One of the myths the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have put to rest was the vague and hazy belief that the British Army was ‘better’ at peace making. The specifics seemed to reference Northern Ireland or the wearing of flat caps as opposed to helmets. The Americans were the ones without empathy for the local populations. British soldiers were diplomats to the man.
The reality of southern Iraq isn’t promising.
I’m unsure what to say about the bizarre applauding of Prince Harry. He does after all have the army protecting him, as well as a gun to shoot back with. Whats far more interesting is what the responce of Afghans and Muslims will be. My own opinion is this was an unwarranted aggravation of a sensitive situation. The shadows of empire still linger in that part of the world and having a high profile member of royalty kill your people just as his predecessors did won’t encourage the affection of the local people; let alone the wider Islamic world.
By all means those who wish to be bombastic about this can be so. But if public opinion in Afghanistan turns against Britain I hope they understand why. After all the reaction of the IRA to a member of the Royal family serving and killing in Northern Ireland during the troubles would have been predictable. I fear the reaction in this instance will be similarly obvious.
Debates and comments about the sensitivity of the armed forces are utterly pointless if the British Army cannot understand why images of Harry shooting Afghans and Muslims would inflame and alienate those they wish to placate.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Current affairs