Monday, December 10, 2007

British PM To Iraq Troops `Your War Is Over'


Gordon Brown finally made official something that's been obvious for a long time - the Brits are leaving Iraq.

The writing's been on the wall for this ever since Brown took over and the British troops retreated to a fortified compound right near the Basra airport.

Brown visited the British troops hunkered down in Iraq and told them "Happy Christmas, your war is over."

PM Brown told the troops that combat operations in Basra will end “within two weeks”. Most if not all will be gone early in 2008, and the rest will leave no later than March.

In his speech to the troops, Brown reportedly quoted Churchill and Field Marshall Montgomery....which shows me he's not entirely devoid of a sense of humor, if nothing else.

So long, cousins...

3 comments:

B.Poster said...

The US will likely began withdrawing wholesale sometime around the end of March. This is about the time that the tours of the troops who are involved in the surge will be ending. Most analyists suggest it will take about six months to fully withdraw the troops. As such, there will be no US troops in Iraq by the end of September 2008.

All British ttoops will be out by March 2008 and all American troops will be out by the end of September 2008. By the end of 2008 neither us nor our "cousins" will have a military presence in Iraq of any type.

The Iraq mission seems to have been ill fated from the start. In order to achieve a situation where Iraq is: 1.) democratic in the manner that Westerners would undersatnd it, 2.) is allied with the US in the war against Islamic terrorists, and 3.)is stable would have required a committment that is beyond what we or our allies were ever willing to make. It still amy be possible to achieve goals 2 and 3 but unfortunatly that does not seem likely.

At this point, a better approach seems to be some form of containment. If we will place strict limits on immirgation from Middle Eastern Arab countries and develop more of our oil and gas reserves, we can still be victorious in spite of the set backs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In order to win, it is going to require determination and moral confidence in our positions on our part. A tough approach to Iran has been problematic from the start. Many important government officials feel guilty about what happened between Iran and the US in the early fifties with the coup. It is debatable whether or not we should feel bad about that or not but this does not change the fact that many US policy makers do feel bad about that and they feel that Iran is justified in their hatred of us. In this type of environment it is going to be extremely tough to get people moving to aggressively confront Iran.

The mdoel of appeasemnt has often been used to explain the behavior of the so called "doves." I assert that it is not about appeasement at all. Many in the US government feel that the US and the West has exploited and mis treated the Arabs and many third world countries. As such, they see no problem with making concessions to them.

In some instances the US and the West may have wronged folks, however, it is impossible to have a frank discussion about any of this. It always degenerates into hysterical anti-Americanism. America as the bad guy is the prevailing theme in public schools and the elite universities. Until this basic lack of moral confidence in our position is decisively dealt with, we, in America and the free world, are going to have a very difficult time defending ourselves.

Ivan The Yid From Bradford - West Yorks - UK said...

b.poster's comment is hard to follow in places because he jumps from comments about Iraq to comments about Iran without giving us much linkage between the two. The British may be running out of Iraq but our politicians have made it clear we have a long term multi-year commitment in Afghanistan and this has been confirmed by the current regime and also accepted by D Cameron and his colleagues. It has not gone down well in the UK that G Brown has been using troops for his political appearances again. The British along with our allies in Afghanistan and the ANA have just taken control of Musa Gala (hope I have spelt it right) the last major Taliban occupied conurbation in Helmand province. Gordon just popped up some 50 miles away speaking to British forces. Most of the coverage in UK media thinks this is 'stretching coincidence' a bit much. He is again using our professional non-political armed forces for his PR photo-ops.

B.Poster said...

Ivan

I apologize for my post being hard to follow. I'm not always very articlulate. I reread the post and I must say that I agree with you that it horribly disjointed!!

With regrads to Iraq, the British are pulling out by March. The Americans will not be far behind you. According to most informed sources it takes about six months to move the men and material out of Iraq. The Americans will begin withdrawing sometime around the end of March and the withdrawl will be complete by the end of September 2008. The tours of the troops involved in the surge will be up soon. The US Army is being worn down. As such, the Americans will not be able to maintain the committment to Iraq for much longer. In additon to this, the war is unpopular with the voters and we are in an election year. This has combined to create a "perfect storm" of sorts. A small contingent of troops would have negative utility for the Americans. They would be under constant attack by the "insurgents" and the restrictions the Iraqi government would place on how they could be used would make them a net liability to American interests. Redeploying to Kurdistan is out of the question. This would run the risk of a fire fight with Turkey. The withdrawl of US troops will be total and it will be complete. It will be completed by 9/30/08. My point is the Americans will not be far behind the British in their withdrawl from Iraq. If I turn out to be wrong, I will come here and admit it.

With regards to Iran, a "hawkish" approach was problematic from the beginning. The US played a role in a coup against an elected Iranian government in the early 1950s. The US supported the repressive Shah regime after this. Many in the American Government's bureacracy feel that Iranian hatred of the US is justified. As such, these people have no problem making concessions to Iran. In their view, we must atone for past crimes. Unfortunately its difficult to have a fair discussion of these issues. It always ends up being reduced to hysterial anti-Americanism. Until we can gain basic confidence in our civilization it is going to be difficult to defend it.

I hope I have been more clear with this post.

Finally, it is admirable that the Brisish have a multi year committment to Afghanistan, however, it makes little sense to fight Islamic terrorism in Afghanistan but concede valuable ground to it in Iraq. Also, it makes little sense for the Americans to fight Islamic terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan but support it in "Palestine" by expecting Israel to make concessions to it. In addtion to this, it makes little sense for Russia to fight Islamic terrorists in Chechnya but support it in Irana nd Syria. Also, the US has sometimes supported Islamic terrorists in some places but opposed them in other places. This type of inconsistency that is in some cases out and out hyprocissly will need to end, if we are going to be victorious against Islamic terrorists.

Congrats to the British on taking Musa Gala. Now the good guys need to hold it. Clearing an area of bad guys seems to have not been the biggest problem. The biggest problem seems to be holding these areas. Certainly this does not seem to have been any fault of the British. You guys are doing all you can and then some here. Unfortunately other NATO allies have not been willing to honor their committments to Afghanistan. This has left us short handed in some key ares.