October 31, 2006

Would an inquiry into Iraq endanger our troops?

The big news story of the day didn’t live up to its billing.

The government eventually won a vote in the House of Commons – which if they hadn’t – would have resulted in an inquiry being set up into the conduct of the Iraq War. The story was only interesting while the government were under pressure, and now they’re not. They won by a relatively comfortable 298 to 273 votes.

If it had gone the other way, it would have been embarrassing for everyone involved – especially Tony Blair.

But if you believed the government spinners, it would also have been difficult for the British armed forces operating in Iraq, harming morale and giving the insurgents greater resolve to break our army down.

But would our armed forces really have been put in danger by this inquiry?

Surely the most definitive answer comes from the armed forces themselves, on the forums of the British ARmy Rumour SErvice or ARRSE.

if you think soldiers will be in more danger becasue of an inquiry then we may as well all start smoking wacky backy (posted by “Ord_Sgt”)

No consequences. Bliar being a coward again and failing to face upto his responsibilities and the death of 120+ service pesonnel. (posted by “DodgerDog”)

If you honestly believe the terrorists in Iraq will receive succour from an inquiry in Iraq, you have a poor grasp of reality. Do you honestly think an inquiry makes it more obvious to them than it is already that many Brits have misgivings about Iraq? (posted by “Northern Monkey”)

It’s true that some of the comments say the inquiry should be held once our troops are mostly home.

But an underlying theme running throughout many of the posts is: We don’t know why we’re in Iraq, and have particularly good reason for wanting to find out!

It sounds to me like the government is playing a dangerous game – using the armed forces as a shield to protect them from political embarrassment.

- 5 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I always thought the government were going to win that vote because it would be asking Labour backbenchers to break the habit of a lifetime to do the right thing in the face of the whips’ orders to vote no. I’m still pissed off about the craven way in which they rolled over though; if I didn’t already know they had no shame I’d hope some consciences were prickling tonight. I can’t believe that anyone seriously believes the bollocks the government was spinning about an inquiry endangering troops though; it’s just that they couldn’t stand up and say ‘we don’t want to have an inquiry because it’ll reveal all sorts of politically embarassing piece of information about how incompetent we are.’

    31 Oct 2006, 23:57

  2. Hamid Sirhan

    Why do you hate freedom Chris?

    Would you prefer that we let Saddam Hussein get nukes? Eh? Did you want to wait until we had a smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud? Eh? waves vial of anthrax How would you feel if Saddam had murdered your sister/raped your mother/castrated your father/torn the legs off of your puppy? Eh? Why do you hate our troops Chris? Why do you love people who want you dead? Eh? Eh?

    01 Nov 2006, 04:44

  3. I’m not quite sure what you’re on about Hamid, unless it’s some sort of sarcasm that I’m not getting.

    01 Nov 2006, 11:07

  4. Adam

    Sorry, ARRSE?? That’s supposed to be ironic right?

    01 Nov 2006, 17:25

  5. Hamid Sirhan

    Sorry Chris, just to clarify – I was lampooning current American political discourse which Blair seems to be aping.

    www.youtube.com has a wealth of videos from Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and it’s well worth checking out all the clips you can find concerning Fox News – so those of Hannity and Colmes, Bill O’Reilly, Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin et al.

    02 Nov 2006, 20:02

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