Saturday, May 19, 2007

What About the War in Iraq, Mr Brown?

The news in the UK today has been all about Gordon Brown and his candidacy to become the next leader of the New Labour Party and with that the next British Prime Minister. He will move next door, so to speak. What has been a little surprising is that he seems to be taking on the leadership of New Labour without the murmur of opposition. In response to this Brown is doing the 'I am so humble act'.

During the day the radio news has been providing snippets of Brown's "I am so humble' speech. He says his prime focus is education, pronounced in capital letters, then he also has to fix the NHS, restore trust in government and worry about housing, environment issues and building fabulous communities. All of these sound so wonderfully soothing.

So far I have not heard one word about what he intends doing about the war in Iraq. Possibly Mr Blair, who is having tea parties with Bush at the moment, thinks he can sort this disaster out while he is still at the helm, thus leaving Brown with a rosy future. After all it is Blair's stubbornness that got the UK into the war in the first instance. There were a fair number of Brits against it at the time, in fact it was one of the bigger popular protests seen in the UK for a while. However, to no avail as Blair decided he needed to play on the world stage and attach himself to Bush.

Of course Bush and Blair are adamant that they are winning the war in Iraq. Today the BBC reported on a particular damming report which has been published by the UK foreign policy think thank the Royal Institute for International Affairs, also known as Chatham House. It states that Iraq is facing collapse and maintains that the Iraqi government is practically powerless and irrelevant in many parts of the country.

Not only does the report say that there are several civil wars in Iraq, with strong leanings of support towards al-Qaeda in many areas. But it also points out that Iraqi's neighbours are fueling the unrest as they have more to gain from an Iraq in turmoil and fragmented. Neighbouring states are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and each has its own reasons for seeing continued instability in Iraq. The efforts of the US and allies are purely moving the unrest around into different areas rather than overcoming it.

While politicians, political analysts and academics ponder the success or not of a war, the ordinary people of Iraq are suffering hardships which we in our protected little cocoons can't even imagine. Talking about that, we see so little of the horrific effects of this war on the people in Iraq. Is there a media gag out there?

I found this blog and recommend strongly you find your way to it as well. This is an ordinary girl in Baghdad reporting on how this war is affecting her and her family. It is devastating. It really puts a face to what ordinary folk are having to live through, or mostly die from, at the mercy of two megalomaniacs. Find it at Blair and Bush should be charged with crimes against humanity. They should not be allowed to get away with this.

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