Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Let's Keep Iraq out of Remembrance Day
I was watching the Remembrance Day commemorations on television today with my father, who served in the army, when I heard something that neither of us much liked. The presenter Alistair Stewart said that while Remembrance Day was originally about remembering those who died in The Great War, and then World War Two, it's now about remembering other conflicts in which British forces were involved, including Iraq.
If that is indeed the case, then it's wrong.
Remembrance Day should only be about the two World Wars.
In neither the First, nor the Second World War, was Britain the aggressor. In Iraq, it was (alongside the US). While in the Second World War, Britain's role in helping to defeat Nazi aggression, was an honourable one, in Iraq it was not. A largely defenceless country, which posed Britain no threat, was attacked on the basis of a colossal lie. The Iraq war, together with the earlier, equally unlawful- and equally deceitful aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999, was a dark moment in Britain's history. It was a shameful episode, and those who planned and orchestrated it should, if there was any justice in this world, be behind bars. The Nuremburg judgement after all, held that the greatest of all crimes was to launch a war of aggression.
So let's wear our poppies today and remember those brave soldiers who gave their lives in two world wars. But let's make sure that any attempts to 'normalise' the Iraq war and put it on a par with World War Two are resisted.