Thursday, August 03, 2006

So Simple

Bush and Blair's decision to apply their simplistic black and white ideology to the complex realities of Iraq was always likely to lead to disaster. Their "big picture" approach masks an inability to see and understand the significance of the many "little pictures". They clearly came to a view on the invasion of Iraq without bothering to understand the crucial details which would ultimately decide the success or failure of their policy. It was a recipe for disaster.

Many people in the UK made exactly that point in 2002/3 as Blair was attempting to win support for his war of choice. Blair and his supporters dismissed these warnings arguing that they were essentially misleading propaganda missives from Chamberlain loving appeasers and dangerously deluded ultra-pacifists.

So how has it played out? A leaked cable from William Patey, the outgoing British ambassador to Iraq, diplomatically outlines the situation more than three years on from the invasion:
The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy.

Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq - a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror - must remain in doubt.
Don't make the mistake of believing I'm happy about this. The truth is, I'm extremely pissed off about it. Extremely pissed off. The real world is a more dangerous place today because of the idiotic ideology of over-simplification which led to the invasion of Iraq; I fail to see how anyone could be happy about that. At the moment, it is mostly the long suffering people of Iraq who are bearing the brunt of this disaster and this is bad enough but the wider repercussions of the war will reverberate around the world for years to come. Does anyone really think it is possible to gain pleasure by saying "I told you so" in such a circumstance? No.

You might think that the experience of Iraq might have had some impact on Blair himself. Surely, after what has happened, he must now finally understand that foreign policy must be based on an informed understanding of the complexities of the real world rather than a woolly headed "axis of evil" soundbite.

You might think that (if you were an incurable optimist anyway) but then we go back to his recent speech on the need to reappraise our strategy in the "war" on terror. Oliver Miles, retired British diplomat, sums up Blair's approach perfectly:
To lump together the Taliban, al-Qaida, Hizbullah and Hamas under the heading "reactionary Islam" is oversimplification to the point where it interferes with the facts. The description of what is happening in Iraq or Afghanistan as "battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death knell of their ideology" might just pass in an army recruitment pamphlet, but not as serious conversation between consenting adults.
Nothing will change as long as Blair is the Prime Minister.

For the good of the Labour Party, the country and the world, He. Must. Resign.


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1 comment:

Messenger said...

Excellent! Thanks!