It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
London, From an Associated Press story. [Chancellor of the Exchequer] Gordon Brown, [equal to our own Secretary of Treasury] and regarded as the No. 2 post in the parliamentary system employed by the UK,] is expected to succeed Tony Blair as prime minister by September, 2007. Mr. Brown suggested Sunday that he will pursue an Iraq policy that is more independent of Washington than the current government.
Brown acknowledged that mistakes were made in the aftermath of the invasion and promised to be "very frank" with President Bush. He also said that Britain is likely to scale down its commitment of troops to Iraq over the next year - even as the White House is considering dispatching thousands more, perhaps on a temporary basis. [A last hurrah for Bush43.]
Brown's comments, aired on the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Sunday AM program, seemed intent on distinguish himself from Blair, who has been strongly criticized for his unflinching support for Bush and the war, both unpopular here.
"I look forward, if I am in a new position, to working with the president of the United States, George Bush," Brown said. "Obviously, people who know me know that I will speak my mind. I will be very frank. The British national interest is what I and my colleagues are about."
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department declined to comment on Brown's interview.
Blair said he will step down as prime minister and leader of the governing Labour party before September. Brown, who is credited with helping Blair reinvigorate the Labour party, is unlikely to face any credible challenge when the party elects a new leader, who will automatically become Britain's new prime minister.
Brown, in the BBC interview, also said that Saddam Hussein's execution - in which Saddam, a Sunni Arab, was taunted with the name of a radical Shiite cleric, [did] nothing to stem Iraq's sectarian violence. "Now that we know the full picture of what happened, we can sum this up as a deplorable set of events," Brown told the BBC. "It is something, of course, which the Iraqi government has now expressed its anxiety and shame at."
Brown also told the BBC he believed the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of young Muslims was as crucial as the battle against communism was for previous generations. Brown, in charge of Britain's Treasury since 1997, said he had worked with officials across the American political divide and remained close to ex-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and [Clinton’s] former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.
In the interview on Saturday, Brown also said he believed there should be some form of inquiry into the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. "There are lessons to be learnt, particularly from what happened immediately after Saddam Hussein fell," he told the BBC. Uh oh. [The lack of foresight, intelligence and planning will become apparent to the world.]
"One is that in Iraq itself there is absolutely no doubt - and I think people will agree on this in time - that the passage of authority to the local population should have begun a lot earlier, so they had to take more responsibility for what was happening in their own country." He said the experience of insurgency in Iraq and Islamic extremist terrorism had proven that "we will not win against extremist terrorist activities and propaganda activities unless we [engage] this battle for hearts and minds as well."
The Treasury chief said he believed Britain was unlikely to join any future U.S. plan to temporarily increase troop numbers in Iraq, aimed at stemming the current bloodshed. [Oops! No Surge From England!]
Britain would "continue to move troops from combat to training, to complete the redevelopment work" and was likely to scale down their presence over the next few months. Britain has around 7,000 soldiers stationed in southern Iraq, mainly based around the city of Basra.
"I believe it is true to say that by the end of the year , there may be thousands less in Iraq than there are now," Brown said. [Brits are coming home! Enough is enough!] Parliament would have a stronger role under his leadership, Brown said, and be better able to hold the government to account. END. My comments in brackets. 
London, AP. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, No. 2 in UK is likely to replace Tony Blair September, 2007, suggested he will pursue an Iraq policy more independent of Washington than Mr Blair’s. Brown promised to be "very frank" with President Bush. He also said Britain is likely to scale down troops to Iraq. Britain has 7,000 soldiers stationed in southern Iraq. "I look forward to working with President George Bush," Brown said.
Brown also said that Saddam Hussein's execution did nothing to stem Iraq's sectarian violence. Brown believes the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of young Muslims was as crucial as the battle against communism was for previous generations. "I believe it is true to say that by the end of the year , there may be thousands less in Iraq than there are now," Brown said.. END. Edit in brackets.
posted by runetang
I will vote for the Democratic candidate in '08. My state has had a slow 'blue revolution' going from a solid Red state to a slightly Blue state. The Governor is Democrat Tim Kaine . . Senators and Reps are mostly Dems in this most recent election I believe the Dem Jim Webb won. I'm talking about VIRGINIA The Old Dominion State!
In the past I'd vote for the 3rd party . . as a personal protest to the stupid Electoral College, making all the votes that are Blue in a Red state not count, or Red in a Blue state. Ths 'point value' win a state crap . . the Electoral College shouldn't exist! If there was ever a major revolution or revamping of the American government, I’d love to see the electoral college go . . "Ohh.. you didn’t pass go, so you can't collect $200 sorry." [Edited by Don W]
posted by infinite
I feel Brown will withdraw troops when he takes over, I cannot see him keeping them there if he is planning on calling an early election.
Originally posted by donwhite
First, I like Tony Blair. I know next to nothing about George Brown.
[edit on 1/9/2007 by donwhite]