Thursday 08 October 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
War is the sole province of governments. The people don’t make war, ever, we don’t have the resources, the ability or the power. The ability to commit mass murder on a global scale is exclusive to governments. In Britain we do not have the right to bear arms as in America, we are an unarmed nation, unless we sign up to the state controlled military and serve under oath.
“I (name), swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors and that I will as in duty bound honestly and faithfully defend Her Majesty, her heirs and successors in person, crown and dignity against all enemies and will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, her heirs and successors and of the generals and officers set over me.”
In the UK the armed forces swear to protect the Queen, not the nation, not the government, not the people. The Queen (and her heirs and successors). Who, though, protects us from war? It certainly isn’t government and it is definitely not the Queen. It’s crusty peaceniks like me (who protest), and like Jeremy Corbyn, Howard Zinn and a million UK marchers protesting in vain against the Iraq war, sneered at, derided and ignored.
Jeremy Corbyn has been reviled and mocked and accused by you and your party of being a threat to national security and (my) family for saying that he would not give the ok to precipitate, or participate in, a nuclear holocaust, which you blithely assure us you would.
During WWII the dreadful decision was made to blanket bomb civilian cities and areas on both sides as a way of conducting war to weaken and demoralise our nations. The killing of civilians has become routine in the wars that have continued without break across the globe ever since. In Iraq the civilian body count is between 143,875 – 165,766 and we are inundated with images of civilians wounded, dead or fleeing areas of conflict. Civilian deaths are conveniently rendered irrelevant by dismissing them as ‘collateral damage’. In 2005 Donald Rumsfeld even joked, ‘death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war’. Sadly, only in our eyes, not in the eyes of those who prosecute them, smoke cigars, drink champagne, smile and banquet and never put a foot in harms way as ordinary people do, and die. I suppose for Rumsfeld, wars are a great big jamboree, a national spending spree like no other for private banks and corporations to make vast profits.
One of your more famous expressions regarding the permanent austerity you have imposed upon us is that ‘we are all in it together’. Well , yes, in your war against the poor, I suppose we are, those who profit from it and pay no price, reaping only the rewards, and those who must pay the price, including the ultimate sacrifice. And we who protest, who raise our voices and act to challenge the heinous crimes being perpetrated against us in this economic war, are dismissed by the profiteering establishment. As Boris Johnson so aptly sneered, we’re ‘hard-left agitators – preposterously supported by Jeremy Corbyn – who believe in these tactics and who want to divide this society’. The pot calling the kettle black, in the most unequal, divided, nation in Europe. As Howard Zinn so aptly put it, ‘our problem isn’t civil disobedience, our problem is civil obedience’ to the whores of war.