We went to war with Saddam. So what? The world’s a better place

28 November 2009

The official inquiry into the Iraq war is expected to last a year, but here an SAS legend tells Sun readers why the conflict was worthwhile – and suggests who’s to blame for our soldiers dying.

Diplomats have suggested to the Iraq War Inquiry that George Bush and Tony Blair had “signed a deal in blood” to remove Saddam Hussein long before there was any spin to justify an invasion.

So what? Tell us something we didn’t know.

All the arguments about who said what, to whom, and when are academic now. The fact is that Iraq is better off and so are we.

Saddam was evil. He tried to kill me and killed many innocent people. He’s dead. The country is being restored. End of. What’s the problem? It was in our interest and, ultimately, in the interests of the Iraqis themselves to remove him.

I have been back to Iraq many times and the fact is that, on the ground, there is stability they never had before.

It’s not stability as you would expect in Birmingham, or Worcester, or London, but for that part of the world it is pretty stable. Certainly, in the south, people are getting jobs; oil fields are producing; people are making money. Basra international airport is truly international at last. In Basra people are saying, “We don’t want the Iranians interfering. We’re making money now.” There’s even a tourist board starting to thrive.

People say they had order under Saddam, but he just slaughtered thousands of people if they did not agree with him. Some of the old Ba’ath party men were outrageous and proof that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Any human beings given absolute control turn to abuse and violence – and that’s what Saddam Hussein did.

The old regime is gone and good, because the new regime is starting to work. But that is thanks to the military, nothing to do with the politicians.

The troops were hampered in the build-up to war; given no guidance by politicians who sent them to war; and given no plan for after the invasion. They had to work it out for themselves, and they did despite the problems that were put in their way. Job done.

The inquiry uncovering pretence over Weapons Of Mass Destruction… that’s old news.

What I really want this inquiry to find out is who was responsible for hampering the military preparations for war so that we appeared to be reacting to the UN mandate rather than a deal struck by Bush and Blair a year before.

Who was it who said: “We can’t let the military go ahead with their intelligence preparation; or ordering the kit they need; or getting it in theatre in time.”

Who was it who decided: “We can’t let them order thousands more sets of body armour or more ammunition because, otherwise, we will expose the fact that we are going to war no matter what.”

Who were the politicians who refused to give the military time to get the equipment they needed while they went ahead with the charade of going to war over weapons of mass destruction?

We were left running around like the poor cousins, with no kit and no guidance, but we still achieved something.

The success in Iraq is not down to the politicians.

But the loss of soldiers’ lives because of a lack of equipment or lack of preparation might well be.

Source: The Sun