Coalition should 'admit defeat
and leave Iraq'
By Richard Holt
--- - A former commander of the British Army has said that
Britain and America should "admit defeat" and withdraw from
General Sir Michael Rose also said he understood why insurgents
were attacking coalition forces and said he believed they were
right to try and force invading troops out of the country.
Sir Michael, who led British Forces in Bosnia, has written a
book comparing the insurgents' tactics with those of George
Washington's forces in the American War of Independence.
Asked on BBC2's Newsnight if he thought the insurgents were
right to try to get the American forces out of Iraq, he said:
"Yes I do.
"As Lord Chatham said, when he was speaking on the British
presence in North America, he said 'if I was an American, as I
am an Englishman, as long as one Englishman remained on American
native soil, I would never, never, never lay down my arms'.
"The Iraqi insurgents feel exactly the same way. I don't excuse
them for some of the terrible things they do, but I do
understand why they are resisting the Americans."
He added: "It is the soldiers who have been telling me from the
front line that the war they have been fighting is a hopeless
war, that they cannot possibly win it and the sooner we start
talking politics and not military solutions, the sooner they
will come home and their lives will be preserved."
Asked if that meant admitting defeat, he said: "Of course we
have to admit defeat.
"The British admitted defeat in North America and the
catastrophes that were predicted at the time never happened. The
catastrophes that were predicted after Vietnam never happened.
"The same thing will occur after we leave Iraq."
Sir Michael recently criticised the behaviour of the 15 naval
personnel captured by Iranian forces in Iraqi waters.
He said the sailors should not go into battle "as if they are on
a Mediterranean cruise".
Last year Sir Michael called for Tony Blair to be impeached over
the war in Iraq.
He accused the Prime Minister of misleading Parliament and the
public about his motives for going to war, saying that although
the emphasis was on removing the threat of weapons of mass
destruction, Mr Blair "probably had some other strategy in
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