Socialist Worker

Anti-war soldier faces jail as Brown gets off

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2191

A war criminal and an anti-war soldier both faced questioning this Friday. One will get off with no repercussions – the other could be sent to prison for two years.

Gordon Brown has tried to keep his distance from the Iraq war, hoping that the legacy of mass murder will be left with Tony Blair. But Brown’s hands are far from clean.

He wrote the cheques for the war, funding the destruction that rained down on Iraq.

And in the run up to the war Brown was “absolutely core” in shoring up support amongst backbenchers, insists Sally Morgan, one of Blair’s key aides.

Brown says the Iraq war is all over now – but it isn’t. There are still thousands of US and British troops in the country.

And the lasting legacy of devastation and chaos created by the occupation continues to blight the lives of millions of Iraqis.

Over 40 British troops have died in Iraq since Brown took over from Blair. Over 200 have died in Afghanistan.

That’s in addition to the uncounted civilians murdered.

Some 68 percent of people in Britain now want all the troops home from Afghanistan by Christmas.

The questioning of Brown at the Iraq inquiry this week will be as pathetic as it was for Tony Blair. But Joe Glenton, the soldier who refused to fight Blair and Brown’s dirty war in Afghanistan, faces prison.

When Joe was sent to Afghanistan he believed he would be ensuring water and food supplies reached the population, and that the army would help to rebuild a devastatingly poor country.

He was wrong.

Joe saw the destruction that the Nato forces were causing in Afghanistan and tried to talk to his superiors about how troubled he was by what he had seen.

He was told to “get a grip”. It became too much for Joe, who went absent without leave (Awol) and fled the country after the army told him he had to return for a second tour.

After two years he returned to Britain and turned himself in. Since then the army and the establishment have hounded him.

Joe has refused to be crushed by his experiences and has spoken out repeatedly to the media and on demonstrations about the futility and inhumanity of the war in Afghanistan.


He has become a figurehead for the anti-war movement. The army has tried repeatedly to silence him, bringing extra charges against him for speaking out.

Joe broke Queen’s Orders to lead a demonstration against the war in Afghanistan through central London in October last year.

The political crisis in Afghanistan, the collapse of support for the war in Britain and the movement’s pressure to free Joe has achieved fantastic results.

The army have dropped trumped up charges they tried to bring against Joe for telling the truth about the war that politicians don’t want us to hear.

But he still faces two years in jail for going Awol.

We should protest to defend Joe Glenton – and expose butcher Brown.

Protest to defend Joe Glenton. 9.30am Friday 5 March, at the Military Court Centre, Merville Barracks, off Butt Rd, Colchester CO2. Call 020 7801 2768 for transport details

Protest at the Iraq inquiry. Blood on Gordon Brown’s hands. Assemble 8.30am, Friday 5 March, at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster SW1. Go to » for more info

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Tue 2 Mar 2010, 18:07 GMT
Issue No. 2191
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