December 03rd 2010 04:15:29 AM
Earlier this year I wrote a blog saying that neither the U.S. nor U.S. allies should be facilitating jihad operations against Russian targets. In response, both Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer — who had cross-posted the blog — heard from some colleagues offering a bit of quiet “professional advice” that the blog post came across as “Russian propaganda.”
One wonders, then, if England’s averting war with Russia by refusing U.S.-led NATO instructions also would be considered a bad thing by the so-called conservatives and so-called anti-jihadists who objected to that blog post. Because that’s what happened in 1999, with some additional light shed on it this month by a former British soldier who is now a famous recording artist.
Sure enough, unlike the sane Brits who were involved in the 1999 incident described below, some senior U.S. military personnel apparently regret that that war with Russia didn’t happen. Senator John Warner and General Hugh Shelton wanted to kill Russian soldiers in 1999. In a few months I plan to revisit the issue and confront some of the objectors to the original blog post about the U.S. being in on some jihad-plotting by an ally, but in the meantime here is some more “Russian propaganda”:
By Andrea Magrath
Daily Mail 15th November 2010
James Blunt’s refusal to obey orders during the Balkans war prevented the start of World War Three, the singer has claimed.
The 36-year-old chart-topping singer made the stunning claims in an interview with John Pienaar on Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics.
Blunt, a former cavalry officer in the British Army, was leading a NATO column under order to seize the Pristina airfield in Kosovo in 1999.
Facing a 200-strong Russian advance, the then- 25-year-old was given orders to ‘destroy’ the Russian troops by the Supreme Allied Commander of the NATO Forces in Europe.
‘I was given a direct command to overpower the 200 or so Russians who were there,’ the You’re Beautiful hitmaker has revealed for the first time.
‘I was the lead officer, with my troop of men behind us… It was a mad situation.’
‘The direct command came in from General Wesley Clark to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as “destroy” came down the radio.’
He said his men were given orders by the American general to ‘reach the airfield and take a hold of it.’
But Blunt - who served under his real name James Blount - says: ‘We had 200 Russians lined up pointing their weapons at us aggressively.’
The singer, who has gone on to sell over 11 million albums since leaving the forces in October 2002, risked a court martial by refusing to go along with the orders to attack, a command he feared would spark a major conflict with Russia.
‘I was declining my order. I was very clear on that,’ he said.
‘There are things that you do along the way that you know are right, and those that you absolutely feel are wrong.
‘That sense of moral judgment is drilled into us as soldiers in the British army.’
Blunt’s instinct was backed by the commander of the British Forces. ‘Fortunately,’ the singer remembered, ‘Up on the radio came General Sir Mike Jackson, whose words were, “I’m not going to have my soldiers start World War Three.”
‘He told us why don’t we sugar off down the road and, you know, encircle the airfield instead.’
When quizzed on whether he thought following General Clark’s order would have started World War Three, the musician replied: ‘Absolutely,’ adding that he would have refused the command regardless of Sir Mike Jackson’s intervention. […]
And just one other report appears below. Incidentally, both articles neglect to explain the context of the incident. This was the standoff at the end of the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, when Russian troops arrived at the Pristina airfield before NATO troops did and wanted to handle policing operations in the area instead of NATO.
Singer James Blunt ’stopped World War 3′ BBC 14 November 2010
Singer James Blunt has told the BBC how he refused an order to attack Russian troops when he was a British soldier in Kosovo.
Mr Blunt said he was willing to risk a court martial by rejecting the order from a US General.
But he was backed by British General Sir Mike Jackson, who told him “I’m not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War 3″.
[Jackson also told Clark directly, “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you.”]
Blunt was ordered to seize an airfield - but the Russians had got there first.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5Live, to be broadcast later on Sunday, he said: “I was given the direct command to overpower the 200 or so Russians who were there.
“I was the lead officer with my troop of men behind us … The soldiers directly behind me were from the Parachute Regiment, so they’re obviously game for the fight.
“The direct command [that] came in from General Wesley Clark was to overpower them. Various words were used that seemed unusual to us. Words such as ‘destroy’ came down the radio.”
The confusion surrounding the taking of Pristina airfield in 1999 has been written about in political memoirs, and was widely reported at the time.
But this is the first time Blunt has given an account of his role in the incident.
Blunt, who was at the head of a column of 30,000 NATO troops with his unit, told Pienaar’s Politics it was a “mad situation”.
He said he had been “party to the conversation” between senior officers in which Gen Clark had ordered the attack.
“We had two hundred Russians lined up pointing their weapons at us aggressively, which was… and you know we’d been told to reach the airfield and take a hold of it.
“And if we had a foothold there then it would make life much easier for the NATO forces in Pristina. So there was a political reason to take hold of this.
“And the practical consequences of that political reason would be then aggression against the Russians.”
Fortunately, up on the radio came General Mike Jackson, whose exact words at the time were, ‘I’m not going to have my soldiers be responsible for starting World War 3′, and told us why don’t we sugar off down the road, you know, encircle the airfield instead.
“And after a couple of days the Russians there said ‘hang on we have no food and no water. Can we share the airfield with you?’.”
If Gen Jackson had not blocked the order from Gen Clark, who as NATO Supreme Commander Europe was his superior officer, Blunt said he would still have declined to follow it, even at the risk of a court martial.
He said: “There are things that you do along the way that you know are right, and those that you absolutely feel are wrong, that I think it’s morally important to stand up against, and that sense of moral judgement is drilled into us as soldiers in the British army.”
Blunt left the army in 2002 to pursue a career in music, later scoring a worldwide hit with You’re Beautiful.