I read in today’s paper that at the inquest into the death of Sgt Steven Roberts – the 1st UK soldier killed in Iraq, the coroner has found that the Army’s “unforgiveable and inexusable” failure to provide basic pieces of equipment contributed greatly to his untimely death.
“To send soldiers into a combat zone without the appropriate basic equipment is, in my view, unforgiveable and inexcusable and represents a breach of trust that the soldiers have in those in government.”
Verdict of Coroner.
Sgt Roberts was killed by not-so-friendly fire from a Challenger tank. He had given his own body armour to another after being told to by a senior officer. It is reported that when he died he was clad in “makeshift armour… made by stuffing pieces of padding into his fatigues and sticking them together with black masking tape.”
If I were a soldier, this would be enough for me to desert.
Sadly, Sgt Roberts was only one of the first of a great many unforgiveable and inexusable deaths.
Blair could be swinging from a tree for his crimes. But the rest of his life behind bars will suffice.