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How are we doing in Iraq?

Kudos to Matthew Parris of The Times who spots a gem of a little story tucked away inside his own paper. I quote selectively from it here.

> “A British Hercules aircraft had to be destroyed on the ground after being crippled soon after landing in the lawless Iraqi province of Maysan, the Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday.” The report said this was to stop equipment falling into hostile hands on a runway near the provincial capital of al-Amarah.<

This is a province our government says was “under control” and ready to be handed back to the Iraqi government in January. Things have been delayed.

Parris again:

>I rang the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: had I missed an update on Mrs Beckett’s November statement? No, a spokesman told me: “We did hope to hand over the province.” However, more time was needed. Britain is now (apparently) “hopeful of handing over in the spring”.

Hopeful? How hopeful, when we blew up one of our own aircraft there this week, unable to guard it? Yet the Defence Secretary promises we will not leave until the job is done. If you seek the real source of public cynicism in politics, look no farther. We’ve lost. Why not just say so?

Parris

UPDATE:
Can’t resist this link from the BBC. It describes an official US goverment pre-invasion plan as expecting only 5,000 US troops to remain in Iraq by December 2006 as ‘delusional.” Rarely a truer word spoken.

Beeb

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