Thursday 11 January 2007

The Vietnam Strategy Failed Once and in Iraq it will Fail Again.

As predicted Bush has announced his troop surge strategy and there has been not a word from the Prime Minister or the Chancellor criticising this folly. Instead we are told that there is a "symmetry" between the US and British military strategies.

I have to say that the only symmetry I see is the dreadful tragedy of virtually every Prime Minister's Question Time being prefaced by the tributes to recent British casualties in Iraq and the sending of our heartfelt condolences to their families, with a similar tragic body count being undertaken in towns and cities across the US.

To counter any obvious assessments that an increase in US troops could lead to more British troops being sent to Iraq, the Government spin doctors have used this period to suggest that it is hoped that there will be some British troop withdrawals by the Summer.

The reality is more likely to be that the increase in US military activity will result in a corresponding increase in the pressure and demands placed upon British forces, with subsequent demands for an increase in the deployment of British troops.

Let me make it clear. Any increase in the use of British military forces must be authorised by Parliament and I am calling upon the leadership of the Labour party to give that commitment now.

In addition, if Blair and Brown sanction the increased use of British forces in Iraq, I will seek to obtain sufficient nominations from MPs to trigger an immediate leadership challenge.

We cannot stand by and allow Blair and Brown to put further lives at risk in our name without the membership of our party being given the opportunity to have its say.

My fear now is that the failure of Bush, Blair and Brown to make a serious attempt to engage in a diplomatic and peaceful resolution of the crisis in Iraq means that even when US and British troops are withdrawn the bloodbath will continue.

Why can't Bush, Blair and Brown just learn from history?

The Vietnam strategy of pouring in more and more troops failed once and will fail again.