This soldier is a hero

Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-SmithSup­port our troops” is the man­tra of the day. It’s code for “shut up and sup­port the war.” Many mil­it­ary people may get played for pawns but some are my biggest her­oes, and the new­est hap­pens to be a expat Kiwi. (Hat tip No Right Turn)

Flight Lieu­ten­ant Mal­colm Kendall-Smith, born in Aus­tralia and raised in New Zea­l­and, is a dec­or­ated Brit­ish army officer who refused to return to Iraq on grounds that the US-led inva­sion of Iraq was illegal. On 5 Octo­ber 2005 he was charged with refus­ing to obey orders. He’s the first Brit­ish officer to face crim­inal charges for chal­len­ging the leg­al­ity of the war.

His soli­citor, Justin Hugheston-Roberts, told the Sunday Times “He is not arguing that he is a con­scien­tious objector. He is arguing that the war is mani­festly unlawful.”

Accord­ing to a col­league, “He takes the view this is some­thing which is worth going to prison for.”

This guy is a hero.

Update: A couple more links. This one gives a little insight into what makes this guy tick. Appar­ently he has a med­ical degree and a post­gradu­ate qual­i­fic­a­tion in philo­sophy from Otago Uni­ver­sity. His philo­sophy thesis, a 65-page bound cri­tique on the philo­sopher Immanuel Kant, grapples with eth­ics, human free­dom and mor­al­ity. I’d say Tony Blair and his cronies are a little wor­ried at this point. As Kendall-Smith’s main legal spokes­man points out, the rami­fic­a­tions of the case are quite awe­some. Joun­al­ist John Pil­ger elab­or­ates; it could force Bri­tain before the Inter­na­tional Crim­inal Court for war crimes. Yummy.

Update: Photo updated (19 March, 2006).


2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. rose,

    Mal­com Kendall-Smith is my hero.


    I am a sci­ence teacher but recently had to teach Social Stud­ies.
    I feel com­pelled to look at human rights, not just for my class but for myself. As the chil­dren inform me, basic humans rights are so clear cut. They have clear views and so do I. I, as an indi­vidual, with no cul­tural or reli­gious or polict­ical stance pres­sured on to me, know that Kendall-Smith is a hero.

  2. Paul,

    He’s no hero, he’s a cow­ard, he joined the Royal Air Force (not the Army as detailed above) and in doing so agreed to do as ordered. He didn’t do as ordered and there­fore has faced a court mar­tial, if officers and air­men could simply pick and choose where they go and what they do the RAF would be totally inef­fect­ive and the whole way the RAF works would fall to pieces, people like him should not be allowed in the forces and I am glad he’s been punished.

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