Anorak News | Tours Of Duty

Tours Of Duty

by | 18th, May 2004

‘ON days like these, when you can lie back and warm your piercings beneath a radiant sun, you wonder why you ever need to go anywhere.

‘Next year we’re going to Afghanistan’

But as good as our beaches are, they can never match the sands of Iraq, which stretch for mile upon mile upon mile in all directions.

So, as the Telegraph says, Tony Blair is offering 3,000 British soldiers the once-in-a-lifetime chance to get away from it all in Iraq.

‘You’ve watched it on the telly,’ says the advert. ‘Now see first hand the bombsites and hear the pump-action sounds of the holiday hot-spot they’re all talking about.’

The full itinerary has yet to be finalised, but Tony Blair Tours are at pains to emphasise that no holidaymakers will be left in the lurch, as happened at Dunkirk all those years ago.

Speaking at a conference in Turkey, Blair vowed that he and his staff would not ‘cut and run’, a phrase he repeated no less than three times during his appearance.

‘Of course it is difficult at the moment,’ he said. ‘But the task of leadership when things are difficult is precisely not to cut and run, but to face the difficulties and overcome them.’

The Turkish Prime Minster, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with one eye on Iraq – and mindful of lessons learned in Faliraki and by the behaviour of American travel reps in Abu Ghraib – replied by addressing Blair as ‘my dear friend’ before voicing a note of caution.

‘We need to be real,’ said he, as the Guardian reports. ‘At the moment in our diagnosis, we can’t say that the developments are going the right way.’

But the Telegraph says that Blair will stay until the job is done – whether that be for one month until the hand-over of power, seven months until the first Iraqi elections or right up to the next General Election and into a third term…and fourth, and fifth.’

Posted: 18th, May 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink