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The Peace Party of the United Kingdom

Human Values rule out Armed Forces Day

Editorial pieces in the Surrey Advertiser of 23rd June 2017 about Armed Forces Day fail to mention that it was instituted by government anxious to reverse the decline in recruitment to the military. The Day is there to encourage young people to love the armed services so much that they would wish to join them.

Let’s be clear, members of the military do far more than is suggested by the “Comment” column – the recognition and celebration of the “efforts of those who put themselves in danger” or of offering “reassurance when our streets were under threat”.  Ultimately, the forces are trained, and there, to obey the orders of the government to kill fellow human beings as well, of course, as being prepared to be killed themselves – in war.

War is nasty – for military and civilians alike.  War is in progress now as we have seen all too clearly on the streets of Manchester and in London.  War doesn’t keep us safe: witness the killing of ordinary folk out and about on their everyday business.  War is much more than flag waving, marching “heroes”, uniforms, medals and cheering on-lookers.  War is death and terrible injury, war is destruction, war is refugees and asylum seekers.

War relies on the antithesis of those universal human values.  How can anyone love or respect or care or show compassion to fellow women, men and children if they elect governments that support killing or the threat to kill?

Could 2017 be the last year Guildford supports Armed Forces Day?  I hope so.

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