Senior British Officer Iraq speaks out

#1
Lt Gen Graeme Lamb speaks out

Graeme Lamb the three star DComd in Iraq and the top Brit out there has written a decent and interesting article.

Funny how it will probably never see the light of day in the Mainstream press for some reason.....

DISCUSS
 
#2
Money quotes:

"In recent months, the British have taken a number of casualties in Basra. For the United States, and also the Iraqi Security Forces, this burden has been even greater. During the month of October more than 100 US service personnel and three times more Iraqi security forces were killed in action; in addition to scores of civilians.

These are not just another casualty statistic to be easily discarded. They are our family, they were our friends, and they are the people of Iraq we are striving to bring a better life for. Every one of us feels their passing deeply, and no more so than their families.

This is a brutal business and therefore all the more reason to see this sacrifice in a context that we do not often read or hear - the Iraqi people today have a choice. They have a unique opportunity that did not exist before - to seize their freedom and future."

"The average citizens in Iraq want jobs, electricity, and streets where their children can play without fear; and there is certainly more of this than a glance over the newspapers would portray."
 
#3
The General, spookily enough, has expressed perfectly what I have been feeling since I got back.
I think all the clever cnuts and pretend cynics- especially in mediaworld- have been deliberately rubbishing the work done. In a age of goldfish attention span and soundbite journolism the sheep are fed a diet of explosions and death. The journos, and I have yet to see one who make the effort to learn the language, are only after a few seconds footage of carnage, 'cause it sells. But ask yourself. If it was so bad in Afghan and Iraq would these people be queueing up in markets or at recruitment centres? Would the large angry crowds risk themselves in a real shooting warzone? I don't know if it an anti Bush thing, or whether liberals really want brown people to live in sh@t and white people to live in fear. It will take a lot of work to rebuild a systematically destroyed society. That's the way of the world. It is easier to destroy than create. But why on earth do liberals think that reconstruction will be any easier in Iraq than in was in Europe or Japan post 1945? What benefit do liberals think will accrue from running away from challenge, sacrifice and duty? At the very least will one of the clever gits say what the alternative to staying and helping is.
Sorry for taking up your time.
 
#4
Thanks for that post gennithmedic.
That's why I have joined the TA, why I want to get overseas as soon as.
The politics of Iraq and Afghanistan might be open to question but there are people having a crap time and we are there to at least try and do something, even if it does take a long time.
 
#6
All sounds a bit anodyne to me. Why, if he is second in command is he not mentioning the same issues that Dannat did?

Why has he not mentioned kit and supplies?

If everything is so hunky dory, why are there more deaths every month than the month before?

Why does Monkey Boy feel that he has to stick 20,000 septics into all the districts in Baghdad to quell the murdering and violence?

Why is this guy able to get a page on the Defense website? This should tell you something about his words.
 
#7
Giblets said:
All sounds a bit anodyne to me. Why, if he is second in command is he not mentioning the same issues that Dannat did?

Why has he not mentioned kit and supplies?

If everything is so hunky dory, why are there more deaths every month than the month before?

Why does Monkey Boy feel that he has to stick 20,000 septics into all the districts in Baghdad to quell the murdering and violence?

Why is this guy able to get a page on the Defense website? This should tell you something about his words.
Perhaps he did and does, but does it privately and directly to those who need to be told.


To get back to the thread, some months ago I asked if we were really losing in the two areas of combat. No-one thought to mention all this good work that has been done even though some of You were at one time in a position to know. No-one has ever cared to mention the unity of the government, even though some of You worked directly with various people within it.

As for the journalists amongst You - You must have known all that Lamb knew - but You wished to keep it from the British public - You are so low as to not be worth despising
 
#8
Sven said:
Giblets said:
All sounds a bit anodyne to me. Why, if he is second in command is he not mentioning the same issues that Dannat did?

Why has he not mentioned kit and supplies?

If everything is so hunky dory, why are there more deaths every month than the month before?

Why does Monkey Boy feel that he has to stick 20,000 septics into all the districts in Baghdad to quell the murdering and violence?

Why is this guy able to get a page on the Defense website? This should tell you something about his words.
Perhaps he did and does, but does it privately and directly to those who need to be told.


To get back to the thread, some months ago I asked if we were really losing in the two areas of combat. No-one thought to mention all this good work that has been done even though some of You were at one time in a position to know. No-one has ever cared to mention the unity of the government, even though some of You worked directly with various people within it.

As for the journalists amongst You - You must have known all that Lamb knew - but You wished to keep it from the British public - You are so low as to not be worth despising
Sven

I try to give you the benefit of the doubt, but you do get up my nose sometimes.

