Blair sounds the retreat in Iraq
Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
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The Independent - 22 February 2007
Blair sounds the retreat in Iraq
By Kim Sengupta
Tony Blair's announcement yesterday on pulling out British troops from
Iraq had been long expected, and produced little by way of surprises.
For almost nine months now, senior military officers have been briefing
that the force of 7,100 would be reduced to half the number by this
The recent American "surge" in Baghdad raised doubts about whether the
British can actually carry out the withdrawal from their area of
control, the Shia-dominated south, within this timetable. The US
administration was anxious that this would allow the Iranians to channel
even more weapons across a porous border. There were also concerns about
the road convoys from Kuwait on which the Americans depend for 80 per
cent of their supplies.
Mr Blair insisted that Britain would stick to the exit strategy,
irrespective of US operations in Baghdad. But a closer examination of
what he said shows this is not quite the case.
The plans made public yesterday will be reviewed if the security
situation deteriorates dramatically, while patrols along the Iranian
border, a dangerous flashpoint if relations with Tehran deteriorate
further, are set to continue.
The decision to reduce the number of bases from five to two, and then to
one in the autumn, is also something which had been envisaged by the
military. These bases suffer rocket and mortar fire on an almost daily
basis in Basra, a city whose return to supposed stability has been given
by British officials as one of the prime factors allowing the partial
withdrawal. The funeral of the latest casualty, Pte Luke Simpson, of the
1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment was held yesterday.
Concentrating the remaining forces at Basra airport makes logistical
sense. The base has enough clear ground beyond its perimeter to make it
difficult for insurgents to carry out missile and mortar attacks.
With the end of British patrols on the streets of Basra, casualties from
roadside bombs, which, London and Washington continue to insist are
Iranian supplied, will also decline.
British forces have been carrying out an operation called Sinbad aimed
at neutralising elements of the Iraqi police infiltrated by Shia
militias. This followed criticism that the UK had in effect failed in
its duty of care to the Iraqi population by handing them over to thugs
The Prime Minister hailed Sinbad yesterday as a great victory. The
mission has achieved a degree of success. But there is also little doubt
that with troops withdrawing behind the walls of the air base, the
fighters of Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army and the Badr Brigade will be
back to their murderous business. Robert Emerson, a security analyst,
said: "One can't build on Sinbad without an ongoing engagement in the
process. It would be foolish to think the violence in Basra has ended."
Another analyst, Colonel Mike Dewar, added: "British soldiers won't be
there to be shot at. There will be [less obvious] violence."
In the background to all this is the war in Afghanistan, where a Royal
Marine died yesterday, the 47th British fatality since operations began
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So without the hysteria over a meaningless war, thinking men can bring
their strength against the Muslim invasion.
America's population is mammoth compared to that of the UK.
If it takes but 25 years for Americans to become a minority in America,
how long can the British last on their island?
”Purveyors of PC “wisdom” love to talk about this RACE relations problem
and need for “inclusiveness” and “diversity”. They use the dreaded slurs
of racist and xenophobe against anyone who opposes wide open borders or
the so called assimilation via the “melting pot” of intermarriage.”
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nobody says Japan or Taiwan ought to prove they are “inclusive” by
bringing in millions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote
“The PC crowd in every white country says the final solution to this
RACE problem is for EVERY white country and ONLY white countries to
“assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with all those non-whites.”
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be solved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into
EVERY black country and ONLY into black countries?”
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problem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?”
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kind of psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?”
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against my race, the white race, Liberals and respectable conservatives
agree that I am an evil hate mongering bigot.”
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“Those who scream “hate” the loudest harbor the darkest hatred.”