I’ve said many times that unless the Tories abandon their right-wing, eurosceptic agenda they will never be a serious political force again. Recently, Michael Heseltine
, Kenneth Clarke and Douglas Hurd have all been making their voices heard on their opposition to Blair’s dirty war and recent decision to send British troops north to help out the Americans. Last week Lord Heseltine was also a panellist on Question Time
(where I have to admit he talked a lot of sense on several issues).
I just wonder if they are regrouping ready for the inevitable failure of the Howard/Redwood ticket?
Just as we all knew would happen, we have “rolled over” like a good dog because of the “special relationship” between US and UK. Hoon insists there is a military justification:
“After careful evaluation, the chiefs of staff have advised me that UK forces are able to undertake the proposed operation, that there is a compelling military operational justification for doing so, and that it entails a militarily acceptable level of risk for UK forces,”
But can someone explain to me why when the US has 130,000 troops in Iraq – if we are to believe this is not political – do they need a few hundred of our troops to bail them out? Answers on a postcard… Oh yes, and while we’re at it, what is a “militarily acceptable” level of risk to out troops?
Just in case any of you were still tempted to believe the ‘things are better now’ propaganda about Iraq, here’s a quote from the Baghdad Burning
blog (described as a ‘Girl Blog from Iraq’)
The explosions in Baghdad aren’t any better. A few days ago, some 40 children were blown to pieces while they were gathering candy from American soldiers at the opening of a sewage treatment plant. (Side note: That’s how bad things have gotten- we have to celebrate the reconstruction of our sewage treatment plants). I don’t know who to be more angry with- the idiots and PR people who thought it would be a good idea to have children running around during a celebration involving troops or the parents for letting their children attend.
Her blog makes sobering reading. She mentions that she recently watched a pirate copy of Fahrenheit 9/11 (which has now had it’s UK DVD release). If you haven’t seen this yet – you must. But I tried to imagine watching it from the point of view of an ordinary Iraqi – makes you think doesn’t it?
At last, Labour’s back-bechers are beginning to wake up. Many who voted for the war, are now saying that US requests for British troops to infill in trouble zones are a step too far – especially in the run up to the US Presidential election in two weeks’ time. Lib Dem Jenny Tonge pulled a masterstroke when she drew the admission from Hoon that “we would be failing as allies” if we said no (after insisting no decision had been made). Today Jack Straw has poured fuel on the fire by admitting he was “very sympathetic” to the request.
But if it isn’t political then what is it? The US certainly don’t need 600 Brits – their on the ground deployment runs into five figures! I think it’s more to do with trying to disprove John Kerry’s assertion that Bush’s Iraq policy has isolated America. I am aware from server logs that I get a fair few US readers. Well I’ve got some news for you guys – Bush is not well thought of here. A large number of Brits resent being dragged into an unnecessary war that was not of our making. When you really need us, we’ll always be staunch allies. But Iraq was not behind 9/11 and a war on Iraq has not made the world a safer place. Do us all a favour, and vote for a change at the Whitehouse. The world dare not countenance another term under Bush.