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Former British Commander: ‘We created Iraq,’ now we have to help fix it

August 14th, 2014
03:20 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A highly respected former British commander on Thursday said that the UK had a responsibility to help put Iraq back together again.

“Britain created Iraq in 1920,” Col. Tim Collins told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Thursday. “It’s hard to say at this moment is there such a nation as Iraq.”

There must be a strong diplomatic effort to create a more “balanced country;” an effort to supply the Kurds with equipment, ammunition, and training; and an effort to get Sunni tribes on board with fighting ISIS, itself an extremist Sunni group.

“ISIS can only be defeated by being rejected by Sunni Muslims the region. But the problem is Sunni Muslims in the region feel very oppressed,” he said.

The UK, of course, invaded Iraq with the United States in 2003; but Collins did not believe that was a cause of the current chaos.

“Whether we had done that invasion or not, this state of affairs would exist anyway because of what we’ve called the Arab Spring, it’s the Arab revolutions. There would have been an uprising against the Baathist regime in the same way there was in Syria. So I think it would have happened anyway.”

Click above to watch Gorani’s full conversation with Collins.


Filed under:  Iraq • Latest Episode
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. StanCalif

    We, the West, made huge progress in rebuilding Iraq after our idiot GWB decided to descend on them with his shock and awe. It was al-Malikai who destroyed the country after Western troops (mainly US troops) went home. He was left with a well trained and equipped military. He decided to dismiss many of the officers we trained for him simply because they were not the "right kind" of Muslims. When confronted with the ISIS invasion, his leaderless troops ran away leaving American supplied equipment to rearm ISIS. All we accomplished in Iraq proved to be nothing more than removing decades of dirt covering up the hatred of each other. What to do now? Shovel more dirt back on top of this infestation so it can reemerge in another few years? What Iraq needs is another Saddam, too bad we eliminated him.

    August 14, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  2. Sindbad

    5 + 1 is so weak to destroy the Islamic extreme groups? or it's a plan to support the Sunni ISIS and HAMAS also Shia Iran regime and Hezbollah to keep ME in tension?!
    This way 5 + 1 would be able to have cheap oil for a long term and also export billion of dollar worth of its weapons and all other products to the ME region?!

    August 15, 2014 at 12:15 am | Reply
  3. Matt

    We don't believe anyone is so foolish so we think you created a mess intentionally for the next world power as you shrunk. Anyway if I was Iran I would have confronted ISIS in Baghdad not in Kurdistan. Opening up Turkey former Soviet Union Islamic states and current Soviet states, plus now central European Islamic countries. These dudes will trash Qum.

    August 15, 2014 at 3:22 am | Reply
  4. Madeleine Duman

    The Ottoman Empire declared war against the Allies and the British on October 29, 1914. For geographic reasons, it was important for the British to gain the support of the Assyrians. This was done by promising the persecuted Assyrians their own homeland.

    Because of large oil fields, Britain wanted to insure that the Mosul region would be part of the newly-colonized Iraq instead of the future state of Turkey. The Assyrians promised loyalty to the British in return for an independent state in the future. After the invasion of Mosul by the Young Turks, the Assyrian army, led by General Agha Petros, fought intensively and successfully against the Ottoman army and their Kurdish allies, and pushed them out of Mosul and the whole area, leading to Britain's control of the region. The battles are described in detail by surviving letters of Petros and British officials.
    The bravery of these sons of Assyria and Chaldea has been recognised by the Allies and by the entire world.

    The enemy himself has learnt to respect this ancient nation, oppressed though it has been for centuries.
    Christian of middle east Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac...

    August 16, 2014 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • MrHulot

      And what happened? The British reneged on that promise to the Assyrians. Brits are liars and opportunists.

      August 18, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Reply
      • Saltburner

        Whilst Americans proved to be perfect guests for the Native Americans? Your comments are racist.

        August 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
  5. Western Propaganda

    Where is the actual proof of "military vehicles entering eastern Ukraine", CNN?

    August 17, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  6. MJ

    Everybody knows what the US and their so called allies did to Iraq, Invading Iraq in the pretext of democracy. Now what is there to be fixed after destroying the country and abandoned them just to be slaughtered again in the hands of those extremist! Shame on you Americans and British, you did not fix Iraq!!! you destroyed it! stopped trying to be heroes because you're ain't heroes to us!!!

    August 24, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  7. ARAPIKOS

    #stilliamlearning...To see history being unfolded before my very eyes is going to be a great study for our future generations. Let's hope they will learn a lot from our "boneheaded" leaders in the late 20th Century and the early 21st Century!

    August 24, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  8. Paddy Singh

    Forget Iraq, problems were created in almost every colony that the British allowed independence to. Palestine? Burma? Ceylon, the African countries all in a mess? One can go on and on but the British have never bothered about what they created after a rushed spate on independences. But what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a waste of time, lives, and money.

    August 26, 2014 at 9:31 am | Reply
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