I have blogged fairly regularly about Ming Campbell's strong and authoritative interventions on Iraq, which have often been backed up by his conversations with army commanders on the ground.
Last month, Ming was asking why British soldiers seemed to be lingering in Iraq simply to shore up a lame duck US President. Gordon Brown replied to Ming's letter on the matter, saying that the soldiers were in Iraq based on British interests.
Well, today comes vindication for Ming - in spades. And a major embarrassment for Brown who is exposed as Bush's Poodle 2:
LONDON (AFP) - Britain was prepared to withdraw its forces from the southern Iraqi city of Basra in April, but held off for five months after the United States asked it to stay, Britain's military commander in Iraq said in an interview published on Monday.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Brigadier James Bashall, commander of 1 Mechanised Brigade, said that he wanted to leave Britain's Basra Palace base in April, something he said would have been "the right thing to do."
"In April we could have come out and done the transition completely and that would have been the right thing to do but politics prevented that," Bashall, 44, told the paper.
"The Americans asked us to stay for longer," he said, adding the decision to stay in the city was a result of "political strategy being played out at highest level."
"Political strategy being played out at highest level" ? That's a very grand way of saying:
"Covering George W Bush's posterior"
So, if a parent has a son or daughter in Iraq and they were in Basra between April and September, they were put at risk (indeed many injured and some killed) not for "Queen and country", not even for "Uncle Sam" (given that the Congress is mostly against the "surge") but "To save George Bush's bottom".