As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

All Spin Zone

Within moments of the British announcement that they're pulling out of Iraq, Vice President Cheney (who is bravely supporting his closest confidant and friend by spending the final portion of his trial halfway around the world) stepped to the microphone to claim that this was wonderful news, that it shows that Basra and the southern portion of Iraq is stable and secure enough to hand over to the Iraqis.

Nobody then asked that, if the southern part was stable enough for the British to leave, why couldn't their forces be moved to Baghdad where help is needed?

And then came this report:

Britain’s decision to pull 1,600 troops out of Iraq by spring, touted by U.S. and British leaders as a turning point in Iraqi sovereignty, was widely seen Wednesday as a telling admission that the British military could no longer sustain simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The British military is approaching “operational failure,” former defense staff chief Charles Guthrie warned this week.

“Because the British army is in essence fighting a far more intensive counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, there’s been a realization that there has to be some sort of transfer of resources from Iraq to Afghanistan,” said Clive Jones, a senior lecturer in Middle East politics at the University of Leeds, who has closely followed Britain’s Iraq deployment.

“It’s either that, or you risk in some ways losing both,” he said. “It’s the classic case of ‘Let’s declare victory and get out.’ “

Shiites have been engaged in intra-faith massacres down there, and the British garrison was getting shelled nightly. They're doing what WE should be doing: moving the emphasis away from the intractable civil war in Iraq, and fortifying forces in Afghanistan, where troops are actually fighting Taliban and Al Qaeda enemies.

So trying to call the fact that the British garrison was forced out of Basra "a good thing" and "part of the whole plan" is deeply dishonest.

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