Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Perhaps a phrase with fewer associations, Mr Blair?

Yep, the PM has once again displayed his singular lack of historical awareness.

As World War One kicked off in 1914, and the British Expeditionary Force disappeared off to fight on the Western Front, the soldiers and the country were promised that they would be "home for Christmas". The trouble is, the few that managed to survive what are still the most bloody and intense battles the world has ever seen didn't make it back until Christmas 1918. Hundreds of thousands had died in the meantime.

Now Blair has promised the same about the battalion which seems to be about to be committed to intense fighting in Iraq. It hardly inspires much confidence...

Then there's also the pertinent question, raised by Tory leader Michael Howard, of precisely what help a battalion of 600 British troops are going to be to an American force of 138,000... The answer? Practically none, but they'll sure help Bush to show the voters that he's got international support...

This whole situation just gets more and more depressing. Iraq is in chaos, it needs to be sorted out. But the people who triggered the chaos are not the people to do it.

There needs to be full international backing for a major peacekeeping operation. But this is not going to happen as long as the US - and specifically as long as Bush - seems to be calling the shots.

The world's dislike for the American President and his corrupt, unpleasant and ineffective administration is helping to allow the killings and the kidnappings and the terrorists' recruitments to continue.

This dislike isn't going to go away, so let's hope the President does.

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