Saturday, May 5, 2007

'Invaders' must leave Iraq, says SAS general | Uk News | News | Telegraph

'Invaders' must leave Iraq, says SAS general | Uk News | News | Telegraph: "He said: 'As Lord Chatham said, when he was speaking on the British presence in North America, 'If I was an American, as I am an Englishman, as long as one Englishman remained on American native soil, I would never, never, never lay down my arms'.

'The Iraqi insurgents feel exactly the same way. I understand them. I don't excuse them for some of the terrible things they do, but I do understand why they are resisting the Americans.'"

I have served with British forces and I consider them the finest peacekeepers in world bar none. Sir General Rose, in addition to his special operations time, commanded the peacekeepers in Bosnia from 1994-1995. The General knows the business. His assessment of the insurgency is correct.

The bulk of the killing, however, is sectarian violence. The civilian casualty totals are over ten times the coalition casualty totals. These deaths are overwhelmingly Iraqis killing Iraqis. Nation building is not possible with this level of violence. This is a stand-up peacekeeping mission. Somebody has to stop the killing.

I agree with General Sir Michael Rose. Our very presence is inciting violence. I also believe our presence mitigates at least some of the sectarian violence. In an ideal world, we'd be relieved by a force that's simultaneously tolerable to Iraqis and capable of going head-to-head with multiple heavily armed sects with murder on their minds.

Who's that going to be?

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