The overnight retreat of British forces to Basra airport - five miles outside the city perimeter - is confirmation that the British government lacks both the will and the resources to protect the people of Basra from the warring militias that have infiltrated the police and security structures of the city.
Richard North on the EU Referendum blog highlights the deals that have been made with militia organisations - including the large-scale release of terrorists. Fraser Nelson at The Spectator notes the fears of Basra citizens that there is no longer a force strong enough to stop their city descending into anarchy. The anti-war Independent reports that 80% of assassinations in Basra are carried out by individuals wearing police uniforms.
Despite the protestations of Gordon Brown, there can be little doubt that Britain has been defeated in Iraq. To say so is no insult to Britain's armed forces. Sceptics only need to observe the courage displayed by British troops in Afghanistan to know that today's soldiers - poorly-equipped as they are - are as brave as any from previous generations.
The USA may yet be defeated in Iraq but President Bush's surge of troops is at least trying to salvage some hope of peace and security for the Iraqi people.
A weekend feature in the New York Times revealed some of the humility that, in a beautifully-written article, Peggy Noonan had urged on America's President. George W Bush hoped only "to get us in a position where the presidential candidates will be comfortable about sustaining a presence." He admitted that he was less and less credible on Iraq: “I’ve been here too long... Every time I start painting a rosy picture, it gets criticized and then it doesn’t make it on the news.” He effectively admitted that General Petraeus was now the one person who could persuade the American people that the Iraq strategy could still work.