Saturday, 21 November 2009
“Are we then preparing for possible military action in Iraq, Prime Minister?” "NO"
Secret papers leaked to The Sunday Telegraph show that Tony Blair lied to parliament and the British people over the Iraq war.
He insisted throughout 2002 that no military action was being contemplated, whereas in fact the decision had been taken (probably by George W Bush) in February of that year for a full-scale invasion and for regime change. Needless to say, the need to conceal this information from parliament and from all but a tiny number of officials meant that the planning was, to put it mildly, constrained. As a result, the invasion was under-resourced and lacking in cohesion, which caused significant risk to troops and critical failure in the post war period.
According to the Telegraph, some troops went to war with as little as five bullets, some had to deploy on civilian aircraft carrying their kit as hand luggage. Needless to say some troops had their weapons confiscated by the airport security staff. No. I’m not making it up, and I doubt very much that The Sunday Telegraph is either. Noddy and Toytown are two words that come readily to mind. Shameful and diabolical are two others, perhaps more appropriate.
The operation was so badly planned that commanders noted that the communications system stopped working around midday, because of the heat, and somewhere in the desert was found a container load of skis... yes SKIS!
The papers leaked to The Sunday Telegraph include transcripts of interviews with Army Officers in which they vent their frustration with Ministers and Whitehall Officials. They are revealed on the eve of the Chilcot Inquiry into the war and its aftermath.
It seems to me that it will be rather difficult to whitewash this one as effectively as has been done with so many things in the past. I urge everyone to give the full article a read as there is a great deal more than I have mentioned above, particularly concerning the lack of planning for a post war strategy.
The disrespect that this government has shown to parliament, to the people, but worst of all to our troops is astounding. For that, if for nothing else, they must be removed at the next election.