It really is remarkable how thoroughly the _Telegraph_ has abandoned its support for the war. This must reflect a deeper disillusion within the British Army. There are two small items today which are very telling. One if the readers’ poll on the web site about whether the British Army should be withdrawn — not a question you ask if you are sure of the answer.
More telling, though, is an observation about Blair’s visit I saw in no other paper, still less [“on the front page.”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/23/wirq23.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/05/23/ixuknews.html]
bq. Mr Blair’s visit – only his second to the Iraqi capital – was cloaked in secrecy amid fears of a possible attack and no news of the visit was broadcast until he had landed in the Green Zone.
Members of the honour guard lining up along the red carpet were patted down by fellow Iraqi security officials before Mr Blair and President Jalal Talabani reviewed the men who are supposed to secure the future of Iraq.
This appeared to be an attempt to avoid an assassination of the kind that killed Egypt’s president Anwar Sadat during a military parade in 1981, when a soldier opened fire on the review stand.
Perhaps the people saying we must stay are right: an army where the guard of honour has to be searched before it can be let near the Prime Minister is not quite ready for democracy …