I might add to this,
" (the one exception is the London Times that honestly described how the pathetic civilian labor leadership and their toady generals almost lost Basra despite the bravery of the British troops). "
...that it is an assessment backed up by my best friend from sixth form college who is in Basra right now and who says that the turning point was when the Americans and the Iraqis they trained arrived and took on the Iranian militias aggressively, thus ending Gordon Browns policy of hands off appeasement.
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