Saturday, September 01, 2007 

Mike Jackson's written a book!

You know it's a slow news day when all 5 of the BBC's top stories are less than serious, currently taken up with "celebrity" breaches of restraining orders, a Republican sex scandal and a competition for those endowed with facial hair. It'd be nice then to think that the former head of the British army had actually said something of worth to fill the void, except for stating the obvious. No such luck:

General Sir Mike Jackson, the head of the British Army during the invasion of Iraq, has launched a scathing attack on the United States for the way it handled the post-war administration of the country.

The former chief of the general staff said the approach taken by Donald Rumsfeld, the then US defence secretary, was "intellectually bankrupt", describing his claim that US forces "don't do nation-building" as "nonsensical".

All soon becomes clear why Jackson has risen out of his previous slumber to antagonise the Americans, who always respond by chucking their rattles' out of the pram:

Sir Mike's comments - made in his forthcoming autobiography Soldier, serialised exclusively in The Daily Telegraph - represent the most outspoken criticism of American military policy in Iraq to come from a senior British officer.

Jolly good - he's wrote a book! It's slightly reminiscent of Jeremy Greenstock, who alongside Jack Straw was involved in the bullying and bribing of the other security council members back in 2003 during the attempts to gain a second resolution, only once he had been involved in the invasion to write a book which was highly critical of both of the Americans and the failure to plan for the aftermath. According to newspaper reports, Greenstock described the US decision to go to war as "politically illegitimate", but that sure didn't stop him from going along with it and supporting and arguing for the war in public. Greenstock's book however was blocked - apparently for divulging sensitive discussions between Blair and others, and has never been published. Mike Jackson however satisfied himself that the war was legal:

Sir Mike says he satisfied himself on the legality of invading Iraq by careful study of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and concluded that action was "legitimate under international law without a 'second' resolution.

Not that it isn't pleasant to see the Americans getting criticised for once - the spiteful, ridiculous remarks by certain army figures about the UK's role in Basra showed how much they appreciate the backing they've received since 2003, as does the refusal to cooperate with inquests into the deaths of UK servicemen from "friendly fire". Special relationship? More like an abusive marriage with our cowardly politicians too scared to file for divorce.

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