Saturday, December 22, 2007

Heroes

My Man of the Year is General David Petraeus, the architect and implementor of the troop surge in Iraq. Few believed it would work, but it has. Click HERE to see a tribute video to the men and women who brought it about. Thanks to the now defunct Theo Spark for tipping me off about this video.

16 comments:

William Gruff said...

I think it shameful that you could post a 'tribute' to those fighting in Iraq that shows not one English soldier. Americans may believe that they, and they alone, die in foreign parts for freedom but we know otherwise.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Conservatives believed in the English way of doing things. If the Conservative Party is ever to hold power in England again it would be wise to remember that.

Iain Dale said...

Yes, and I think it is shameful that Britain is withdrawing its troops when the job is not done. This is an American video. It's well worth posting.

Anonymous said...

It is rather early to say whether the 'surge' has 'worked' in any meaningful way.

Fewer people may have died lately, but it is hard to be sure that things will not go backwards as soon as the Americans reduce their presence; which everyone, including the insurgents, know will start to happen shortly.

Everyone thought that Basra had been a success, until they found that we had cut a deal with tribal leaders, who had decided to go quiet to enable us to draw down troops. Now we hear women are being murdered and their bodies thrown in the street. As Vince asked Brown, 'is this what our troops have died for?'

I suggest you make a diary note to revisit your assessment in 12 months time and then decide in what way, and to what extent, the surge has been a success.

William Gruff said...

It is obviously an American (recte US) video since it shows only US images, and it is pointless confirming that.

Whether or not it is shameful for the Br*tish government to withdraw English soldiers from Iraq before you deem their job done, it is shameful to post a tribute to the work being done there that ignores their contribution.

Post a video saluting the contribution of English servicemen and women; there are plenty available.

Anonymous said...

The 'troop surge' is a hype. Digging a moat around Baghdad, restricting access, cementing concentration camp walls around communities and bombing 'troublesome' residential areas from the air is not a success. Only a humanitarian disaster.

Yes, the 'Green Zone' is better protected than before. The rest of Iraq is trashed for generations to come - and now abandoned. Look up McKinsey's report of 2003 and you'll soon understand why Iraq's 26 million population can never be sustained on oil revenues alone - and not all if these are pillaged by the West.

The Russians did exactly the same 'surge' with Kabul and called it a success. Briefly.

I really didn't think you were so easily fooled or such a poor student of history and economics.

Maybe Maidstone didn't lose out after all.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Two points:

a) This 'surge' is geographically remarkably limited. In terms of its very limited scope it has been successful. However, no one has sufficient resource to maintain this operation and to widen its range to the whole of Iraq. The Americans will therefore continue to bear their heavy losses and costs.

b) What is this 'job' which has not been done? This government - and those who supported the invasion - has been absolutely unable to define and articulate the objectives - from the first days of the invasion of Iraq to the present day. Even now, with the troops being withdrawn to Basra Airport, there is no clarity as to their strategic purpose. That is the story of the entire time that our troops have been stationed and fighting in Iraq. What are, and were, they there for? Seizing a WMD arsenal? Deposing Saddam and replacing him with what, exactly? Imposing (what sort of) Democracy? What was the post-war plan? What was the pre-war objective, even?


And next, Afghanistan.

Chuck Unsworth said...

And Iain, Theo is no longer defunct. A Lazarus moment, no doubt.

Anonymous said...

william gruff What is this "English soldier" crap?

To paraphrase you, "English people may believe that they, and they alone, die in foreign parts for freedom but we (the Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish) know otherwise.

Dying for England's pathetic attempts to retain an importance in world affairs seems to be an unwelcome part of the so-called "Union dividend".

rightsideforum said...

Good God William Gruff calm yourself down.

Well done Iain for posting this. Ultimately like it or not it is the Americans that have carried out the surge - at the same time our troops began pulling back.

The success is clear - violence is down around 70%, tips from the public are up over 100% etc etc.

The General was overlooked for Time Magazines person of the year, in favour of that KGB bully Putin.

He should be celebrated, his plan is working very well.

Chris Paul said...

You think the surge has worked Iain? Rather than the paying and training of militias by the US to become peace keepers?

French revolution = still too early to say.

William Gruff said...

Anonymous 22/12, 21:40: I'm not concerned with soldiers from the little nations of the now defunct 'union'.

You'll recall that it was Scotch soldiers who handed out leaflets in Iraq proclaiming that they were not Br*tish? You'll recall that it was Scotch soldiers who whined so much that they would not be 'hame' in time for last Christmas, or was it the Christmas before that, that English soldiers were kept back to take over from them? You'll be aware that the Br*tish army recognises that there are Scotch soldiers but apparently refuses to accept that there must therefore be English ones?

You'll have seen the Br*tish army landrovers being driven around the English town of Berwick-upon-Tweed (where historically the Scotch have caused so much trouble and generated so much ill feeling) bearing the exhortation 'Be The Best, Be A Scottish Soldier'? You'll understand, being so obviously easily offended yourself, how offensive that is?

Your Pavlovian response to the notion of English soldiers has blinded you to the fact that England has no government and is governed by a Br*tish government dominated by incompetent and dishonest Scots. It is their 'pathetic attempts to retain an importance in world affairs' that have led to (mostly English) Br*tish forces dying in Iraq.

That is bad enough but we English are daily being sentenced to death, in England, by that same incompetent and dishonest Scotch dominated Br*tish government, and that is very much 'an unwelcome part of the so-called "Union dividend"' that England, though not the little nations, is expected to pay to maintain the now defunct 'union'.

What, apart from a typically ill-informed McStigmatic McSnarl, was the point of your response?

Ross said...

The Surge has by any reasonable definition been successful so far in restoring order to Baghdad and reducing both American and Iraqi casualties. The desperation of the legions of people who want it to fail is palpable.

I'm not sure why everyone was so sceptical about the Surge in the first place, as I said on my own blog back in January, given that almost everybody now accepts that one of the major blunders in 2003 was having too few troops to maintain order in Iraq why was increasing the number of soldiers considered such a risible idea? It was always a rational policy that had a reasonable chance of working.

Anonymous said...

My men (and women) of the year are the perceptive and shrewd British public who have, in their droves, avoided buying Boris's illiterate and unfunny book of Verse (Perils of...).

The sales of 1576 (latest figures) must be confined to the Boris family and (perhaps) his old chums from Slough Grammar.

verity said...

Anon 8:01 - I didn't even know he'd written a book, so I didn't have the pleasure of not buying it. Boris is second only to Tony Blair in deluded self-regard.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.01 pm said ..."The sales of 1576 (latest figures) must be confined to the Boris family and (perhaps) his old chums from Slough Grammar."

I think you mean Slough Comprehensive. I went to Slough Grammar School and we had nobody there resembling Boris.

The other well-known blonde who went to grammar school in the Slough area was Ulrika (4x4) Jonsson.

David Anthony said...

But who is your villain?