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Huge scandal brewing in UK

Discussion in 'Legal' started by agricola, Oct 12, 2006.

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  1. agricola

    agricola Member

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    Dont know if this has managed to cross the pond yet, but the Chief of the General Staff of the British Army has made some very, very damaging and almost unprecedented (I cannot recall the like) comments about the nature of UK involvement in Iraq:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6046332.stm
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1921346,00.html

    The story was actually broke in the staunchly Conservative Daily Mail,l for those of you who dislike the BBC and Guardian:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/li...1770&ico=Homepage&icl=TabModule&icc=NEWS&ct=5

    He is probably reflecting the (widespread) concerns held across the MoD (and indeed, throughout the Foriegn Office and Security Services) which have, until now, escaped only in briefings and leaks. One wonders how the PM will deal with this....
     
  2. Boats

    Boats member

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    What is the scandal? I read the story and all I see is a career soldier forgetting his duty.

    Or do you not have civil oversight of the Army in Britain? Blair, if he has the power, should be sacking this boob forthwith. General Sir Richard Dannatt should also be stripped of his peerage if at all possible as he has managed to do little but provide aid and comfort to the forces arrayed against UK in Iraq and sends the message to the Taliban in Afghanistan that if they turn up the heat, there are quitters on call at the MoD.
     
  3. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    I dunno, what's the standard in the UK? Are sitting generals not allowed to voice policy opinions?

    Seems he's just saying what we all already know--the military has done what it can, and we're only enabling the Iraqis to continue their failure to build a real govt--much the same way continued welfare keeps people from working. We're a crutch for a failed govt, and that's a laughable policy and not a just reason to see more young men get killed. We lack a clear, obtainable objective and that's a recipe for disaster.

    Soldiers have a job--that job is to kill the enemy, not be welfare for poor govts.


    I for one am quite tired of this fallacious argument. Even if we achieved "victory"--which is an interesting concept, just what would victory constitute anyway?--there'll still be bad guys who hate us, who'll shoot AKs in the air, and who'll celebrate the downfall of the great western Satan. Look at what happened in Lebanon--the Israelis trounced them, and then after they left Hesbollah declared victory and paraded through the streets. They're gonna end up doing that no matter what we do, you may as well sack up and get used to the idea.

    The interesting mistake you're making is that the forces arrayed against the UK and the US--both Sunni insurgents and foreign AQ fighters--have made it quite clear that us STAYING THERE is in their best interests! The aid and comfort they're seeking comes from the boobs who suggest we should "stay the course" indefinitely. They gain from having the conflict be protracted and unending. When we leave, the Shiites take over, get down to business, and squash them. We have AQ on tape and in print saying that they're praying that we stay and don't leave. A interminable, lengthy engagement by the West is their goal. They don't want us to leave, they want us to keep bogging ourselves down there and fueling anti-Western sentiment. They don't find the fact that both our generals and the UK's generals are starting to call for us to wrap this up.

    Afghanistan is a different story--the govt and the indigenous folks actually want us there.

    Lookee here: no scandal, but even a bipartisan committee headed up by James Baker is saying "it's time to redeploy our boys." I wonder if anybody's listening...
     
  4. Boats

    Boats member

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    I'm making a mistake?

    You're giving credence to the statements of terrorists. I'm sure, all things being equal, they'd like to not be actively hunted, but then again, I have never had the intoxicating pleasure of being pursued full time by the US Armed Forces or NATO, so maybe I am just missing the thrill.

    Point is I think that were they strapped to lie detectors, they'd much rather we leave so that they might do as they please with Western retaliation turned back into an abstract problem.

    I was part of a force that stayed the course for almost fifty years against the Soviet Union. We have been in Germany and Japan since 1945, Korea since 1950. It is too bad that our touchy-feely boomer military leaders can't or won't show some fortitude and quit replaying Vietnam in their fevered dreams.
     
  5. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    Yes. The AQ agents in Iraq and the Sunni insurgents don't want us to leave.

