Sunday, September 24, 2006

Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat....

.... reads the headline in today’s New York Times. The story is based on a classified National Intelligence Estimate report that "represents a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside [the US] government".

Its assessment "has found that the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks".

No great surprise in this but it’s interesting to see it confirmed by "the [US] intelligence community". So should Britain have joined what this report rightly calls "the American invasion". What many anti-war people demonstrating against Tony Blair in Manchester seem to forget is that the UK Parliament’s choice was not ‘should there be an invasion’ but ‘should the UK join the invasion that is certain to happen’. The UK had no power to stop George Bush.

Still it was a difficult call. The Labour MP that I know best joined many of his colleagues and voted against sending our troops. The rest of the Labour MPs and nearly all the Tories voted for the UK to join and so we did. I’m glad I didn’t have to make such a difficult decision.

Would the situation be better or worse if the UK hadn’t joined the coalition? No one will ever know. But we can be certain that the invasion would still have happened just as the Vietnam War still rolled on even though Britain hadn’t joined.

Now we are where we are. The debate should be about what should happen going forward rather than raking endlessly over the past....


At 11:42, Blogger politaholic said...

You are absolutely right that the invasion would have gone ahead anyway. But if Britain had not participated there are some dead British soldiers who would still be alive, and it may be (we shall never know) that London would not have been bombed on July 7. Blair would not be as distrusted as he is; and although relations with the Bush administration may have been strained, Britain's standing in the world would in general be rather higher than it is.

At 15:58, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Politaholic, you're right about the British soldiers and probably right about the July 7th bombings but I'm not so convinced about "Britain's standing in the world". In some places it’s higher, in others lower with the majority probably don’t knows or, more likely, don’t cares.

Without the benefit of at least a century more of history and finding a parallel universe in which only that decision went the other way, we'll never know...


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