Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bliar dumps Iraq....



"We intend to stay with you for as long as you need us and as long as you want us," Blair said at a joint news conference with visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in October 2005. Blair said it was important to "stay the course" to help give the Iraqis "the democracy they so self-evidently want." Talabani said an early withdrawal of US and British troops would be a "catastrophe".

Last week, General Sir Richard Dannatt said troops should come home within two years - flatly contradicting the Prime Minister's policy that the military will stay "as long as it takes". Bliar's oft repeated position since 2003 was that British troops must stay until the Iraqi security forces are able to take charge - a rather forlorn hope as the country has slithered to the brink of civil war.

Tony Blair yesterday signalled a major shift in his position over Iraq by saying it was government policy for British troops to leave Iraq within 10 to 16 months - so long as the security situation allowed. This is not a view shared by many senior Iraqi leaders, who still believe a sudden withdrawal would increase the already high levels of violence. Indeed, The Times newspaper reports today that US soldiers have had to return to towns handed over to the control of Iraqi forces just a month ago.

The alleged reason for occupying Iraq was to build security and democracy. The occupying powers have dismantled the first and failed to construct the second. Blair has been indelibly stained by Iraq. He realises that his prime ministerial reign is now ending and does not, of course,wish for his political legacy to be forever overshadowed by the Iraq debacle. Blair has u-turned (at last) but for all the wrong reasons....

3 comments:

CityUnslicker said...

I think it is time to leave though. We have achieved nothing as far as i can see. Although I have not been there myself.

Better to concentrate our limited forces in Afghanistan where we could still turn things round.

Realpolitik is necessary with our small physcial and moral resources.

istanbultory said...

Blair seems to have belatedly realised the obvious. But's all about his legacy.

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