Although I did actually read Blair's statement to the House of Commons today regarding the withdrawal of British troops in Iraq, I have to confess to being rather out of the loop on British military operations. I therefore was somewhat surprised to read in the Times today that Prince Harry might actually be deployed to Basra with the next lot of troop rotations. While I know that Prince Andrew served and Edward for a brief period I was trying to remember if any of the Royals have actually been deployed to a bonafide war zone. Certainly in my lifetime I think it would be a first if Harry were to go. While I'm sure it would be a huge risk to have the third in line traipsing around the battle field with his SA80 Assualt rifle whilst trying to avoid an insurgent homemade projectile, I can't help but feel very strongly that of course he should have to go. It's not like your regular Lieutenant Smith has any say in his, or her, decision to go to war..."Excuse me, I don't really fancy going off to Iraq. I'm the last Smith you see and well,, I'd rather hoped to carry on the family name if you don't mind.". I'd hate to think we're still living in an age where the rights of succession are such that Harry would be able to "get out" of going to Iraq on that mere possibility that he might one day be king. And if Harry were ever to become king,(legalised cannabis? Saturday night "Your favourite Socialist world leader" fancy dress parties? Playboy bunnies at Buck House?) I know I'd have a lot more respect for him knowing that he had actually served his country rather than just putting on a uniform and pretending to play the game.
"Around 1,600 British troops will return home from Iraq in the next few months, reducing the deployment of the UK force in the country to 5,500 by the end of the summer, Tony Blair said today...
The Prince's regiment, the Blues and Royals, is among those expected to be deployed as 1 Mechanised Brigade replaces 19 Light Brigade for a six-month tour of duty in southern Iraq. Despite concerns for his safety and his attractiveness as a target for extremists, Prince Harry has stated his intention to serve on the battlefield if his unit is sent into combat.
An MoD spokesman said the decision over whether Prince Harry will go to Iraq would be announced tomorrow."