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Tribute to a National Hero

KosmikK | 15.04.2006 02:37 | Anti-militarism | World

RAF Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, having refused to serve in Iraq in what he correctly believes is an occupation brought about by an illegal war, is predictably given an 8-month prison sentence, fined £20,000 costs and dismissed from his job. Kendall-Smith, now a national hero, follows in the steps of Ben Griffin who resigned from the Army SAS in a similar protest.

Despite all the pompous huffing and puffing from a few military wallahs rolled-out for the occasion the fact remains that, according to the Geneva Convention, Dr Kendall-Smith was perfectly entitled to refuse service. The decision made by the Military was based not on legal premises but on expediency. If Kendall-Smith had not been found guilty what kind of message would that send out to other conscientious objectors, refusekinks and would-be deserters? So the thin red line was held and an honourable man punished.

Kendall-Smith has been criticised for not having resigned his post before being sent to fight in a war he disagreed with. But in the real world it's the horror of war that opens the eyes of the idealistic rookie, leading to disillusion and a changed perspective. Kendall-Smith admits to having had a somewhat romantic illusion of the RAF in earlier days. Those illusions were dashed in the nightmare of the Iraq invasion and what followed which he put on a par with Nazi behaviour.

Believing Britishness to be a matter of decency, Kendall-Smith swallowed all the recruitment propaganda of the war machine. But, then, who would have thought that, in the early 21st Century, Britain's war machine would still be fighting imperialist ventures? Who would have attributed so much sheer stupidity or venality to a Prime Minister determined to drag his country, against its will, into the killing fields of another madman?

The guilty party in this show-trial is really not Dr Kendall-Smith, it's Tony Blair. As a doctor, Kendall-Smith may well have been responsible for saving lives. As a Prime Minister, all Blair has on his hands is the blood of the helpless. He should be thankful that, unlike the other quisling, Benito Mussolini, his end will not be at the hands of a lynch-mob. Although, now with his buddy, Berlusconi's demise there is a real chance that corrupt Tony will, one of these days, be receiving a visit from the fraud squad over his sales of peerages.

Natural justice, Tony, is what's coming to you and that's something no amount of dodging and weaving will save you from!

Please send your messages of moral support to Dr Kendall-Smith via his lawyer to: Flt Lt Kendall-Smith, C/o Mr Justin Hugheston-Roberts, Rose Williams & Partners, Waterloo House, 4 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, UK.

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