CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

CHRISTMAS ADJOURNMENT – IRAQ – 20 December 2005

Dr Julian Lewis: I am aware of the work of Dr Rangwala, who did a splendid job when he exposed the dodgy dossier, but I find the logic of that quotation hard to follow. If the number of troops is reduced, the number of attacks on them will not necessarily diminish, nor will the number of casualties necessarily fall because there are fewer troops on the streets. The number of attacks would be just as likely to increase, because a sign of weakness would have been shown, so the number of casualties could rise.

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Dr Lewis: I thank the Hon. Gentleman [Harry Cohen] for being so generous in giving way again, especially as he is not now getting injury time. Was it not also reported at the weekend that al-Zarqawi himself was in Falluja at that time, and that he was arrested but not recognised and inadvertently released? Does the hon. Gentleman agree that if that mistake had not been made, the assault on Falluja might well have had a profound effect on the insurgency?