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Don’t mention the war: Iraq absent from PMQs

11 June 2014

If PMQs today was anything to go by, everything is so hunky-dory in Iraq that MPs needn’t discuss it at all. No-one raised it.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman was repeatedly asked whether the UK would provide assistance. He said the government’s message focuses on the ‘Iraqi government working with partners in the region, for example the Kurdistan regional government’. Asked to rule out providing military assistance to the country, the spokesman said ‘that’s not on the table’.

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At the same time, the Prime Minister was finally being asked about Iraq in the Commons as he addressed MPs on the G7 talks. He said:-

‘What we have to deal now is with the situation today, where we’ve got an extremely serious situation in Mosul. I agree with the United States that the threat posed by ISIL in Iraq and the region needs a strong and co-ordinated response. It needs Prime Minister Maliki to pursue inclusive policies that can unite his country but it will also require a security response from the Iraqis and at the same time as a generous country that supports humanitarian aid, we should look at what we can do for those people who are displaced.’

He then added that these problems would ‘come back to bite us’ if the international community failed to address them when asked by Mike Gapes about the threat in Syria and in Iraq.

So that’s what he thinks about Iraq. But it’s odd that no MP thought to ask him that at the session dedicated to grilling the Prime Minister that almost everyone attends and that is far better followed than statements to the Commons.

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  • Makroon

    One does wonder what that hero of the Shiite, and harrier of the Americans Muqtadar al Sadr and his ‘militia’, perpetually wandering around with his AK and looking for a fight, is doing these days. Probably lying very low.

  • chudsmania

    Uncle Tone will sort it , he’s the envoy in that region isnt he ? 😀

    • Kennybhoy


  • Mr T

    You break it you own it….Colin Powell

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Another daft proclamation from that fool.

  • Mynydd

    Mr Cameron’s government is caught between two stools. Mr Cameron/Hague at the beginning of the Syrian civil war backed the rebels in their attempt to overthrow the Assad government. This was in the heady days of the Arab spring and their bombing and overthrow of Gadaffi. It seems Mr Cameron/Hague’s reasoning being, so why not the same again in Syria, First we’ll give the rebels aid and non-combat supplies and if that man Assad doesn’t see reason we’ll bomb the living daylights out of him. Mr Cameron/Hague were warned, because it’s outside their control, aid and supplies will end up in the hands of extremist including ISIL. The situation now in Syria being weather Mr Cameron/Hague, like it or not, they have been supporting ISIL in their civil war against the Assad government. The opposite is the case in Iraq, it would seem that Mr Cameron/Hague are supporting the government against ISIL.
    What a pair we have in Mr Cameron and Mr Hague, we’ll give aid to ISIL in Syria but fight ISIL in Iraq. It’s no wonder they don’t want to talk about it.

  • arnoldo87

    Nobody’s talking about it because they know that the current insurgency stems directly from the Syrian Civil War, and they are mightily embarrassed about their own part in the tragedy there.

    This is because they know that it is far worse than it needed to be because of our failure to support the rebels three years ago when they were winning against Assad.

    So there will be no million person march, no Socialist Workers placards, no nightly appearances on TV by George Galloway, no Lancet estimates of the dead caused by our inaction, no soul searching by the dolce vita left wing intellectuals.

    Nothing – just the sound of silence.

    • Kennybhoy

      Sound man.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …does that include the sound of silence that would have been filled by all the thousands of Christians your islamofascist buddies slaughtered there?

      • arnoldo87

        Nice to know that someone fully understood the gist of my post.
        Shame it wasn’t you, ginnie.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          I’d say your neocon nutter post is understood by all, lad .

          By the way, how many Christians do you and your islamofascist pals want to slaughter there? Have you come up with a round figure yet?

    • Mynydd

      The Syrian Civil War, or any other Civil War for that matter, are not our problem.

      • arnoldo87

        Yes – that’s certainly the dominant attitude of most politicians and most of the public.
        Reminiscent of the 1930’s really – so nothing to worry about, then.

