End in Sight for Iraq Occupation

It seems the unending death toll and lawlessness is driving the need for a change in Iraq policy in the US. And the disastrous invasion is now causing the telegraph to call for a full public inquiry.

Bush and Blair isolated as criticism of war grows
By Colin Brown and Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Published: 18 October 2006
George Bush and Tony Blair were looking more isolated than ever last night as the ground shifted further under their strategy of remaining in Iraq "until the job is done".

The President and the Prime Minister were left clinging to the dream of establishing a lasting democracy in Iraq as their advisers urged them to look for a new, more realistic, exit strategy.

A leaked report by the Iraq Study Group, chaired by former US secretary of state James Baker, a close friend of the Bush family, paved the way for a large-scale withdrawal of US forces and a dramatic shift of US policy.

It suggested that instead of the "stay the course" policy, President Bush could extricate the US from the quagmire of Iraq by removing US forces to bases outside Iraq. In an even more spectacular U-turn, they are believed to suggest that Iran and Syria could be invited to co-operate in the stabilisation of lawless Iraq.

link to full article

Government complacency has cost the lives of soldiers

By Simon Heffer
(Filed: 18/10/2006)

The Dannatt interview and then, over the weekend, a body of American opinion calling increasingly for a phased withdrawal, is the beginning of the end of the coalition's place in Iraq. Phased withdrawal is rumoured to be the conclusion of a report compiled by former Secretary of State James Baker, and is being hotly debated in several close races in the mid-term Congressional elections on November 7. It is time to start thinking of how best to gauge the consequences of the expedition, and to see what lessons can be learnt.

It seems not to be asking too much to say that our forces should never again be expected to go into a theatre of conflict without being properly trained for the conditions they might meet there: and that they should be properly equipped, and be there in the right numbers to do the job. Therefore, the Government should start planning now for the public inquiry into the Iraq war that should follow swiftly on from the departure of the last British soldier from that country.

Link to full article
Blair has become isolated from his own Party, then his Military, now his friends in the US. He is becoming a pathetic figure and should just go before he becomes a figure of fun.
As for Simon Heffers piece, if I recall correctly, he spent the first few years of this current Iraq war shouting down those who opposed it....Somehow, I doubt if he'd welcome an inquiry into how the right-wing Press prepared the public for this 'adventure'.
I'll forgive those who belatedly change their mind now. They were sold a series of lies, after all. I won't forgive those who do not - they are a dwindling band.


Nov - Republican drubbing.
Dec - Iraq exit strategy involving either "Iraqisation" or Iranian/Syrian troops replacing US/UK (or a combination).
Jan - Either send more troops to Afghanistan or pull out entirely.

Bush has a job for another 2 years, his poodle does not.
Anyone care to hazard a definition of 'what' the job is that has yet to be 'done'? Both in Iraq and Afghanistan there is absolutely no clear aim or mission.

But if there is any body out there who can encapsulate why we are in either (or both) of those theatres I'd really like to have the benefit of their wisdom.
Unsworth, excellent question. If the Prime Minister himself cannot articulate what constitutes "job done" then it really is anyone's guess. No doubt he is holding back til the GOP tell him the answer. There's a good little poodle.
Blair isn't going to be around for 'mission accomplished' anyway, nor will GWB. Rumsfeldt will never manage to get the Yanks out by the end of the Bush era, so that means we're stuck. That is unless a British Government decides that enough is enough and we are no longer obligated to carry out American Foreign Policy. Chances of that? Any bets?

But neither of these two cretins has yet articulated any aims and intentions, short of 'democracy and rule of law'. And what the hell does that mean in either of these two countries?

It's a real mistake to believe that the average Afghan or Iraqi has the same appreciation of 'democracy' as the rest of the world. The whole concept is alien. As for the rule of law, well which law are we talking about here? English, Scottish, American, Korean, Sharia, Thermodynamics, Gravity, etc?

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