Bush asked Blair to send more troops to Iraq


Listening to Tony Blair's recent speech aboard HMS Albion in Plymouth in which he stated his desire for Britain to be involved in even more wars, you'd get the impression that he'd jump at the chance to send more British troops to Iraq, especially if asked to do so by his lord and master in Washington. However, it seems now that our war addicted Prime Minister was given such a request and, strangely, balked at the idea.

TONY Blair formally rejected an American appeal to send hundreds more British troops to Iraq to help with US "surge" tactics, Scotland on Sunday can reveal.

The Prime Minister was confronted with the request for extra help to supplement the thousands of American reinforcements on their way to Baghdad, during conversations with President Bush before Christmas.

But he turned down the plea for around 2,000 extra British troops - to add to the 7,200 already stationed around Basra - because it would conflict with the government's hopes of scaling down Britain's Iraq presence in the coming months.

In his speech Blair said that:

The risk here - and in the US where the future danger is one of isolationism not adventurism - is that the politicians decide it's all too difficult and default to an unstated, passive disengagement, that doing the right thing slips almost unconsciously into doing the easy thing.

How does that square with his refusal to send the requested troops? Is this a tacit admission that our armed forces are in no state for an escalation of an already disastrous conflict, or has Blair decided that in the light of the huge opposition to this failed war, and in consideration of his all-important legacy that it's all too difficult and that doing the easy thing is also doing the right thing? Perhaps in an all too rare moment of lucidity Blair has realised that Bush's escalation plan goes beyond batshit crazy and is doomed to fail. Either way this is the best indication so far of a possible split between London and Washington. No doubt this welcome decision will be used as evidence of Britain's independence from the USA after the recent stinging criticisms of Blair's subservience to Bush. I'd be more inclined to believe that if I heard an unequivocal statement that Britain will not in any way be part of an attack on Iran. I can't help suspecting that Blair's bellicose speech was partly an attempt to smooth some ruffled feathers in Washington.

Interestingly, the same article in Scotland on Sunday had this little gem:

Bush yesterday challenged opponents of his new Iraq plan to put forward their own strategy for stopping the violence in Baghdad.

"To oppose everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

There was another strategy proposed for ending the violence in Iraq. It was called the Iraq Study Group report and Bush ignored it.

But then George Bush

But then George Bush supposedly said in 2001:
'You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.'

The Durruti Column

Interesting speech. Note

Interesting speech. Note that Mr Blair DOES NOT mention NATO or the EU but America appears in every paragraph of his speech.

What an extraordinary position to take! Does the Right Honourable Tony Blair think this war is being waged by America and the UK? Does the British prime minister NOT see the need for the international community to engage, that legitimacy in this interdependent world depends on action being underwritten by the international institutions: UN, NATO, EU?

Does the the chief of the British Labour government not know that the UK acts NOWHERE alone? Has he forgotten that it is always in coalition? There's absolutely no mention of coalition ops.

What an extraordinary speech! It was excellent in many parts, but lacking in the one area that is essential in the modern military world: All military action today is undertaken in coalition and, hopefully, ideally and importantly, with an international mandate from the UN.

What does Mr Blair really hope to achieve by his brazen show of loyalty to George W Bush, a leader who is being thrashed himself by his very own people? Unbelievable that Tony Blair should show that his loyalty to Europe and Europeans ends where his loyalty to George W Bush begins - am not in the least surprised why pundits in Britain and in Europe have described Blair as George Bush's favorite lackey.

a bit off the topic, but

a bit off the topic, but another good study group; or i thought is the The Senlis Council and their publication of Hearts and Minds Campaign in Southern Afghanistan[http://www.senliscouncil.net/modules/publications/017_publication/The_Report]

When will Tony Blair and

When will Tony Blair and George W. Bush finally realize that sending more troops to Iraq is the wrong way to solve the Iraq conflict. There is nothing to do anymore, the war was wrong but they don't want to admit this.