Friday, October 13, 2006

Dannatt "joins anti-war movement"?

New head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt's interview in the (UK) Daily Mail, has quite rightly, dominated today's (October 13 2006) news. After all, the General says that British troops' continuing presence "exacurbates the security problems" in Iraq, and opines that "our presence in Iraq exacurbates the difficulties we are facing round the world". He concludes that "we should get orselves out sometime soon".

He likes that word "exacurbates", doesn't he?

Despite attempts by Dannatt to row back (when interviewed on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme, for instance, when he considerably qualified his position on the troops' "continuing presence"), there can be no doubt that his comments are a tremendous embarrassment to Blair. It is also quite unprecedented (in recent British history) for a military appointee to publicly challenge an elected government...and leftists might like to think about that, regardless of their views on Iraq.

The SWP/'Respect' 'Stop the War Coalition' amalgam has, quite understandably, hailed the General's comments and welcomed him as a new "recruit to the anti-war movement". If I shared their politics, I'd do the same.

But what they conveniently leave out of the picture is that the General's comments are part of an on-going rift within the British ruling class, and have nothing whatsoever to do with the interests of the peoples of Iraq. Dannatt makes it quite clear that his number one concern is the well-being of the British military and the "military covenant" between a nation and its armed forces: "I said to the Defence Secretary (Des Browne) that the Army won't let the nation down, but I don't want the nation to let the Army down".

Dannatt also makes it clear that his aim is to re-deploy troops withdrawn from Iraq, to Afghanistan: "There is a clear distinction between our staus in Iraq and in Afghanistan, which is why I have much more optimism that we can get it right in Afghanistan".

And if that doesn't give the SWP/STWC axis pause for thought about whether or not the General really is the kind of ally they want, they should read his views (as what the Mail calls a "devout Christian") about the "Islamist threat", which he hopes "doesn't make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country. Our society has always been embeddedin Christian values: once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind".

Very progressive views for the SWP/STWC to be taking on from their "latest recruit", eh?

But, in fact Dannatt does have one thing in common with his pseudo-left cheer-leaders: a total disregard for the struggling Iraqi Labour movement. A precipitate withdrawal now would mean the triumph of the sectarian militias, who would massacre trade unionists, secularists and womens' organisations. Dannatt doesn't care about that: and neither does the pro-Islamist "left".


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home