Withdrawal is the only answer for Iraq.

Interviews by Sunni Muslim groups with the Guardian newspaper make interesting reading if only they break the simplistic notions we are fed daily that the enemy is either al-Quaeda or “terrorists” is some way associated with them.
Claims are made that the internal groups “fighting for freedom” in Iraq resent the intervention of foreign-led groups, as al-Quaeda is, which make them look responsible for the sectarian violence dogging the country. They make it clear there will be no end to violence while America and allies remain. As for “the surge” this has resulted in higher U.S. casualties unsurprisingly.
As for Britain it now has the advice of the Iraqi commission which doesn’t come up with any clear answers to this desperate situation. Not only are we bound hand and foot, by inplication of their analysis, the U.K. remains high on the hitlist of “terrorist” attacks.


In the U.K. young Muslims who took part in a demonstration against the offensive cartoons, which appeared in the Danish press, have been given long prison sentences. Presumably this is to send a strong message to others. Elsewhere Gordon Brown took great pains to send a different message to the Muslim community that brought many onside. What happened in the demonstration was unpleasant with bad behaviour, but to treat it as if it was akin to a terrorist threat seems to me another large blunder. More of the same. The group of young people felt strongly about what had happened, and they were certainly justified in that. They then started shouting out unacceptable language. Now the prisons have yet more people labelled as criminals. There was a demonstration outside the court as this has fuelled yet more resentment among young Muslims. One Muslim told me they had felt they were British until messages from the government compelled them to question that assumption. Dangerous games are still being played.

1 thought on “Withdrawal is the only answer for Iraq.

  1. Chaitra

    So let me see, we rescue an ally from being cnueoerqd, and we’re at fault when the defeated party tries to assassinate a former President. Was the first Gulf War also unjustified. No. Not what I’m saying. It’s just that it’s not entirely unreasonable that Iraq, far outmatched militarily in a war, would attempt to assassinate the President. The US, for example, attempted to assassinate Saddam before the start of Gulf War II.Also, if you could clarify something, not sure if I’ve got it right. Richard Clarkes decision to let Bin Laden family members out of the country was bad because there are others besides Osama in the family who aid terrorism? That’s fine, but were any of those terrorism enablers amongst the Saudis that we let flee? According to Clarke, who was a hero to many liberals for his criticism of Bush just a few short months ago, HE approved their exit, and only AFTER the FBI got a crack at checking them out for terrorist ties. Yes, Richard Clarke approved their exit. He is a Cold Warrior, not exactly liberal. Same with ‘Anonymous’ (who isnt actually), author of Imperial Hubris. Doesn’t mean we can’t applaud his integrity and so on and so forth. ;)The issue is that a private flight of Saudis, minimally checked out by the FBI (they approved the flight, but they didn’t exactly do a lot of interviewing; Why NOT?) was specially authorized to fly when American private air travel was not.And Sandals, maybe I should have clarified. Without any threat to the surrounding countries aside from Iran, maybe? I’m not sure what you’re trying to say about Iran, but let me address the two possibilities.#2 was my snarky point. Far from destabilizing its theocracy, hardline Iranian mullahs have taken the opportunity to come down hard on the reform movement and bar the majority of reformers from running for government posts. They are also rid of a bitter enemy (Saddam Hussein). Long-run it may turn out worse for Iran than it has gained in the short-term; but that is contingent on a strong Iraqi democracy; the outcome in Iraq is still very much up in the air.

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