2006 October 12 Thursday
British Chief Of Staff Advocates Iraq Withdrawal

British Army Chief of Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt says the British should leave Iraq because their troop presence makes the security problem worse.

He says clearly we shoud "get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems."

"We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear."

As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we werenít invited certainly by those in Iraq at the time.

"The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. Whatever consent we may have had in the first place, may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance."

"That is a fact. I donít say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them."

The same holds for American forces. Our presence turns Iraqis into Jihadists. They aren't going to turn into Jeffersonian Democrats. They are more like the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Dannatt does not think it practical to install a liberal democracy in the Middle East.

"The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East."

"That was the hope, whether that was a sensible or naÔve hope history will judge. I donít think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition."

The longer we try to achieve an ambition far higher than we can hope to achieve the worse the outcome will be for us.

Humans do not all want equality and freedom for each other. Lots of people (especially in the Middle East) want to dominate each other. Islamic societies are incompatible liberal democacy. Pope Benedict thinks Islam is incompatible with the West. I agree.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 October 12 10:39 PM  Mideast Iraq Exit Debate


Comments
jeff said at October 13, 2006 7:24 AM:

Us treasonous, cut-and-run, progressive moonbat bastards have been saying that for 3 years. Welcome to Club Sad Reality.

Bill Biddle said at October 13, 2006 7:47 AM:

Let's see,
- the Brit chief of staff says we should leave Iraq because our occupation is making things worse.

- the April 2006 NIE says we should leave Iraq because our occupation is making things worse.

- Bill Kristol (right wing demagogue) says we've not made a serious effort in Iraq over last 3 years
(http://thinkprogress.org/2006/02/26/kristol-war-not-serious/)

- As soon as the Nov 7 election is over, Jim baker is going to recommend partitioning Iraq
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0609.dreyfuss.html

I think it is pretty clear that President Bush's policy of preemptive war has been a monumental failure.

President Bush's legacy will be that he was the first president to lose 3 wars for the US: the Afghanistan war, the Iraq occupation, and the war on terrorism

jan van flac said at October 13, 2006 9:08 AM:

the Iraq adventure was a dumb idea from the start. This is just more proof of that sad fact.

Former Republican said at October 13, 2006 11:42 AM:

Jeff is right apart from a minor arithmetic error. Bush is staying on course to lose two wars, but not three. The Bush Administration may call the "War on Terror" a war but calling it one doesn't make it one. It's primarily work for intelligence and security services, with only a minor, occasional role for the military. Calling it a "War" is just propaganda.

Bob Badour said at October 13, 2006 1:02 PM:

Former Republican,

May we extrapolate from your view that you do not consider the Cold War a war?

TD Larkin said at October 13, 2006 4:46 PM:

Amazing! The "cut-and-run" Democrats have now taken over the British military!

Stephen said at October 14, 2006 12:48 AM:

Former Republican, I agree, it should never have been anything more than a criminal matter - essentially police reinforced by military to kick down the odd cave door in Afghanistan. To call it a war gives the other side a legitimacy that isn't deserved, and more seriously, the 'war' label entirely changes the enforcement strategy and the goals. For instance, in the case of Osama, the military goal wasn't remotely compatible with the criminal enforcement goal.

Bob, I don't thing it fair to extrapolate as both stand on their own.

Bob Badour said at October 14, 2006 6:25 AM:

Stephen,

Are not the Cold War and the GWOT both primarily work for intelligence and security services? While I might agree that one is a war and another is not, I fail to see the distinction. With frequent reports of Canadian soldiers dying in southern Afghanistan, I suspect the war over there is more of a war than you are crediting.

Dave said at October 14, 2006 10:03 AM:

Where I agree with Bush as opposed to the previous group of leaders, it IS a war.

It absolutely should not be treated as a 'criminality' issue, that implies there are only a handful of them and done for personal gain, when in reality it is a mass movement with cultural supremacist goals. I agree Iraq war wasn't good, especially for moderates in Iraq, maybe it will workout in the end but in the short term its gonna be a lot of trouble.

Some commenters on many blogs seem to be caught up in the 20th centuries legal definitions and rules of 'war' but if you look throughout history especially in places like Eastern Europe that was invaded by Turks war was not a sudden violent event that had a clearly defined begining and ending, it was long running evolving over generations.
England was once at 'war' with France for 100 years.

WW1 and WW2 might have been extremely destructive but they were short in timespan by historical standards.

