Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

A mission that ended in shame

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

A mission that ended in shame

Old 1st May 2009, 19:36
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 1,398
A mission that ended in shame

With acknowledgements to Arab News

Editorial: A mission that ended in shame
1 May 2009

For all the self-congratulation at yesterday’s ceremony in Basra marking the formal end to the six-year combat role of British forces in Iraq, the verdict of one senior US officer this week has been that the British actually suffered a defeat.

In the early days of their occupation, British commanders were proud their soldiers were patrolling the streets in their berets and without body armor, giving sweets to children and chatting through interpreters to locals. The implication was that the US patrol method, using helmeted and Keflar-protected troops in heavily armored vehicles was not the right way to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Iraqis.

In the end neither the softly-softly British approach nor the US mailed fist worked out. With the unstoppable rise of the local Shiite militias, the British became besieged in one of Saddam’s old Basra palaces and completely lost control of the city. They were finally forced to retreat to the airport eight miles outside the city, where they could more easily protect their perimeter. Basra thereafter remained a lawless town in the grip of the militias until last year, Iraqi troops and police, backed by US forces, re-seized control in the “Charge of the Knights” operation.

The problem for both the US and British occupation forces was that their political masters Bush and Blair became victims of their own lies, which they had used to justify the invasion. Not only was Saddam’s regime supposed to have weapons of mass destruction which could be deployed in short order, but Iraqis were supposed to be longing for rescue from the dictatorship in which they lived. Given that Basra and the south of the country were predominantly Shiite areas, and Shiites had been regular victims of Saddam’s Sunni-dominated regime, it is hardly surprising that initially there was a welcome for British soldiers. But that welcome quickly turned to anger when, due to a complete lack of serious planning from Washington and London, the occupiers proved incapable of delivering reconstruction, not least of reliable power and safe drinking water.

George W. Bush simply did not understand the monumental task he had set himself and the British clearly imagined that as a former colonial occupier, they could muddle through as they always do. This criminal lack of thought as to how Iraqi infrastructure could be restored as quickly as possible and security and government passed back rapidly to Iraqis, was what boosted the insurgency of both Sunnis and Shiites.

Now the British are pulling out the last 4,000 of their combat troops, leaving just 400 specialists to carry on training Iraqi police and army units. The Americans have taken over their occupation in the south but they too are due to pull out of urban areas and regroup in their bases within the coming two months, before quitting the country completely by 2011.

The question now is whether Washington and London are repeating the same mistakes in Afghanistan, where too much reliance on military might has alienated moderate Afghans and actually boosted the Taleban.
soddim is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:43
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South West
Age: 68
Posts: 77
And this has what exactly to do with Military aviation?

Succumb to odd propaganda if you must but take your fishing elsewhere.

Byee
lurkposition is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:46
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hants
Posts: 2,291
I think anyone with half a brain (that's most politicians ruled out) could see right from the start that there would not be a clean regime change and that the killing would continue despite the best efforts of the allied forces.

It is the same, possibly even worse, in Afghanistan. Too many of the population just simply do not want democratic politics to prevail in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

I think both will be subject to killing sprees for a long time into the future, and both will also become even bigger contributors to terrorist activity.
anotherthing is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:49
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Just behind the back of beyond....
Posts: 3,911
An extremely partial and anti-British view, which does not reflect reality.

I found it compelling that even the local Militia commander reluctantly expressed his admiration for British 'cleverness' and for the effectiveness of our approach.

Some Yanks seem to only be able to get any self validation by running down the Brits, and some Brits seem only too keen to believe the resulting propaganda and to indulge in futile and rather embarrassing self flagellation.

Defeat my ar$e. Get a grip, Soddim.
Jackonicko is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:50
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South West
Age: 68
Posts: 77
Thanks Jacko, I thought it was just me !
lurkposition is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:51
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 1,398
lurkposition, take your narrowmindness elsewhere please. This has everything to do with military aviation and military life. If you do not understand that and the need to study the point of view of friendly Arab nations, you would do well to return to your normal reading. The Sun?
soddim is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:54
  #7 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 1,398
Jacko. As a journalist, I would have thought you would be less narrow-minded of the journalistic opinions that differed from yours.

Defeat my ar$e. Get a grip, Soddim.
It's not me that needs to get a grip. Iraq was an unmitigated disaster and Afghanistan is going the same way.
soddim is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:55
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South West
Age: 68
Posts: 77
Cor, raw nerve or what.
I have been working in the middle East before you were eating from your bunnykins dishes.
I had great regard for those I was working with. I am also aware of the propaganda that is constructed in that part of the world.
Look inwards and contemplate!
lurkposition is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:59
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Age: 55
Posts: 664
Some Yanks seem to only be able to get any self validation by running down the Brits,
Is this an example of that thar "British irony" thing I hear so much about?

