Saturday, 22 May 2010

Better Late Than Never?

It really is heartening news to learn that Ed Balls and Ed Miliband, both contenders for the Labour leadership, now think that the invasion of Iraq was "a mistake". I seem to remember that about 1000 000 people marched through London before the invasion in 2003, and not much notice was taken of them. We all make mistakes, of course, but the passage of seven years before you discover you've made them seems rather a long time. What do we make of this discovery by messrs Balls and Miliband?

1 comment:

  1. Seven years and who knows how many lives (British and Afghan) later, I'm not persuaded by this Damascene conversion. The war was of dubious legality and undeniably unpopular with the populace, but the political classes proceeded, convinced we ignorant plebs would all fall into cheering lines once the militarily superior West overthrew Saddam's Hussein's conscript army. They clearly anticipated another Falklands factor. Instead, the only lines we get are the sombre spectators as dead soldiers are borne through Wootton Bassett.

    There was no planning for post-invasion nation-building and reconstruction, except to hand lucrative contracts to US businesses, with one or two scraps thrown to British firms. Iraqis were not involved in these decisions taken about their country over their heads.

    It was clear the post-war scenario as envisaged by Bliar and Bush went like this: cheering crowds as the troops entered Baghdad; hold democratic elections for a parliament; job done; go home.

    While I repect principled politicians like John McDonnell who always opposed the war, for Miliband & Balls to come to us now and say that we plebs were right all along just looks like populist opportunism to me.