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Friday, September 23, 2005

Meddling

"Governor-General Michael Jeffery has urged US-led coalition forces in Iraq to study classic counter-insurgency tactics used in Vietnam and the Malayan emergency to win the war in Iraq."

The Australian reports this "exclusive" today. Note that Jeffrey doesn't question the legitimacy of the war nor the real reasons behind it. "We" must win, whatever the cost. Let's not forget that this is a man who once said: "I believe passionately that Vietnam was a just cause in the circumstances of the time."

Jeffrey represents a military establishment that thrives on conflict. Without it, their role seems somehow irrelevant. John Howard has defended Jeffrey. And he offers this telling comment: "It's tough [in Iraq] but it's all the more reason therefore that we stay the distance because if we give up and the place lapses into total chaos, that will put enormous pressure on neighbouring countries and it will be a very bad outcome for the west if that were to occur."

Shame about those tens of thousands of Iraqis killed, Prime Minister.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ian Westmore said...

"It's tough [in Iraq] but it's all the more reason therefore that we stay the distance because if we give up and the place lapses into total chaos,"

Howard needs to wake up and smell the flowers. The place descended into total chaos quite some time ago!

"that will put enormous pressure on neighbouring countries and it will be a very bad outcome for the west if that were to occur."

Pity he didn't think of that before blindly following Sheriff Bush into this mess! Its not as if he wasn't warned.

In the long run it probably won't matter much if we 'stay the course' or do a runner. If its destined to fall apart then I don't see how the COW will be able to stop it.

And Iraq is already a 'better' terrorist training camp than Afghanistan ever was as trainees get to practice against western equipment and tactics in an urban setting not too far removed from what they'd find in NYC, London, or Sydney. If anything getting out will lessen its effectiveness.

As for the G-G, his Vietnam experience should have taught him that Americans are incapable of fighting the type of anti insurgency war he advocates. They simply don't have the right mindset. The British do, but as very recent events in Basra have demonstrated, even in the relatively peaceful south, the locals have lost whatever belief and trust they had in the coalition.

It might be possible to win them back, but its already clear that neither the US or Britain are interested in making the huge investment required. I'm sure Iraqis are as aware as anyone that despite the 'staying the course' rhetoric both countries badly want to bail. About the only ones who still haven't got the message is our 'Fearless Leader' and it seems the G-G, though I suspect his speech had more to do with not rocking boats than being out of touch.

Friday, September 23, 2005 4:38:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

Slightly OT, but the title " Treat Iraq like Vietnam, says G-G" seems rather odd.

In the speech, he notes that they got it "right" in Malaya [sic?], and "wrong" in Vietnam.

Friday, September 23, 2005 11:12:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Well said, Ian. I agree heartily.

Saturday, September 24, 2005 7:09:00 am  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

andjam, you'd better punch Malaya (no "sic" required) into your search engine. Or better still pick up a history of Australian foreign policy, such as Millar.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 7:46:00 pm  

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