Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
22 May 2007

This last weekend Blair payed a surprise visit to Iraq, apparently to bid farewell to the catastrophic mess he helped to create there.

The knock-on effect of the US-British policy in the Middle East - including the bombing of the Lebanon by Israel, was continuing to cause mayhem this weekend.

The northern Lebanese city of Tripoli was the scene of bloody gun battles which killed 23 soldiers in the Lebanese army and 17 others - who are claimed to have been "terrorist gunmen".

But defying all reality, Blair still claims that his Middle Eastern policy is promoting peace and well-being in the region. A mortar dropped on the British Embassy compound in Baghdad just before he arrived. The US "surge" which was supposed to stop the increasing attacks in central Baghdad has, by the accounts of US soldiers themselves, merely made things worse. They have never suffered such high casualties.

But Blair will not admit any errors. General Sir Richard Dannat, who says that "Prince Harry" could not be sent to Basra because of too much media coverage - knows full well that Basra is too dangerous for a "royal" to be sent there. He said himself last October, that the presence of British troops in the area just "exacerbated the situation".

12 British soldiers died there in April. The British HQ came under mortar fire minutes after Blair made his farewell. It is evident to everyone with any knowledge of the conditions, that the only political players in Basra are the rival Shia militias fighting for control. The British Army is severely limited by daily gun battles and roadside bombs, and lately, suicide bombs. All the more reason, as if it was needed, for troops out now!