Friday, May 01, 2009

UK leaves Iraq

The British Army officially ends its presence in Iraq today. Well done!

The Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein was not a moral government, but rather an illegal dictatorship of aggression founded on lies and torture. The multiple aggressive attacks on neighbours (Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel) and its own citizens simply reinforced that crime. It was an illegitimate tyranny that a coalition of like minded states had the moral right to overthrow.

The British Army can be proud of its legacy in Iraq, despite some mistakes and instances of appalling behaviour. It is hoped that some accountability can be had for instances of inappropriate use of force against civilians. However, one should bear in mind the cruelty and mass murder of the Iranian and Al Qaeda backed militia and terrorists who sought to transform Iraq into an Islamist tyranny. Part responsibility for this was appallingly poor planning on behalf of the US and its allies about what to do after overthrowing the Hussein tyranny. That was by far the biggest mistake.

Basra is better off now that the British Army has seen off both the Hussein tyranny and the Islamist insurgency. The Stop the War Coalition would have preferred Basra live under the Ba'athist gangster like Hussein tyranny - because governments that oppress their own people are apparently better than wars to overthrow them.

Tragically 179 British men and women lost their lives to this cause, and there are rightful calls for an inquiry into the British participation, with my concern being accusations the troops were poorly equipped and under resourced, as well as the lack of planning and follow up after the initial mission had been completed. Many lives, both civilian and military might have been saved had planning been more thorough. For now, perhaps British taxpayers will be relieved that the withdrawal will save them money!

(Unlike some, I don't believe that attacking a dictatorship to overthrow it is illegal or immoral)


ZenTiger said...
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ZenTiger said...

Fair comments. Instead of the "not my problem" attitude from the left, how much more productive if the Coalition of the Willing were given support to oust Saddam with constructive criticism serving as a watchdog over their actions, rather than destructive bias.

And if only we remained willing to oust those that have the kind of track record Saddam had.

We saved a lot of Iraqi people. That Islamic fundamentalists then took the opportunity to start killing the people we saved is not a failure of allied efforts as much a recognition that there is far greater evil out there than critics of the west seem prepared to accept.

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling said...

Erm ,really? Though I have no doubt of their bravery and skill, the fact remains that their vaunted skill in winning hearts and minds learnt in Northern Ireland failed and they had retreated to the airport. It was the Americans and Iraqis who won Basra back.

That Islamic fundamentalists then took the opportunity to start killing the people we saved is not a failure of allied efforts I beg to differ here also everyone with any brains who looked into invading Iraq knew that it would be a bastard of a place to secure because of the diverse religious splits and tribal loyalties, and Rumsfeld and Bush were morally if not criminally negligent not to take measures to stop this far sooner.