Anorak News | Larkin About

Larkin About

by | 24th, February 2005

‘IF only they had postcards in Iraq, our brave soldiers wouldn’t have had to make their own.

‘There, that should help keep the sun off you’

But Iraq is not an advanced place when it some to selling itself to tourists.

So Lance Corporal Mark Cooley was forced to pose for snapshots to serve as reminders of the wonderful time he had in the Middle East.

The Telegraph reprints the now famous card of Cooley simulating a punch at an Iraqi prisoner who’s tied up in a cargo net.

We never see what is says on the back of this seminal picture but something akin to ‘Dear Mum, weather’s wonderful, people friendly, food good, lots of fighting’ may not be too far off the mark.

The Indy has a picture of Cooley’s card and another showing Lance Corporal Darren Larkin using an Iraqi detainee as a makeshift skateboard.

You’d think there’d be enough to do in Iraq with all that shooting and rebuilding, but Larkin still made time to bond with the locals.

And yesterday his card (‘Wish you were here. Surf’s up’) formed part of the evidence against him at the Army’s court martial in Osnabruck, Germany.

Although these courageous boys argued hard – Cooley put it to the court that he had driven a fork-lift truck with a prisoner clinging to the prongs because he had wanted to move the poor chap out of the burning sun – it was for nought.

When push came to slap came to punch, Cooley and Larkin, along with fellow soldier Daniel Kenyon, all pleaded guilty to being something less than humane.

When they are sentenced tomorrow, they face prison sentences and a dishonourable discharge.

And let us not forget the fourth soldier, Fusilier Gary Bartlam, who, as the Times reports, has already begun an 18-month sentence for one charge of disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind and for two of disgraceful conduct of an indecent kind.

And, if the Times’ front page is to be believed (‘Eighteen More Troops Face Iraqi Abuse Trials’), there is more of the same to come.

It might just be that our lads are coming home – admittedly, one by one and in the back of a Black Maria, but coming home they are…’

Posted: 24th, February 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink