Sunday, September 02, 2007

Ouch! The UK on Rumsfeld and others

Australian Defence Minister Brendan Nelson, and the toadies from the Fairfax press and News Limited, who visited Iraq the other day - and reported accordingly - might have thought that things were improving in Iraq.....but it seems not be the case at all.

A second key British general has criticised US post-war policy in Iraq - as the BBC News reports here:

"Maj Gen Tim Cross, who was the most senior UK officer involved in post-war planning, told the Sunday Mirror US policy was "fatally flawed".

Maj Gen Cross said: "We were all very concerned about the lack of detail that had gone into the post-war plan."

His comments came after Gen Sir Mike Jackson, head of the Army during the invasion, told the Daily Telegraph US policy was "intellectually bankrupt".

The Ministry of Defence played down the comments by Sir Mike, now retired, saying he was entitled to express his opinion on his former job.

Maj Gen Cross, also retired, said he had raised serious concerns about potential post-war problems in Iraq with the then US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

But he said Mr Rumsfeld "dismissed" or "ignored" the warnings."

Meanwhile, against a background of Nelson's positive assessment of things in Iraq, The Independent reports that cholera is on the rise in Iraq:

"Lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation has led to 5,000 people in northern Iraq contracting cholera.

The outbreak is among the most serious signs yet that Iraqi health and social services are breaking down as the number of those living in camps and poor housing increases after people flee their homes.

“The disease is spreading very fast,” Dr Juan Abdallah, a senior official in Kurdistan’s health ministry, told a UN agency. “It is the first outbreak of its kind here in the past few decades.”

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