It's Armed Forces Day today. [H/T Cherie]
The first Armed Forces Day is 27 June 2009, and is an opportunity for the nation to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.
A worthy thing to be sure and it's just a pity that the government couldn't have treated our boys and girls better. So this day is not just an opportunity for the average citizen to come out and support the armed forces, it's also a time to roundly castigate a government which has placed them in the danger they are in.
Henry Kissinger was quoted in the book “Kiss the Boys Goodbye", written by a Vietnam Vet.
"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
Quite frankly, I have problems with material like that. As ex-military myself, sharing beliefs with such people as Steve Green and James Cleverly on the military, a check of my "About" reveals a man who believes in G-d, Queen and country.
Now read what James Cleverly said here:
I felt almost sick reading this blog post in the Telegraph [Telegraph has now deleted it] about the breakdown in relationship between the British military and local Iraqi forces.
The short-termism in Gordon Brown's government has created a situation where the troops in Iraq can no longer do their job but are still at risk from daily attacks.
Angus today on this problem:
No planes for Paras it seems that the iraq war has led to a shortage of Hercules transport planes for paras to jump out of.
When the Iraq war began in 2003 the Armed Forces had 51 Hercules available, but four have been shot down or destroyed in Iraq and Afghanistan and at least nine have had to be retired due to the intense workload. The remaining fleet is working flat out to support operations abroad.
In some units barely half the Paras are certified to jump - with hundreds unable to earn their wings or maintain their skills once qualified.
Recruits must complete a course of at least six jumps - culminating in a massed low-level jump from a Hercules at night, wearing full kit - plus two more with their unit to gain their coveted 'wings' badge and become fully-fledged Paras.After that they cease to be operationally deployable unless they can jump twice a year.
Many have already lost their entitlement to specialist pay of £5 pay per day because they have failed to jump at all for two years.
Recent figures have shown just 55 per cent of soldiers in the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment are certified to jump.
With senior officers in uproar, the MoD has finally admitted the scale of the problem and agreed to hire a fleet of much smaller civilian Skyvan aircraft - normally used for amateur skydiving flights.
I'm with Lt Gen Dannart who said enough is enough.
Armed Forces Day is a wonderful thing and supporting our troops the right thing to do. It's also important to remember on this day, and to tell them we know, those who would nobble the Armed Forces - this government.
James Cleverly on this day.
[Don't forget that this is also the 7th day for Neda.]