Thursday, December 18, 2008

"A better place"

Today, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the last British troops would leave Iraq by July 2009. In making the announcement, he also praised those troops (some of whom have commited acts of torture), and claimed that "we leave Iraq a better place".

What does this "better place" look like? It is a country in ruins, with a million civilian dead and 3.7 million displaced (out of an estimated population of 29 million). Torture is as common as it was under Saddam, the country is wracked by sectarian violence, there is no security, and the basics of life - food, water, electricity - are even less accessible than they were before the war. It is, in the words of one Iraqi, a nightmare. If this is Brown's idea of "better", I'd hate to see what "worse" looks like.