Blair orders partial pullout from Iraq
his is a rout, there should be no mistake. The fractious Shiite militias and tribes of Iraq's South have made it impossible for the British to stay. They already left Sadr-controlled Maysan province, as well as sleepy Muthanna. They moved the British consulate to the airport because they couldn't protect it in Basra. They are taking mortar and rocket fire at their bases every night. Raiding militia HQs has not resulted in any permanent change in the situation. Basra is dominated by 4 paramilitaries, who are fighting turf wars with one another and with the Iraqi government over oil smuggling rights.
This has PR written all over it, from the Public to the Relations.
Dauphin Gordon Brown has just polled the lowest favorable opinion of a Labour leader in 25 years. Moreover, Labour is expected to do exceedingly poorly in the upcoming May local elections, especially in Scotland. Tony Blair thinks pulling out 1,500 troops will mitigate the damage. Too little, too late.