Saturday, September 24, 2005

It would be inappropriate for the British Army to apologise

The British papers are full of stories about Basra, including ones in the Times and Indy that purport to tell what the SAS soldiers were up to when they were caught, but which don’t actually answer the question in any convincing manner; there is nothing to learn from these articles, so I haven’t bothered with links. By the way, when I was writing my earlier posts, I wasn’t satisfied with calling them soldiers, since, as I said, people operating without uniforms disguised as locals are not acting as soldiers. Someone in comments in Lenin’s Tomb used the term I was groping for: illegal combatants. These illegal combatants’ commander, Brig. John Lorimer, tells the Sunday Telegraph that “It would be inappropriate for the British Army to apologise.” Indeed, heaven forfend they do something inappropriate, like fail to extend their pinky when drinking tea, or not curtsey to the queen, or apologize for shooting at cops, knocking down the wall of a police station and firing on a crowd of civilians. Heaven forfuckingfend.

It’s a measure of how mainstream opposition to the war in Iraq now is that pro-war politicians are unable to impugn the motives of its opponents. Yesterday Bush said something about advocates of pull-out being well-intentioned but mistaken. Compare this with the taunts hurled at opponents of the war in Vietnam and you can see the difference. Bush and his claque are not able to call war opponents traitors, to suggest that they love America or leave it or even to suggest that they don’t support “our troops.” Bush used the same rhetoric about the terrorists only being able to win if America’s will is sapped, but at the same time in the same press conference had to acknowledge the legitimacy of the anti-war position. Rhetorically, he’s lost the argument, or at least ceded a lot of ground.

The US military is using more than 250,000 bullets for every insurgent killed. Really bad shots, I’m guessing.

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