Why is Prince Henry (ahem, Troop Commander Wales and a second lieutenant) news among a blogger following Hillary Clinton's campaign? Because ol' Harry might be there when he next president grabs the joystick and plays war in Iraq. That then, is huge.
Tony Blair says he's pulling his boys out of Iraq, and maybe this makes those involved in the decision to send Harry easier. Send him there, make some noise, bring him, and he can say he toughed it out all the while knowing he might coming home soon.
This hardly means Harry will be out of danger. It makes strange politics too. There is a real war going on, and Harry could get hurt the same way soldiers from the toughest neighborhoods in Liverpool or the Bronx get hurt. Add to that his celebrity status, and the bad guys might gun for him just to earn the honors among the thugs disrupting democracy in Iraq.
He has trained to lead 11 soldiers and four Scimitar tanks. Going to Iraq was his request. Valor? Pomp? Who knows, but the danger is true, and the chance to do something important is true.
If the Islamic fascists trying to ruin Iraq are trying to hasten the exodus of troops so that they can begin to oppress free-thinking Iraqis again, will attacking Harry help them? I don't think so. Attack, hurt Harry, or kill Harry and the world will pull off the political gauntlet and send every piece of equipment and flesh at them making "Shock and awe" look like kid gloves.
Back to Hillary. So what? The so what question is, "So what does Hillary Clinton care whether Harry goes to Iraq or not?"
The answer: Hilary cares because if Harry does not come home safe, pulling out of Iraq will not be easy, and any promises about pulling out will be harder to keep.
Part two of the answer: If Harry is recorded doing anything of true valor (as opposed to a handy photo op passing out chocolate to a cute Iraqi child), this might justify the war in some people's eyes, and limit the antiwar sentiment.
What should Hillary, and any antiwar candidate prefer results? They want Harry to go, come home safely, pose for a photo op or two in dusty fatigues, and tell the world why we shouldn't be in Iraq. They want Harry to be a cookie-cutter version of Princess Diana: cute, with political safe but moderately antiwar views. They don't want him to turn into Cindy Sheehan or a modern John Lennon. They want someone intelligent, credible, wearing those fatigues to say, "I was there and the war was wrong," with a voice people will listen to.
All Cindy Sheehan can do is rally her people. No one else listens to her. She makes news but is without influence. People otherwise not inclined to hear an antiwar speaker might listen to Harry. He might have influence.
The worst that can happen, then, is the opposite. If Harry goes to Iraq, hears average Iraqis (who may have no idea he is a Prince) tell him how bad things use to be, and then tell him how glad they are soldiers stopped the killings, and how they long for democracy, then Hillary has a problem. Worse yet will be if that average Iraqi shows Harry photos of loved ones killed by Saddam Hussein, or show scars of torture under his regime. Still worse will be if they quiver in fear on camera when talking about expecting how bad things will be when the insurgents take over leadership. How could Harry leave Iraq when they need a hero?
If Harry comes back and decries the presence of nonIraqi troops, he'll become a public voice in the issue. If he returns and salutes the forces protecting democracy in Iraq, saying we are, by our global citizenship, mandated to be in Iraq, he may become an international leader.
Which will it be? Harry has even finished packing his bags yet.
Britain's Prince Harry Will Deploy to Iraq
Voice of America - 44 minutes ago
By VOA News. British military authorities say Prince Harry, the third in line to Britain's throne, will be deployed to Iraq with his military unit.
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