And, of course, the reverse of your statement is never true.

I read it as an Arab essay, with the writer having his political viewpoint.

One I don't agree with.
brickhistory is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 19:59
  #10 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 1,398
lurkposition I have also worked in the ME and I doubt that you can tell me anything about how they think or why. Anyway, you have to accept that they are entitled to their opinion of our performance in Iraq - that is what I posted.

If you don't like it - fine. But it is their editorial and we do a lot of trade with Saudi. Maybe you don't like that either but it pays a lot of UK bills.
soddim is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 20:05
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: bored
Posts: 531
If there is eventually an Iraq inquiry, the MoD will come out of it unscathed - once it was "established" that the invasion was "legal", the MoD carried out their tasks with (except in a few isolated cases) dignity and respect for the Iraqi people. Perhaps some senior officers should have kicked up more of an objection about the blatantly cooked justification.

Those who should be found guilty are Blair, John Scarlett and SIS. JIC chairman John Scarlett was the pivotal figure in the creation of the "dodgy dossier", and he could never have created it without complicity from Dearlove who was at the time CSS. SIS allowed themselves to become politicised, and that undermined British democracy.
CirrusF is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 20:07
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lancashire
Age: 43
Posts: 552
1) The war was illegal, before & after the event.

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war.

3) British troops have died for a lie.

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now.

7) You'll never get thanked for it.

8) It will happen again.
Thelma Viaduct is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 20:27
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: england
Age: 56
Posts: 322
are the population still being tortured with power drills and mains voltage
just for opening their mouths to the wrong people?
is there still a risk of being gassed if you belong to a "minority"?
sure, no fanfare and tickertape parade,
maybe in a few years, a strong and stable iraq will take her place in the
"civilized" world.
that seems like a victory to me.

i'm sure i'm not alone when i say "TO THE FALLEN, WE SALUTE YOU"
mr fish is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 20:51
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 476
Where do you get the 'victory' bit from when the prime purpose of the invasion was to negate the 'threat' from chemical and biological weapons to the region ? Regime change wasn't on the agenda that was given to the public as the justification for war. I am proud of the efforts of British forces -however the politicians that sent them there should hang their heads in shame.
RileyDove is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:08
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South Wales
Age: 58
Posts: 729
Pious Pilot,

My answers are in red:

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war. British Troops were sent to do a job based on what their leaders believed in.

3) British troops have died for a lie. There was no lie. And trust me they died believing what they were doing was right.

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it. Why? He was not a dictator who invaded another country for gain. He invaded a country in the belief that he would make the world a better place.

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol. Sorry but you are very wrong there. The Great British Public do care and certainly the people I work for have shown it in huge numbers quite recently. The difference is that the Great British Public are free to be able to watch pop idol which is more than the Iraqi people were able to do a few years ago.

6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now. I take it that you would be happy to see hundreds, thousands or even millions of Iraqi people to be continually exterminated (women and children) because you did not agree with it.

7) You'll never get thanked for it. Already been thanked mate...several times in Kuwait and Saudi and quite often when I am down my local pub.....by the people who only watch pop idol!!!!

8) It will happen again. Well I hope it does, to be able to rid the world of all dictatorships that bring evil on innocent people.

By the way could somebody please answer my question in this thread:

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...rnado-ops.html

A lot of good men have died in this cause since 1991 (and I knew a few of them).
SRENNAPS is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:15
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: bristol
Age: 51
Posts: 1,053
Brickhistory

Hi.
I think you may find that it is your own side of the pond that is well known for irony, whereas my side of the pond is known for sarcasm. Your own post (see below) did contain a magnificent piece of irony itself,

Is this an example of that thar "British irony" thing I hear so much about?
And, of course, the reverse of your statement is never true.
I read it as an Arab essay, with the writer having his political viewpoint.
One I don't agree with. just look at line two!

Well done old fruit, Britishness is rubbing off on you quite nicely.

Being serious, I did think you came across as a bit touchy in your post. Please remember, that no matter how much we might moan about Americans (even though we generally like you), it isn't a patch on how much we moan about ourselves
barnstormer1968 is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:22
  #17 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: earth
Posts: 1,398
SRENNAPS Have to take issue with your statement
No war is legal or illegal.
That seems to indicate that there is no war that can be justified by our legal standards.

