Mossad chief: invasion has created a holy war

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A former chief of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has accused the United States and Britain of lack of foresight over the Iraq invasion and warned of even greater violence unless the civic infrastructure is established quickly.

Major General Danny Yatom said the presence of Western forces in Iraq has presented the opportunity for a holy war, or jihad, by Islamists in a country surrounded by Muslim neighbours.

Speaking during a visit to London, Gen Yatom said: "Colin Powell has always said that if the coalition went into Iraq, they had to get out. But it seems America did not have such a plan in place. They are lacking such a plan, and that is what is urgently needed now."

The failure to restore basic amenities such as water and power has been one of the biggest obstacles to winning over the Iraqi people to "show that the democratic system works," said Gen Yatom, whose visit was organised by the group Friends of Hebrew University.

"This must be a priority. It should not be too difficult; after all you don't have to go to the moon to get that kind of thing. Establishing these basic things must give the people the confidence to start on the political process."

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