September 22, 2005

The "We Can't Leave Now" Lie

Simon Jenkins sticks it to Tony Blair:
The British government - and opposition - is in total denial. Ministerial boasts can't conceal the gloom of private briefings. Blair has done what no prime minister should do. He has put his soldiers at a foreign power's mercy. First that power was America. Now, according to the defence secretary, John Reid, it is a band of brave but desperate Iraqis entombed in Baghdad's Green Zone. He says he will stay until they request him to go, when local troops are trained and loyal and infrastructure is restored. That means doomsday. Everyone knows it...

British soldiers are in a war over whose course, conduct and outcome their leaders have no control. Their government's exit strategy is no longer realistic, indeed is dishonest. Talk of reducing troop levels from 8,000 to 3,000 next year has been abandoned. Everyone seems on the wrong planet...

Signalling withdrawal would, it is said, give a green light to the gangs and private militias, to revenge attacks, ethnic cleansing and even partition. That threat is no longer meaningful since these are all happening anyway...

America left Vietnam and Lebanon to their fate. They survived. We left Aden and other colonies. Some, such as Malaya and Cyprus, saw bloodshed and partition. We said rightly that this was their business. So too is Iraq for the Iraqis. We have made enough mess there already.

No comments:


Blog Archive