What was all that about?

“The United Kingdom’s occupation of Iraq proved so unpopular at home that London had to declare success and head for the exit. The British pulled out early, and chaos followed in their wake.”

Not Iraq 17 December 2008 but a verdict on the end of the British mandate in 1932. There must be a fair chance that history will repeat itself. The contemporary press verdict on the whole affair is mixed, reflecting the confusion and deep doubt over what it was all about. I doubt if demands for an inquiry will bear fruit this side of the general election… and then…. who knows?

  • 6countyprod

    After 9/11, Bush declared that 60 years of US/Western foreign policy in the Middle East had failed. (Obviously it was longer than that) Hence the change in strategy and the introduction of the much maligned Bush Doctrine.

    Brian is right when he says in relation to Iraq that ‘There must be a fair chance that history will repeat itself.’ Hopefully, however, this time around, when the coalition of the willing finally withdraws (2011?), the seeds of democracy will have taken root, and Iraq will be a beacon of hope and inspiration in a region of the world which knows little of political or personal freedom, or free and fair elections.

  • Why am I still a UUP voter?

    “There must be a fair chance that history will repeat itself”: out of interest, is there *any* lazy, second-hand, historically illiterate piece of liberal biogtry Brian Walker won’t subscibe to? Far from being a failure, in just about every term set out for, British intervention in Iraq was a success. After 1932 (and thanks solely to the efforts of what London had done since the war), Iraq: enjoyed representative institutions with, by common historical consent (read some Yapp!) the most advanced parliamentary forms in the Arab world, and, the cleanest elections; her living standards rose for fully thirty years following the British conquest (unprecedented before or since); and, the Hashemite regime provided cleaner, less murderous goverance that either its Turkic forebears, Baathist successors, or, I’m sorry to say, (by per capita killings) it current American overlords. And that’s just what we did for Iraq; for we did for ourselves was to create a stable client state, which, with the exception of one brief fortnight of futility did rather more for us during the war against Fascism than, oh, other countries I could think of. I have yet to be convinced that for the expenditure of vast volumes of both blood and treasure the Americans have likewise doen themselves an equally good, generation-secure, favour. Still, where would be without Briain’s stale, unthinking, progressive nostrums? Probably living in a country where the taxpayer didn’t have to pay a poll tax for the Guardian’s broadcast arm. But that is another dream for another day.

  • “a region of the world which knows little of political or personal freedom, or free and fair elections.”

    Perhaps, but there is one thing the Iraqis are one up us, they have never invaded and occupied the UK, nor have they ever had any desire to. Such barbarians.

    Why after all we know and all we have inflicted upon innocent Iraqis, do we still believe we are in a position to criticize them.

    What arrogance, if our ideas are so great, why the need of the bayonet?

  • 6countyprod

    Mick,
    Democracy and freedom are not good ideals?!?

  • 6countyprod

    WIASAUUPV,
    You need to go easy on the libs. You need to have empathy for them in their anguish.

    Do you not realise that it is huge humiliation for them to even acknowledge that Iraq might actually work. It is not so long ago that they were gloating in the possibility that Iraq was turning into another Vietnam, and ultimate defeat for the US. Their bubble has been burst. They know it, everybody knows it. You don’t need to rub salt in.

    Be nice now!

  • 6countyprod

    I like them, but I doubt they can be exported successfully on the end of a bayonet. They need to be allowed to take root and be nurtured locally, not set in place by diktat. It has taken those of us who live in the UK and RoI a great deal of time to get to where we are; and we both have some way to go as we still have an unelected and undemocratic second chamber.

    The sweet fruit of democracy take a great deal of time and care before it appears, it cannot be wished into being.

    Seasonal greetings

  • Wilde Rover

    WIASAUUPV,

    “After 1932”

    What, no love for the early days in Mesopotamia?

    My favourite quote from the time is this one by the greatest of British heroes:

    “Winston S. Churchill: departmental minute (Churchill papers: 16/16) 12 May 1919 War Office

    I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.

    I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.”

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “The United Kingdom’s occupation of Iraq proved….”

    Oh aye, the British army occupy other countries, but when the Irish army are abroad their on peace missions.

  • 6countyprod

    The sweet fruit of democracy take a great deal of time and care before it appears, it cannot be wished into being.

    Mick, you are absolutely right. The USMC and the SAS have plowed the ground, dug up the weeds and got rid of a bunch of nasty slugs. Now it is up to Obama to give the fresh shoots of democracy the tender care and attention it needs as it comes to fruition. I have every confidence, assuming Obama doesn’t run off with his tail between his legs at the first sign of weeds and slugs reappearing, that there will be a great harvest, and all the world will be joyful.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours.

  • aquifer

    The British quit Palestine, in 1947 I think, primarily to save money. They left it to Jewish terrorists and look what happened.

