Sunday, October 15, 2006

The General is wrong

The British army are working absolute wonders in Iraq. I have to start by saying that. Compared to the useless Americans patrolling the majority of Iraq's hotspots we are providing the acceptable face of the Allied powers. Brits patrolling Basra and other areas of the south in Iraq are helping rebuild schools and hospitals and stub out the rampant crime lords who have sought to profit out of Saddam's fall.

We are aiding, indeed leading, the re-civilisation of Iraq.

This week the Chief of the General Staff, Sir Richard Dannatt, suggested that we should remove our troops from Iraq. He cited the enhanced level of potential violence to British property and subjects by radical wings of Islamic fundamentalism as a result of our continued presence in Iraq and suggested that we should remove our troops as soon as possible.

I totally disagree with him.

We have made our own bed in Iraq and are making huge strides in stabilising the part of the country we are charged with patrolling and defending. Blair and his cronies blatantly disregarded the preparations for a post-Saddam State. They also forgot to plan a proper exit strategy and counter insurgency measures. This is the fault of a government that has no practical experience in fighting global conflicts. Merely withdrawing our forces would be an insult to the noble principle of freeing an oppressed people from the shackles of their dictatorial masters. It would also be a grotesque admission that those brave servicemen and women killed in action died in vain. Iraq would descend into utter, utter anarchy.

Britain's reputation used to be one built on fear. The Empire was an exporter of civilisation and when the globe featured British influence in over a fifth of it's surface no-one even considered crossing the might of the Crown. These days our (diminishing) hold over a once proud reputation lays with the economic might Maggie Thatcher built up in the 80's. Our standing in the world bears little practical relation to our involvement in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor does it have any real connection to the close relationship we have with the American administration; this is a popular myth that exists merely to lampoon President Bush and excuse our domestic weakness with the 'multicultural' experiment.

With every day we stay in Iraq and Afghanistan terrorism suffers. Each day a former terrorist state re-civilises itself is a nail in the coffin of those murdering bastards who believe they can dictate world events by murdering as many people as they can cram into a passenger plane.

I passionately believe in the neo-conservative US foreign policy. We have spent far too long appeasing those who have not a peaceful bone in their bodies. We keep trying to buy ourselves time with North Korea, Iran and Syria. They are taking absolutely no notice of the UN, the EU, the French foreign ministry or any other hand-wringing apologists. They are just laughing at us.

The only rhetoric these extremists and despots understand is that of the sword. To retreat now would be reprehensible. The General should stay and fight.

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