THE war in Iraq was brought home to us in the Balearics on Friday with the announcement that the B52s which had unleashed that devastating attack on Baghdad had actually overflown our skies on the way to their devastating mission. It is only a small link but after watching the TV footage it certainly brought home to me that the conflict is not far from these shores. War is a dirty business, we all know that. But I was shocked on Friday watching the extent of the bombing. I know that only military targets were allegedly hit but seeing most of Baghdad ablaze it is very hard to justify an attack of this type. The soldiers at the frontline have a job to do and they are doing it well and naturally they have my full support but I must be honest, this raid was wrong. It was wrong because as usual it was innocent civilians who were in the firing line. Despite America's much vaulted military muscle they are using the same tactics as those in the Second World War. In those days it was called pinpoint bombing now it is called “smart bombing.” But the devastation is the same. If this is a war for the freedom of Iraq the massive bombing would have done little to convince the Iraqi people that they are going to be liberated. I said at the start of this week that I would no longer criticise this war because I have a deep respect for British service-people who are now involved in the conflict However, this raid proved to me that Iraq is going to be no walk-over and we face a long conflict ahead. Using the B52s on such a scale has given a new element to this war which many hawks must have thought would not have been necessary.


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