Adam Holloway: Does the Secretary of State not accept that when we made the accommodation and went back to the airport, we did not hand Basra over to the Iraqi Government or the Iraqi army? We handed it over to the Jaish al-Mahdi militia.
Adam Holloway: We are in danger of becoming dewy-eyed over the debacle in Iraq. In this century, we have never had a serious strategy for dealing with Iraq. That was the case as we went into the war and after the war, and I fear that it is also the case today. The decision to offer UK support to the US invasion was made by the Prime Minister, pretty much alone, in Crawford, Texas in April 2002. The only...
Adam Holloway: It is tragic. I was in Iraq in the first war as a soldier and in the second war as a television correspondent. I shall never forget being in Kirkuk as the Iraqi Government were falling. Very few European people were around, and I was literally mobbed. This guy who was in the process of looting two incubators from the hospital came up and hugged me because people were so happy and they wanted...
Adam Holloway: Although I agree with the hon. Gentleman about abuses on the part of some private security companies, the vast majority have been working in support of the reconstruction of Iraq, filling gaps that our militaries have been unable to fill, so I think that he is being a little hard on those companies.
Adam Holloway: I categorically did not refer to British cowardice in Operation Charge of the Knights—on the contrary, the absolute reverse—on the part of our military transition teams. All I said was that Britain's involvement, in terms of our command chain, was late. That is all I said.
Adam Holloway: It is all very well to say that, but it is disingenuous of the Minister to suggest that all is rosy and wonderful, and that we dealt with Saddam, which was a greater good—of course, it probably was—when we would happily have kept him in power if he had dealt with weapons of mass destruction.
Adam Holloway: Perhaps there will be great benefits for the Iraqi people, but, rather than giving vague assurances about the effects on global security, will the Minister tell us how Britain has been made safer by the debacle of the past five or six years, and what benefits have accrued to the British people from it?
Adam Holloway: If she will review the effectiveness and efficiency of the Serious Fraud Office.
Adam Holloway: That is a more detailed explanation, but is the Attorney-General confident that the recent number of failed cases will be turned round by that?
Adam Holloway: Did Secretary Clinton mention anything about reconciliation and bringing the Taliban and organisations such as Hizb-e-Islami into the political process? Is it true that President Karzai called for a jihad against us in a Cabinet meeting recently?
Adam Holloway: Will the Foreign Secretary give way?
Adam Holloway: Does the Foreign Secretary not feel, particularly after his conversations with the Americans, that we can now either go left or go right? We can go the way that we have gone so far, which is leading us to disaster, or we can be a bit more intelligent and work very hard for a political settlement, backed up by force if necessary.
Adam Holloway: Yesterday, I saw a friend who had been tracking the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan—he was listening to somebody with a Yorkshire accent trying to speak Arabic into a hand-held radio. What can we do? We cannot do very much on our own, but I suggest that Britain and our allies declare a new war: a war on radicalisation. We should seek to protect our people by cutting out this cancer, rather than...
Adam Holloway: Will the Minister give way?
Adam Holloway: I said in my speech that I thought that some members of the Government had finally got the message. The conversation that the Foreign Secretary is having now with General Petraeus is probably much more panicked than what comes through in a Select Committee report.
Adam Holloway: rose—
Adam Holloway: Forgive me, but the Under-Secretary's comments do not square with the fact that groups of our officers at Permanent Joint Headquarters are holding meetings with the Americans to discuss force numbers in Helmand.
Adam Holloway: Given the current economic situation, which obviously has nothing to do with the Government's stewardship of the economy, does the Secretary of State think that it will still be possible to get 1 million incapacity benefit claimants back to work? If not, what sort of figure does he think is doable, and in what sort of time frame?
Adam Holloway: rose—
Adam Holloway: Does the Foreign Secretary accept that there are lessons to be learned from Iraq and that there are mistakes that we are repeating? Is it not a shame that even the MOD has binned its internal critique of the conduct of our operations in Iraq?