As far as WWII is concerned, exactly when is it that we should have declared war on Hitler. Was it when Stanley Baldwin repeatedly failed to respond to Hitler's violations of the Treaty of Versailles. Or was it when Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland and the British and French failed to declare war on Germany as expected by the German High Comman. Or was it after Munich, when Chamberlain snookered Hitler into occupying Czechoslovakia without having to fire a shot. Or was it when the Germans attacked Poland and Britain failed to do anything beyond issuing a declaration of war against Germany. Or was it when the Phony War was occurring between Britain and Germany. Or was it after Dunkirk when through their own inability to respond to Guderian's tactics, the British almost lost their entire expeditionary force.
On the other hand, I have a better idea. Maybe, just maybe Brits should take a deep breath and stop pointing the finger at America when your country is unable to control problems it has let fester in its own backyard
Yes, red faces time in Britain.
Also, the Basra event might be connected to this raid. Relations with the Shia community are under strain.
No I don't dispute in any way that Basra has gone completely pear-shaped. I understand the local commander has said something along the lines that they would have to go back to square one as regards building up local forces. Can't say that I'm really concerned myself, as the UK troops will reportedly be out of it next year anyway, so the whole Basra area (if not all of Iraq) will come under Iran's control. Regrettable, but then again I feared back in 2003 the whole thing would probably be a fiasco.
As regards WW2, a US entry into the war would have been most welcome on May 10 1940 or soon after,and no later than just after Dunkirk. I quite agree that Britain and France should have marched into the Rhineland in '36, or at least tried to help the Czechs in '38. Both countries misjudged the situation and paid the price. And didn't we just...!
In June 1940 the US thought that Britain had had it (BTW, do you know who the anti-British US ambassador was at that time?). So the US waited to see what would happen, took the UK's gold and also a few British colonies in return for a few old destroyers and 2nd hand weaponry. A very nice deal for it while Britain was on the ropes. It also SOLD us lots of arms (Lend-Lease). Note the emphasis on sold. That debt was only finally paid back a year or two ago. So please don't try to tell me that the US helped us out of the goodness of its heart. Now, I don't mind that so much as the later expectations that GB should be grateful for ever after.
I've no solutions for Iraq by the way. Why should I offer any when I think the whole thing was a mistake in the first place? Neither the UK and the US troops seem to be able to get a handle on things. I await with interest further developments.