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TomTom

Crap. The Americans would use any incident where Prince Harry was harmed as a green light to attack Iran.

The British are simply frightened of giving the Us a Gulf of Tonkin excuse to unleash any contingency plans to neutralise Iran

JF

TomTom, are you in support of an attack on Iran or opposed to it? It's hard to tell from your statement. More on point, why allow the royal family to serve in the armed forces if they will not be allowed to actually fight? I thought that service was one of the last tangible justifications for the symbolism of monarchy, and now even that is gone.

Joseph

This has been a PR disaster all round.
Firstly Prince Harry should have been discouraged along with Prince William from going into the Military in the first place.

Current conflicts are not like WW1,WW2, Korea or even the Falklands in which their uncle the Duke of York served.
The Royal Family, their advisors and General Dannatt ought to have known just what the press and media would be like as soon as it was even suggested that the young Prince would be going to Iraq, it was like posting it on a bill-board instead of saying "Your Country Needs you" it could have read "I am Harry come and catch me if you can". It had the same effect and what's more there was a world-wide audience. What ever happened to "Careless talk cost lives"?
Not only would he be a prime target he would also put the soldiers under him at even greater risk.
This is a catalogue of errors from start to finish, it was bound to attract the despots around the Middle East.
What a scalp he would have been and the propaganda gained from it would have been a feather in the caps of the Mad Mullahs and Imams. Had any harm come to him I shudder to think just what the reaction would be in this country. One could not make this up it would be laughable if not so serious.

Richmond

Clearly the Prince Harry debacle isn't good, but I would take some exception to the Americans advising us on such matters. I suspect it's just the view of this blog though, which tends go over the top with anti-British / pro-American dogma.

It's a unique situation in unique times.

It's right that the two princes should be in one of the armed services. I suspect the Army is probably the wrong one. What else can they do?

dad dog

Britain afraid to put royals on the front line?

Is this the nation of Arthur? Richard Coeur de Leon? Henry V?

David Holdway

Indeed, I agree with dad dog, but perhaps it was wrong for him to join the Army in the first place. If he would have joined the Royal Navy like most second sons of heirs have done then the situation could have been more tightly controlled.

I feel sorry for his as he is now going to be attacked for not going when the decision was taken out of his hands. We have a media far too ready to bring people down and precipitate crises such as these.

steevo

Prince Harry is a "debacle" :-D

I think most Americans take the chap with a huge grain of salt. We don't have such pomp for a family's tradition and generally don't take yours serious. Its more of a celebrity status especially after Diana came along.

TomTom

I think most Americans take the chap with a huge grain of salt.

So pleased. With a draft-dodger President, a draft-dodger Vice-President; a draft-dodger President preceding Bush, and a draft-dodger Veep under Bush Sr I don't think we need to listen too much to our tin soldiers on the Potomac

steevo

Somebody's panties are damn tight over the royal baby.

TomTom

More on point, why allow the royal family to serve in the armed forces if they will not be allowed to actually fight?

because they become Colonels of Regiments as is Princess Anne and Prince Charles. The Oath of allegiance is to the Crown not the party political regime in power.

I see no merit in using members of the Royal Family as soldiers in combat - pretty stupid really...they are a liability to those serving with them. Pat Tillman did a hell of a lot of good in Afghanistan before his own unit killed him

TomTom

TomTom

Somebody's panties are damn tight over the royal baby.

Posted by: steevo | May 18, 2007 at 09:57 PM

Sorry to hear that steve, why not take them off and put them over your head ?

steevo

I wasn't putting the guy down. I thought Mr Harnden was taking himself much too serious over Harry, but maybe I'm half wrong. Its you Brits not us Americans who look down on the situation with shame.

ToMTom

Its you Brits not us Americans who look down on the situation with shame.

Not at all. I just don't think he's important. We have an overstretched force with inadequate equipment trying to hold on and fearing an uprising....it seems pointless to send in a celebrity to make things worse.

If Britain loses control in Basra the US army will have to fight its way out of Iraq

JF

TomTom,

because they become Colonels of Regiments as is Princess Anne and Prince Charles. The Oath of allegiance is to the Crown not the party political regime in power.

I see no merit in using members of the Royal Family as soldiers in combat - pretty stupid really...they are a liability to those serving with them. Pat Tillman did a hell of a lot of good in Afghanistan before his own unit killed him

I am not intimately familiar with governance in the UK, but isn't the monarch the head of state? And isn't the government technically appointed by the monarch? So a war would thus have the implicit approval of the monarchy, and the oath of allegiance, if taken seriously, should bind the royal family member to execute the orders of his government (a government granted legitimacy by the monarch). I don't see the conflict, but perhaps I have it wrong. I'm sure you'll correct me if I do.

As for Pat Tillman, it speaks volumes about how far apart our two nations have drifted that we view him as an American hero for having sacrificed so much for the good of the country, however unfortunate his end, and you and the British media treat him with scorn.

Out of curiosity, does the UK view itself as an indispensable ally of the US? Let's keep in mind the context of 170,000 US troops (and increasing) stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan compared with approximately 15,000 UK troops in the same two theaters. At this point, it may be best for our two countries to part ways so that we can be further unencumbered by any restraints.

steevo

"I just don't think he's important." You've taken this much too personal. Regardless of our real differences with the war, that is my point. He's one man and away from combat, so what.

