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Thread: the dreadful dilemma....

  1. #1
    Military Professional
    Join Date
    05 Nov 04

    the dreadful dilemma....

    as you may have seen in the Media, two very senior UK generals - Gen Sir Mike Jackson, CGS and Prince of Darkness, and Lt General Tim Cross, the senior UK officer involved in planning for post-war Iraq, have made strident criticism of US actions both pre and post-war - and the 'non' action of the UK government when it was told about those idiocies.

    both, particularly Mike Jackson, have faced enormous criticism from within the service community for saying such things now they have a book to flog, but not - apparently - when this debacle was on the start-line.

    the question is, what do you do?

    perhaps this moral question should be set in two ways, what do you do as a very senior officer and what do you do as a junior officer?

    if, as is rumoured, the Chief of the Defence Staff - Admiral Boyce - very seriously considered his position in the run-up to Iraq over the legality of the operation, what then should he do? he could stay - believing his duty to obey what are 'legal' orders to be greater than his duty to obey his conscience, he could resign his commision, he could ask to be relieved, he could go on TV, make a public statement and wait to get fired, or perhaps the unholy of unholies, he could sit tight and upon 'H hour' countermand the order to attack.

    what then of the problem of conscience when your options are to do the wrong thing or expose the flank of the unit next to you? which duty comes first: you duty to 'right' or your duty to your colleagues?

    so gentlemen, what do you do when the order says 'go', but the conscience says 'no'?

    notes: i didn't have the strength of my convictions, and i get to live that abject moral failure - it's just that i won't get to write a book about it.
    before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes.................... then when you do criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  2. #2
    Officer of Engineers
    I resign and make my resignation a public event ... but I will stay on until I made sure my 2IC can do my job effectively.

  3. #3
    Military Professional
    Join Date
    15 Sep 06
    In the old days someone in that position would have immediately tendered his resignation which would have the effect of bringing shame on the government. To Thine Own Self Be True was the dictum of the times.
    Semper in excretum. Solum profunda variat.

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