Blair's War set to end in ignominy
The British retreat from Basra won't be pretty. Commanders are planning for 10 to 15 dead and maybe 100 injured as we pull out our remaining forces first from the city then from the airport, where we are holed up, taking a score of hits a day.
Few could have predicted in 2003 that Blair's War would end in such ignominy. Even die-hard opponents of the war such as me watched the news footage of the time with pride as our armoured columns punched through into southern Iraq and we secured the port and oil facilities, and got power and water running while the septics in the north milled about in confusion.
Harold Wilson refused to assist the US in Vietnam despite enormous pressure and threats, but Wilson was born at the height of the first war and knew well the characteristics of a doomed campaign from the second. Blair was no Wilson. Blair is a vain and foolish man with poor judgment and no grasp of history at all, an opportunist mired in self-deceit.
As the world's news organisations will scramble for shots of the Union flag being hauled down in Basra, of the last helo leaving in a cloud of dust, the UK will need to put a brave face on it and endure the world's taunts. But the bitterness that this will engender in us should rightly be directed at the architect of the misadventure and not at the British Army.