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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.


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