  • Peter Stroud

    Clearly, the USA and ourselves left Iraq in a perilous state, as regards this extremist attack. If we believe in democratic rule, we should support the democratically elected government, as poor as it is. The expansion of power by ISIL is dangerous: if Syria and Iraq fall to them, then the fanatics will soon look at Israel. Iran might then become involved, and the Israelis will use all in their power to repel them.including nuclear weapons. Because they know that their entire future will be in jeopardy.

    • Kennybhoy

      “..if Syria and Iraq fall to them, then the fanatics will soon look at Israel.”

      Careful there Peter. You can get called a neo-con for writing this sort of thing…:-(

  • swatnan

    After Britain made an absolute balls up of Iraq and that includes Labour and Tories and Bush put together. Iraq would have every right to demand reparations from the UN/Britain for the absolute chaos it is in today. And I wouldn’t blame them. Maybe the only solution is partition into Kurds Sunni and Shiite. Nobody can put Humpty Dumpty back together again, not even the grand ol Duke of York. Its an absolute pigs ear in the Middle East, if I can be so bold. We need to go back to pre 1914 borders and scrap every single country, by force if necessary.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      You can’t demand reparations for self-immolation

    • Airey Belvoir

      if ikt were not so serious, it would be amusing to hear our politicians beginning to mutter that thse countries probably do need a “Saddam-type’ to hold them together. A bit late on the uptake, chaps.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Iraq would have every right to demand reparations from the UN/Britain for the absolute chaos it is in today.”

      Fracking loon! lol

      “We need to go back to pre 1914 borders and scrap every single country, by force if necessary.”

      Jesus wept! I am probably the last of the”neo-con liberal interventionists” hereabouts but I humbly defer to such astonishing belligerence! Fracking loon! lol

      Kenny (Cold War Relic, Reluctant Latterday Crusader and Unrepentant Neocon!)

  • Grey Wolf

    I think we should take care of the extremist threat amidst us in the UK.
    I think we should thwart the designs of the Islamist 3rd worlders here in the UK
    I think we need all the cash we have for ourselves coz’ charity rightfully begins at home here in the UK.
    Am I being selfish, nationalistic? You bet.

    • HookesLaw

      I think that’s what our security forces are doing. Not every islamist is a terrorist. Indeed there is a good chance the next PM of the UK will be the son of a Pakistani bus driver. If you were wise you would put a few bob on him.

      • Grey Wolf

        You are a mad man, a thoroughly deluded man.

  • Faceless Bureaucrat

    “…and at the same time as a generous country that supports humanitarian aid, we should look at what we can do for those people who are displaced.”

    Err.. why? Isn’t Iraq a major Oil producing Nation and wealthy as Croesus?
    Sending Aid to Iraq would be as stupid as sending it to somewhere like, oh I don’t know, say India…

    • HookesLaw

      Iraq produces about 3.75% of the worlds oil. It production has fallen in the last year.
      Iraq’s oil might be more important in a few years when Russia’s oil runs out. The very reserves around Mosul are of course threatened by these terrorists.
      I think under the conservatives the aid to India was stopped.

      • El_Sid

        It’s producing about 3.3mmbpd at the moment, and sells at a small discount to Brent – say $105/bbl right now. The tax rate varies per field, but is around 90%. That’s around $114bn or £68bn in tax entering government coffers each year.

        Money isn’t the problem – the rule of law and an effective military are the problem. They need Sandhurst, not handouts.

        • Hexhamgeezer

          True, unfortunately under their failed religion, civic decency, rule of law, mutual respect and so on is at a premium. An Iraqi Sandhurst would require torture cells in the basement for practice.

        • Airey Belvoir

          We are already funding and staffing a ‘Sandhurst in the Sand.’
          To judge by the craven performance of Iraqi officers in Mosul who led the flight, it has not yet had time to make a difference.

  • CharlietheChump

    Can’t help, no troops, sorry.

