The Lady Speaks

Why the British Army Rocks

We’ve all heard the worrying and watched the hand-wringing over Prince Harry’s deployment to Iraq with his unit.

The papers and the blogs and the televisions have been abuzz. Harry’s presence in Iraq makes him a target, a “high-value target” – to coin a phrase. There’s supposedly a £250,000 bounty on his little freckled face.

Should he stay home or should he go? That’s what it boiled down to. And for all the legitimate reasons why this might not be such a great idea, there were as many equally compelling reasons why he should be allowed to do the very thing for which he’s trained.

Yes. His presence does put all British troops in more danger. But those same troops – and the citizens of many countries – respect a man who chooses not to use his “get out of war free” card.

Yes. It’s not going to look good for Britain (or the US) if Harry – the second child of the late Lady Di – is killed in combat or kidnapped and/or assassinated by insurgents. But, in case no one’s noticed, things aren’t looking too good for them anyway when it comes to the Iraq war.

Yes. He is only one man, and no one man can make a difference – for or against – in this current nightmare. But, he is also a man who has chosen to train for war. Are we going to tell him it was wasted?

In a way, Harry’s decision to take an active role with his regiment has given us all a big taste of the “What if?” haunting every single military family. “What if…they don’t come back?” Sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – all feeling that same dread, asking themselves that same terrible “What if…”

What if Harry becomes the first Royal in quite some time to die in combat? What if British troops die because insurgents were targeting Harry? What if he is kidnapped and used as a bargaining chip by insurgents in order to force the US and Britain out of Iraq, and what if the Royal Family is forced to allow Parliament to decide the fate of Her Majesty’s second grandchild as a result? And what if Parliament has to do just that – decide between his life and their commitment to the US?

Well, he’s going. Harry, with what can only be called courage, told his superiors (including his grandmother) that he would not allow himself to be treated any differently than those in his unit. If they go, he goes; being third in line to the throne doesn’t give him any special privilege to avoid danger.

And so, in a fit of solidarity with their Prince, his unit has banded together to send a message to their countrymen and the insurgents.

From Bill Moyers, on HuffPo:

So guess what his comrades — his fellow soldiers — are doing? Rather than petition the Queen to keep the young man home, they have gotten shirts printed up with the words across them: “I’m Harry.” Marvelous, no? The commoners and the Prince are in this together: one for all and all for one. What a notion — that war should be the great equalizer, that no one’s son or daughter is privileged from duty or danger.

As Bill says: Marvelous, no?

From imharry.com:

Prince Harry’s proposed tour of duty in Iraq is hugely controversial. The insurgents have apparently put a £250,000 price tag on his head. His regiment, and every British soldier serving in Iraq are at greater risk then ever before. Michael Portillo says it would be a ‘disaster’ if the Prince were kidnapped or killed. There are enormous security considerations, a massive dilemma for the Army and a ludicrous PR coup for the extremists.

Hang on a minute. Who’s side are we on? Are we scared of the threats and extremist propaganda? Prince Harry isn’t and neither are we. Let’s back him up. Just like Spartacus.

Think about it. How will the extremists be able to tell the Prince apart from his colleagues? How will they know who the real Prince is?

The answer is they don’t know. And if we all wear the new exclusive limited edition ‘I’m Harry’ ® t-shirt they’ll be more confused than ever.

From ananova:

Militants have pledged to kill Prince Harry in Iraq and the T-shirts are intended as a humorous display of camaraderie.

A senior military source said: “Soldiers are well known for having operational tour T-shirts and also for pulling together to support each other.

“Prince Harry is highly respected by his comrades as a young officer and for what he is doing in the Armed Forces.”

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May 11, 2007 - Posted by | Britain, Humor, Military, War

2 Comments »

  1. The support Harry has from his fellow soldiers is nice to know and it seems earned. h/t to him. But I would much rather he spoke against the war than offering himself to it.

    Comment by mirth | May 12, 2007 | Reply

  2. I, too, would rather he spoke out against the war, but I don’t respect him less for not doing so. Just like our servicemembers, Harry isn’t allowed to speak against his government – unless he resigns his commission.

    And his other role as a Royal constrains him just as much.

    Comment by PA_Lady | May 12, 2007 | Reply


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