Friday, 27 November 2015

What if the Tories were coming back in body bags from Syria?

Folk with queasy stomachs would be advised not to read much further. What I am going to do is describe the sort of wounds which occur on a modern battle field in an attempt to wake folk up to what bombing ISIS and putting boots on the ground will do to their fellow humans. Sadly the right wing nut jobs who are all so gungho about getting stuck into those damned WOGS of ISIS and giving those Muslims a damned good thrashing have little and probably no idea what their vain glorious ranting, made real, does to their fellow human beings nor will they read pinko, pacifist stuff that folk like me write. I write from some experience of combat wounds so for those of a weak disposition I would look away now.

High velocity wound (M16 rifle / AK 47):

The entry wound will be around the size of a ten pence piece and due to the kinetic energy of the round will show little bleeding as it is instantly cauterised. On the bullet's path through the body the energy wave will cause cavitation of the soft tissues surrounding its path ripping muscle to shreds, turning internal organs to mush and splintering bone into tiny fragments which in turn will cause further indirect wounding. The AK 47 is truly nasty round as when the round loses energy it begins to tumble which means the round will not pass straight through the target but bend causing even greater damage as it then can be deflected by bone causing a complex wound pathway. Where the energy is sufficient to allow the round to pass through a human body, the exit wound is the size of the average dinner plate. A SA80 round, as used by the UK military could potentially go through three or four human bodies at around five hundred yards range before being 'stopped'.

I will leave it to your own imagination to work out what larger caliber high velocity rounds will do to a human standing in their way such as 20mm depleted uranium rounds from a modern Gatling gun under slung on an A10 aircraft or a .50 machine gun.

Low velocity wounds (9mm Uzzi sub-machine guns or hand guns)

These weapons are for use at close range in contained spaces. The entry wound is again ten pence piece size but as a result of the lower kinetic energy is more likely to bleed and you are unlikely to find an exit wound even where weapons are fired at less than 100 yards. The low velocity means these rounds quickly become unstable and will often be tumbling before they hit their target. Once inside a human body the best way to imagine how these rounds behave is to imagine a small rubber ball bouncing around inside you. Contact with bone does not break the bone, in most cases, the bone simply acts as a mini-trampoline. The cavitation effect is much less but the round bouncing around inside you makes up for this. This style of weapons are not generally known as 'people stoppers' because they scare folk away.

Fragmentation weapons (hand grenades, anti personnel mines and the like)

Many of these weapons main aim is not to kill their target merely immobilise them by mutilation to a greater or lesser degree. These are not only severely damaging to the human body but also give rise to major psychological impacts on those who are not wounded but see the result. Most fragmentation devices deliver low velocity type wounds, some will have sufficient energy to remove limbs but all will leave fragments of the device lodge in the human body often as crushing wounds. The most nasty of these fragmentation devices for the triage officer to deal with are white phosphorous grenade wounds. If white phosphorous has a supply of oxygen it will continue to burn its way through human flesh or will reignite as soon as it is introduced into air while being removed from the wound. In both cases the triage officer needs to handle the material with great dexterity and speed, getting it under water as fast as they can.

Shells and bombs

The wounds left by the pieces of bomb or shell casing are routinely horrendous and carry the highest rate of fatality on their victims. These fragments will range from the size of dinner plates to fine splinters and along with the blast effect they can reduce a human body to a fine bloody mist so they cease to exist. Even quite small pieces of red hot shrapnel will have enough energy to decapitate or remove limbs. In combination with blast they can hollow out a human body so it is normal from the back but when you turn the body over it looks as if they have been gutted like a fish. The blast wave will also cause cerebral trauma and cardio-vascular collapse - the so called unmarked dead effect.

As those who have ploughed through these simplistic descriptions of the damage to human beings by weapons of war will surely be questioning just how is using bombs clean, incisive and accurate. It is inevitable that bombing of civilian areas where ISIS have head quarters or meeting rooms or storage areas will kill far more civilians than ISIS personnel. There is no such animal as precision bombing because you can not contain the blast and shrapnel radius just to the target, there is always collateral damage which inevitably means innocent civilians are killed or maimed. Yet this myth of precision bombing is the one Cameron and the right wing media is seeking to get us to buy into along with its 'clean image'.

I wonder if Melanie Phillips would be quite as gung-ho, as she is, if she had had the brains of the person standing beside her splattered over her face by a sniper or had been asked to pack a high velocity exit wound, only to find her hand was touching the victims back bone. Sitting behind a Torygraph or Daily Mule computer saying we should not tie one hand behind the back of the Prime Minster when it comes to ISIS, we should drop bombs pell-mell on the horrid WOGS and better still let them taste the bayonets of our 'Tommies' is fine, as long as it is not your body coming back in a body bag. If the Torygraph and Daily Mail are so keen to kill as many ISIS personnel as possible why do they not create a volunteer Tory Territorial battalion from their owners, managers, editors, journalists, Tory MPs, supporters and get on out there to the mess that is Syria and Iraq to do what they are asking others to do.

I wonder if the Katie Hopkins, Theresa Mays and their like would be ranting to bomb, shoot, dismember ISIS when it was a Melanie Phillips or a Boris Johnson who was coming home in body bags day after day. I somehow doubt it.

My message is there is nothing clean or precise or romantic about combat and anyone who tries to tell you there is, is a liar. War is a last resort, undertaken because politicians have failed to address the real concerns at the heart of the conflict, concerns which will inevitably only be resolved around a table, by negotiation but only after a lot of ordinary people have died unnecessarily.


  1. If they thought that they were the ones doing the fighting and dying, they would be round the negotiating table in an instant.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I have never recovered from hearing the bitch Thatcher standing on the steps of 10 Downing Street calling on people to 'rejoice' because the Falkland's dead had got her re-elected, on the world service, when I was involved in the identification and repatriation of the dead. Out of 250 Argentine dead I did dental reports on for the Red Cross we received a positive ID for 50 ... the other 200 were just 16 and 17 year old conscripts who had no dental records. 40 years on it still hurts that these Argentine kids' mothers and fathers do not know where they are buried.

    Maybe the message will only get home when the likes of a Blair or a Cameron end up in an unmarked grave, in the corner of some foreign field, lost to their family.

  4. I understand all your concerns about military actoon , and what you say about the torries can be said of all politicians at one time or an other. I would ask what solution you would offer given that ISIS (or what ever name the media are giving them this week) will not come to the negotiating table, and that their stated aims are to kill all non believers.

  5. Do you think what is going on is about Isis? Then clearly you do not understand what is actually going on in the Middle East.

  6. The events in Paris have simply given Cameron the excuse he needed to try and join the Bomb Syria club.
    Being a very important person in charge of a very important country he must have been outraged that the French etc were in the club and he was excluded.
    This is entirely about Cameron and how he perceives his place in history.
    I see the members at Wentworth have enlisted the support of the British Foreign secretary to bring the Chinese owners to book for failing to lower the Chinese flag following the Paris events.
    Perhaps they will be lobbying to bomb the Chinese in retaliation.
    Tories don't do body bags,that is for the plebs.