    Not really. The Sunnis don't have any reason for us to want to leave--if we weren't there, the Shiites would be unleashed and they're gonna take a beating. And if you're a foreign AQ type, and you rather fancy having a Western occupier to rail against, having us leave isn't much comfort, is it?

    They want us there to help fuel their twisted movement.

    Eh, when you're talking about people who are willing to die for their "cause", I don't think us hunting them is something they're really all that worried about. If they didn't want a confrontation with us, they could just drop their arms, quit making IEDs, and leave. They're not doing that, so I think we can dispense with your argument here. If anything, they're getting stronger thanks to our efforts--read the NIE much?

    I commend your efforts, but different conflict, different enemy, different time. We weren't an unwelcomed occupier in Germany and Japan; we experienced virtually no casualties from enemy fire in either of those countries post-1945. The Cold War was, well...a cold war, not an occupation of an Arab country by force.

    Unpack that statement. Fortitude? What would constitute fortitude? What would you have us do that we're not doing?

    You hear soundbites like that a lot--not much behind them too often.
     
  6. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    Looks like what I'd call a political squabble, not a huge scandal.

    Then again, I didn't think the Profumo Affair was a scandal either.

    John
     
  7. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

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    Hit the nightly national news here tonight. Not a career-enhancing move for that general, IMO.
     
  8. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    I hate to say it, but I think the situation in Iraq IS turning into another Vietnam...or a cross between Vietnam and a turf war between the Crips and Bloods. The top Brass know it, and they want to start getting out or start throwing loads of money and troops at it. Can you say draft? It will be seriously debated if we are there two years from now. The people we went in to liberate ARE the so called 'terrorists' now. The Shiites and Sunnis are still ticked off about events that occurred a thousand years ago...how do you think they feel about the people who tortured and killed their families 5 years ago? I think we're going to hear much more of this talk from US and UK military commanders in the next few months.
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    "We shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the landing grounds...we shall never surrender, or at least not unless they make it a little uncomfortable for us, then we will turn our guns in to be destroyed and run like hell."

    That is what Winston Churchill said, isn't it? Or was it Montgomery?

    Jim
     
  10. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    We are at that do it or don't stage, aren't we? I mean...when they write the postmortem on this thing, it'll be clear that we didn't adequately plan for the post war period, and we probably didn't bring enough troops--heck, a lot of the generals are saying that. We need more manpower to really keep a lid on things, and that's just not feasible sans draft.

    Two years from now? Man. Last weekend on ABC on Sunday morning, George Will said that there'll be 130K fewer troops in Iraq in 2008, or there'll be 125 fewer Republicans in Washington. Take your pick.
     
  11. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    Jim -It's a good thing that Churchill was actually able to identify the ememy instead of using generics for locals like 'terrorist' and 'insurgent'. Otherwise, we'd still be in Europe shooting Norwegians and calling them Nazis.
     
  12. Boats

    Boats member

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    I'll take a 125 fewer Republicans in Washington then. Such a circumstance might finally force the Democratic Party into growing up about national security issues.

    Odds would be that they would fail, and bugger it up even worse, as there is not a Truman, Jackson, or Nunn among them, and soon enough, the Democrats would return to their richly earned rump status.
     
  13. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    Very true Boats. Unfortunately, now (and for a decade to come) they can conveniently lay just about anything on the Bush administration.

    Iraq in a nutshell -
    "Small miseries, like small debts, hit us in so many places, and meet us at so many turns and corners, that what they want in weight, they make up in number, and render it less hazardous to stand the fire of one cannon ball, than a volley composed of such a shower of bullets."
    Rudyard Kipling
     
  14. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    i assume the UK has the standards that we do....meaning that military personnel are expected to refrain from making public statements about policy....the job of the military's civilian leaders. has anyone else noticed the growing instances of retired senior miliatry personnel seeking out celebrity by typically coming out in criticism of whatever the current military policy happens to be? has it always been this way? and so now it spreads into active military personnel? this guy's behaviour is completely unnacceptable. it will say an awful lot about the british government after we see how they deal with this. his commission should be revoked. nothing worse than a should-be warrior trying to be a politician. imagine the effect this will have on those troops beneath him....wholly negative.
     
