Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bliar's African Legacy

As Bliar swans around Africa on his 'goodbye, good riddance' tour. The ongoing war in Iraq is following a fairly classic pattern of an insurgency, as the guerillas learn and adapt to become better at killing the occupiers. You can see this in the most recent attack;

"Sunni Arab guerrillas in Iraq ran a sophisticated sting on US troops in Diyala province on Memorial Day, killing 8 GIs. First, they shot down a helicopter with small arms fire. Two servicemen died in the crash. The guerrillas knew that a rescue team would come out to the site. So they planted a roadside bomb that killed the rescuers. And, they knew that yet another rescue team would come out to see what happened to the first. So they planted roadside bombs and destroyed the second team, as well."

So the occupiers take to the air to avoid being killed – using air power to hammer the enemy;

"What we do know is this: Since the major combat phase of the war ended in April 2003, the U.S. military has dropped at least 59,787 pounds of air-delivered cluster bombs in Iraq -- the very type of weapon that Marc Garlasco, the senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls, "the single greatest risk civilians face with regard to a current weapon that is in use." We also know that, according to expert opinion, rockets and cannon fire from U.S. aircraft may account for most U.S. and coalition-attributed Iraqi civilian deaths and that the Pentagon has restocked hundreds of millions of dollars worth of these weapons in recent years."

Hundreds of millions that would be better spent in Africa, the scar on the conscience of the world on things like clean fresh drinking war or AIDS treatments, but no, its being spent on bombs to drop in an unwinable war. So where does Bliar's visit to Africa link to Iraq? This little gem of information;

"Outgoing Prime Minister Tony Blair is to intervene this week to try to prevent 700 South Africans – the equivalent of more than one battalion – being forced to quit the British Army because of a proposed anti-mercenary law...Mr Blair is to raise the issue in talks with Thabo Mbeki, the South African president, during his farewell tour of Africa. The South African parliament passed the Prohibition of Mercenary Activities Bill late last year...The draft legislation is aimed at curbing an estimated 20,000 South Africans hiring themselves out as soldiers of fortune in various Third World conflicts, or volunteering for foreign armies."

Bliar's African legacy – South Africans in the British Army fighting in Iraq. Nice.

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