As the new year approaches, some will look back on 2017 as the year the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) was finally defeated on the battlefield. Unfortunately, certain western political leaders have been quick to try and claim credit for a ‘win’ which is not really theirs. This recent attempt to put on airs by the British PM is certainly reminiscent of one of the most grievous political flops in living memory.
From an ‘optics’ perspective, nothing could be more regrettable than US President George W. Bush’s anti-climatic ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincolnon May 1, 2003. As turns out, his celebration was about seven years premature. But the opportunity for grand-standing was there and it’s hard to find a politician today that wouldn’t balk at a chance for an iconic photo-op, especially in the run-up to an election year. Like so many stage-managed public relations stunts performed by Washington in those days, it must have seemed like a good idea at the time.
That didn’t stop British Prime Minister Theresa May from trying out her own rendition of the Bush classic.
Last week, May spoke to her troops at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, which was the staging ground for ‘Operation Shader’ (the operational code name given to the UK contribution in the fight against ISIS), which is said to have successfully targeted ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The UK was one of 68 nations which formed the lofty ‘Global Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,’ as part of the Combined Joint Task Force assembled in ‘Operation Inherent Resolve.’
Prime Minister May stated:
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 27, 2017.