After 179 British troop deaths in a war where the “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” the U.K. pulled its last military forces from Iraq this week. There was little cheering as the sun finally set – once again – on the British empire in Iraq, as 81 sailors packed it up in the port city of Umm Qasr. Forty-four Brits will remain as part of a NATO training mission.
The U.K. will not recover soon from the credibility wounds inflicted by official revelations that the reasons for going to war were fabricated in 2003. Once-popular Tony Blair is hounded by protestors wherever he appears, and the current London government of David Cameron is trying to exit Afghanistan under Pentagon pressure to stay.
The British anti-war movement is battling against their government’s newest military intervention, in Libya, where ground troops may be deployed soon.