Socialist Worker

Get the troops out now: not one more day, not one more life

Why is Gordon Brown sending troops to kill and die in a war that is lost?

Issue No. 2064

Another week, and another six young British soldiers lie dead in the mire of Iraq and Afghanistan.

These wars have been lost. They could never have been “won”.

Yet Gordon Brown is prepared to throw away the lives of more soldiers, and countless Iraqi and Afghan civilians, so that George Bush can say that Britain is still on board in his “war on terror”.

One such soldier was 20 year old private Craig Barber. He was killed last week trying to stop the constant barrage of mortars that are falling on the last remaining British outpost in Iraq.

British troops have little influence over the south of the country. They are under daily attack by a resistance movement that is growing more confident.

In September last year British commanders launched “Operation Sinbad”. They hoped the operation would check the growing influence of the resistance.

It was the last roll of the dice by the occupation in the south in an attempt to win the war.

But far from bringing security, it accelerated the collapse of the Iraqi authorities installed by the British in 2003.

Shortly afterward British troops abandoned their headquarters in Basra and ­withdrew to the airport on the outskirts of the city.

Their presence at the airport serves no ­function beyond saving the reputation of George Bush.

The US fear that if the British withdraw fully then the pressure will mount on the US to do the same.

So British soldiers remain under siege, hunkered behind sand bags, occasionally sending out patrols. It was during one of these missions that private Craig Barber was killed.

The pointless death of Barber, and the 238 other servicemen and women before him, is the bloody price that British soliders pay for Gordon Brown’s “special relationship” with the US.


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