2010
08.12

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.
Cheers.

2010
26.11

After a tough day of EOD, you’ve gotta cut loose…

2010
10.11

The Sun
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

My View
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.”

2010
21.08

The last U.S. combat troops have finally left Iraq, and Andy McNab agrees with those of us who think the timing was just right. Commenting in The Sun, McNab made it clear that, though the withdrawal is a positive, Iraq’s troubles are far from over:

DON’T be fooled by the US soldiers whooping and hollering, claiming it’s all over – it’s far from over in Iraq.

But it IS time for the combat troops to leave…

Of course the Iraqi government want troops to stay, it brings them free manpower. They will be the first to claim it’s too early.

But they’ve still got vast amounts of manpower at their disposal supplied by the US, who really ought to be thinking about the problems in Afghanistan.
The time has come for Iraq to start standing on its own two feet.

Read the full article at thesun.co.uk

2010
29.05

FiveBooks
Andy McNab on Anti-Terror, The Politics of War
Published 27 May 2010

Andy’s ‘Five Books’ are My Friend the Mercenary (James Brabazon), Crusades (Terry Jones and Alan Ereira), 52 Days (James Fergusso), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (Siegfried Sassoon) and: 

Your fifth choice is a Ministry of Defence green paper.

“Yes, a bit geeky this one. This is an MOD green paper pre-empting the white paper and it’s a very clear and concise document about the politics of war. We are a trading nation and we will go to war to keep our trading routes clear. Alan Greenspan said we went to war in Iraq for the oil, and he was right. The fuel is coming on line now (the army is getting a deal for something like five pence a litre) and, though Basra is never going to be a day out in Margate, things have calmed down because people are making money. It’s about the freedom of goods, services and information and to secure our food and resources. That’s the way we do it. We don’t send in the gunships any more, but we go into joint operations with America because they have the same doctrine as us. We are in Afghanistan because we need stability in the region…”

Interview by Anna Blundy

Go here to read the full interview about Andys book choices on the FiveBooks website

2010
06.05

Ah sigh, thought we were done with politics, but politics is not done with us it seems. Today the Daily Mail digs up stuff from 2005 to make their point against labour:

“SAS defied MoD to rescue two of its men held hostage in Iraq as top commanders ‘prepared to quit’ over ban on mission”:
The SAS launched a daring mission to rescue two of its own men held hostage in Iraq against the orders of the Ministry of Defence, the Daily Mail can reveal. The elite unit was pushed to the brink of mutiny after it was banned from saving the SAS soldiers captured by militants because to do so would embarrass the Government. The astonishing edict drove SAS officers close to mass resignation, according to a hardhitting report by the Tory MP Adam Holloway, a former Guards officer.

Details of the incident in 2005 expose the shameful way the Armed Forces have become politicised under Labour – with political spin put before soldiers’ lives.

And here comes the good part:

Mr Holloway’s explosive account is supported by General Sir Mike Jackson, who was head of the Army at the time but only learned of the scandal later. General Jackson last night made clear his disgust at the way soldiers were asked to sacrifice their men for political reasons, shattering the sacred military covenant that no man is left behind on the battlefield. He told the Mail: ‘The story as you relate it chimes with my memory of the events. It was not only a brave but a very necessary operation to release those two captured soldiers. The British Army looks after its own. Underline that three times.’

Read the full article in the Daily Mail here

Three years prior to these events, in 2002,  members of Bravo Two Zero stated in a BBC Panorama documentary:

SAS patrol ‘left to die’

Eight SAS soldiers in the Gulf War were abandoned by their commanders after their mission went wrong, a BBC investigation suggests.
Requests for rescue made by the Bravo Two Zero patrol – operating behind enemy lines, with patrol leader Andy McNab – were ignored until it was too late, the BBC Panorama programme says.

Three of the patrol were killed, four were captured and tortured and one escaped during the ill-fated mission to destroy Iraqi Scud missiles in 1991.
The official inquiry into what went wrong has always maintained that no comprehensible messages for help were ever received.

But Panorama has seen an SAS log recording calls for assistance from the patrol, which it says shows emergency requests were received, ignored and covered up.

You can read the full transcript of the Panorama documentary here

THE SECRET SAS LOG ENTRIES

THURSDAY 24TH JANUARY 1991: B Sqn Northern MSR gp reported that they had been compromised and requested exfil asp. Exfil did not take place as it was unclear whether they had had a contact or if it was a chance compromise.

FRIDAY 25TH: B20 made TACBE contact again, it was reasonable to assume that…they were moving South. A CH 47 crew were on standby for B20 and as from now >there will be 1 crew on permanent standby.

SATURDAY 26TH: Poss further communication from B20 using TACBE to a passing F15, this contact came from a location on the main E&E route. Op mounted tonight to pull them out. (CH 47 returned to Al Jouf without completing the mission due to bad weather.)

So..if the Daily Mail can dig up old cows.. so can we 😉