The image that captured the essence of the British presence in Iraq? Private Hinnet's APC on fire in Basra, Iraq in 2005.
Today the British newspaper The Daily Mail ran a 'human interest' story about a British soldier who is planning to run 52 marathons to "raise money to thank the medical staff who helped him".

Private Karl Hinett was involved in an event that took place in Basra, Iraq in 2005 that produced the 'iconic war image' of Hinett's burning Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) and his comrade Sgt Long in flames jumping from the turret. Hinett, who was on fire inside the APC, plans to run the marathons to contribute to a £3million appeal launched by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity to fund a Home For The Brave, a non-medical centre for injured military ­personnel.

According to The Daily Mail, the back story on the image is:
Pte Hinett was just 18 when the attack took place on September 19, 2005. The Warrior came under attack from a mob throwing bricks, stones and petrol bombs in the southern Iraqi city of Basra.There were four other soldiers on board - Sgt George Long, 2nd Lieutenant John Cliffe, Lance Corporal Jo McCann and Private Ryon Burton - who all escaped serious injury.

It was Sgt Long who was seen in the horrific image relayed around the world, his body in flames as he jumped from the turret. Pte Hinett was on fire inside the tank.Seconds after the picture was taken, he wrestled his way out and on to the ground, where he passed out and was taken to hospital. Doctors feared he would die of his burns.
And that's it folks. There's nothing else of any public interest in this story. It really is just the heart-warming tale of a brave British soldier who wanted to give back to other brave British military personnel who did so much for him and for the Iraqi people....

Well, there is one other little detail, but it's so insignificant I can fully understand why the Daily Mail failed to mention it. Although I seem to remember commenting on it at the time:

British Government's Agent Provocateurs Exposed

Joe Quinn - Sott.net
Sept. 20th 2005

There is a saying of sorts that, if you are going to do something, do it well, and given the serious consequences, nowhere is that more true than when you plan to engage in criminal activity. Today in Basra, Southern Iraq, two members of the British SAS (Special Air Service) were caught, 'in flagrante' as it were, dressed in full "Arab garb", driving a car full of explosives and shooting and killing two official Iraqi policemen

This fact, finally reported by the mainstream press, goes to the very heart, and proves accurate much of what we have been saying on the Signs of the Times page for several years.

The following are facts, indisputable by all but the most self-deluded:

Number 1:

The US and British invasion of Iraq was not for the purpose of bringing "freedom and democracy" to the Iraqi people, but rather for the purpose of securing Iraq's oil resources for the US, Israeli and British governments and expanding their control over the greater Middle East.

Number 2:

Both the Bush and Blair governments deliberately fabricated evidence (lied) about the threat the Saddam posed to the west and his links to the mythical 'al-Qaeda' in order to justify their invasion.

Number 3:

Dressed as Arabs, British (and CIA and Israeli) 'special forces' have been carrying out fake 'insurgent' attacks, including 'car suicide bombings' against Iraqi policemen and Iraqi civilians (both Sunni and Shia) for the past two years. Evidence would suggest that these tactics are designed to provide continued justification for a US and British military presence in Iraq and to ultimately embroil the country in a civil war that will lead to the breakup of Iraq into more manageable 'statelets', much to the joy of the Israeli right and their long-held desire for the establishment of biblical 'greater Israel'

Coming not long after the botched London bombings carried out by British MI5 where an eyewitness reported that the floor of one of the trains had been blown inwards (how can a bomb in a backpack or on a "suicide bomber" inside the train ever produce such an effect), more than anything else today's event in Basra highlights the desperation that is driving the policy-makers in the British government.

British intelligence would do well to think twice about carrying out any more 'false flag' operations until they can achieve the 'professionalism' of the Israeli Mossad - they always make it look convincing and rarely suffer the ignominy of being caught in the act and having the faces of their erstwhile "terrorists" plastered across the pages of the mainstream media.

The REAL face of "Islamic Terror" - Two SAS agents caught carrying out a false flag terror attack in Basra, Iraq September 20th 2005.

Official: British troops freed in jailbreak

CNN
2005/09/20

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A British armored vehicle escorted by a tank crashed into a detention center Monday in Basra and rescued two undercover troops held by police, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official told CNN.

British Defense Ministry Secretary John Reid confirmed two British military personnel were "released," but he gave no details on how they were freed.

In a statement released in London, Reid did not say why the two had been taken into custody. But the Iraqi official, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, said their arrests stemmed from an incident earlier in the day.

The official said two unknown gunmen in full Arabic dress began firing on civilians in central Basra, wounding several, including a traffic police officer. There were no fatalities, the official said.

The two gunmen fled the scene but were captured and taken in for questioning, admitting they were British marines carrying out a "special security task," the official said.

British troops launched the rescue about three hours after Iraqi authorities informed British commanders the men were being held at the police department's major crime unit, the official said.

Iraqi police said members of Iraq's Mehdi Army militia engaged the British forces around the facility, burning one personnel carrier and an armored vehicle.

Video showed dozens of Iraqis surrounding British armored vehicles and tossing gasoline bombs, rocks and other debris at them.

With one vehicle engulfed in flames, a soldier opened the hatch and bailed out as rocks were thrown at him. Another photograph showed a British soldier on fire on top of a tank.

"Many of those present were clearly prepared well in advance to cause trouble, and we believe that the majority of Iraq people would deplore this violence," Reid said. [...]
From the Washington Post
Iraqi security officials on Monday variously accused the two Britons they detained of shooting at Iraqi forces or trying to plant explosives. Photographs of the two men in custody showed them in civilian clothes.

When British officials apparently sought to secure their release, riots erupted. Iraqi police cars circulated downtown, calling through loudspeakers for the public to help stop British forces from releasing the two. Heavy gunfire broke out and fighting raged for hours, as crowds swarmed British forces and set at least one armored vehicle on fire.

Witnesses said they saw Basra police exchanging fire with British forces. Sadr's Mahdi Army militia joined in the fighting late in the day, witnesses said. A British military spokesman, Darren Moss, denied that British troops were fighting Basra police.
From ChinaView (orginally pooled from the BBC)
Iraqi police detained two British soldiers in civilian clothes in the southern city Basra for firing on a police station on Monday, police said.

"Two persons wearing Arab uniforms opened fire at a police station in Basra. A police patrol followed the attackers and captured them to discover they were two British soldiers," an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua.

The two soldiers were using a civilian car packed with explosives, the source said. He added that the two were being interrogated in the police headquarters of Basra.

The British forces informed the Iraqi authorities that the two soldiers were performing an official duty, the source said. British military authorities said they could not confirm the incident but investigations were underway.