The battle of Wootton Bassett

It was obvious it would come to this.

Anjem ChoudaryAnjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary, the self proclaimed leader of al-Muhajiroun in the UK, wants to march down the High Street of the Wiltshire town to protest about the UK's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, see HERE.

The UK's part of the wars in both go back to the days of Tony Blair, not an auspicious start. For in his own way Blair was as much a villain then as Choudray is seen today. The reasons for the invasion of Iraq, the 'dodgy dossier' can be seen for what they are, lies. In his analysis of the war in Iraq, Ministry of Defeat (see below right), Richard North shows how chaotic the British Army's performance in Iraq was. It is also clear that the practical lessons from Iraq have not been learnt, Afghanistan looks to be heading the same way.

The people who marched in London prior to the invasion of Iraq had a perfect right to do so. Since those days the support for the governments policy in Afghanistan has been falling steadily. However, the complexities of the situation are fully understood by the Mayor of the town -

"Wootton Bassett has, unwittingly, found itself in the media spotlight for the way it acts as a focal point for paying respects to fallen armed forces personnel,” said Steve Bucknell, the town mayor.
“The people who attend the repatriations no doubt have a wide range of views about the conflicts, but those views are not voiced in our High Street, out of respect to those who have lost their lives and those who grieve for them".

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It is hard to imagine that any 'anti war' protester would march in Wootten Bassett; it's equally easy to see why Choudray does. Let's remind ourselves of the Luton protests, home-coming troops faced a riot in Luton High Street. The troops had been in Afghanistan to bring about 'improvements' to that country. Yet the subsequent elections were seriously flawed. The irony being that while all this is going on no UK resident can vote on the Lisbon Treaty.

Very often the UK's 'security' is the reason the troops are there. In other words it's back to the war on terror. The terrorists are not supposed to win but they do. Can you imagine the official reaction to another march in London by the Stop the War coalition? The protests by Islamic groups in Luton took place after much consultation with the authorities and helped create the trouble that ensued. The Islamic protesters simply ignored the agreement. In other words the authorities got it wrong but then they always seem to when Islam is involved, why? The same misunderstanding is being played out at the trial, for more details see HERE.

So what is to happen? It would again be ironic if Wootten Bassett was to become, for all the wrong reasons, yet another 'no go' area.