn these men into law-abiding members of society? He is a fool if he thinks that.
Norman Kember went to Iraq on a misguided mission, ostensibly out of concern for the Iraqi people. If he really cares about them, he should do his utmost to protect them from these men.