Basra fight pointless, says British commander

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blogg, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. One of the most senior British commanders in Iraq has claimed that there is no point in fighting on in Basra, likening British troops in the city to "Robocop" and admitting that innocent people were hurt as a result of their actions.

    The officer, who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said commanders had concluded that a military solution was no longer viable.

    "We are tired of firing at people," he said. "We would prefer to find a political accommodation."

    The officer, who is responsible for thousands of troops, said the decision to pull soldiers out of the centre of Basra last month came after commanders concluded that using Iraqi forces would be more effective. "We would go down there [Basra], dressed as Robocop, shooting at people if they shot at us, and innocent people were getting hurt," he said. "We don't speak Arabic to explain and our translators were too scared to work for us any more. What benefit were we bringing to these people?"

    British forces have struck a deal with Shia militias to withdraw to a single base at the international airport in return for assurances that they will no longer be attacked.

    Yesterday, former military commanders and politicians expressed outrage at the officer's comments.

    Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "A lot of those who have served in Iraq will be disappointed and angry at being portrayed in this manner."

    The former SAS deputy commander Clive Fairweather said he was appalled by the message coming out of Basra. "One wonders whether the Union Jack or the white flag should be flying over Basra airfield," he said

    If so, the rumoured "unofficial" US stance of "Search and Avoid" starts to smell a bit like the tip of a Big Policy Decision iceberg.
  2. was shocked to read this in the paper this morning, section on blair knowing of yankees plans was above this story
  3. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Hardly his fault for saying what needed saying. Shooting - messenger and all that. Put the blme exactly where it needs to go and thats at 10 Downing St.
  4. He should have the balls to put his name to it
  5. The Yanks had a plan?
  6. What's your number, rank, name and unit then?
  7. 24 knife fork spoon capt darling
  8. Like I said fair enough maybe it needed to be said, but come on, its one thing for the guys on the ground to think it but its a different kettle of fish altogether when one of the bosses says it.

    I suppose your correct though, the blame does belong liarbore and the rest of the government. Tying your hands behind you back and expecting you all to be able to perform miracles.
  9. It is most striking when the senior commanders both believe it and speak out. Things can only get worse, the Iran sanctions will probably ramp up the proxy war between Iran and the US being played out in southern Iraq.
  10. [​IMG]?
    Surely more:
  11. ON page 2 - Bear Goes Into Wood with Toilet Paper
  12. This must be true if its in a papers :x I knew it was bolloxs when i read America had a plan.
  13. This officer is simply expressing exactly the same views that were held at the start of the whole Iraq debacle. The whole thing has been a complete balancing act in most people's minds of knowing that we were invading illegally (based on Blair's lies ) with the hope of a silver lining in that we could benefit the Iraqi people and improve their lives by getting shot of Saddam and introduce Democracy.
    This officer is only pointing out that now we can't even talk to the locals because translators are too afraid to work for us anymore (Thanks to losing trust from months of them being made scapegoats of the British Empire by being refused safe passage and asylum over here)
    This officer simply asks what benefit we are now bringing to the Iraqi people.
    This is the same question and purpose that we invaded with (big boy oil agendas aside)
    Anyone who views this as a 'weak' view has lost the plot.
    Whatever the political agendas it's the innocent Iraqis who matter.
    Fairweather seems to have forgotten why we are there (if we ever knew)
    There should be no Union Jack (Flag) flying anywhere in Iraq.
    We didn't go there to fly our flags and conquer this sovereign nation remember.
    Perhaps he would do well to read Colonel Tim Collin's speech through again- you remember him, he was that British Army officer they got shot of by accusing him of war crimes a couple of years back.

    The speech-

    We go to liberate, not to conquer.
    We will not fly our flags in their country
    We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own.
    Show respect for them.

    There are some who are alive at this moment who will not be alive shortly.
    Those who do not wish to go on that journey, we will not send.
    As for the others, I expect you to rock their world.
    Wipe them out if that is what they choose.
    But if you are ferocious in battle remember to be magnanimous in victory.

    Iraq is steeped in history.
    It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham.
    Tread lightly there.

    You will see things that no man could pay to see
    -- and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis.
    You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing.

    Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country.
    Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you.

    If there are casualties of war then remember that when they woke up and got dressed in the morning they did not plan to die this day.
    Allow them dignity in death.
    Bury them properly and mark their graves.

    It is my foremost intention to bring every single one of you out alive.
    But there may be people among us who will not see the end of this campaign.
    We will put them in their sleeping bags and send them back.
    There will be no time for sorrow.

    The enemy should be in no doubt that we are his nemesis and that we are bringing about his rightful destruction.
    There are many regional commanders who have stains on their souls and they are stoking the fires of hell for Saddam.
    He and his forces will be destroyed by this coalition for what they have done.
    As they die they will know their deeds have brought them to this place. Show them no pity.

    It is a big step to take another human life.
    It is not to be done lightly.
    I know of men who have taken life needlessly in other conflicts.
    I can assure you they live with the mark of Cain upon them.

    If someone surrenders to you then remember they have that right in international law and ensure that one day they go home to their family.
    The ones who wish to fight, well, we aim to please.

    If you harm the regiment or its history by over-enthusiasm in killing or in cowardice, know it is your family who will suffer.
    You will be shunned unless your conduct is of the highest -- for your deeds will follow you down through history.
    We will bring shame on neither our uniform or our nation.

    It is not a question of if, it's a question of when.
    We know he has already devolved the decision to lower commanders, and that means he has already taken the decision himself.
    If we survive the first strike we will survive the attack.

    As for ourselves, let's bring everyone home and leave Iraq a better place for us having been there.

    Our business now is North.
  14. If this story is true, it's hardly a cast of thousands to choose from is it?
  15. Your right there Jimmy its that sod PTE Smith again, wait till I AGAI him :wink: thats why I think its a non story.