Ex-colonel points to service opposition to Blair-Bush
Kevin Cranston, a former colonel who organised
helicopter support for
the British army in the 1991 Gulf war and now the
Green Party's military
policy advisor, has drawn attention to unrest amongst
personnel about the impending "unjustified, futile
counter-productive" attack on Iraq.
Kevin Cranston said today:
"The use of British troops in a futile act of
aggression the like of which
has not been seen since Suez and the
colonial wars at the start of the 20th
Century is undermining morale and
changing the ethos of the British
"Tony Blair is pushing for a war which three-quarters or more of
population oppose. In 1991 there was support from across the
East, now there is virtually none. Saddam is not a threat to
either in military terms or as a terrorist. Since the Gulf War he
been able to re-equip his forces and there is no way he could
anyone else. An attack would be immoral.
"A lot of
soldiers are deeply concerned about the current situation.
They joined to
defend Britain, not to mount unjustified attacks on
The 50-year-old former
helicopter pilot, now a Green Party councillor in
Stroud, Gloucestershire and
an environmental consultant, continued: "As
a British soldier the Northern
Ireland experience taught me that you
could never beat terrorism by military
means alone - and that less
aggressive means, including negotiation, the
building of trust and
confidence gradually pay off."
stressed "There is no connection between Saddam and
al-Qaeda, however much
George Bush and Tony Blair might try to con
people into believing there is.
The truth is that Saddam is a virtual
atheist in a secular country, while bin
Laden is a Muslim
fundamentalist. They are less likely to cooperate than Ian
"Even if Saddam were sponsoring terrorism in
Britain, there would be no
point in bombing Iraq. At best it would be futile.
At worst it would sow
the seeds of hostility against Britain for decades to
come and provoke
terrorist attacks on this country.
"The UN is left
with the unpalatable options of appearing to side with
the bullies or being
unable to restrain them."
He concluded "It seems all too likely that this
war is going to happen,
probably in a few weeks time but there is still hope.
This is why I will
be marching on Saturday and urge as many people as
possible to join us."