19 April 2006
British brigadier attacks American gung ho methods
Yet more evidence to suggest that the thieves have begun to fall out - and are now looking around for someone to carry the can for the Iraq disaster.
Brigadier Alan Sharpe has criticised the American habit of playing to the TV audience with "loud voices, full body armour, wrap-around sunglasses, air strikes and daily broadcasts from shoulder-holster wearing brigadier-generals proudly announcing how many Iraqis have been killed by US forces today". The brigadier went on to say that none of this is "a hearts and minds winning tool".
He concluded by telling the story of an Iraqi prisoner who was being berated by a loud-mouthed American against returning to his "previously nefarious ways". The American was accompanied by a British brigadier, probably Clarke himself, who kept a discrete silence.
The Iraqi was remarkably unfazed by this bombast and replied:"Hey, Mr American, next time before you shout so much you should speak to him. He is British - they know how to invade a country."
The Daily Telegraph presents this report as an example of the superior British colonial methods, but there is another way to look at it. If the Iraq adventure is going to hell on a fast horse, then saving face is of paramount importance. As was noted recently, the American generals seem to have started a campaign against their own regime in Washington. Brig Clarke has probably started the British version of the face saver. Basically, we can expect everyone to start blaming everyone else for the coming disaster.
To be fair, they all have a point: the Americans were told that there were not enough troops to hold Iraq, and the British have always complained about the heavy-handed nature of the American occupation. To be even fairer, this is a war of aggression waged to subjugate an independent country. It is now clear that when the war ends, the Iraqi flag will be the one flying over the rubble of Baghdad. Anglo-American influence will be about nil, and those who collaborated with the occuptation will be dealt with summarily.
Anti-imperialists need to be ready to rubbish these arguments that the warmongers will put forward. If we don't then the myth will grow that victory was snatched away by bad planning or heavy handedness. Should that be allowed to take root, then the next colonial adventure is only a matter of time. The fact is that everyone, everywhere will fight for their home, no matter what the government was like before the invaders came. That point needs to be rammed home by the anti-imperialist movement. Along with a loud cry of: "We told you that from the beginning".