We in this country have a very advanced legal system that was questioned before MOD was happy to commit to the war in Iraq. The Attorney General even changed his brief so that Tony could say he was going to war legally and that made everybody happy that our military could not be charged with war crimes.

Sorry, but, although I admire your loyalty, and I share your total support for our military, I cannot agree that the war was either legal or necessary.
soddim is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:27
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lancashire
Age: 43
Posts: 552
To SRENNAPS,

Answered in green

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

Being abstract with your reply doesn't make it right, you sound like an apologist with a conscience. The war was illegal before the UN decided it was also illegal. Iraq had no WMD, that's why the inspectors couldn't find any. That was the reason behind the war, before it was changed to regime change then terrorist destruction etc The UK 'govern'ment couldn't give a $hit about its own citizens, what makes you think they care about a foreign country?

2) British troops were sent to fight an illegal war. British Troops were sent to do a job based on what their leaders believed in.

See No.1. When you sign up, it's to do the right things not be led in to illegal & immoral wars that have more to do with oil than doing the right thing. The reason given was a lie, not even a good lie.

3) British troops have died for a lie. There was no lie. And trust me they died believing what they were doing was right.

See No.1

4) Blair et al should be jailed for it. Why? He was not a dictator who invaded another country for gain. He invaded a country in the belief that he would make the world a better place.

See No.1

5) The 'great' british public don't care, they're too busy watching pop idol. Sorry but you are very wrong there. The Great British Public do care and certainly the people I work for have shown it in huge numbers quite recently. The difference is that the Great British Public are free to be able to watch pop idol which is more than the Iraqi people were able to do a few years ago.

If the 'great' british public did care, blair et al would be in jail.


6) The whole country of Iraq isn't worth the life of 1 British troop, then or now. I take it that you would be happy to see hundreds, thousands or even millions of Iraqi people to be continually exterminated (women and children) because you did not agree with it.

No of course not, by that measure I'd take it that you are happy to see "hundreds, thousands, millions" of innocent people bombed from 25,000ft and the destabilisation leading to many more thousands of deaths from insurgents etc

7) You'll never get thanked for it. Already been thanked mate...several times in Kuwait and Saudi and quite often when I am down my local pub.....by the people who only watch pop idol!!!!

Well done to you, I'm sure it makes you feel like billy big.

8) It will happen again. Well I hope it does, to be able to rid the world of all dictatorships that bring evil on innocent people.

To be replaced with more evil than before.

Thelma Viaduct is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:46
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South Wales
Age: 58
Posts: 729
PP

I only take offence (and deep offence) to one of your answers. No it does not. In fact it makes me shy away..... But I doubt you have any idea of what I am talking about.

You look at the wrong carried out by the right acting against the wrong.
We would have all been dead years ago with your beliefs
SRENNAPS is offline  
Old 1st May 2009, 21:51
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: bristol
Age: 51
Posts: 1,053
Answered in green

1) The war was illegal, before & after the event. No war is legal or illegal. War is war and it is waged to defend right from wrong, religion against religion, politics against politics and belief against belief. How can any person on Earth decide what is legal and illegal.

Being abstract with your reply doesn't make it right. The war was illegal before the UN decided it was also illegal. Iraq had no WMD, that's why the inspectors couldn't find any. That was the reason behind the war, before it was changed to regime change then terrorist destruction etc etc

Hmm nice pretty colours.
I am always intrigued as to which laws anyone thinks the action broke. For something to be illegal, it has to break or go against a set law, and even then it normally needs a test case to be compared to.
So, (to anyone) which actual law forbidding the UK to be involved in Iraq in this exact way did the UK actually break (UN resolutions are not laws). Before answering, please remember this must have already been in existence, prior to the action. Also which countries law are we to look at, ours, Iraq's or anyone elses?, for example If I were to travel at excess speed in my car, then I would be fined under British law, whereas if I did it in Iraq, then I would be fined under their law.
If you think I am being frivolous, I am not, it is just that actual law is not something that is real just because lots of people say it is.
This was something with no set law to follow, even though we had been in Iraq several times before over the previous one hundred years, as had others.
In a silly, but factually correct example of how laws need to be in place to be broken, consider this: If I were to shoot my neighbour in the face and kill him, I would be imprisoned for life, as I had broken a long standing law, whereas if an alien appeared with him, and I shot the alien in the face and killed him too, then that would be perfectly legal, as there is no law saying it is wrong!. Maybe after this, it may become illegal to shoot aliens, but until the law is passed, then it cannot be broken. Quite obvious if you bother to think about it.
barnstormer1968 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.