Thursday, October 12, 2006
Britannia Wavering - Is this the End of the "Coalition" ?
Iraq - The Bombshell from Britain * The Gorilla On Bush's Back
U.K. Troops in Iraq Said Hurt Situation
The Associated Press/Washington Post
Thursday, October 12, 2006; 5:59 PM
LONDON -- The head of the British Army said British troops in Iraq are making the situation worse and must leave the country soon, according to a newspaper interview published Thursday.
The British military should "get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems," Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt told the Daily Mail in the interview released on the tabloid's Web site.
"We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear," he added. "As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we weren't invited certainly by those in Iraq at the time.
"Dannat's comments are certain to infuriate Prime Minister Tony Blair who is President Bush's key ally in the war in Iraq. He described Blair's policy toward Iraq as "naive."
It is highly unusual for a sitting military commander to publicly criticize the government's foreign policy."Whatever consent we may have had in the first place" from the Iraqi people "has largely turned to intolerance," he said.
"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."
See detailed report in The Guardian.