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UK Troops to stay in Iraq for years

January 5, 2004

[Originally posted by DaBeeeenster]

BBC Link

quote:
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British troops will remain in Iraq for years not months, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has said.

"I can't say whether it's going to be 2006/2007," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Mr Straw insisted that if coalition forces were to pull out from Iraq now, there would be a security vacuum and lives would be put at risk.

He was speaking after Tony Blair made a surprise visit to UK troops Iraq on his way home from a Christmas break.

Mr Straw said he could "not give an exact timetable" of when British troops would leave the region.

Subject to there being a "status of forces agreement" between the new sovereign government of Iraq and the US/UK coalition, it was a "fact" that troops would be there for years, he said.

"It is not going to be months for sure," Mr Straw added. 
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I'm not sure how I feel about this.

My cynical side is telling me that it is proof positive that the coalition of the willing are in Iraq for reasons other than to remove the threat of WOMD. There are none, Saddam has been caught, it's time to get a provisional government in place, train a police force and get out.

My not so cynical side (which I usually dont listen to ) says that this is merely due to the security risk as Jack Straw says. Unfortunately, based on the pretext for the war, I consider him a weasal faced liar, hence why I really leaning towards the original thoughts.

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January 5, 2004

I was just watching some coverage of TB's surprise visit to Iraq... It was pointed out that TB is now trying as hard as he possibly can to move the goal posts prior to the publication of the report on the Hutton Inquiry. It was stated all along that the UK is in that stupid war because of the 'present and immediate threat to the security of this country'. Since even the Iraq Survey Group can't find anything close to an unlit match stick, there's really no hope of finding WMD. So now, TB is tell us and the troops that what a great job they're doing in 'fight the peace'.

- Why is there a humanitarian problem in Iraq? That's because the Coalition destroyed much of Iraq's infrastructure in its 'liberation'.

- Why is there a security problem in Iraq? That's because the Coalition created it by not really securing the country after the collaspe of the Saddam regime.

- Why is there a security problem in the West? That's because instead of chasing after the real enemy - Osama bin Laden and his terror network - we went after a 'rogue state' that was of no particular danger nor importance!

- When will Coalition troops pull out of Iraq? Not any time soon! Why? That's because it is nearly impossible to nail down the enemy... They don't want the Coalition there and the Coalition will be there until the security problem remains. Do we have a chicken-and-egg situation here!

We, the taxpayers of the UK, are paying for this stupid war in more ways than you'd think...

1) We pay for the weapons, supplies and everything else associated with deployment of troops in a far away theater.

2) The global economy has suffered significantly during the 6 months prior to the actual war. Prior to the mention of war, there were signs of a small recovery, but the uncertainly pushed back the recovery by nearly 9 months. To add to the problem, the SARS outbreak further hinder recovery.

3) Global economy did not expand as much as expect, UK exports less to the rest of the world... The companies earns less, the government gets less tax revenue and the government has to borrow more to cover of its spending program - we'll be paying for that in the years to come.

4) Uncertainty in the lead up to and for the months after the Gulf War II has driven up crude prices. We may not have seen increases in petrol and other oil products, but don't hold your breath... It takes 9 to 12 months for prices to feed through to the consumers. Even if hydrocarbon products remain at the same price, it would be argued that the uncertain has kept prices high instead of a lowering of prices, as many oil economies budgeted in early 2002.

5) The airline industry will be hit again... With higher level of checks and security, operating costs for airlines will increase. With the fragile states of finance in many European airlines (like BA, Air France, KLM, etc.), this will mean more problems down the line. Since these are national flag carriers, there's a certain likelihood that they'll be given 'governmental assistance' - which means taxpayer money down the drain. Moreover, the airlines in countries will less restrictive employment laws (like the UK) will be seeking to reduce staffing levels (read: employment)...

These are just some problems that can be attributed to this stupid war. I'm sure there're more...


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