Monday, October 17, 2005



Britain's kiwi refusenik

It was only a matter of time. Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank gave rise to the refuseniks - soldiers who refused to participate in what they saw as unlawful military operations. Now Britain has them too - and their latest one is a Kiwi. Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, an RAF medical officer who grew up in New Zealand is currently facing court-martial for refusing to serve in Iraq. His reason for refusing is that the war is illegal, and that the British government had spun the evidence. And he's reportedly quite prepared to go to prison over it.

Every civilised country gives soldiers the right, if not the duty, to refuse unlawful orders. The problem is that opinions may differ on what is unlawful. In these situations, a soldier is faced with a choice between either betraying their own conscience, or facing court-martial. I'm just glad to see that at least some have the courage to follow their conscience.

I'm trying to track down contact information for people who want to send messages of support; I'll post an update later if I get any responses to my enquiries.

2 comments:

This world stil has heroes.

Posted by Christiaan : 10/18/2005 09:42:00 AM

Did you ever find out that contact information? "Support our troops" is the mantra from No.10. I wouldn't want to dissappoint the PM.

Posted by Paul : 4/03/2006 04:31:00 AM