Tony Blair = Chilcot- Part 4- Factors which decided how many troops would be sent to Iraq.

January 31, 2010

Mr Blair is asked by Baroness Prasha, why when offered 4 options for the military operations in Iraq, he chose the one which involved the most British troops being vulnerable on the ground. Tony Blair states that we were not obliged to pick the option, which would require the most troops to be made vulnerable, by placing them on the ground- and starts by telling us that he ‘believed’ he was right.

And we have Tony Blairs ‘beliefs’ again.

He talks about the dangers of ‘distancing oneself from America‘ because apparently, once that happens, its a ‘long way back’. His chief of staff had talked about the need to choose the option, with the largest amount of land troops=

MoD had advocated the largest package, the large land force option, because they felt this was important to their relations with the US military, and also because they felt it was good for soldiers morale’ . Blair  says that the military preferred to be ‘at the centre of things‘.

I think this in itself, raises questions. What reason did we have, to be at the centre of things? Apart from believing it was right, the military wanting to be in the thick of it, and the US needing to see us contributing and taking a major role? Where is the consideration for British Soldiers(the ones whose names are read out at PM Question Time-every week)?

Clare Short made the point in her evidence, that this meant the UK occupied a very new position, as joint occupying force, with the US, that it probably made Mr. Blair feel important. Given the sheer arrogance, and the weight he has given to his own beliefs, above hundreds of years of democratic process, I am inclined to agree that this seems likely.

Surely, when we are planning the type of military intervention, and sending troops to kill innocent civilians, and to die- then there are other factors which should decide how many troops we send. Like the objectives, like the plan most likely to result in achievement of objectives. The plan which will cost the least lives? You know- the kind of considerations you are fairly sure come into play, when you send thousands of British forces to war.

Not -wanting to be in the thick of it, and appeasing America. Or, as was insinuated, but not overtly stated- the need to have influence?

Blair is proud that Bush ‘left it to us’ to decide the scale of our military intervention, but I suppose if your partner is offering you unconditional support to your aims, then you trust that they will prioritise your needs, over anything else- like soldiers lives, or the need for evidence to justify this.

He says- ‘The reason was to say: here we have this situation,in which we believe there is a threat, America believes
there is a threat, we are going to act jointly’.

Again, he appears to have forgotten that the aim for the Americans was regime change, by military intervention, and that his own Foreign Secretary, had told him that aim was illegal. Please note that he says he ‘believes’ there was a threat- not that there was actually a threat. Evidence given 7 years after a justified conflict, should really contain the statement somewhere that there WAS a threat.

I would like to pause to vomit, at this comment he made, about our armed forces- ‘and the thing that is extraordinary about them and magnificent about them, they are prepared to do the difficult things.’

By difficult, I presume he means lay their lives, on the line, in an illegal war, because they are paid to do so, and their rights as soldiers to refuse to take part in illegal military action, are hardly likely to be enforced…sorry- that was an entirely irrelevant stop, on his part and mine- but as I have friends who have served more than once, in both Afghanistan, and Iraq- who absolutely had to do those ‘difficult’ things- this particular comment made me sick.

At least from this part of Blair’s testimony, we are clear that he has stated openly, what factors came into play, when sending thousands of  British men and women, to kill and die for his ‘belief’.


One comment

  1. You should become an MP ! Maybe you could show em how it shd be done X

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