Monday, January 09, 2006

British General Calls For Tony Blair's Head

General Sir Michael Rose, former commander of UN forces in Bosnia, writing in The Guardian, called for the impeachment of Prime Minister Tony Blair, stating that Blair had misled the public and Parliament over the invasion of Iraq.

It was a war that was to unleash untold suffering on the Iraqi people and cause grave damage to the west's prospects in the wider war against global terror.

These people have seen their political wishes ignored for reasons that have now proved false. Nor has there been any attempt made in parliament to call Mr Blair personally to account for what has transpired to be a blunder of enormous strategic significance

It was no secret that British military leaders were against military action in Iraq. While they have guarded their statements, none of the military chiefs have shown any enthusiasm for what they view as a "strategic blunder". Many have since come out against the action and some have had strong criticism for what they consider to be misdirected US tactics in Iraq.

Gen Sir Rupert Smith, who took over from Gen Rose as UN commander in Bosnia, says of Iraq in the programme: "We often actually reinforce our opponent's ability to achieve his objective because his strategy is always to get us to over-react."

General Sir Michael Walker, chief of defence staff, has said in public only that British military presence in Iraq was a "politically-charged issue" which has affected recruitment since people saw the armed forces as "guilty by association" with Mr Blair's decision to invade the country.

General Sir Mike Jackson, head of the army, has criticised US tactics in Iraq. British commanders were told by Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, chief of defence staff at the time of the invasion, to deal with Iraqi officers and Ba'athists to help maintain law and order. That order was rescinded in May 2003 on the instructions of US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Blair's spokesman brushed off the article.

Read the whole thing here.

General Sir Michael Rose KCB CBE DSO QGM, was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1964 and was selected for the Special Air Service Regiment. Following service with the SAS in Malaya and Oman, he commanded the 22nd SAS Regiment (1979-82) during which time it was involved in the London Iranian Embassy siege and the Falklands War. From January 1994 to January 1995 he assumed command of the UN Protection Force in Bosnia after which he became Adjutant General and a member of the Army Board.

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