Support The Troops- Support Joe Glenton

I got a press release today from some video sharing site called winkball (hmmm) which announced Gordon Brown was the latest ‘celeb’ to video a message of support ‘faces for the Forces campaign aims to collect a million messages of support for the troops serving in Afghanistan‘ there was also a list of celebs who had already done this, winkball also proclaim with a Union Jack ‘Made in Britain’, I can’t wait for their videos supporting UK oil exploration in Las Malvinas… Anyway this is some mischievous PR for war, it is not for example campaigning for better pay and conditions, or for lifelong aftercare for people who are tricked into killing by military training and then left to rot when the inevitable consequences of that play out over the rest of their lives. If you want to support a soldier who is both brave and takes his moral obligations seriously support Joe Glenton who will face a court martial on Friday the 5th of March-

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton was locked up in a military prison since 9th November until his release on the 9th December because of his stand against the war in Afghanistan.

At the last hearing Joe gave an undertaking: Not to contact any media agency directly or indirectly. If contacted directly or indirectly, must decline to comment, other than to say he may not by order of the Court Martial Not to appear at or lend support to any political meeting.

Joe gave this undertaking as since being locked up he has been diagnosed as suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He needs to be able to get proper treatment as it is evident that the Army have clearly not shown Joe a duty of care. It is therefore up to Joe to seek treatment for his PTSD if he is to be fit enough to face his Court Martial. Despite his request for treatment he has never been given any help from the Army.

The Ministry of Defence are worried about what Joe is saying and doing.They are determined to shut him up. The messages of support that Joe received when he was in Colchester Military jail inspired him and did not go unnoticed by the powers that be.

It is not possible for the court to stop other speaking out in favour of Joe’s stand against the war. Joe has made his position clear: The war in Afghanistan is illegal the methods employed in conducting the war are unlawful and he is not prepared to return to fight it. It is up to his supporters, which are many, to keep up the pressure and ensure that Joe’s stand against this war is raised as an important part of the resistance to Brown and his warmongers.

While Stop The War have called for a demo outside the court-


I believe some useful action could be taken by writing to the Judge Advocate General regarding Joe and his case and telling them you support his stand and support a military that actually is as it professes to be- allows soldiers to refuse unlawful, unjust or immoral orders. This is the essence of a military that cannot be used for massive politically directed war crimes, following orders regardless is what allows any and all of the historic genocides, a democracy should not need mindlessly obedient troops, that is the characteristic of a tyranny. Do not fall for the military discipline red herring, this is not about the need for structure and effective action, this is about judging the serious issue of a war of aggression and soldiers being able to refuse to follow such orders thus starving political war criminals of the means to prosecute illegal wars. So, write a message and send a copy to each of the following addresses (you can also copy the message to the support address for Joe

The Office of the Judge Advocate General
9th Floor
Thomas More Building
London WC2A 2LL

The Military Court Service
Building 59
Trenchard Lines
Wilts SN9 6BE

Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth
Floor 5, Main Building,
Whitehall, London,
Email or Email

Write what you like, here are some ideas, mine is in comments-

War Resistors– I am very concerned about the arrest of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton on charges of “disobeying a lawful order” for speaking at an anti-war demonstration and to the media, expressing his opposition to the war in Afghanistan.

The human rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression are protected both under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and under the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which have been ratified by the United Kingdom. When speaking at an anti-war demonstration in London on 24 October, and to the media, Joe Glenton made use of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression.

The restrictions of these rights as enshrined in the UK Armed Forces Act 2008 are in violation of both, the ICCPR and the ECHR, in as much as they are not “necessary in a democratic society”. In expressing his opposition to the war in Afghanistan, Joe Glenton did not reveal “operational secrets” or any other sensitive information – he expressed his personal political opinion, which is his protected human right. Not Joe Glenton’s actions were unlawful, but the orders given to him.

I therefore call on you to drop all charges against Joe Glenton, and to immediately release him from prison. I urge you to respect human rights.
Lance/Corporal, Royal Logistics Corps.

Joe’s letter to Gordon Brown-

I am writing to you as a serving soldier in the British Army to express my views and concerns on the current conflict in Afghanistan.

It is my primary concern that the courage and tenacity of my fellow soldiers has become a tool of American foreign policy.

I believe this unethical short-changing of such proud men and women has caused immeasurable suffering not only to families of British service personnel who have been killed and injured, but also to the noble people of Afghanistan.

I have seen qualities in the Afghan people which have also been for so long apparent and admired in the British soldier. Qualities of robustness, humour, utter determination and unwillingness to take a step backwards.

However, it is these qualities, on both sides, which I fear will continue to cause a state of attrition. These will only lead to more heartbreak within both our societies.

I am not a general nor am I a politician and I cannot claim any mastery of strategy. However, I am a soldier who has served in Afghanistan, which has given me some small insight.