During my little stint in IZ in 2004, journalists were trotting out the old, MoD-inspired cliches about how soldiers patrolled Basrah in soft hats giving out sweets to locals at the same time as we had the city ringed with Main Battle Tanks, movement was only possible in Warrior and battles of incredible ferocity were occuring on a daily basis with the Mahdi Army, with casualties to match.

Sitting in Iraq, we were appalled at how none of this was known by people back home, who thought Iraq was pretty well sorted as they indulged in their trite celebrity/reality TV shows. The inability of the media to tell the story was a disservice to those fighting - and to the tribulations of the Iraqi people. It almost felt like Big Brother (from 1984 not Channel 4).

A similar situation oappears to have occured in Afghanistan with government-spin ('not a shot fired') obscuring the reality.

Now there are some good news stories in Iraq, but they are few and far between. I have heard one of Gen Lamb's predecessor speaking in a closed forum far more candidly and the assessment was far from positive then.

The media will never get it completely right for sure; they can only do simple black or white assessments for their lowest common denominator publications. However, to suggest that the media is conspiring to present a bleak picture which bears no relation to the happy truth is so, so wrong. For journalists to trot out MoD (ie no 10) propoganda without any balance would do everyone an utter disservice.
 
#9
So General Lambs article is just government propaganda? Or were they keeping it secret to trot out at the time of greatest need? These facts were known but not shown to the general public - why?

To be quite honest I don't give a sh1t about getting up anyones nose at the moment - especially those on the forum who knew about these facts. Such blatent dishonesty is disgraceful. Too many people purposely misquote and actively demean what is happening for the good in Iraq.

Some people even misquote Reid - did He really say what You attributed to him, or was he expressing the HOPE that no shots would be fired
 
#10
Sven said:
So General Lambs article is just government propaganda? Or were they keeping it secret to trot out at the time of greatest need? These facts were known but not shown to the general public - why?

To be quite honest I don't give a sh1t about getting up anyones nose at the moment - especially those on the forum who knew about these facts. Such blatent dishonesty is disgraceful. Too many people purposely misquote and actively demean what is happening for the good in Iraq.

Some people even misquote Reid - did He really say what You attributed to him, or was he expressing the HOPE that no shots would be fired
Well, it appeared on a government website, prodcued by a department with a huge PR team desperate for some 'good news' stories to balance the unremittingly bad stories emanating from Iraq. And yes, it probably has been trotted out at the hour of greatest need - that's how news management works. You may have had military experience, Sven, but have you ever worked in the field of PR? It is how business is done.

I agree that as many facts as possible shoud be made available about Iraq so we can make our own minds up - and that includes good as well as bad. If anything is disgraceful, however, it is the actions of this government in trying to cover up the bad for so long. The missing of a few statistics on mobile phone coverage pales into insignificance in comparison (interestingly, whilst it is true that mobiles were banned under Saddam, this only meant that wireless handsets for landlines were produced with a range of kilometres rather than metres as are available in the UK. It is these that have been used to initiate IEDs).

As for Reid's statement, for a SoS to express a hope that he knows is manifestly ridiculous is as bad as mentioning it as a likelihood. Let others correct me, but as far as I could see, anyone with even the vaguest connection to 16 AA Bde's pre-deployment preparation was under no illusion that they were going to fight a hard battle.

Deposing Saddam led to a number of improvements in terms of new freedoms for Shia - few would argue with that, but the consolidation of these for the majority in the face of the rise of violent fundamentalists has largely failed. As for the Sunni - well, time will tell.
 
#11
Now this is exactly what I mean.

First You try and subvert the article by claiming it is 'a good news story'. A good news story which mentions

n recent months, the British have taken a number of casualties in Basra. For the United States, and also the Iraqi Security Forces, this burden has been even greater. During the month of October more than 100 US service personnel and three times more Iraqi security forces were killed in action; in addition to scores of civilians.

These are not just another casualty statistic to be easily discarded. They are our family, they were our friends, and they are the people of Iraq we are striving to bring a better life for. Every one of us feels their passing deeply, and no more so than their families.
You go on to use, as Your comparison, fuccking mobile phones. They are so fuccking important arern't they. A better comparison might have been

In 2005 alone, 98 percent of Iraqi children between 1-5 years old (3.62 million) were immunised against measles, mumps, and rubella. Also in 2005, 97 percent of Iraqi children under five (4.56 million) were immunised against polio.
But that is just too much good news isn't it.