Your Image Here said at October 14, 2006 4:41 PM:

The Brits point is a perfectly vaild one. We could stay there FOREVER and Iraq will not become a stable ''westernized'' country. We've done our damage there and to put it bluntly, WE CAN'T FIX IT. I say our least worst option is to leave Iraq to it's own chaos and just get our fellow Americans out of there. That is the part of Shock and Awe AND LEAVE that we have failed to accomplish yet.
We cannot give freedom to muslims. They don't want that. What they want is the ''freedom'' to rule over non-muslims with an iron fist. Note the behavior of muslims throughout europe where they are ''free'' to run roughshod over their non-muslim neighbors.
I say as we leave Iraq we merely take saddam out of his prison cell and deposit him out on the streets of Baghdad. And videotape what will happen to him. And make copies of that tape to be sent to amadjad, kim jong-il and hugo chavez.
Sound sadistic? NO WHERE NEAR as sadistic as ''the iraqi people'' have proven themselves to be. Get our people out of the train wreck Iraq has become.
Will there be ''another saddam'' there? Of course there will be. Iraq is ''lord of the flies'' made reality.
Our staying there will not prevent that. It will only waste American lives and resources trying in vain to remake it something it can never be.
Leave Iraq in ruins as a ''message'' that we can cause total upheaval and chaos then leave them to their misery. BTW, that means NO ''humanitarian assistance'' should be left behind after Our Troops leave. Leave Iraq crashed and burning and turn our back on it. Contain the fire and leave it alone to burn itself out.
Will this artifical ''government of Iraq'' fall? Likely within 72 hours. Eventually the nastiest most sadistic SOB will emerge as it's new ruler.
This idea that we have a Military to be used to provide ''humanitarian assistance'' to ANYONE is something we must discard. That's not it's purpose.
They are the WAR CORPS not the Peace Corps.
Our Military's purpose is to go in to a threat to us AND LEAVE devastaion in it's wake.
We have indeed devastated Iraq. Now it is time to leave it in ruins.
The method to deal with future threats to us is Shock and Awe AND LEAVE. No staying around for ''nation-building''.

nz conservative said at October 14, 2006 5:09 PM:

If we are entering an age of long running wars then we better rethink how to fight them. Going into a country with a super hi-tech, expeditionary force and leaving them there for years on end is a ludicrously expensive way to run a war.

Stephen said at October 15, 2006 12:00 AM:

Dave, there were only a handful of 'them' - at least prior to the unprovoked attack on Iraq. Think about it, if 'they' were so extraordinarily powerful why did they get kicked out of every country with any capability and end up living in Afghanistan?

Unfortunately, now we're creating breeding grounds for radicalism. For every civilian man, woman and child we kill, we create a blood feud that will last a generation. You'd have to work hard to actually pick a dumber strategy.

Dave said at October 15, 2006 8:54 AM:

Stephen, I live in Britain I know there are far more radicals than the MSM is letting on. It only takes a little word from some kind of 'community leader' and the streets are full of Muslims behaving agressively while the police do nothing.
There are currently the annual Ramadam riots in France and Belgium, with French Police getting ambushed: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/1541

I agree the Iraq war isn't helpful but this stuff was going on long before that.

Marvin said at October 15, 2006 12:16 PM:

Dannatt's point is fresh, unadulterated logic for both the US and UK in Iraq. Sadly, it won't make one bit of difference-- the US is fully committed to staying in Iraq for at least half a decade more. Bush would never authorize even a slight draw-down of the troops there, and Congress is far too weak-- even if the Democrats capture a large majority in Congress (I suspect that a slight majority in the House and maybe the Senate is more realistic in the 2006 elections), even a large number of the Democrats, the DLC crowd in particular, are hawkish themselves and don't want to be seen as being weak on national defense. So the US is stuck in Iraq at least through 2008 and likely into 2011 at least, likely longer than that.

And as long as the US is stuck in Iraq, the UK probably is, as well. There are too many high-level officials who've staked their careers and Britain's own identity on the "special relationship." Britain really is "riding pillion" with the USA here. It shocks me how far and how fast Britain has fallen since 1945-- from being a world power with a massive global empire, to a weak sycophant of a fading North American superpower with a Certifiable Moron for a President. Yeah, Britain was pretty devastated and bankrupt after the two World Wars, plus those British defeats in the Indonesian War (the fall of Suribaya), in the Suez Crisis, Palestine and in the Aden Emergency after WWII didn't help matters-- although British withdrawal from South Asia was handled, in relative terms, with dignity and accomplishment, British withdrawal from other places was quite messy. Still, most other European countries-- most of whom also lost overseas empires and global influence after WWII and had their own ugly periods of decolonization-- haven't attached themselves so foolishly to blundering US policies, which everybody could see in 2002 when George W. Bush was marching the US to war.

