Blogs > Liberty and Power > Simon Jenkins: To Say We Must Stay in Iraq to Save It from Chaos Is a Lie

Sep 21, 2005 1:07 am


Simon Jenkins: To Say We Must Stay in Iraq to Save It from Chaos Is a Lie



Simon Jenkins, the veteran journalist and former editor of The Times (of London), who now writes for The Guardian, has penned a powerful essay on why Britain should withdraw its troops in short order from Iraq. And, I might add, he provides a mighty good argument why the U.S. should also withdraw posthaste.

He concludes:

“The alleged reason for occupying Iraq was to build security and democracy. We have dismantled the first and failed to construct the second. Iraq is a fiasco without parallel in recent British policy. Now we are told that we must"stay the course" or worse will befall. This is code for ministers refusing to admit a mistake and hoping someone else will after they are gone. By then the Kurds will be more detached, the Sunnis more enraged and the Shias more fundamentalist. A hundred British soldiers will have died.

“America left Vietnam and Lebanon to their fate. They survived. We left Aden and other colonies. Some, such as Malaya and Cyprus, saw bloodshed and partition. We said rightly that this was their business. So too is Iraq for the Iraqis. We have made enough mess there already.

“British soldiers may indeed be the best in the world. But why then is Blair driving them to humiliation?”

I recall the United States declared itself independent of Britain 229 years ago. It is surely time for Britain to declare itself independent of the United States by pulling out from Iraq. And thereby, I hope, provide an example for our transatlantic cousins to follow.

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