Everyone’s rapidly sinking in Iraq


by Sunny
22nd September, 2005 at 12:57 pm    

I’m not the kind of person that gives much credence to conspiracy theories, specially around 9/11 or 7/7, but the story that two British soldiers had to be “rescued” from a Basra jail smelled fishy from the start. Why were these guys dressed as Arabs and why did they shoot at the Iraqi police?

Why did the MoD use such force (using tanks) to destroy the prison and take these men back? Why didn’t they just negotiate their release? After all, weren’t the Iraqi police now in charge? *cough* bullshit *cough*

Questions are now being asked after rising tensions in Basra. The Telegraph reports that five Iraqi civilians were also killed in the ‘raid’.

But rather than this simply being about British heavy-handedness, it seems there is a deeper problem for British forces in Iraq.

The British fear was that the two soldiers would be held as hostages for al-Fartusi. Hence the rapid operation to free them. But another more shadowy threat has been reported recently.

This is said to come from a fighter named Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani. The Americans and British claim he is backed by Iran, which wants to exert its influence in southern Iraq.

In other words, the British forces are now caught in a cross-fire between different ethnic groups, local militias, and Arab countries competing for interest. Meaning? More people a month are being killed in Iraq than at any time since the massacres of the early 1990s, according to Simon Jenkins in the Guardian today. Tony Blair is now in quicksand. [Tip Lenin's Tomb]


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  1. leon — on 22nd September, 2005 at 1:26 pm  

    I’ve been trying to get my head round this from the start; it seems to be incredible that the UK thinks it can just break people out of jail just because they are special forces!

  2. Voice1 — on 22nd September, 2005 at 4:13 pm  

    The Washington Post has reported that the 2 Britons were arrested for planting bombs:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/21/AR2005092102124.html

    Iraqi police had arrested the Britons on Monday for allegedly shooting at police and planting explosive devices. British troops then broke the men out of jail by ramming an armored vehicle through a wall. In response, Basra residents and police revolted, attacking British forces in the area.

  3. Chris — on 22nd September, 2005 at 4:53 pm  

    While not necessarily disagreeing with the post – not agreeing either – do you really want to be tipping/linking to Lenin’s tomb? A blogger whose choice of handle was chosen because it is “subversive” – wow – now I know he’s young and all that but would you link to a site calling itself (e.g.) Hitler’s bunker???

  4. Rahul Verma — on 22nd September, 2005 at 5:35 pm  

    leon, britian, or I should say Tony Blair thinks it can go around policing the world so policing the Iraqi police is small fry.

    In all seriousness though, whether Britain’s following America’s lead or a residual effect of ruling the world with Empire, Tony Blair believes he has a moral duty and their ain’t anything that’s going to stop him – not lies, the loss of British soldiers’ lives, and least of all Iraqi lives.

    What gets me in all of this, is that rightly America gets a bad press but let’s not forget Iraq was created by Britain, and guess who was the first person to use chemical warfare to quell uprisings and fighting between, Iraq’s multi-ethnic and multi-faith groups?

    Winston Churchill. In 1920, as secretary of state for war and air, Churchill advocated and authorised the use of chemical weapons to maintain the peace, killing an estimated 9,000 Iraqis.

  5. Rohin — on 22nd September, 2005 at 6:04 pm  

    Yes Churchill advocated gassing “recalcitrant Arabs”.

    Chris, don’t get too flustered about the Lenin’s Tomb name…I wouldn’t put Lenin on a par with Hitler! Have you been to Lenin’s tomb? It’s an amazing place. I’ve not seen the blog before just now and it seems perfectly acceptable…surely that’s more important than the name?

  6. Fe'reeha — on 22nd September, 2005 at 9:26 pm  

    You are absolutely right Sunny. While we try to be impartial, the fact remains we hardly know the “exact truth” of what is happening inside Iraq.

    According to one reporter from Sky TV who I met at a private party, most of the press is actually working as PR officers for the British and US Armies.

    While we talk of impartiality and sensible reporting, what are we expected to believe when reports coming from Iraq are mostly compiled by reporters staying inside the Army camps and being briefed ever morning by Army officials?

    On the other side we have maybe Al-Jazeera, the integrity of which is as such that they can broadcast anything and everything dropped through their unbelievably good fortuned letter box.

    Yet, for a very long time, I have been hearing these murmured rumours in almost every circle that “there is more to the insurgency theory and suicide bombing reports coming from Iraq”.
    Historically and humanly, people usually “unite” when faced with crisis and confronted by foreign invasion. They usually do not start killing their own civilians who are already being oppressed by the foreign invasion.

