January 1991 – can you remember what you were doing?
Andy McNab can. It was the day his eight man patrol infiltrated deep behind enemy lines in Iraq. Their call sign: BRAVO TWO ZERO.
Now, twenty years on from the 1993 first publication of the bestselling account of this mission, Transworld publish a fully revised and updated commemorative edition, published on 23rd May.
‘Looking back I don’t regret a single thing we did during that time. I still believe we made the right decisions, tactically and morally, but what I knew about was soldiering, that and juvenile detention. I was 33 going on 17, and what’s changed now is that I am able to look at the whole picture objectively, how I felt then and feel now and how the experience of that January changed the lives of the whole patrol.’ ~Andy McNab
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Corgi (23 May 2013)
A dark shadow over our Army – Iraq torture death report: Chief slams Brits’ assault
By David Willets, Defence Correspondent
Published: 09 Sep 2011
The sadism of a handful of Brit troops implicated in an Iraqi dad’s death was blasted yesterday as a “dark shadow” over our Army’s proud reputation.
Last night the squaddies involved were waiting to learn if they face charges as their brutality against captives in Basra was laid bare in a sickening dossier.
The report — into the death of innocent father-of-two Baha Mousa — exposed them as savagely out of control as prisoners were put through hell.
Army supremo General Sir Peter Wall said of the high standards expected of our forces: “The shameful circumstances of Baha Mousa’s death have cast a dark shadow on that reputation. This must not happen again.”
Go here to read the full article in The Sun
by Andy McNab
“This was an isolated incident where the command and control structure completely broke down.
But don’t judge the rest of the Army on the behaviour of this bunch.
The Army is not a knitting club, we train our men to be aggressive, to fight and to kill.
Their lives depend on it. But that aggression must be controlled.
What happened here was the chain of command did not have a grip on it.
They lost control and the consequences were tragic. But it is an isolated incident. You have to welcome this report, no one is covering up.”
On the 20th anniversary of the start of the 1991 Gulf war, politicians, soldiers and a journalist look back
16 January 2011
Andy McNab is the pseudonym of a former member of the SAS and author of Bravo Two Zero, the story of a failed special forces mission. He received the distinguished conduct medal.
“My most vivid memory of the Gulf war is the morning of 24 January when the eight-man SAS patrol I was commanding, during a covert mission north-west of Baghdad, was compromised by a seven-year-old Iraqi boy. The boy was herding goats in the middle of the desert, and happened to pick out the one tiny wadi where our patrol planned to hide up until last light, and stumbled upon us. I remember his eyes grew wide as saucers in shock and fear. After a split second, he then ran off screaming and shouting, towards the Iraqi anti-aircraft gun crew stationed close by. This resulted in the deaths of three of our patrol members, with four more of us captured and tortured by the Iraqis. Only one patrol member escaped. Being captured and tortured has had a profound effect on the way I now conduct my life. I feel both lucky and guilty about being one of those that survived. But having come through the torture and the mock executions, I endeavour never to take life for granted, and always try to do my best to help others who have experienced war and are still suffering.”
For full article go to The Guardian
We at Grey Man’s Land support our soldiers and we certainly support the fight against PTSD. Organisations such as Help for Heroes and Talking 2 Minds rightfully do everything they can to help serving and ex-soldiers battle Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and a more worthy undertaking is hard to imagine.
In our haste to honour and help soldiers, however, we often forget the innocent victims of war, the civilians who are killed, maimed, and made to suffer in ways far worse than what most battle-hardened soldiers ever have to endure.
Good soldiers, both British and American, inadvertently kill or cripple civilians on a regular basis — it’s war, and collateral damage is a part of it. I’m not blaming the soldiers, but at the same time I have enough human decency to consider the lives of the civilians equally worthy and the PTSD of the survivors just as real.
So, this Christmas season, I implore our readers to look beyond the military charities we regularly mention here and give a little to help the truly innocent victims.
The International Red Cross does so much to alleviate the suffering of civilians in war zones, and as McNab can attest, they help soldiers, too. Please continue supporting our troops and the organisations that help them out, but let’s give a hand to the often-forgotten civilians as well.
10 November 2010
‘If ‘waterboarding’ stops terror then it’s worth it’
George Bush’s defence of “waterboarding” torture was backed by two fathers of 7/7 bombing victims yesterday.
John Taylor, whose daughter Carrie died in the 2005 atrocities, said anyone who had endured grief like his family would put their loved one’s life ahead of the human rights of terrorists.
He believes information gained from the waterboarding of suspects – such as that described by ex-US President Mr Bush in his memoirs Decision Points – should be acted on to save victims like Carrie, 24.
Go here to read the full article in The Sun
By ANDY McNAB
Sun Security Advisor Tortured By Saddam
“I WOULD happily waterboard a terrorist and take my chances in court as I know a jury wouldn’t convict me.
There is a strong argument FOR waterboarding and other forms of torture when it is a matter of tactical questioning for immediate information.
I’m not talking about long-term torturing. That’s pointless.
But if I were in a position where the President had said Yes or No to torture, I would do it – and take my chances. When lives are on the line you must do what you can to save them.”