I am sickened by the sight of pacifist Norman Kember being given a VIP reception on his return to Britain. God alone knows what the old fool's idiocy has cost the British taxpayer, or what dangers it has brought to our men at arms.
His grudging acknowledgement of the role of armed force in rescuing him is typical. I am shocked however that our Army appears to have given his organisation an undertaking not to rescue the old fool unless it could be reasonably sure that none of the murderous jihadists holding him would be killed. Hence, presumably, the bizarre arrangement under which the captured member of the group who gave the information necessary to make the rescue was allowed to telephone his comrades to warn them to leave.
This is at one with Kember's failure to cooperate with British intelligence after his rescue - denying them information that might have been used to protect future targets.
Pacifists like Kember can deny the need for armed force in the world as much as they like. The particular use of armed force he was protesting in Iraq is admittedly not the best example, having begun in political deceit and continued in political incompetence. Kember is not quite as wrong on this point as he was when he and his CND friends wanted us to surrender our weapons unilaterally at the height of the Cold War. They were the useful fools of the Soviet Union and, had their disgraceful campaign succeeded, that notably Christian and peaceful regime might still exist.
When he refuses to cooperate with the armed forces of his nation in protecting others; when he insists on members of hostile forces being protected, then he oversteps the bounds of principled pacifism and reveals himself for the traitor he is. There is no force on Earth so evil, it seems to me, that Norman Kember will not favour it over his own nation.
BBC NEWS | UK | Freed Kember thanks rescue troops