Good sense has prevailed and members of the armed forces will be welcomed home with a parade and civic reception in Belfast this November. Despite arguments to the contrary, recognising the bravery, professionalism and dedication of men and women involved in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is not commensurate with condoning the UK’s continued involvement in those conflicts.
From the beginning, a high proportion of British people have opposed both wars, and in particular our troops’ presence in Iraq. Of course, members of the armed forces do not have the luxury of abstaining from actions with which they disagree. They have served in these warzones, putting their lives at risk in the process, some might argue because of foolish decisions by political leaders. Indeed many of their colleagues have returned home dead or maimed. The least they deserve is recognition, in the form of a parade and a reception.