Friday, August 10, 2007


[posted by Callimachus]

Neil Clark in the Guardian has your hardcore anti-Iraq War reaction to this story about Britain abandoning the Iraqi interpreters who helped its soldiers during the occupation.

Omitting the predictable smug reactions, like, "Oh, so if we 'liberated' them how come they're so afraid," I'll cut to the chase. And it's ugly:

The most nauseating aspect of the campaign is the way we are repeatedly told that the Iraqi interpreters worked for "us".

Who exactly is meant by "us"? In common with millions of other Britons, I did not want the Iraq war, an illegal invasion of a sovereign state engineered and egged on by a tiny minority of fanatical neoconservatives whose first loyalty was not to Britain but to the cause of Pax Americana.

... The interpreters did not work for "us", the British people, but for themselves - they are paid around £16 a day, an excellent wage in Iraq - and for an illegal occupying force. Let's not cast them as heroes. The true heroes in Iraq are those who have resisted the invasion of their country.

As Seumas Milne wrote in yesterday's Guardian: "More than any other single factor, it has been the war of attrition waged by Iraq's armed resistance that has successfully challenged the world's most powerful army and driven the demand for withdrawal to the top of the political agenda in Washington."

If more Iraqis had followed the example of the interpreters and collaborated with British and American forces, it is likely that the cities of Iran and Syria would now be lying in rubble.

... There is a simple answer to that "practical military issue": let's do all we can to keep the British army out of war zones. And in the meantime, let's do all we can to keep self-centred mercenaries who betrayed their fellow countrymen and women for financial gain out of Britain.

If that means some of them may lose their lives, then the responsibility lies with those who planned and supported this wicked, deceitful and catastrophic war, and not those of us who tried all we could to stop it.

At least in Britain they keep the title of "leftist." Over here, they soil the good name of "liberal."

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