    One example is the freedom fight of 1857 when people of all faith fought together against the British Raj. Let’s not forget it has always been the British war theory of “divide and rule”. Hence the news of Shia and Sunni insurgents though believable, always seemed incomplete. Seems like, finally, we are getting the missing pieces.

  7. Siddhartha — on 23rd September, 2005 at 12:42 am  

    This is bigger than it looks. Two Brits are detained, apparently caught red-handed shooting Iraqi police and planting bombs. Hold on, I thought the Basra police were one of the few legitimate groups that could be counted to be on the side of the British forces. So why was it necessary to spring these men by blasting the wall of the prison open with six fucking tanks?

    To suggest that the “insurgency” terrorism (atributed with killing more than US military intervention) has actually been acts of UK agent provocoteurs might be irresponsible. But it it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

    “[...] the next time you read or hear about crazed “al-Qaeda in Iraq” terrorists blowing up children or desperate job applicants, keep in mind, according to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the perpetrators may very well be British SAS goons who cut their teeth killing Irish citizens.”

    Welcome to Full On Colonialist Dirty Tricks 2005

  8. Sunny — on 23rd September, 2005 at 12:43 am  

    Erm, there was a massive difference between Lenin and Hitler, so I don’t really see why you’re comparing the two. And before you ask, I did 20th century European History :)

  9. Sunny — on 23rd September, 2005 at 2:12 am  

    Yeah, I saw that link from Lenin’s Tomb too… it certainly looks very fishy, though I don’t really take the accusation that these troops wanted to blow up people, to cause chaos and justify them being there. The Al-qaeda are doing that anyway, why involve your own people?

    It looks very likely to be an assassination attempt…

  10. Chris — on 23rd September, 2005 at 9:05 am  

    Do most of those who have “done” 20th century history not now agree that Lenin was one of the founders of a regime which killed far more people than Hitler – is that the vast difference to which you refer? (smiley face here – sorry don’t know how to insert one!)
    Otherwise (as a non-historian) I see two totalitarian murderers…it just happens to be “cool” and acceptable (for some) to associate yourself with Lenin (as with other tyrants e.g. Castro…)

  11. Sunny — on 23rd September, 2005 at 10:55 am  

    You can’t equate Stalin with Lenin and I don’t really buy the line that he led to the other. Yes he founded the regime, but he can’t be condemned just because his successor was a cold-blooded killer.

  12. Siddhartha — on 23rd September, 2005 at 12:15 pm  

    Sunny
    Amongst the kit that the two undercover SAS soldiers were in possession of was an anti-tank weapon.

    Guess who the only forces in South Iraq with tanks are? This is more than a assassination attempt.

  13. Chris — on 23rd September, 2005 at 12:45 pm  

    As you did 20th century history no doubt you will be familiar with Bertrand Russell’s comment after meeting him: “his guffaw at the thought of those massacred made my blood run cold.” Meanwhile Maxim Gorky stated: “Lenin has no pity for the mass of the people” and that even “the working class are to Lenin what minerals are to a metallurgist.” (The classic trait of the utopian totalitarian – the end justified any means whatever.) My main point is that to invoke Lenin is at best naive and at worst a sign that this guy is (to say the least) not exactly democratically inclined… although given that the Lenin’s Tomb guy is a member of the SWP perhaps unsurprising. As you know, Stalin was Lenin’s successor so the one did literally lead to the other (sorry)…all Stalin did was use Lenin’s well established machinery of terror more ruthlessly.
    Aside from all this I would not regard the blogsite of a Galloway fellow traveller a terribly reliable site to link to!

  14. Kulvinder — on 24th September, 2005 at 5:48 am  

    Do most of those who have “done” 20th century history not now agree that Lenin was one of the founders of a regime which killed far more people than Hitler

    Lenin was the founder of a political and ideological movement (or flavour thereof). Hold him accountable for what he did (in stark numbers if you wish). If you want to compare the harm done by political ideologies throughout their existence, then id agree that the RSDLP(b) and its incarnations was ‘worse’ than the NSDAP, if only because they stuck around for longer. Comparing Lenin as the founder of a ‘regime’ to Hitler makes absolutely no sense.

    Assuming you want to compare the actions of individuals, id go with what sunny said. Stalin and Hitler.

  15. Chris — on 24th September, 2005 at 9:22 am  

    So Lenin’s fine then…because only a minor monster versus two of the three most evil men of the 20th century (Mao the other one of course)…fair enough.

    I can see I’m losing on this one…

  16. Kulvinder — on 25th September, 2005 at 7:30 am  

    Losing what? you’ve made a completely idiotic comparison using two different frames of reference. By your reasoning Ferdinand II could be said to be worse than Hitler.

    Lenin is who Lenin is, if you want to measure him against his contemporaries, he isn’t that bad. If you want to judge him according to the learned norms of present times he isn’t all that great.

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