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Washington to London: Help! We're Drowning! Send More Soldiers!

Reported by Marie Therese - July 9, 2005

In March 2003 there were 45,000 British troops in Iraq. By March of this year that number had dropped to 8,930. Could that be why on the July 7th edition of the O'Reilly Factor Dr. Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation urged the British government to send more troops to the war zone?

Of course, he and O'Reilly conveniently neglected to inform the FOX viewers of the significant troop reductions that have already taken place, leaving them with the impression that the British military comittment to Iraq is as large as it was during the initial stages of the war.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

NILE GARDINER, PH.D., FELLOW OF ANGLO-AMERICAN SECURITY POLICY, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Well, I think the French and Germans and many others in Europe simply are weak, cowardly and spineless when it comes to the war on terror. Let's face it: there are only two countries, the United States and Great Britain, are actively engaged in fighting Al Qaeda and in waging the global war on terror.

And it's highly significant, of course, that the French and the Germans have offered absolutely no help whatsoever in terms of troops on the ground in Iraq. The French and the Russians actively opposed efforts to remove Saddam Hussein from power and had a very close, cozy relationship with the Saddam Hussein regime.

So it should be absolutely no surprise that Europe's response to today's bombings has been somewhat lackluster.

O'REILLY: Let's see tomorrow. Let's be fair. We'll give them to tomorrow, and then we're going to run them down tomorrow night on "The Factor" on how they respond.

But they'll say, "Look, we helped out in Afghanistan. We fought the Taliban or helped you." And there are French and German troops there. And they'll also say that Saddam Hussein didn't help terrorists and why should we remove him? That's what they'll say, sir.

GARDINER: That's certainly the response that they will give. But they need to acknowledge, of course, that Iraq has become a central front in the war on terror. And that's why...

O'REILLY: Why would - but they're not acknowledging it.

GARDINER: Yes, they're not acknowledging it. But that's why 8,000 British troops are on the ground in Iraq. And ironically, I think, one of the effects of today's bombing will be to increase the resolve of the British government to stay the course in Iraq, and we might just see, in fact, perhaps even more British troops heading out there to fight Al Qaeda on the ground.

O'REILLY: I think you're right. I think that England and Great Britain, I should say, is not Spain, is not Spain. And they're not going to cut and run. And this kind of thing just makes Britishers more determined, and it will turn, I think, the tide. But the press in England is also a problem..

O'REILLY: What about Pakistan? I mean, Pakistan is harboring these guys. I mean, you know, we're playing footsie with them. Saudi Arabia, same thing. Playing footsie with them. Doctor?

GARDINER: Well, I think increasingly a focus will be upon rogue regimes that back international terrorism: Syria, Iran, for example.

But you're absolutely right about al-Zarqawi. We have to track him down. We have to kill him. He has become a symbol of Al Qaeda's international network. He has to be defeated. And I think that is a clear reason why several thousand more British troops are needed in Iraq to fight the battle in and around Baghdad and in the Sunni Triangle.


It remains to be seen if the Blair government will react to these latest terrorist attacks in the way that Gardiner, O'Reilly and the Bush administration would like it to, i.e., immediately deploy more troops to aid our floundering effort in Iraq.

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