Basra - Win or spin?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by FORMER_FYRDMAN, Mar 31, 2009.

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    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Basra's been in the news a fair bit today and, as one of the 'liberators' of 2003, I watched it all with mixed emotions. My sense is that we're putting a brave face on something which is going to go pear-shaped as soon as the US/UK departs and I'm not convinced by the hugs and fulsome tributes on the TV. Does anyone else feel that way or is it the undue pessimism of someone who hasn't been there for six years and the situation on the ground is actually greatly changed and the outlook bright? Did we win or didn't we?
  2. msr

    msr LE

    We did, but not in the sense that our forefathers would recognise it.

  3. That's it in a nutshell. A fitting epitaph for Bliar and all of his kind.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    That reply captures my sentiment exactly but it is strangely inadequate - I am really struggling to understand what victory is in the modern world - is the best we can ever expect some unsatisfactory compromise mess and is it worth it?
  5. msr

    msr LE

    It is now, but I am not sure who will make the final judgement.

  6. Come back in ten years time when Basra is a puppet state of Iran and say if it was worth one British life....

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    I'm just wondering whether where we are now is what everyone had in mind when we crossed the border six year's ago and whether that has implications for Afghanistan in the future.
  8. Always keep in mind that in WW2, Korea, the Falklands and in GW1 all did was restore the status quo. In Basra we left the prospect of something better, as did the war at large.
  9. Ours is not to reason why................

    We did our bit, the politicians haven't, i think it will be a part of our history not talked about much and will probably go down as a mistake made under false pretence's. Of course it will be viewed as a military and not a political failure.

    I hope Blair has difficulty sleeping at night.


    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Sorry, I'm not being obtuse but I don't understand this. Korea/Falklands/GW1 may have restored the status quo (which was the stated aim for at least two of them) but the post war settlement for WW2 was not status quo ante by any measure.

    As for 'In Basra we left the prospect of something better... ' perhaps, but my question is whether it is more likely that we left the prospect for something worse?
  11. Plus side: half of Germany

    Minus side: a hostile superpower we could never in a million years have stopped set up camp 500 miles from the English Channel.

    It was a moral victory, and the Soviets were better than the Nazis, but to call it a serious improvement on the pre-war situation would be iffy to say the least.

    As for Iraq - time will tell.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    And that is my point - six years on, shouldn't we have some greater certainty than 'Inshallah'. What was the endstate we were working towards and how close are we to it as we leave? I have yet to hear that articulated by any of the commentators/great and good and I don't remember it being fully articulated when I was in Iraq.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    In those conflicts we shattered the enemy's army, thereby allowing ourselves to declare victory.

    In Basra we left. Whether there is the prospect of something better is something we all hope for.

  14. Short answer:-
    Even in 2003,4,5 etc etc..............................
    Gordon Brown as Chancellor>purse strings>MoD>our kit>planning for post war reconstruction>nil.
    Winners out of this>Zanu Liabour>loads of spin.
    Losers out of this>Tommy Atkins>shite kit>no CBA>lack of any forward planning>sold up the Shaat by HMG.
    It has to take coroners inquests of lads coming back to Brize/Lyneham to get into the press to bring things to the public view, and it still takes light years to get things done. Snatch anyone?
    What if they, the coroners, did not have the balls to speak up?
    It is only just over a year ago the JAM were running the place, topping anyone with any connection with us, and generally running amok. How many LECs and interpreters had to run to Jordan/Kuwait/Syria etc etc?
    Before you start, I have been there, done that and my answer is still spin, to ensure Phoney Tony has left his legacy to the UK and the world.
    He certainly has and the sooner he gets his collar felt for war crimes the better. Oh, and if convicted I would like the prosecution to get the Assets Recovery Agency to recover the profits of his criminal enterprise.
    It was a lovely dream though!....................................
  15. Very true. But in WW2 we just made way for a new problem. NK is still alive and bitching, Argentina still wants the Falklands, and GW1 left Saddam in power. The trick is to solve the problem. You can kick the snot out of any army, but unless you change the mindset of the enemy (as we did with France and Germany) you'll always be back.