The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Iraq - A Soldiers Tale
Posted Tuesday, 27 January 2009 at 16:13


Given the perceived bias in many parts of the media, it is very difficult as an MP to dig down, and be accurately informed, of the true situation in a controversial war-torn country many miles from home.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent time with the men from the Royal Anglian Regiment, ' Norfolk's men'.

I heard the soldiers' tale, from those who have returned from a second tour of duty just a few weeks ago.

The Royal Anglian's first tour of duty was in 2006, code named Op Telic 8. It was violent. Patrols attacked every day, men lost, huge amounts of ammunition expended.

In terms of winning hearts and minds, it took 300 soldiers to surround and keep safe a hospital whilst a few men painted the reception area.

A strike and search on a house would produce a small amount of stored ammunition, a handful of rockets and would take a huge deployment in manpower to do so.

The most recent tour, Op Telic 12, was very different. No ammunition fired.

In two years, the local Iraqi army and security forces had been trained and worked alongside our soldiers with cultural understanding.
A house strike now produces a stash of ammunition because it's executed using local intelligence by the local security forces.

Winning hearts and minds this time was about building a power station.

Two stories, and as the men said, the good one we never hear via the media, and so they came to Parliament to tell it for themselves.

In the words of one: " Iraq is now a great country being rebuilt, without any fear, with democracy by local people, I genuinely feel we have done a lot of good".

I have such admiration for all our soldiers, but especially those from Bedfordshire and I think the words of the
Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment Sir John McCall sums up better than I could about what we expect from our boys and girls, men and women:

 "The ability to provide humanitarian assistance, to converse with those of another culture and background with a view to giving their trust and respect, and to fight with controlled aggression and determination - all on the same day."

And I will add, all in 56'C !

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 5928

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