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Support our troops?

Among men and women it is commonly held that we should support our troops because they’re protecting our country, they’re protecting the world, and we wouldn’t have freedom without them. It is no wonder such beliefs are widely held since those claims are continually repeated by politicians and the media. The undercurrent of  that “support” and “gratitude” for the military and those who serve in it is intrinsically apolitical. Often, the spectacle of public gratitude to the troops reaches absurd proportions. Recently we witnessed at Ibrox, soldiers chanting and singing along with the hard-core Protestant supporters in a celebration of Armed Services Day.

If our freedom is bestowed on us by soldiers the implication that people should feel boundless gratitude to the military as an institution and all the men and women who serve in it. But it also follows that if our freedom exists only at the pleasure of the military, of course, is that the same military can revoke said freedom if it so…

Scotland's My Lai Massacre?

It has been dubbed “Britain’s My Lai massacre” a reference to the infamous murders by US forces in Vietnam.

The 16-man patrol of  the 7th Platoon, G Company of the 2nd Scots Guards, on 12 December 1948 were conducting military operations to combat the post-Second World War Communist insurgency of the Malayan Emergency. Soldiers surrounded the rubber estate at Sungai Rimoh in Batang Kali and shot dead 24 unarmed villagers before setting light to the village. The bodies of several  villagers were reportedly mutilated.

"So cruel those British,"
Foo Moikeeps repeating, "so cruel." An eyewitness, now aged 89

The British then introduced an extraordinary retrospective "licence to kill" law interpreted by lawyers as a clumsy bid to render legalise the killings that had already occurred. .

The colonial Attorney General who exonerated the British troops of any wrongdoing at the time privately believed that mass public executions might deter other insurgents.

Form…