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Chamberlain lives: Times of London says Britain reached an “accommodation” with Moqtada al-Sadr

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By See-Dubya  •  August 5, 2008 08:56 AM

You know, Chamberlain had the partial excuse of not understanding Hitler’s character when he met with him at Munich. About Moqtada-al-Sadr, no one should be allowed to claim any such illusions. So what the hell?

A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt.

US advisers who accompanied the Iraqi forces into the fight were shocked to learn of the accommodation made last summer by British Intelligence and elements of al-Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr, the radical Shia Muslim cleric.

The deal, which aimed to encourage the Shia movement back into the political process and marginalise extremist factions, has dealt a huge blow to Britain’s reputation in Iraq.

That is just unacceptable. That’s downright French. I’m going to go throw some tea in a harbor or something.

More from the Times here. As for the long-term view of the British administration of Basra, Steven Vincent was unavailable for comment.

And please note that I’ve nothing but respect for the British soldiers fighting terror around the globe. My criticism is of the politicians, like Des Browne, who decided to cut a deal with the enemy.

How about this? While the battle with Sadr was raging, the British wouldn’t even give the Iraqi Army a port-a-potty:

Brigadier-General Adel Abbas, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, complained that the British failed to provide any support for his men, even though they were taking part in clearing areas such as Hayaniya, once a no-go area for British troops.

The 1st Battalion commander recalled asking for a portable toilet only to be told that he should ask his own Defence Ministry because it had the resources.

Now that is cold.
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Meanwhile, here’s a memorable quote from a Times reader, responding to the second story:

It just seems that the Americans love to start ‘em but lack the heart to fight ‘em.

Ken Wyatt, Todmorden, UK

Discuss.

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{Post by See-Dubya. H/T to Captain Ed.}

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