  15. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Member

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    I will accept that statement only because you said "virtually," as in "let's pretend."

    Pops
     
  16. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    I guess; frankly the "Dems won't do any better and don't have a better solution" argument is equally tired. Even if it were true, it's not a convincing reason to support our current policy--beating up your opponent because he doesn't have a bumpersticker solution for an unsolvable problem that YOU created isn't good politics.

    What would "worse" really entail, anyway? According to the NIE we're making terrorists faster than we're eliminating them, we're the only thing stopping a civil war from happening, and nobody wants to help us. Even if we're "right", with us on the other side of the argument most other countries don't mind being "wrong." Our national prestige is being lowered and we're not getting closer to a solution, only further from one.

    The GOP wants us to think our choices are "stay the course" or "cut and run." They're ignoring the third option, which is redeploy to Kurdish controlled areas and protect them, and force the Shiites off our welfare teat and make them actually have to develop a functioning govt.

    No, as in essentially zero.

    We've had about 25000 enemy fire induced casualties in Iraq. How many did we have in the reconstruction years following V-J and V-E days? If it's even 0.001% of what we've had in Iraq, I'd be surprised.

    Newsflash--we haven't been involved in war or conflict in either of those countries since 1945. The idea that you can compare the reconstruction of either of those countries to Iraq smells like yesterday's diapers.
     
  17. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    "has anyone else noticed the growing instances of retired senior miliatry personnel seeking out celebrity by typically coming out in criticism of whatever the current military policy happens to be? has it always been this way?"

    No it hasn't. Do you think they just MIGHT really be trying to make a point about something important...and that no one in civilian leadership positions is listening? It's funny how these guys were/are the best men to lead our troops the day before they speak out against the status quo.

    Have you checked the news lately? This story is there now. There is also news that the Pentagon 'might' need to make some adjustments to the Iraq plan.
     
  18. Helmetcase

    Helmetcase Member

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    That might be telling us something--given the fact that our own Gen. Abizaid has said that Murtha is essentially correct and it's time to get out, and that we have generals in the UK saying the same thing...the fact that these military leaders are taking the drastic step of speaking against our policy might just maybe be a hint it's time for a little political introspection.
     
  19. carlrodd

    carlrodd Member

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    No it hasn't. Do you think they just MIGHT really be trying to make a point about something important...and that no one in civilian leadership positions is listening? It's funny how these guys were/are the best men to lead our troops the day before they speak out against the status quo.

    Have you checked the news lately? This story is there now. There is also news that the Pentagon 'might' need to make some adjustments to the Iraq plan.
    -Atticus

    i didn't assert that this man, or any other senior military person knows nothing about what the actual situation is in iraq, or in any other theater of war. what i said is that it is not their place to speak about it publicly, unless of course they were ordered to do so by civilian leadership. if ANY active military personnel have grave concerns, or serious criticisms, there is a chain of command within which they can properly voice those concerns.
     
  20. Atticus

    Atticus Member

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    I understand fully what you are saying. That is why this situation is even more striking.
     
  21. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Ah, land wars in Asia!
     
  22. mons meg

    mons meg Member

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    Well, we might as well come home then, since by all accounts the Kurds don't need us.
     
  23. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    A decent number of servicemen were schwacked in Germany, Greece, and Italy by various terrorist organizations throughout the 1950s-1980s. Do those not figure into the argument?

    -MV
     
  24. Tim James

    Tim James Member

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    Re: the UK scandal

    What did President Bush know, and when did he know it?
     
  25. Boats

    Boats member

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    UK combat deaths in Iraq are running less than 130 squaddies. So much for the British stiff upper lip--it's definitely quivering right now.

    I am sure just about every dead General of the Army in UK military cemeteries is spinning in his grave about the pusillanimity of his successor.

    That it takes fewer than seven score casualties to make the modern Redcoats want to bugle Retreat is a more grave sign for the future of Britain than anything else Brave Sir Robin, er Richard would care to cite.
     
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