What Were British Squaddies Doing in Iraq Out of Uniform with Guns and Explosives?

William Blum has an entire chapter on Iraq in his book America’s Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth about US Foreign Policy and Everything Else (London: Zed Books 2014). Like the rest of the book, it’s a searing indictment of US foreign policy, American imperialism and capitalism. It explodes just about every vile lie the American and British public have been told about the Iraq invasion by our leaders. He shows that it was all about getting hold of the country’s oil and its other industries, and that the invasion comprehensively wrecked the country, which was actually one of the most progressive and prosperous in the Middle East. And far from being welcomed and supported as liberators, we’re resented as invaders and occupiers. To the point where even people who were jailed by Saddam Hussein as enemies of his regime believe that things were better under the old tyrant.

This chapter also includes a very strange incident, in which the British army broke into an Iraqi jail to free two squaddies. They’d been caught by the Iraqi police in civilian clothing driving around firing guns and with explosives. Blum writes

The British also insist that Iraq is a sovereign nation. Recently hundreds of residents filled the streets in the southern city of Basra, shouting and pumping their fists in the air to condemn British forces for raiding a jail and freeing two British soldiers. Iraqi police had arrested the Britons, who were dressed as civilians, for allegedly firing their guns (at whom or what is not clear), and either trying to plant explosives or having explosives in their vehicle. British troops then assembled several armored vehicles, rammed them through the jailhouse wall, and freed the men, as helicopter gunships hovered above.

An intriguing side question: we have here British soldiers dressed as civilians (at least one report said dressed as Arabs), driving around in a car with explosives, firing guns… Does this not feed into the frequent speculation that coalition forces have been to some extent part of the ‘insurgency’? The same insurgency that’s used as an excuse by the coalition to remain in Iraq? (p.78).

Of course, it could all have a simple explanation, but it really does look like covert ops. Which makes you wonder what else British forces were doing in Iraq, and how much is being hidden from the public.

Quite apart from the fact that Blair and Bush destroyed a nation and the lives and limbs of courageous servicemen and women for a vicious lie. Our squaddies fought, died, or came home maimed or battle-shocked not because Saddam Hussein was a threat to our countries, but simply so that our multinationals could get rich by pillaging Iraq.

Blair lied, people died, and this should be remembered before anyone thinks this butcher is any kind of statesman.

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3 Responses to “What Were British Squaddies Doing in Iraq Out of Uniform with Guns and Explosives?”

  1. trev Says:

    I remember at the time we were constantly hearing news reports on BBC saying that “security men” had been killed in an attack, in a shoot-out, by a bomb, etc. “Security men”. I found that rather puzzling for a while, until I met an ex-squaddie who had just returned from Iraq and he explained to me that these so-called “security men” were actually Mercenaries, British and American, like a private army that could get away with things that serving armed forces couldn’t. Besides that there were also undercover SAS troops in plain clothes.

    • beastrabban Says:

      There’s been a lot of scandals about the mercenaries in Iraq and elsewhere. The American mercenaries were caught running prostitution rings and shooting Iraqi civilians for sport. Or at least, that’s what was claimed. As for British mercenaries, there was a book published a little while ago about one of the companies which was reviewed by Lobster. This stated that the British government sends mercenaries in to help foreign governments that they can’t be seen to be helping, like Sri Lanka’s during the war against the Tamil Tigers. I didn’t realise there was also SAS in plain clothes in Iraq, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at that either.

  2. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain!.

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