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January 22, 2004
UK: Anti-War Demonstrators Caused Materiel Shortages in Iraq

Anti-war demonstrators claiming to "support the troops" despite their protests may have trouble explaining this report from the UK's Black Watch:

The commanding officer of the Black Watch yesterday blamed the Government's reluctance to be seen preparing for war for equipment shortages suffered by troops in Iraq. While careful to make clear that the Government's decision to wait until the last minute was understandable, Lt Col Cowan said it was partly forced on it by anti-war feeling among its own backbenchers.

"As a result, many items of equipment were not available in the right numbers, in the right place, in the right working order at the time they should have been and I think that is widely acknowledged," he said.

London, you may remember, hosted several large anti-war demonstrations in the run-up to the war in Iraq. Due to a certain lack of intestinal fortitude among members of Tony Blair's own party, the government was slow to build up necessary materiel, including body armor, leaving troops with incomplete equipment. The British did not want to give more opportunity for massive demonstrations and wanted to avoid being seen as committed to the use of force as an option until the last moment. Such delays unnecessarily endanger servicemen and servicewomen who should be able to rely on their government to supply them with all of the necessary equipment to achieve their mission objectives. Instead, groups like International ANSWER created an atmosphere which contributed to levels of negligence of the troops they claimed to support.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 22, 2004 9:31 PM

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