Saturday, May 06, 2006

More Evidence That You Cannot Win The "Hearts and Minds" Through War

Have we won or lost in the battle of the "hearts and minds?" Do we even hear from the Bush administration or even Tony Blair anymore about winning the "hearts and minds?" or have they fully realized that was a battle long lost..... the recent events in Basra, under British control, should clear out just how badly we failed, and should show clearly that it is not through violence and war, "shock and awe", that we win "hearts and minds." Basra is a 'safe zone' no more

I had last been in Basra in March 2004 when the "battle for hearts and minds" was at its height. Patrols in armoured Land Rovers were welcomed with waves from children and soldiers walked through market places fully armed, but wearing their soft berets. Now they cannot go to the toilet on their bases without carrying their helmet and flak jacket. Once seen as the "safe zone" in Iraq, violence has escalated to such a point that a US Embassy report said Basra city is as dangerous now as any of the troubled northern cities. ......................... I went on patrol with the RAF in a helicopter, flying low over Basra city and then out over the isolated hamlets of the marshes. An airman manned a gun control on the side and one hung out the back. They still smile and wave at the people below, but no-one waves back now.


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