Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brown's Iraq Gibberish Dupes Public

Brown came up with more gibberish today as he finally got round to telling parliament what he had already announced on his carefully staged whistle-stop tour of Iraq to capture the headlines. Much of the media toed the Downing Street line with troop withdrawals spun as Brown's decision. The Orange Party doubts the public are so gullible.

Brown threw out Tory and LibDem calls for an immediate Iraq inquiry as he simply repeated the timetable for withdrawal to MPs, now old news as Brown has already declared everything but 'mission accomplished' to the BBC. 

Does the government really believe we are a bunch of fools to be taken in by all the lies, spin and deceit? 

The troop withdrawal has been spun as a decision of Brown's own making, when it is nothing of the sort. 

The Orange Party has repeatedly pointed out that the UN mandate for foreign troop occupation in Iraq expires at the end of this month. The withdrawal timetable is being fixed by Washington and Baghdad. 

It was the Iraqi council of ministers who only agreed a new resolution on Tuesday to allow UK operational troops to stay until the end of July.

To say a few hundred troops will remain in Iraq for "training and mentoring duties" is deceitful. Operational forces will be stationed at and around the historical base in southern Iraq to guard the Gulf oil supply routes. 

The BBC was alone in leading with Brown's troop announcement on yesterday's evening news. Both ITV and C4 news saw through the sham and rightly chose the Woolies closure tied in with unemployment. 

Not being straight with the public over Iraq is clearly an inherited genetic defect for Brown and his New Labour heirs to Blair. 

Any reputation Brown had as another pretty straight sort of guy was thrown out of the window last year, with an act of blatant political opportunism, popping up in Basra to announce a troop reduction that never was, followed by a snap election that never was, all to wrong-foot the Tories. 

Yesterday and today to MPs, Brown repeated the deceit that troop withdrawal was possible because of the "success of the UK's mission in improving security to Iraq, training Iraqi troops and police, reducing violence around Basra and helping reconstruction - tasks which would be completed by the end of May. People can be proud that Iraq is a far better place than it was five years ago."

Those words will come back to haunt him. And paying tribute to the 178 troop deaths is an insult to the huge numbers of troops wounded and the hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

Holed up at a heavily defended base at Basra airport forced to watch on while US forces cleared up the mess is hardly a triumph. But the mission in Iraq must end in triumph, regardless of the truth. So we have to sit back and suffer more spin. 

The Iraq war was Blair's criminal legacy. But Brown was there and helped rubber-stamp that illegal and immoral war. He should share that blame and responsibility. 

Brown has repeatedly used the get-out clause, citing that the time for an inquiry will come after the end of 'active military operations'. But even then any remit would be tightly drawn up by the government. 

Parliament approved the war based on the lie of WMDs, not regime change. No UK parliament would have given approval to invade another sovereign state, simply to topple a dictator. 

The illegality of the war would be the only question for an inquiry to address but that would re-open a whole can of worms and put into sharp focus the bloody, mad hopeless war in Afghanistan, now escalating on Brown's watch as he too develops Blair's 'taste for war'. 

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