Journalists would have us believe that the majority of Iraqis wish to have their coutnry split into three yet polls quoted in the article would say otherwise

In July, a poll by the nonprofit International Republican Institute found that 94% of Iraqis said they support a “unity” government. Nearly 80% opposed Iraq being segregated by religion or ethnicity, and even in Baghdad where sectarian violence is heightened, 76% opposed ethnic separation.

Similarly, according to a September WorldPublicOpinion.org poll, 97% of Iraqis said they “strongly disapprove” of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and 96% of Iraqis disapproved of attacks on Iraqi security forces.

These are the voices of that huge, so often forgotten, and silent majority of Iraqis who deserve a better life. They are good people who struggle and fall, but pick themselves up every day and continue to move on. These are people who deserve a chance. Their hopes and their dreams are, I believe as they do, worth fighting for. And it is this that this coalition does every day.
Why were these polls never printed in the newspapers, why didn't the television journalists highlight this

:roll:
 
#12
Cabarfeidh said:
Lt Gen Graeme Lamb speaks out

Graeme Lamb the three star DComd in Iraq and the top Brit out there has written a decent and interesting article.

Funny how it will probably never see the light of day in the Mainstream press for some reason.....

DISCUSS

Please. There is no need to add "three star" to your post.
I think we all know what a Lieutenant General is.
I know a lot of people use it to placate the spams; but this is ARRSE, and most of us are British.



Quack
 
#13
Sven said:
Some people even misquote Reid - did He really say what You attributed to him, or was he expressing the HOPE that no shots would be fired
Reid did not make any attempt to clarify his statement after it was widely 'misinterpreted'. If he believed that people were misquoting him he should have said so, but he chose to keep very quiet. Hardly the actions of a man of any integrity.

What you seem to accept is that each and every Government statement should never be taken at face value and should always be picked over with a lawyer's or actuary's attention to detail for any hidden or nuanced meanings.

Is this really what we should expect from a 'pretty straight sort of guy'? Is this really what we should expect from a Government which has been in office for ten years and which declared that it would be 'purer than pure' or somesuch garbage?

Maybe we should now seek Blair's precise definition of the word 'straight'. Maybe we should ask Blair if he expects his Ministers to have their own - but different - standards of integrity (and responsibility, if any).

Or maybe we should take the hint and simply never believe anything they say but carefully observe what they do. 'By their actions so shall you know them'.
 
#14
Quite the opposite.

I would expect that they should be taken at face value. So if Reid expresses a hope it should be just tht and not turned into something more sinister
 
#15
Sven

I'm giving up. Whilst I like to think that I challenge received wisdom & retain a questioning and open mind, your world is just too bizarre for me.

I would, however. like leave you with one thought to ponder, when your ire rises due to the inability of many to see the good side or trust the government. Given the 'clear and present' (to coin a phrase) deception practiced by this government (and I'm not party political) and the US administration at the start of this business and regularly throughout, why should anyone believe what they say about Iraq anymore?
 
#16
Dilfor said:
Sven

I'm giving up. Whilst I like to think that I challenge received wisdom & retain a questioning and open mind, your world is just too bizarre for me.

I would, however. like leave you with one thought to ponder, when your ire rises due to the inability of many to see the good side or trust the government. Given the 'clear and present' (to coin a phrase) deception practiced by this government (and I'm not party political) and the US administration at the start of this business and regularly throughout, why should anyone believe what they say about Iraq anymore?
Perhaps we should question the relevent agencies to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the government 'good news'.

So, 98% of children innoculated? - ask the agency which did the innoculating (the UN?)
 
#17
If you look hard enough, you will find good news stories in every war torn country. My observation is that the spoon feeding of good news by this government appears to be done to detract from information that really should be analysed in the public domain.

The trotting out of figures to support this or that argument is neither here nor there. I could string more soundbites from TELIC on how much better life was for ordinary Iraqis, inspite of the nightly gun battles, murders, and sectarianism going on around Basra - kidding the British public through an all too often ill-informed press is easy, if these improvements are so substantial, the mass media would be there in droves - they are not, because it is not safe for them to be.

Like Dilfor I've sat in meetings behind the scenes, away from journalists and heard VIP's making their professional views clear, and the void betwen these views expressed privately and the MOD messaging is vast.

Yes, publish the good news, but understand that until some basics are taken care of, the number of members of the Fallujah Board of Trade means the square root of nothing. Hardly surprising that the number has shot up - if you want to apply for a rebuilding grant from the Iraqi Government, you have to be a member of a recognised trade body. Surprisingly in Fallujah, lots of people want have stuff to rebuild, so they have to join. This bit seems to have been omitted from the article.
 
#18
Sven said:
Quite the opposite.

