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 Post subject: Navel gazing
PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:25 am 
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Superb article by Richard Beeston in The Times today. He tells us to "Stop obsessing about the legality of invading Iraq. The campaign itself was the real disaster". Brilliant!

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Navel gazing
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:54 pm 
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I just spoke to a soldier friend who served in Basra. He says this does not fit with his experience of events in Basra:

"The complete withdrawal of British troops from Basra, abandoning the Iraqis to the murderous grip of the militias which, over the four years of the occupation [Tony Blair] had done little to contain. Just over two months later, the deed was done. On the back of a tawdry deal with the Mahdi Army, to enable them to creep away without being attacked, British troops evacuated Basra Palace on 2 September." "As for his easy boast that, "Our troops are … extremely well equipped," in the base to which the troops had retreated, more than 450 rockets had been fired in three months. For protection, one officer said that in tented accommodation all people can do is put on their body armour and helmets and "pray" they were not hit. "The situation is far worse than is being portrayed back home," said one RAF officer. "People are just relying on luck to stay alive."


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 Post subject: Re: Navel gazing
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:07 pm 
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DaddyWarhol wrote:
I just spoke to a soldier friend who served in Basra. He says this does not fit with his experience of events in Basra:

"The complete withdrawal of British troops from Basra, abandoning the Iraqis to the murderous grip of the militias which, over the four years of the occupation [Tony Blair] had done little to contain. Just over two months later, the deed was done. On the back of a tawdry deal with the Mahdi Army, to enable them to creep away without being attacked, British troops evacuated Basra Palace on 2 September." "As for his easy boast that, "Our troops are … extremely well equipped," in the base to which the troops had retreated, more than 450 rockets had been fired in three months. For protection, one officer said that in tented accommodation all people can do is put on their body armour and helmets and "pray" they were not hit. "The situation is far worse than is being portrayed back home," said one RAF officer. "People are just relying on luck to stay alive."


You spoke to a soldier! Was that the one who ventured out into Basra in the back of a Snatch and learnt all there was to know? Or was he the cook in the canteen who spoke to somebody, who spoke to somebody, who told him .... ?

Have you any idea how meaningless your comment is?

Read this: http://spencepublishing.typepad.com/in_ ... rol_1.html especially the last few paragraphs.

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 Post subject: Re: Navel gazing
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:07 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2005 10:21 pm
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@DaddyWarhole,

How about having a look also at this excellent essay: Hey, I was there. So what?.

Note especially this:
Quote:
The more astute critics [of Saving Private Ryan] pointed out that the battle scenes at the beginning were not precisely "realistic" because no participant sees that much of a battle. In other words, if I should want tales told of what happened when people landed on Normandy beach and which houses they saw I would ask one of the participants (well, I should have done some time ago as not many of them are still around).

If, on the other hand, I want to know more about Omaha Beach or other landings, I would turn to a participant if I can be certain that he has not let the "I was there" mantra stand in his way of finding out more about what happened, how and why. But then, somebody who was not there is as likely to have found all that out and much more likely to have made sense of it because his understanding would not be clouded by that mantra.


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