New revelations over course of Iraq war underline need for enquiry

23 March 2007

New revelations over course of Iraq war underline need for enquiry

“These new revelations in the media regarding Dutch involvement in the Iraqi war underline the need for a parliamentary enquiry.” So says SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel in reaction to the programme 'Reporter', broadcast on Sunday evening. Essential data are already being revealed, while Van Bommel has been able to examine the programme's supporting documentation.

n a first reaction Premier Balkenende again repeated his argument, that it was all to do with Saddam Hussein's longstanding ignoring of UN Security Council's resolutions. But two things have become clear as a result of the Reporter programme. When, on 19th August 2002, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaap De Hoop Scheffer announced that a war was 'hypothetical', it was confirmed to the same ministry that a war was on its way. Furthermore, in November 2002, military aid was demanded by the Americans for the imminent war. In response, a whole catalogue of Dutch armed forces' capabilities was drawn up, a list which the Americans would have been pleased to see. Yet it was never to come to that, as the first Balkenende government fell and the Labour Party (PvdA) made major gains in the elections of January 2003.

Harry van Bommel “If nothing was wrong, then let's have a parliamentary enquiry and prove that,” says Van Bommel. “If Balkenende has nothing to fear, then he should be open.” The SP this week began a major public reaction, collecting messages of support for an independent enquiry. In the first two days thousands of such messages poured in, while the action appears set really to take off in the coming week. Later this spring the Senate will debate a motion in favour of a parliamentary enquiry, while a similar demand in the national parliament's main legislative chamber was blocked by the three governing parties.

You are here