By Ben Cohen
After the British announced their departure from Southern Iraq, a spat arose between the U.K and the U.S about their commitment to ‘Democracy’ in the region. In the scheme of things, it is a small difference of opinion between two imperial nations. But it is entertaining nevertheless to see the intimate pair squabble over their countries policies in Iraq.
General Jack Keane, a US commander accused the British of cutting and running in Iraq, saying the situation in Basra was “deteriorating.” He told the BBC, “I think there is a general disengagement from what the key issues are around Basra.”
“The Brits have never had enough troops to truly protect the population and we have found that out painfully in the central region as well.”
Sir Mike Jackson, the former chief of the British army hit back ferociously calling U.S postwar planning in Iraq ‘intellectually bankrupt’. Singling out the then defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Jackson told the Sunday Mirror, “The US had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy. Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea – they simply shut it out”…..
Jackson has a point. Scolding the British for post war planning is completely ridiculous, particularly from any American involved in the disastrous venture in Iraq. The Bush administration has bungled the post war occupation beyond belief leading to a complete melt down in civilian life in Iraq, and for Keane to lecture the British about post war planning is the absolute definition of hypocrisy. With the Republican party slowly but surely turning its back on the President, they are looking for scape goats to shift the blame to and the British seem to be next in line.
However, the British cannot complain. They were foolish enough to follow Bush and his maniacal administration into Iraq, and they must deal with whatever the White House chooses to throw at them when it all goes wrong. Both countries are guilty of a heinous crime, and arguing over who did it worse is really a distraction from the serious issue: the illegal invasion of a sovereign nation and total disregard for its population thereafter. Jackson might have a point, but he has missed the main one by a mile.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.