Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I have just for the first time read the Daily Mail interview with General Sir Richard Dannatt. These replies really struck me.

Threats now are not territorial but to the values of our country.

In the Army we place a lot of store by the values we espouse. What I would hate is for the Army to be maintaining a set of values that were not reflected in our society at large — courage, loyalty, integrity, respect for others; these are critical things.

When I see the Islamist threat I hope it doesn't make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country. Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind.

I said to the Defence Secretary (Des Browne) that the Army won’t let the nation down, but I don’t want the nation to let the Army down.
It seems to me that his real fear is us; he wonders if we have the backbone to stay the course and be worthy of the army, its values and the cause they are fighting for. The values that were once generally acknowledged and according to which the soldier could measure his honour. General Dannat, like Mark Steyn, wonders if we've not lost it already. The best lack all conviction; the worst have nothing else. The word 'vacuum' he uses twice: once as above, but before that in the interview he has referred to the invasion and said,
History will show that a vacuum was created and into the vacuum malign elements moved.
And the vacuum here?

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