» Monday, June 11, 2007


Asked about the current thinking on an Iraq inquiry, the PMOS replied that first and foremost, there had been four inquiries on Iraq. Secondly, what mattered now was what happened on the ground in terms of the military effort, political effort and the economic effort. That was where the focus we believed should be.

Asked further about how an inquiry might affect troops in Iraq, the PMOS said that anything that diverted the energy, commitment and focus that was going into trying to get the military, economic and political situation right we believed, was a distraction. The focus should be on getting it right on the ground.

Put that the Chancellor this morning had said that he felt that mistakes had been made and there were lessons to be learnt from Iraq, and did the Prime Minister feel the same, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister had said quite openly that of course, with the benefit of hindsight, issues such as de-baathification might have been handled differently. What he had also said, however, was at the time, everybody thought that de-baathification was the right thing policy, and there was a lot of pressure from within Iraq for the policy. The PMOS said that of course, there were things which with the benefit of hindsight people could look at and ask if it was right or wrong. The important thing was to focus on what we needed to do now to make the process of reconciliation within Iraq work, to protect the democratic Government from terrorist attack and to turn around the economic situation for the ordinary Iraqi citizens.

Put that he had said the Prime Minister had spoken about mistakes in Iraq at PMQs, but they were not to be found, the PMOS replied that the Prime Minister had talked quite openly about the issue of de-baathification. He had also spoken quite openly about the claim that we could have in some way stopped the disbanding of the army. The reality was that the army had completely disappeared, so there were issues. What we were focused on, however, was the present.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. Hanging Gardens of Halliburton:

    Comment by tony — 11 Jun 2007 on 10:40 pm | Link

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