Saturday, 28 April 2007
This is from icSouth London
A Shia commander in Iraq has claimed that the Mahdi army has people inside British bases who will leak information about Prince Harry's arrival in the country.
"One of our aims is to capture Harry, we have people inside the British bases to inform us on when he will arrive," Abu Mujtaba, a commander in the Mahdi army, the Shia militia loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told the Guardian.
He added: "Not only us, the Mahdi army, that will try to capture him, but every person who hates the British and the Americans will try to get him, all the mujahideens in Iraq, the al Qaida, the Iranians all will try to get him."
His comments will provoke further debate about whether the Prince should be sent to Iraq, for his own safety and that of his comrades.
After one of the bloodiest months so far for British troops in Iraq, speculation has continued about whether Prince Harry's arrival there would increase the risk of attacks on his colleagues in the Blues and Royals.
Friends of the 22-year-old Prince told the BBC he would be "very disappointed" if he was not allowed to go but would stay with the Army.
He has told people he is not afraid to die (at 22 we are all going to live for ever) but is anxious about the risk to his comrades.
The Prince's heart has always been set on being a long-term career soldier but he could find himself having to reassess his position within the Army if he is prevented from going to Iraq or confined to a less risky desk job in the region.
He is caught in a cleft stick here. If he doesn’t go there will be the suggestion of one rule for the rich, and the children of privilege being protected. If he does go, and the men of his unit do suffer because of it then there will be the suggestion of the child of privilege having to have his own way.
The most sensible comment I read was the one that pointed out that a soldier is bound by discipline to obey orders. (although that is not an excuse to commit war crimes)
Therefore the decision should be taken by senior command and Prince Harry should obey it, whatever it is. My personal opinion is that he ought to be deployed on active service. That is what a soldier is for and traditionally kings and princes have led their countrymen into battle. Of course the enemy want to capture him – that’s the downside of being a prince. So far as the risk to his men is concerned I suggest that a troop of volunteers is formed.
But the decision should be his commanding officer’s, not his family, not the politicians, not the press, and he should obey.
I hope that the Ministry of Defence have taken note of the claim that there are spies within British Army bases who report to the Mahdi Army, and presumably other organisations. I don't doubt this, although how efficient and widespread they are is something else.
Posted on 04/28/2007 10:49 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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