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Former SAS soldier calls for all the troops home now
Written by AC   
Tuesday, 09 October 2007

Veteran attacks Britains involvement in "Two disasterous wars"

Former SAS trooper Ben Griffin spoke to thousands of people who had gathered in Trafalgar Square determined to march on Parliament. Having initially tried to ban the march using a piece of victorian legislation the government were forced to retreat. The demonstration was called by Stop the War Coalition and CND.

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US 'delayed' British withdrawal from Basra
Written by Kim and Anne, The Independent   
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
British forces were prevented from pulling out of their last base in Basra City for five months because the Americans refused to move their consulate, according to senior military sources.

The US warned that a brigade of troops would be sent from Baghdad to take "appropriate action" to maintain security. The delay in withdrawal resulted in some of the fiercest fighting faced by British forces since the invasion of 2003, leading to the deaths of 25 British soldiers and injuries to 58 others, as well as dozens of Iraqi casualties. Two of the British dead were at the base, Basra Palace, while at least 10 others died in supporting operations.

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I love my son but I hate these wars
Written by a.mum   
Thursday, 13 September 2007
They told us they are going to pay us a month in advance & that’s about £750 for recruits but there will be some deductions. First accommodation, food, tax, national insurance & some other bits & pieces after which you will have £250. Then we have to buy our regimental tracksuits £50, then they said we have to pay for laundry & recreational facilities for the entire 6 month training period £170. Leaving us with £70. Wooo!
Letter from trainee recruit to his mother
My son is just embarking on his training, in the infantry. He has been there for 3 weeks. He is determined to see the training through. My son has the need to do this, so do it he will.

 It is hard for me as I am against this war in Iraq & Afghanistan, with every bone in my body. Many many innocent Iraqi men women & children have died. Their crime. Living in a country that has oil.
This is a fact. A proven fact.

The Iraq war has produced  the biggest number of military deaths since Vietnam for American soldiers & our British death toll is rising higher & higher. Afghanistan will serve to see a huge impact on that death toll. My son could so easily be one of them.

 Today I received my first letter from my baby boy. He is tired & sore but in high spirits. There was a down moment though & this in his words is it.

"So far I have had lessons in law, hygiene, infantry structure, basic weapon skills, drill, admin & my favourite money. Mum listen to this…

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Basra: The soldiers' tales
Written by Kim, The Independent   
Wednesday, 05 September 2007
A sense of relief tinged with loss as troops reflect on a brutal campaign
I could have stayed on there for another six months, we would have been able to defend ourselves, and killed a lot of people in the process, but what would that have achieved?
Lt-Col Patrick Sanders, Commanding officer, 4 rifles battle group
The convoys from Basra Palace were lined up outside the airport yesterday, their dusty armour punched and dented by rocket-propelled grenades and bullets in the months of ferocious firefights in the "ambush alleys" of the city.

The 550 soldiers who had withdrawn from the one remaining British base in Basra to the airbridge, the last post for UK troops before the final departure from Iraq, were tired and reflective. There had already been mortar rounds fired at their new home, but it was nothing compared with what they had been facing, and most had not even noticed the attack.

The soldiers of the 4 Rifles Battle Group spoke for the first time yesterday about their night-time evacuation from the palace and also how, for five months, they had been living under a state of siege with attacks around the clock and patrols being hit by roadside bombs.

After their experience, the vast aridness of the airport, with its comparative security, air conditioning and showers was a welcome respite. Cpl Frank Taylor, a 29-year-old from Fiji, said: "This actually feels like a holiday. I am actually quite relaxed. We have been through some pretty difficult times, and, yes, I have been scared.

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'Too little, too late' says mother of soldier killed in Iraq
Written by Sheilds   
Monday, 03 September 2007
"The best thing they can do now is get all the troops out of Iraq. They shouldn't have been there in the first place. It was never our war, it was America's war, and was all about oil."
Pat Long - son killed in Iraq, 2003
THE withdrawal of British troops from Basra is "too little, too late", according to the mother of a serviceman killed in Iraq. The last British troops in Iraq were today leaving their base at Basra Palace.

The 550 soldiers are handing the palace over to Iraqi control and joining the remaining 5,000 troops at the last British base near Basra Airport.
The handover of Basra itself is now expected in the autumn.

But Pat Long, whose 24-year-old son Paul was killed in Iraq in 2003, found nothing to celebrate in the news. The 55-year-old, from Bamford Walk, South Shields, said: "They have left it all far too late, this should have happened at long time ago.

"The best thing they can do now is get all the troops out of Iraq. They shouldn't have been there in the first place. "It was never our war, it was America's war, and was all about oil."

Mrs Long, who has two other children, is also fearful that many of the troops will now be deployed in Afghanistan.

She said: "They're just going to be sent from one war zone to another."

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Shocking insight into cost of Iraq war for soldiers and their families.
Written by David, South Somerset Peace Group   
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
James was a changed man when he came home – angry, racist about Iraqis and shut off from family and friends. After two months he broke down. He had been ordered to fire on a crowd that would not disperse and one of his shots had killed a child.
Account of a talk by Dani Hamilton of Military Families Against the War (MFAW) to South Somerset Peace Group

On 24th July, Dani Hamilton gave us a shocking and heartfelt insight into the meaning of the Iraq war for soldiers and their families.

Dani had relatives in the forces and had signed the papers for her son James to join up at the age of 16.  She had watched her son change from a loving, caring person into a machine, broken and remoulded by the army.

When two years later he was sent to Iraq, she looked into the background and decided as so many of us did that this was an illegal war, but for her this was not a question of politics but of daily fear for her son. 

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In Quotes

"This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week,"
Harry Reid, the senate Democratic majority leader
"We said we'd be different from the Americans who were bombing and strafing villages, then behaved exactly like them....
All those people whose homes have been destroyed and sons killed are going to turn against the British.
It's a pretty clear equation — if people are losing homes and poppy fields, they will go and fight.
I certainly would."
Capt. Leo Docherty - resigned from the Scots Guards
"I think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam if it's carried out,"
Republican Senator. Chuck Hagel
"I shouldn't have seen such horror at 18, I get drunk at bedtime so I won't dream and hear the screaming."
Young veteran after returning from Op Telic 8


When should British troops leave Iraq?