bogged down in the foetid marshes and broiling deserts

Old Blog Import

…invaders get bogged down in the foetid marshes and broiling deserts; the enemy refuses to run away; soldiers perish in their thousands and Britain suffers one of its worst military defeats.

Even when regime change is finally brought about, the Iraqi people rise in rebellion and are cowed only by a ferocious aerial bombardment. There is talk of chemical weapons and the occupation drags on, draining blood and treasure, year after year.

This may sound like Tony Blair’s nightmare, the worst-case scenario of the looming conflict. In fact, it is the story of Britain’s first invasion of Iraq and provides an uncomfortable echo of the events unfolding today.

A recount, in the London Times, of the attempt by a British force in 1915 to topple the regime in Baghdad.