Sunday, July 08, 2007

Remember when Americans were insurgents?

I may safely assert that the insurgents are very few in comparison with the whole of the people
Vice-Admiral Lord Howe, 1775. 

I read with interest this review of General Sir Michael Rose's book "Washington's War" in the Spectator over the weekend, which highlighted perceived similarities between the conduct of the British campaign against the Americans with the coalition of willing's tactics in Iraq. Rose called for the impeachment of Tony Blair in January 2006 over the Iraq war and rejected the view that NATO bombing directly caused political breakthroughs in the former Yugoslavia in 1995 and 1999.

The review mentioned a Newsnight interview by Jeremy Paxman between Rose and former Bush legal adviser David Rifkin who put it that only "lack of stamina and lack of political will" stood in the way of victory in Iraq.
Paxman: There are going to be a lot of people in this country General, who are very distressed that a senior distinguished military officer arguing like that and knowing that the consequence may well be the death of British and American Service personnel.
Rose: Well I reject that completely, I mean it's the soldiers who have been telling me from the front lines that the war they are fighting is a hopeless war, that they cannot possibly win it, the British nor the Americans can win that war, and the sooner we start talking politically, as Mr Rifkin said the sooner we start talking politics and not talking military solutions the sooner they'll come home and their lives will be preserved. Far from sacrificing their lives, realism would actually save their lives.
Paxman: So admit defeat.
Rose:Of course we have to admit defeat! The British admitted defeat in North America and the catastrophes that were predicted at the time never happened. The Americans were defeated in Vietnam, the catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened, and the same thing will occur after we leave Iraq.
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