Talk about Newsnight

Salam Pax's Window on Iraq

Padre video diaries - 1

  • Newsnight
  • 15 Mar 07, 04:02 PM

padrecole203watch.jpgAs part of Newsnight's Window on Iraq series, padres stationed with troops in and around Basra are making a series of video diaries about their work and experiences with the British forces.

In this first Newsnight diary, Padre Cole, the joint force senior chaplain in southern Iraq, reflects on a difficult few days prior to the recording.

There are now more chaplains serving with the British armed forces than at any time since World War II. While we are concentrating solely on those in Iraq, former BBC correspondent Martin Bell has been looking at their role across all current conflicts for a BBC Radio Four programme, God and the Gun. One Padre who took part in that programme spoke to the BBC News website.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:51 PM on 15 Mar 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Mr Cole

If you know the British forces had done something wrong what would you do?

Do you believe a British Soldier can refuse to carry out an order he believes to be wrong?

I asked Peter Hain MP the same question on the Jonathan Dimbleby show a couple of years ago and he said something along the lines of people joining the British army know what they are getting into.

May I ask what is your opinion? If a soldier came to you and said he no longer wished to fight in Iraq would you help him and help get him home?

sorry if these questions are a bit direct

are you allowed to answer them and if not why is this?

best wishes

Bob Goodall

  • 2.
  • At 03:02 PM on 16 Mar 2007,
  • dicky wrote:

when we face death what words do we say? If any? Warrior castes usually have some kind of death song e,g the famous 'its a good day to die', 'nothing lasts long but the mountains' or the in film zulu the psalm used 'he breaketh the bow..' and the men of harlech song.

The jihadis are certainly weaponised with death songs/chants that have an effect powerful enough to create human bombs [when they are not logically necessary].

A professor of sound [Tomatis] was asked by some Benedictine monks to help them solve why for some reason they could no longer do their work. He found it was because they had stopped singing. Therefore, Tomatis returned the monks to several hours a day of chanting. The effect was dramatic. Within six months, they were again vigorous and healthy. (Campbell 1997)

i have often wondered why priests etc should be associated with warrior castes [we lock the jihadi 'priests' up in belmarsh]. Some who view religion only in terms of morality cannot understand it but sonically it makes perfect sense. The 'priest' is a master of sonics. Someone who keeps in mind and is ready to say 'the chants' A sonic sergeant major.

  • 3.
  • At 03:22 PM on 18 Mar 2007,
  • kurt cobain wrote:

Is it just me or is a padre in a war the ultimate irony.Fighting not with standing.but still its ironic.

  • 4.
  • At 09:02 PM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

Padre Cole - well done :)

Although belatedly watching, its inspiring & insightful stuff.

As ex ariborne warrior (cold war variety) can only appreciate & seek to empathise with the lads & lasses out in the ooloo.


This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites