On 20 March it will be exactly 5 years since the first US and British bombs hit Iraq in the current war.
Yet if the media is anything to go by, it would seem as if Britain's involvement in the Iraq war is already a thing of the past. These days the war and occupation gets barely a mention, unless you count stories about the prelude to war - like how the Information Commissioner just decided that the minutes of meetings of the Cabinet back in 2003 should be released to the public.
Instead we are being treated to prince Harry's public school boy Rambo games in Afghanistan. This got more coverage in just one week than the Iraq war has had in six months!
In fact it seems that everything possible is being done to draw attention away from the battlefield. So now the public is being blamed for apparently insulting military personnel in England's bases to the point where they are told not to go out in their uniforms. As if the "public" would be idiotic enough to behave this way! Actually, the government's campaign is suffering from a split personality because apparently it is the "public" which now wants a "war day" public holiday to honour "heroes"!
But what is the government really hiding by these diversionary tactics? A lot, in fact! It turns out that British troops are going to stay in Basa and that there will be no "drawdown" at all, as promised last year in October! At the time Brown was thinking about calling an election. Now he faces the May local elections. No wonder he prefers prince Harry to grab the headlines!
He wants it kept very quiet that 6,800 military personnel will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future and that the base at Basra International Airport is not being dismantled, but reinforced and expanded with a new military hospital. And yes, they will need that hospital. Because the deaths and injuries continue to mount as the rival militias fight it out with each other and with British troops - while the Iraqi population, caught in the middle, bears the brunt.
5 years after the start of this criminal invasion, there remains only one side for the working class to take - against the British government's continued war and with the brothers and sisters in Iraq and in this country who are caught up in a catastrophic conflict, not of their making. Troops out now!