  • 6countyprod

    A little more complimentary appraisal of the UK in Iraq

  • Wilde Rover

    UMH,

    “Oh aye, the British army occupy other countries, but when the Irish army are abroad their on peace missions.”
    I think the penny has finally dropped.

    6countyprod,

    “Mick, you are absolutely right. The USMC and the SAS have plowed the ground, dug up the weeds and got rid of a bunch of nasty slugs.”

    Over a million dead slugs. I guess that’s OK because they aren’t really people, eh 6countyprod?

    Oh, I particularly like the way you mixed your justification for crimes against humanity in with a seasonal greeting.

    At least people like Winston Churchill had the balls to stand up and be counted as imperial bastards, and not cover themselves in a shroud of willful ignorance.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Over a million dead”

    Nonsense

    “At least people like Winston Churchill had the balls to stand up and be counted as imperial bastards”

    WSC merely expressed a fairly commonsensical view about the use of tear gas as you can clearly read from the quotation, why is using tear gas barbaric but bombing regarded as civilised? In the event no gas was ever used. It doesn’t stop people endlessly alleging that Churchill “gassed” the Kurds however.

  • 6countyprod

    WR
    just as the vast majority of deaths in NI over the past 40 years were caused by terrorists, not security forces, so it is in Iraq, with particularly vicious reciprocal assaults between AQ/Sunni insurgents and the Shias. The Sunni slaughter of the majority population and the Kurds was, of course, going on long before Bush ever turned up.

    Here’s hoping, with the establishment of Iraqi democracy, that these inter-iraqi atrocities are now a thing of the past.

  • Wilde Rover

    Harry Flashman,

    “Nonsense”

    We have been on this merry go round before Harry. If you measure it from 1991 it’s much higher, basing it on Madeline Albright’s comments on 60 Minutes.

    “It doesn’t stop people endlessly alleging that Churchill “gassed” the Kurds however.”

    I may stand corrected.

    I’m willing to accept that the possibility that the gas was asked for but not used.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_in_Mesopotamia

    So aerial bombardment and village burning did the trick to deal with the uncivilized tribes and the gas wasn’t needed? You learn something new every day.

    6countyprod,

    “just as the vast majority of deaths in NI over the past 40 years were caused by terrorists, not security forces,”

    The security forces may not have been pulling the triggers but they were pulling the strings. It is simply a question of semantics.

    “so it is in Iraq, with particularly vicious reciprocal assaults between AQ/Sunni insurgents and the Shias.”

    And when you say “terrorists” are you including the two Laurence of Arabia British soldiers who were caught by Iraqi police with a vehicle full of explosives travelling in the direction of a mosque?

    And before you suggest they did nothing wrong then why did the British army drive a tank through the wall of the jail where they were being kept? If you have done nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear, right?

    “Here’s hoping, with the establishment of Iraqi democracy, that these inter-iraqi atrocities are now a thing of the past.”

    Well, with the departure of the forces of the Crown it is unlikely the same levels of shite will be stirred in the future.

  • 6countyprod

    WR,
    Did you click on the link at post 11?

  • Wilde Rover

    6countyprod,

    “Did you click on the link at post 11?”

    I thought the article was beneath comment, but if you insist.

    “but when our forces first went into battle, they had the unstinting support of two thirds of the British public, which was desperate to see the back of one of the world’s most despicable dictatorships.”

    Funny, that’s not how I remember it being sold. Imminent attack using WMDs ring a bell?

    “the coalition’s other main objective was to introduce democratic government and the rule of law to a country that had previously known nothing but state-sponsored tyranny.”

    Good one. And what states were sponsoring this tyranny for many years until Saddam was no longer needed?

    “But this is unlikely given the Government’s extreme discomfort with the whole Iraq issue, and the pressing need to divert the precious resources to Afghanistan, the new front line in the war against terrorism.”

    The new front line in the war against terrorism? Maybe I’m totally losing it, but I was under the impression that Afghanistan was supposed to be the old front line in the war against terrorism? Osama and the Saudis hiding out in the mountains?

    As propaganda pieces go, this is piss poor. I give it D-, must do better.

    But thank you for redirecting me to this link 6countyprod. I wouldn’t have seen this gem in the comments section otherwise.

    “Let’s draw up the rap sheet: Up to a million Iraqis killed, up to five million displaced, internally and externally, untold number maimed, illegal detention, torture, mass punishment, massive structural damage (including ancient historical sites), environmental and ecological damage. Use of napalm, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium munitions. And just your standard run-of-the mill brutalization of a civilian population.
    A definition of “better place” I was not previously familiar with.”

  • 6countyprod

    WR, Reread post 14.

  • RepublicanStones

    Gertrude Bell, the ‘Daughter of the Desert’ fashioned Iraq in the manner the british thought most fitting to their own selfish ends. Typically british arrogance.