They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Saturday, September 01, 2007

General backed over US attack

Politicians and military figures have thrown their weight behind General Sir Mike Jackson after he launched a scathing attack on the US for mishandling the aftermath of the Iraq war.

Sir Mike, head of the army during the 2003 invasion, lambasted Washington's post-war policy as "intellectually bankrupt".

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he also singled out ex-US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld for criticism, describing his claim that US forces "don't do nation-building" as "nonsensical".

Sir Mike's autobiography brands the US's approach to fighting global terrorism as "inadequate" - insisting it relies too much on military power over diplomacy and nation-building.

He lays the blame for the chaos engulfing Iraq firmly at the door of Mr Rumsfeld, saying he was "one of the most responsible for the current situation".

The Ministry of Defence insisted that Sir Mike, who is retired, was now a "private individual" and entitled to air his views.

Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell said: "What General Jackson has said is absolutely correct. It goes to the very heart of the lack of real planning for post-war Iraq."

Former Tory defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind also backed Sir Mike's intervention. He told the BBC: "I think one of the most fundamental criticisms is not just that Rumsfeld was incompetent - which he was - but it was actually his boss, George Bush, who actually made the extraordinary decision to put the Pentagon and Rumsfeld in control of political nation-building after the actual war ended."

Major General Patrick Cordingley, who commanded the Desert Rats during the 1991 Gulf War, said Sir Mike's analysis was "absolutely spot on".

"The frustration, of course, is that one wonders why he and others could not persuade the Government to listen to him so that we wouldn't be in the mess that we are in now." Link