So the upshot? The US and UK will continue to march toward bankruptcy in Iraq, frittering away valuable resources that could be used against al-Qaida in Afghanistan (or at least to provide diplomatic pressure against Iran, which really is something like a threat), wrecking our armed forces and sinking further into the quagmires.

A few years ago, some old friends of mine-- all of them professionals, usually in tech-heavy fields like engineering and computer science-- started buying up language books and software in German, Italian, Spanish and French and studying seriously. They've since emigrated to a few countries in Europe, mostly to Germany and Austria but also to north-central Italy, Spain and even France recently. (France used to be at the bottom of the list due to its North African plague, but this year it passed Europe's toughest immigration expulsion and restriction law, and deports many tens of thousands of Muslims every few months-- something unimaginable in the USA.) This all seemed quaint and odd to me at the time, but when I asked why, they explained the idea came at a few "apartment caucuses" they'd had. This was before Iraq, but even then, they were seeing the handwriting on the wall-- their profession was being utterly decimated by outsourcing, they were barely paying off their college debts and they saw their hard-working colleagues constantly being abused and laid off for cheaper labor elsewhere.

Also as one of them said, affirmative action is utterly destroying the USA. As the country fills up with Latinos and Blacks (whose numbers are also swelling with immigration, from Africa and the Caribbean), and as the White population shrinks, the remaining Whites (and White men in particular) have to pay an even more crushing Tax Burden-- and that's exactly what it is-- in the form of affirmative action to other groups, as do White Canadians to so-called "visible minorities." Whites also have to endure even more outrageous rhetoric about being "evil oppressors" as the justification for affirmative action becomes more strident, inevitable as it becomes more expensive for the "disfavored" groups. So even as Whites are compelled to pay an ever more burdensome "Preference tax," they also have to endure an ever more rapid and vicious volley of insults and accusations designed to justify the policy. Our primary schools are now less than 50% White, so this is accelerating.

Meanwhile, the tech industry in Europe, mainly in a handful of German, Austrian and north Italian cities, has been picking up. So they've emigrated. This seems to be a recurring process in nations that become oppressive multiethnic empires, both to their own citizens and to other nations-- many of their best and brightest get sick of it and go elsewhere. With this monumental stupidity in both our domestic and foreign policies, I can see where they were coming from.

No-PC-wars said at October 16, 2006 9:37 AM:

"it is pretty clear that President Bush's policy of preemptive war has been a monumental failure"


A policy of US goverment is supposed to advance US strategic interests. Preemptive war is a tool.
Application of this tool may or may not be a right decision.
Even if a decision for preemptive war
was right (and there are arguments for that), application of this tool could be screwed up by
a country bumpkin with experience in drinking and baseball, one who talks with God on a regular basis.

A failure in Iraq is the result of assumptions about human nature (all humans desire the same things as the ones desired
by an impostor from Texas) that simply are not true.

Marxism has failed everywhere bacause it makes wrong assumptions about human nature.
Neo-con ideology makes different but also wrong assumptions, it also has failed.

das said at October 16, 2006 4:22 PM:

So this is the right-wing excuse for Iraq; those damn'd Muslims sabotaged it with their infighting! We didn't fail them -- they failed us! Yup, that sure absolves us of responsibility.

Bob Badour said at October 16, 2006 9:30 PM:

No, Das, it is a non-ideologue's explanation for why ideology-driven 'solutions' never solve anything and invariably make things much worse. As No-PC-Wars pointed out, the observation applies equally to left-wing and to right-wing and to religious or other ideologies.

Any externally or artificially imposed social, legal or moral structure that does not take into account the nature, the desires and the motivations of the local population is doomed to fail.

(Vicente) Fox Hound said at October 17, 2006 10:56 AM:

So this is the right-wing excuse for Iraq; those damn'd Muslims sabotaged it with their infighting! We didn't fail them -- they failed us! Yup, that sure absolves us of responsibility.

There are some half-truths in there. The Iraqis screwed this up themselves, but they didn't "sabotage" it. That implies they had the capability to be orderly about it. If this were Sweden we wouldn't be seeing the same situation. Because Swedes aren't Iraqis. That's what America's failure is...failing to recognize the nature of the Iraqis. Why would should feel moral guilt because Iraqis are acting like typical Arab Muslims is beyond me.


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