Machiavelli's Understudy

As has been discussed elsewhere, this would have been an ideal opportunity to draw the enemy out and draw fire. Almost like shooting fish in a barrel.

The way I see it, one of the problems we face is that the bastards are so hard to find in the first instance.

tired and emotional

that had occurred to me also... come kill our ginger monkey adnan, oh dear did we shoot you, terribly sorry!

Machiavelli's Understudy

JF is welcome to his PoV that friends are dispensable.

I hear it's lonely up on the high horse, anyway.

JF

Machiavelli's Understudy, my point was directed at the "woe is me, the US is screwing us" attitude displayed by so many here. I am an Anglophile and would love to see the British finally liquidate that stronghold of socialism, the NHS, and redirect the funds to defense spending so that Britain can avoid situations like the Iran hostage crisis and Harrygate. But since this is unlikely to happen, I'd prefer the the UK just withdraw from the coalition and wither away quietly so that our shared enemies don't get any ideas about attacking an unnaturally weak UK.

We've been here before, when the UK and Canada refused to help the US with Vietnam, and it only damaged our relationship for a decade or so. We can survive another journey alone as the moral leader of the world. God bless Australia, though.

Steevo

A big hiccup here and for what.

God bless those Brit soldiers in the field too. They believe in their cause and are second to none and anyone can go to Michael Yon as he embedded with them to find out.

Phil Jackson

JF:

We can survive another journey alone as the moral leader of the world.

We've been there a few times too. In fact, it’s good to see America still clinging to that old British tradition.


God bless Australia, though.

Sure; after all, we founded the place. But if you dig out the Australian KIA figures for Iraq and Afghanistan you'll find it's still a very round number.


And now go and read >this – and you will see why some Americans (those who have been at the front end) still value the British connection.

JF

Phil Jackson, of course I have read the Michael Yon material (and Michael Totten and the Pajamas Media and Redstate testaments), and of course I appreciate what the British troops are doing on behalf of the war on terror. What I don't appreciate are the British politicians in a hurry to withdraw the British troops, and the British people focused on American mistakes (of course we made mistakes, everyone is sorry for that), but the focus is at the expense of the bigger picture--the war on terror. Read the snide comment above about Pat Tillman and death through friendly fire. I recognize the British heritage of promoting free trade and [in a manner of speaking] democracy, but that burden is now carried by the US and not Britain. Britain has studiously walked away from that role by making a mockery of its once world-class military.

What I am saying, though, is that the UK will necessarily do what it thinks is necessary, and if demilitarization and anti-Americanism is the path it chooses, it should not be under the mistaken impression that such a course will increase its leverage over the US. Such a choice didn't stop the US in Vietnam, and it won't stop us in Iraq. Australia has its own divisions on the participation in the war on terror, but the discussion isn't nearly to the same level of Britain's "what do we get out of it?"

You can celebrate over the fact that what will stop us are our own cowardly politicians. You can depend on that. After you've celebrated our defeat, it might be worthwhile to reflect: if the US has lost, who won?

TomTom

I am not intimately familiar with governance in the UK, but isn't the monarch the head of state? And isn't the government technically appointed by the monarch? So a war would thus have the implicit approval of the monarchy, and the oath of allegiance,

The Crown in Parliament rules the country. The Monarch has little power but is Head of State but not Head of Government. The Monarchy cannot and does not interfere in political decisions. Executive Powers such as war and finance belong to The Prime Minister who is the man that can command a majority in The House of Commons (Lower House) and pass a Budget.

That is the way it works. We avoid politicising the Armed Forces and Judiciary by having the fiction that they are apppointed by The Queen. The Army is in fact under the control of the Government especially since the 1885 Army Act.

As for whether the US wants to invite Britain to dances any more, you have semingly no idea of reality. Blair has blinded you clearly.

We have a very small Army - the smallest since 1913. We do not have the huge Indian Army we once had. We have an Army barely hanging on in Basra. What deals are being cut with Iranian agents there I don't know, needless to say the British would be kicked out of Basra if it suited the Iranians.

Blair committed to an adventure with inadequate equipment, too few soldiers (have laid off 4 infantry battalions) and no battle plan post-invasion.

You sound JF as if Britain was in control and with huge reserves of men and materiel. The brutal fact is that Britain is "Doing Basra on $1000 a Day"...Blair has bootstrapped forces which are subscale and poorly equippped.

TomTom

does the UK view itself as an indispensable ally of the US?

Comments like this are amusing. You have no idea. Blair has committed the largest British Army priocurement programme since 1945 to integrating the British Army into the EU - a $28 billion programme for new armoured vehicles with a C3I system incompatible with the US.

The 1998 St Malo Agreement was when Blair linked British Armed Forces into France and the EU.

He is two-faced. He has allowed Defence Cuts even as the Army is fighting in Iraq.

You live on another planet and have some weird notions of a country with the population of California in an area the size of Michigan, and Defence Budget of $60 billion

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