The standard way for anyone under New Labour to take a new position is to completely seperate themselves from the past; am I the only one who found some similarity between Richard Dannatt’s…interesting outburst and John Reid?
Tony Blair probably isn’t the first PM to curse the fact the army swears allegiance to the Queen; it makes them that bit more vocal than in America. Whilst I commend Sir Dannatt for stating the obvious – we aren’t making progress in Iraq, he doesn’t present any alternative ideas to helping the Iraqis. The best that seems to be on offer is to cut and run; at worst if it all goes wrong the americans will still be present – it’ll be their problem, and at best if it does increase stability well it was our good idea. That’s from the British point of view. The reasoning is little more than finding the easiest way to save face.
I’m uncomfortable with the thought that we can invade another country with the retrospective goal of improving the lives of its citizens, but leave when it’s most convenient for us whilst washing our hands of the entire mess. The Daily Mail and the rest of the media may call for the withdrawl of British forces, but they wouldn’t be willing to accept any refugees or asylum seekers that came from Iraq. We accept the authority and the power a permanent seat on the UN Security Council brings but we want none of the responsibility. We pre-emptively invade a distant nation on the basis it presents a threat to us, subsequently justify our actions as being the Iraqis, but we then exit when it suits us.
I did not agree with the war in iraq, and I agree things aren’t going well but I refuse to accept that we can absolve ourselves of any responsibility we owe the iraqis. If we do withdraw from Iraq it cannot be on the basis that the situation in Iraq is no longer our concern. How can we possibly justify to history the fact we travelled thousands of miles to act against another nation but automatically refused assistance to those who fled that same area simply because they did not seek assistance in the first border they crossed? We initiated the crisis in Iraq we cannot in good conscience leave the humanitarian implications of that to the nations surrounding iraq.
Saying we should leave is easy; saying we have a moral duty even if we do leave is far harder.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East