Sir Richard and Tony Blair's Iraq Policy

Sir Richard Dannatt, the incoming head of the British Army, unloaded two barrels of truth on Tony Blair's Iraq policy. Here in America even retired Generals are told to keep their mouth shut. If a sitting member of the Joint Chiefs came out with this kind of statement, we'd be subjected to hours of shouting about a "military coup" usurping the power of the executive.
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the army, dropped a political bombshell last night by saying that Britain must withdraw from Iraq "soon" or risk serious consequences for Iraqi and British society.

In a blistering attack on Tony Blair's foreign policy, Gen Dannatt said the continuing military presence in Iraq was jeopardising British security and interests around the world.

"I don't say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them," he said in comments that met with admiration from anti-war campaigners and disbelief in some parts of Westminster.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Gen Dannatt, who became chief of the general staff in August, said we should "get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems".

He added: "We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear.

"As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we weren't invited ... by those in Iraq at the time. The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in.

"Whatever consent we may have had in the first place, may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance." He added that planning for the postwar phase was "poor" and the aim of imposing a liberal democracy in Iraq had been over-ambitious. He was more optimistic that "we can get it right in Afghanistan."

That's quite the condemnation, and you'd have to be blind not to see the similarity with the Democratic Party's position.

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