    • HookesLaw

      There is no will in parliament, that’s why no one spoke. What was the point of asking questions when MPs themselves and certainly the opposition do not want to get involved and the opposition are certainly embarrassed by their earlier interventions.
      And we have never had the troops to send to occupy Mosul. We were only able to send a relatively small force to help in the invasion of Saddam’s Iraq. We are pulling out of Iraq – and Afghanistan, not getting deeper involved.

      • Grey Wolf

        Why did you support the involvement in the first place in Iraq?

        • HookesLaw

          You mean you didn’t?
          Ah…. Sorry pardon. I don’t believe that bad men go away by ignoring them.
          Saddam was breaking the cease fire he was harbouring terrorists, it was thought he had chemical weapons he had used gas on his own people; Dr Kelly thought he had WMD. Following the invasion Gadaffi gave up his quite advanced nuclear bomb programme. I thought Blair ruined a good cause with his dodgy dossier (jusy as he ruined the accomodation with Gadaffi by going too far) but I prefer to go with Bush’s stated reason, ‘regime change’.
          The Americans believed that by breaking the cycle of dictatorship in the middle east they could bring democracy to the region. That programme has stalled now with the west backing down over Syria. Syria of course clearly do have WMD and there is a school of thought that some came from Saddam’s Iraq.

          The aftermath of the invasion was badly handled of course as was our control of Basra. We might have expected better.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            There was a time when the US believed that it was in its interest to supply Saddam’s regime with various nasty weapons. It was not until later that it was decided that Saddam was a threat to US interests.

            This is from the CBS website -.

            “Newly released documents show that U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, played a leading role in building up Iraq’s military in the 1980s when Iraq was using chemical weapons, a newspaper reports.

            It was Rumsfeld, now defense secretary and then a special presidential envoy, whose December 1983 meeting with Saddam Hussein led to the normalization of ties between Washington and Baghdad, according to the Washington Post.

            The cozy relationship was an effort to build a regional bulwark against America’s enemies in Iran.

            The newspaper says a review of a large tranche of government documents reveals that the administrations of President Reagan and the first President Bush both authorized providing Iraq with intelligence and logistical support, and okayed the sale of dual use items — those with military and civilian applications — that included chemicals and germs, even anthrax and bubonic plague.”.

          • Grey Wolf

            No I didn’t support the war in Iraq. It was not our war but a war imposed by vile neo-cons and other liberal interventionists.

            Blair took us to this war and opened up the border to mass immigration. As he spent lives and money in wars, he lost the war against Islamists at home.

            I want very tough measures to be taken against traitors and Islamists here and a huge reduction in gross immigration figures. We don’t want dystopian 3rd worlders and fanatics here in UK.

          • Tom M

            An awful lot of “ifs” and fact stretching in that piece Hooke.
            Can I say I never supported the war and made it a point to raise the matter in person with my MP (Sir George Young) and a lot of good that did.
            The point that remains however, even in spite of all the other damning evidence against Blair and Bush it was never ever stated anywhere at the UN that should Saddam fail to comply Britain and the US would invade. Serious consequences was the term used. Britian and the US invaded a foreign country.
            As far as regime change was concerned Bush was honest enough to admit this illegal action. Blair was smarter and pinned his hopes on WMD. Both should be in the Hague.
            Please don’t attach any rubbish about getting rid of “bad men” to the absolute disaster that is Iraq today because of Bush and Blair.

          • Kennybhoy


            • the viceroy’s gin


              • Kennybhoy


                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Still nutty.

          • arnoldo87

            The dossier was the work of the JIC, and was not “Blair’s”.

            Otherwise quite good work, Hooky.

            You’ll make a good Blairite (like Dave and Govey) yet.

            • chudsmania

              The dossier was the work of Campbell……….Fingerprints writ large….

      • Kennybhoy

        “We” did considerably more than “send a relatively small force to help in the invasion of Saddam’s Iraq”.

  • alabenn

    They will start talking about this Iraq problem when these British recruits get back to Birmingham from Mosul.
    There will be blood on the streets in any place in the UK where there is a significant Muslim population.
    The time for talking is long gone, the talking should have been decades ago, it is probably now to late.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      …….but luckily for us it will have ‘nothing to do with I….’

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