Kick the British out

Dr Jasem al-Aqrab, head of organisation for the Iraqi Islamic party in Basra, The Guardian, February 16:

“Since April 2003, the people of Basra have consistently been bemused by reports that they and their city enjoy a state of calm and stability under the command of the British forces, in contrast to the north of Iraq and the so-called Sunni triangle. As someone born and bred in Basra, I hope that the recent images of British troops beating young Basra boys to within an inch of their lives will allow such claims to be laid to rest and show a fraction of the reality that has made life throughout Iraq a living hell.

“I share with the majority of Iraqis the belief that the only way forward is the immediate departure of American and British troops from our country. The suggestion that this would make matters worse is at best laughable and at worst a scurrilous lie. Matters cannot get any worse, and they only became this bad because of the decision by American and British leaders to wage war against a people who were already suffering.”