I believe that when British military personnel submit themselves to the service of the nation and put their bodies into harm’s way, the government that sends them into battle is obliged to ensure that the cause is just and right, i.e. for the protection of life and liberty.

The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk, far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country. Britain has no business there.

I do not believe that our cause in Afghanistan is just or right. I implore you, Sir, to bring our soldiers home.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Glenton

7 Responses to “Support The Troops- Support Joe Glenton”

  1. RickB Says:

    I am writing regarding LCpl Joe Glenton who faces Court Martial for desertion. LCpl Glenton has shown sincere principle in refusing to redeploy to Afghanistan to fight in a war he believes is neither just or right, a position many, including Afghan Members of Parliament agree with (Malalai Joya the courageous fighter of both the Taliban and warlord packed Northern Alliance, makes it clear the current war does not help defeat extremists or aid the Afghan people, as does the longest standing Afghan women’s organisation RAWA). Much is made of the military covenant but what is neglected is the right and duty of a soldier not to simply be an unthinking instrument of policy whether that is our policy or the USA’s policies.

    As a UK citizen and tax payer with family in the services I do not wish for them to be put in harm’s way unless absolutely necessary for the self defence of the British people. Joe Glenton has experience of the war in Afghanistan and has found this war does not fulfil that criteria, instead it will actually endanger British security, while at the same time seeing the damage done to Afghan people. Together with the Army’s failure in its duty of care in regard to PTSD his desertion was neither unthinking insubordination or lack of courage. Furthermore Joe Glenton’s prosecution creates the impression that it is a political one to rob him of his rights to free speech and assembly, rights we fought to uphold 70 years ago. A democracy to the extent it requires a standing military needs it to be subordinate to democratic authority and also for those in the services to have the moral freedom and duty to refuse orders they see as illegal and/or unjust. This ensures multiple checks and balances on abuses of power by the executive. That is the military I support and Joe Glenton is a fine example of such a soldier.

    While I am sure the demands of military discipline and political expediency will push for a punishment, as a UK citizen I wish to make it clear I do not want Joe Glenton to be punished, rather he should be praised for upholding a profound sense of ethical democratic engagement on behalf of the British people.

  2. RickB Says:

    The Office of the Judge Advocate General
    9th Floor
    Thomas More Building
    London WC2A 2LL

    the email is bouncing

  3. James Says:

    I would like to point out that winkball is not a pr exersise or set up to support the war. If you care to check we have been running this campaign to support the troops only not the war. Take a look at the charity we support for our forces, it’s on the website, then you might understand that when you have lost limbs PR is not the answer.

    • RickB Says:

      I didn’t say it was, I said Gordon Brown and the campaign you promote is ‘mischievous PR for war’. That troops need prosthetic limbs is because of him, I also see you are not campaigning for funds for healthcare for the thousands of injured Afghan civilians. Indeed PR is not the answer.

  4. Arronax Says:

    First off he was in the Logistics division. He hardly saw any action so placing the pretext that he was some battle hardened soldier who likely knew the “truth” about what was going on over there is likely a complete fallacy.

    Second, going awol puts the lives of your team-mates at risk. They are down a person and have to get a reserve member to replace him, this not only severely hampers the combat effectiveness of the squad but also means that a reservist who is not full-time is now subjected to the war.
    (Granted due to the 1st point this is not true as he was in logistics and thus didn’t likely fight anything)

    Third point, allowing troops to quit the army during active service will destroy the army due to legal precedence. This is not a solution to world peace as without a free-standing army we cannot respond to UN causes. So good luck if some mass-ethnic cleansing kicks up in Europe or Asia.
    If Joe existed before 1944 and won the case than you can bet your ass that many soldiers would of quit before the pyrrhic d-day landings happened.

    • RickB Says:

      1. ‘likely a complete fallacy’ so anything that disputes your opinions you suspect is false, interesting…

      2. This argument applies to any military and is designed to circumvent the moral and ethical requirement that soldiers should follow, I expect deserters from the Taliban are excoriated in the same way by their militarists. And as the Nuremberg trials made clear simply following orders is no defence in war crimes.

      3. Likening his stance to the situation of WW2 is a false equivalency we were under attack from fascists, the left not only fought but warned of Hitler while our ruling class made friends with him, that is not the case now, this is a war of choice, aggression and an occupation of another nation, as you brought up WW2 that puts us more on the expansionist Reich side than the defending allies. Further to that we don’t support UN efforts until a security council resolution which largely means we do what the US wants, ie. no forces have been sent to Palestine to prevent the ethnic cleansing there. A military that is engaged in moral or ethical concerns is a tool of war crimes and atrocities, as in your hypothetical example that is precisely what enables ethnic cleansing, unthinking obedience and racism, two qualities not unknown in any military.

      4. There is no four.

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