I would expect that they should be taken at face value. So if Reid expresses a hope it should be just tht and not turned into something more sinister
But, of course, the reality is altogether much more sinister. The widespread concern about size and adequacy of the force deployment expressed at that time was largely discounted by all and sundry in the Government. And, as I said, Reid did not seek to clarify his position even after there was this widespread 'misunderstanding'.

Ministers' Learning Curves (assuming they actually do learn anything about their jobs) are the direct cause of casualties. They are incompetent. But, even when they have been in post for long enough to learn anything, they climb back on the money-go-round and get another Ministry. This, naturally, is so that they don't have to deal with the consequences of their abject failures.

And Reid has now had his '100 days' at the 'not-fit-for-purpose' Home Office. Seems to be working to the same standards there, too. How long before they have yet another reshuffle?

Ten years' experience has shown most people that your touching faith in the openness and veracity of Ministers' statements is - to put it mildly - unwise.
 
#19
Sven said:
Now this is exactly what I mean.

First You try and subvert the article by claiming it is 'a good news story'. A good news story which mentions

n recent months, the British have taken a number of casualties in Basra. For the United States, and also the Iraqi Security Forces, this burden has been even greater. During the month of October more than 100 US service personnel and three times more Iraqi security forces were killed in action; in addition to scores of civilians.

These are not just another casualty statistic to be easily discarded. They are our family, they were our friends, and they are the people of Iraq we are striving to bring a better life for. Every one of us feels their passing deeply, and no more so than their families.
You go on to use, as Your comparison, fuccking mobile phones. They are so fuccking important arern't they. A better comparison might have been

In 2005 alone, 98 percent of Iraqi children between 1-5 years old (3.62 million) were immunised against measles, mumps, and rubella. Also in 2005, 97 percent of Iraqi children under five (4.56 million) were immunised against polio.
But that is just too much good news isn't it.


Journalists would have us believe that the majority of Iraqis wish to have their coutnry split into three yet polls quoted in the article would say otherwise

In July, a poll by the nonprofit International Republican Institute found that 94% of Iraqis said they support a “unity” government. Nearly 80% opposed Iraq being segregated by religion or ethnicity, and even in Baghdad where sectarian violence is heightened, 76% opposed ethnic separation.

Similarly, according to a September WorldPublicOpinion.org poll, 97% of Iraqis said they “strongly disapprove” of attacks against Iraqi civilians, and 96% of Iraqis disapproved of attacks on Iraqi security forces.

These are the voices of that huge, so often forgotten, and silent majority of Iraqis who deserve a better life. They are good people who struggle and fall, but pick themselves up every day and continue to move on. These are people who deserve a chance. Their hopes and their dreams are, I believe as they do, worth fighting for. And it is this that this coalition does every day.
Why were these polls never printed in the newspapers, why didn't the television journalists highlight this

:roll:
All very nice Sven, but on the point of vaccinations, can you tell us what percentage of the population was immunised BEFORE this peaceful and productive residence of foreign armed forces in Iraq?

If our three star ossifer is the only one speaking the truth, why have SO MANY leading commanders in the UK forces spoken out about the lack of equipment, including ammunition, food and water?

If it is so peaceful and loverly, then why are so many people dying over there?

In Iraq, and Afghanistan, there are indeed many many good things happening alongside the terrible tortures, suicide bombings, murders, rapes and robbery. However, the 'speaking out' by your ossifer isn't exactly that is it? He is merely making an anodyne statement on an MOD website in support of the work that is going on. Why is he doing this? Because the four star bods refuse to, but all the same, someone has to make these noises 'cos 'Gordotaxemalltiltheybleed' doesn't like the bad publicity and may cut funds further because of said bad publicity.

Are you a pro-gordo infiltrator sent to provide disinformation and confuse the situation? If you are, you aren't doing a very good job. I suggest you watch Dispatches at 11pm tonight.
 
#20
Sven said:
Perhaps we should question the relevent agencies to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the government 'good news'.

So, 98% of children innoculated? - ask the agency which did the innoculating (the UN?)
DAMN! Couldn't help myself!

Was it the UN?

Due to the parlous security situation, I was not aware of the operation of any IOs/NGOs in Iraq since late 2003/early 2004 (when ICRC left after the bombing of their HQ). Indeed, even our own OGD people left recently. Others may know differently?

There is a phrase you may have heard of - the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. These statistics are not the whole truth. The article balances them - as you correctly point out - with mention of Coalition casualties, but this is still not the whole truth. Undiluted negativity is not the whole truth either; but if one has to make a judgement of success or failure, I am afraid it is failure.
 

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