Bush and Blair's Mesopotamian Joke
The political solution in south Iraq is as elusive as elsewhere in Mesopotamia.
Tony Blair’s government committed the British military to the invasion and occupation of the deep south of Iraq, where the troops met immediate and growing resistance. The whole project has been as much a serious error for Britain as for the US.
An Assessment of Tony Blair's contribution from David Wearing (Britain’s failure in Iraq):
British diplomacy failed to dissuade Germany and France from objecting to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and many of those European countries that did join the US-led coalition left as the post-war security situation deteriorated sharply. Even in financial donations to the Iraqi reconstruction effort, the European contribution was minimal, despite British pleas. . . . .'Xactly what I've been sayin'.
What caused Britain’s failures in Iraq? Two key factors can be identified: a lack of capability and of legitimacy. Britain is experiencing a miniature version of the current US imperial overstretch. Britain had neither the diplomatic influence to act as an effective transatlantic bridge nor the military capacity to control its zone of operation in the south. It has found that attempts to conquer third world countries in the 21st century are not as feasible as they were in the 19th century. Decades of anti-colonial struggles, military and political, have engendered a substantial ability to resist domination.
Moreover, while Britain and the US have adopted different approaches to counter-insurgency in their respective areas, what they have had in common was always more important: a lack of legitimacy among the population (unlike the regional government of the Kurdish north). Britain has claimed legitimacy for its presence in Iraq on the basis of an endorsement by the UN Security Council. But a decision taken by 15 foreign governments in New York can hardly legitimise an occupation opposed by the majority of the Iraqi population. An occupation cannot be sustained in such circumstances.