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Every-so-often there’s a new story that makes me hang my head in shame with regard to my fellow countrymen. These are usually stories of mass-idiocy, rather than a single person who isn’t really representative of the majority.

This week there have been 2 such stories.

First of all, timber from a cargo ship has been washed up to shore. Although not belonging to them, it’s been scavenged by people.

“The timber is not suitable for building material, it is saturated with salt water…. it is not a case of finders keepers. The timber does have an owner and that is not likely to be the person picking it up off the beach.”

It’s obviously not as bad as last years incident, when people were walking off with others people property, including motorbikes and toys, but still…

The second story comes from the front line soldiers in Afghanistan 1 who are complaining that injured Taliban are being treated alongside their own troops.

Except, it’s always been like that. It’s part of the Geneva convention. Injured “enemy” troops are to be treated the same way as your own troops – army hospitals are often small and make-shift so it’s hardly like that they’ll be able to find private wards for them. However, the army hospitals do try and screen off such people, as well as provide guards. They are, after all, prisoners of war.

Quotes from soldiers include…

“A lot of people are getting injured out there, and the last thing they want to see when they come round is the Taleban on the same ward. It’s just not right.”

Except it is. And another…

“I’m appalled that Taleban are being treated in the same room at the hospital. I know we have to treat them under the Geneva Convention, but no one should have to wake up in the same place as someone who may have injured them or their mates.”

So, they except that they have to follow the Geneva Convention but don’t think they should be in “the same place” (and I’d love to know exactly how specific they mean that to be). So, where, then? Outside on the street?

It doesn’t matter that they are the enemy, that we’re fighting them – we treat them with respectand a level of morality that is often lacking the other way. I’m appalled that the soldiers that are out there representing us, at the front line of that morality, can’t see this.

  1. and, let’s be honest, you’d think they’d have better things to be doing right now[]