Friday, November 26, 2004

Green Zone vulnerable?

In Iraq, meanwhile, four ex-Gurkhas working for a security company (Global Risk Strategies) have been killed and 15 wounded in an attack inside the Green Zone's perimeter. This doesn't say much for the degree of coalition security right outside its headquarters, although reports suggest the men were killed by a volley of rockets fired from outside the perimeter. In a sense, there was always a chance the insurgents (who quite often fire mortars over the wall into the Zone, but usually without success) would one day get lucky and land their rounds among some people, so it may not be all that significant.

A lot of people on the left, I suspect, will be deeply unsympathetic at the deaths of "mercenaries" or "so-called private contractors". This is unjust and callous. They are just as dead as if they were regular soldiers or indeed civilians, and it will be just as bad for their families. Especially, of course, as they'll be lucky to see any of their earnings back in Nepal. It might also be more helpful and more decent to consider if, had they received the same pension rights as British soldiers of equivalent rank, they would have been there.

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