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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Prince Harry is headed for war in Iraq

Oh, the privileges of royalty. It is a life of luxury, wealth, celebrity status and…a tour of duty in Iraq?

Twenty-two-year-old Prince Harry of England, a recent graduate of Sandhurst Military Academy and third in line for the throne, is now preparing for deployment to sunny Iraq where he will command a squad of twelve soldiers and four tanks.

He joins a long line of British royals to serve in the military including Prince Andrew and Prince Charles.

Interestingly, this comes just as the British armed forces announce they will be withdrawing as many as 1,600 of their 7,500 troops currently serving in Iraq.

While the young Prince’s deployment has raised concerns in England about his safety and that of his fellow soldiers in the event that insurgents might attempt to make a trophy out of such a high-profile target, Harry is having none of it.

“There’s no way I’m going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country,” he said in a television interview to mark his 21st birthday.

Despite the government’s concerns, Harry is likely to get his way. “I think the military will be wary about getting it right in the public eye,” said an official from the British Defense Ministry. “If he doesn’t go, [the public] will say, bad decision, because they’re treating him with kid gloves.”

Why then, as Americans, do we treat our “royalty” and their family members with “kid gloves?” What makes them so special?

While our own King George may consider himself as such, he’s not even a monarch.

The American Revolution was supposed to abolish the tyranny of a King who was wholly apart from the people he ruled, and replace him with a leader accountable to the public; a man of the people.

Surprisingly, the British instead have come to expect their figurehead royalty to perform the same duties, make the same sacrifices as the rest of the citizenry, while our politicians became the powerful elites, responsible for sending soldiers into harm’s way while keeping themselves insulated from danger.

In 2004, while the president’s daughters, Jenna and Barbara, campaigned for their father on a tour of college campuses, protesters held signs reading “Draft Jenna” and “Send the Bush Twins to Iraq.”

If the president really wants to sell this surge plan and the notion that the war can still be won, his only recourse may be to send the twins.

Besides establishing his commitment to the cause, such a move would also serve as a gesture of solidarity with our British allies who are apparently willing to send members of their royal family to Iraq.

While some may say the twins, most known for their drunken escapades, are too immature, this is nothing boot camp can’t fix.

Prince Harry did the same things until recently, and was even stupid enough to be photographed in a Nazi uniform at a costume party, and yet today he is disciplined soldier. Immaturity has never kept anyone out of a war.

At this point, only a handful of U.S. Congressmen have sons in the service and none serving in Iraq.

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, recently elected in part by making his son’s service in Iraq a major part of his campaign, is the only member of the Senate with a child in Iraq.

Senator John McCain’s 18-year-old son is currently headed for Marine boot camp, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar lost a son in the Iraq war, hardening her anti-war position.

While a number of U.S. legislators have served in past conflicts, many others evaded the draft like the now-disgraced Tom Delay who once remarked about Vietnam that “So many minority youths had volunteered…that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself.”

The point is not that one must be in the military to be a politician or to have an opinion on war – rather, it is that the sacrifices engendered by this war are borne so unevenly. Right now, the British, who are withdrawing, are sending Prince Harry.

It seems only fair that the United States, which is surging, sends the Bush twins.

Pack your things, girls. It’s no Rio de Janeiro, but it is sunny.

Send comments to Jon Bosscher at [email protected].

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