I know I’m probably going to prick up the ears of some of my regular readers with the title of this post but please bear with me.
Here’s how the argument is going at the moment at least as far as one can judge from the mainstream media. He should go because he’s one of the lads, he shouldn’t be treated specially just because he’s a prince or he shouldn’t go because he’d be a target for insurgents and if they are aware he is there, blowing his head off might be a bit of a big prize for some groups. Equally this has been dismissed today by the army as being irrelevant because they won’t know where he is, and that is where I have a problem.
I fully accept the argument that he should be treated much as any other soldier. My own personal beliefs are that just because he’s a prince he is nothing special, no different from anyone else, no more important than the son or daughter of any other parent who might be sent off to fight in a foreign land. If you join the army it’s a distinct possibility that one day you’ll be sent somewhere dangerous and may well be killed. If you can’t accept that then you shouldn’t join up.
However, much as that may be my view that he is intrinsically nothing special, I fully accept that he’d be a nice little target for insurgents out to make a ‘big’ kill simply because of who he is. I accept that if he were to go then his whereabouts would not be readily available but this in part exacerbates the problem.
Here’s the scenario. Insurgents will be aware that Prince Harry will be knocking about somewhere in Iraq. There’s no way the army are going to put him somewhere he might actually get popped off, after all, they don’t want a dead prince on their hands (very bad PR and a major bottom-kicking from them up on high) so he’ll be holed up somewhere pretty cushy (from a security perspective), save for a few nice photo sessions of him walking around with the lads on patrol to keep the punters back home happy.
However his presence there may and I say may because it’s not guaranteed but a fair bet, that this will make British troops as a whole a more plush target, just on the off-chance that one of them might be a prince. Obviously we cannot say for sure, only an increase in body bags returning home would give us a definite answer to the question but if it means that we do not increase the risks of more of our lads coming home in body bags for what amounts to a nice bit of PR for the prince, the royal family and the army then I’m quite happy with that.