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John Wayne has a lot to answer for.

Posted by Big John on March 23, 2011

Let’s be clear about it, we owe a great deal to the American Military, for if it wasn’t for all those “over paid, over sexed and over here” GIs in World War II most of Europe would be speaking German now.

However, one thing has always worried me about our American cousins when they go to war, and that’s their … “Gung Ho!” … “Kick Arse” … “Trigger Happy” …  attitude, for this often leads to the deaths of innocent civilians and in some cases the deaths of their own men and other allied soldiers in so called ‘friendly fire’ incidents.

In today’s newspapers there are two stories which illustrate this point. One is the horrific story of the “kill team” who murdered Afghan civilians and posed for pictures with their dead bodies, and the other is of the would be civilian rescuers of the crew of the downed US plane in Libya who were fired on or bombed by an American rescue team.

Terrible things happen in war, but we should be able to avoid happenings such as My Lai and Abu Ghraib, and it’s so easy to put all the blame on to the young troops on the ground, so perhaps it’s time that American generals started telling their men that a war zone is no place

…       for ‘high fives’.


7 Responses to “John Wayne has a lot to answer for.”

  1. A very unpopular thought: The U.S. Army was a better place when we had a draft (I served two years as a draftee). Our military now consists of hired guns who are in it for the money. In my day, the draftees, who were better educated and generally older than the regular army recruits, tended to provide some civility and common sense lacking in the other guys. We made a big mistake when we traded a democratic army for mercenaries in the aftermath of the Viet Nam War and protests.

    I note with some trepidation that Germany recently went the wrong way in cancelling its universal service. What system is in effect in Britain?

  2. Big John said

    Hello ‘Gabbygeezer’and welcome. Like you I was a conscript in the British military for two years, but this system ended back in the 1960′s. Like you I believe that our ‘draftees’ had an influence on the ‘regulars’.

    Today our servicemen and women do not earn a fortune so are not in it for the money, although I’m sure many are poorly educated youngsters who find it hard to find employment in civlilian life.

    Our army is small compared to the US, but is still based on the old regimental traditions and it’s officers seem to be of a much higher quality. It is now highly respected in the UK and on the whole keeps it’s nose clean, although I’m sure they are not all nice little boys

  3. Ginnie said

    The two instances that you sight make me sick, John, but I can’t believe that it is only the “gung-ho” Americans who are prone to make mistakes like these. During WWII our family was host to over 100 British sailors (we lived outside of Boston then) and we got some pretty grusome first-hand stories from their side of the war.

  4. Big John said

    Of course you are right Ginnie. It’s not that other nations soldiers do such terrible things that concerns me. It is the American military’s ‘cavalier’ attitudes that I find offensive, hence my referring to “high fives .. in a war zone”. Remember all those men cheering ‘Dubya’ with his “mission accomplished” speech: and he was ‘Commander in Chief’ !

  5. rummuser said

    What if the other side does not follow the Queensbury rules Big John?

  6. Big John said

    Umm ? ‘Rummuser’ … You must be thinking of .. “India’s First War of Independence” .. or .. “The Indian Mutiny” as I prefer to call it. 😉

  7. rummuser said

    No, not at all. Ask the soldiers in Afghanistan what the Taliban do.

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