Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Why British troops weren't equipped for war
According to Gethin Chamberlain of the Scotsman,
In one instance, it [the report] revealed that before the Iraq war in 2003, the MoD had sold a number of all-terrain vehicles for £3,000 each, having deemed them surplus to requirements, then spent £17,000 apiece buying them back to be used by 16 Air Assault Brigade. Another £18,000 went on making them comply with health and safety regulations, including fitting seatbelts, by which time the war was over and they were sold again for £6,500 - a net loss of £25,500 per vehicle.
Excellent planning. But there was a reason, which we don't discover till the end of the article—
Delays in getting body armour, desert camouflage uniforms and boots have been blamed on the government's refusal to allow the MoD to gear up for war for fear of derailing delicate diplomatic moves.
Right. They couldn't maintain the pretense that no decision had been made to invade Iraq if the Ministry of Defense was knee deep in war procurements.
Think about it. This has the makings of a major scandal. If—as we all know from the Downing Street memos and from other sources—the decision to invade Iraq was made long before the actual invasion, Tony Blair not only lied to the public and to Parliament, he also sacrificed the safety of his own troops for the benefit of the deception!
This alone should be sufficient to force his resignation.
But what about Cheney and Rumsfeld? The story of improperly equipped American troops is now old news. But I have yet to see it suggested that the reason for this was deliberate in order to maintain the illusion that diplomatic negotiations were genuinely ongoing.
Even if the mainstream media think the Downing Street memos are "old news," this topic is fresh as a daisy. Could we have a little investigating, please?