Arab Spring

Andy Halsall : The cost of action in Iraq

Our involvement must be more than military and truly in the cause of freedom and democracy.

When parliament voted to invade Iraq in 2003, it was based on what we later found out to be disinformation and deceit. We were misled. The countless thousands who opposed the war were vocal in their opposition - but they were not listened to, they were ignored. And the UK went to war.

Today, Iraq isn't the beacon of peace and democracy that we had hoped it would become, in a region with far too little of either. Far from it. Iraq is a very troubled state. The sectarian divisions that arose after our invasion and the impact of the poor planning and even poorer decisions taken during the post-invasion period continue to hinder progress and freedom in Iraq.

It is absolutely true that the situation in Iraq is at least in part down to the choices we made in 2003. Yet the decision parliament was asked to make today was very different, the situation it aims to address is different and the context in which it was raised is different.  

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