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It is acts like this that will drive people to terrorism

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 04, 2013

By Reg Lewis

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It is truly amazing to believe that in the enlightened 21st century there are still some people in this country who openly express such perverse views such as those imparted by D J Widger (In My Opinion, November 21).

Firstly, when he criticised the recent editorial of the Western Morning News for the paper's view in relation to the murderous action of "Marine A" in a recent Court Martial, Mr Widger is effectively saying that the due legal process was flawed (which it clearly wasn't), just because he himself disagreed with the outcome.

Indeed, Mr Widger's only criticism of this renegade was not that he had committed a truly dreadful crime, but that he got caught doing so – almost to the point that the victim's life didn't matter.

I very much doubt if Mr Widger sat in on the Court Martial, so we must infer that he has therefore almost certainly only formed his opinion from the various snippets which he has picked up in the media; hardly the full picture, is it? Fortunately, those who command our forces have rightly come out in support of the Court Martial's procedure and its final decision.

Secondly, for Mr Widger to say that once this convicted murderer is released from prison he ought to be re-employed by HM Forces "to combat terrorism" is a slur on all personnel (past and present) who have managed to undertake this very task without once stepping outside the boundaries of the law or human decency. The last thing that any soldier, sailor or airman needs in a war-zone is some trigger happy hero or ill-disciplined individual who invariably ends up putting his own colleagues' lives at risk. Everybody trained in HM Forces is instilled with discipline – just as children are taught the difference between right and wrong. Even under the pressure which "Marine A" was at the time of the incident in question, he knew precisely (and just as importantly, the Court Martial found that he knew) that what he was going was totally wrong.

In just the same way, if a drunk throws a supermarket trolley in your garden at night, it's no defence for him to claim that he didn't know what he was doing because of his intoxicated state.

There is also a rather nasty undertone to Mr Widger's view when he implies that terrorism is somehow directly attributable to immigration. Notwithstanding the fact that atrocities by the IRA in Northern Ireland, by the Baader-Meinhof Group in Germany, by the Red Brigades in Italy, and by the Shining Path in Latin America have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with immigration, the arguable undertone from Mr Widger is that all immigrants are potential terrorists. In fact, if anything is likely to drive disgruntled individuals into terrorism, it is the treatment which they receive at the hands of the likes of "Marine A", who can end up acting indirectly as little more than a recruitment sergeant for terrorist groups.

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