Politics OnLine UK
Uploaded: 25 June 2003
Response to Mr Blair's speech on the invasion of Iraq.
"On Tuesday night I gave the order for British forces to take part in military action in Iraq .
This is a nonsense statement; of course the country would wish our troops well, but it leaves
unaddressed the issue of whether they should ever have been sent to Iraq. The implication here, however, is that in our concern for our troops we would back the invasion, for how could we not; that to oppose the invasion of Iraq meant that we did not mean our troops well?
The cold war cannot be so easily dismissed as a memory. Many of us remember all too well what it meant to live with the ‘Red Threat’, a threat that had little chance of becoming a reality given that Russia could not produce enough food as a nation to support itself and was reliant on food imports from the west. The bombing of Japan was as much about impressing the Russians, and perhaps more so, than ending the war with Japan. Japan was on the verge of capitulation at the time the bombs were dropped. The cold war was mostly about political posturing and an arms race that was politically motivated, and the rationale for it was actually very similar to the situation we now find ourselves in. Very little has changed. We would do well to remember, and not dismiss those memories. Just as we ought to remember WWII and
Vietnam lest we ever justify war as some kind of solution except in extremis. As WWII clearly was and Vietnam was not.
This world does not face a new threat that can even begin to compare with the Holocaust and Hitler’s megalomania. What, if we defeated the might of Germany, and Germany was mighty, does Mr. Blair think that Iraq or extreme terrorist groups are going to do? That he dares compare the relative destruction of terrorism, including 9/11 with two world wars is an insult to every person who fought and those who died to give us the freedom today that Mr Blair is striving to erode. Shame on you Mr. Blair, to use Michael Moore’s expression, shame on you. Is Mr. Blair seriously suggesting that Iraq or terrorism is a threat to our entire way of life and liberty? How dare he!
"Some say if we act, we become a target. The truth is, all nations are targets. Bali was never in the frontline of action against terrorism. America didn't attack al
Qaida. They attacked America .
"Britain has never been a nation to hide at the back. But even if we were, it wouldn't avail us.
"Should terrorists obtain these weapons now being manufactured and traded round the world, the carnage they could inflict to our economies, our security, to world peace, would be beyond our most vivid imagination.
It is difficult to imagine any terrorist group or even a nation outside the western alliance being any kind of realistic threat to the UK, not least that were such a threat to arise they would also be taking on the might of Europe and probably America too. Certainly the possibility of a terrorist attack is a real one, we have had the bombings of the IRA and America has The World Trade Centres, but aside from the very real tragedy of the loss of life, such attacks are no threat to our national stability. The present posturing about Iran takes no thought of the past that held the might of Russia in check. Only a complete madman would press the button that would send nuclear missiles to attack
Britain, Europe or America. Meanwhile we still await the proof of the existence of these weapons that strike such fear into Mr. Blair’s heart. Mr. Blair’s vivid imagination took us into Iraq against the better judgment of Hans Blix and the weapons inspectors and many nations around the world, and they have yet to be proved wrong.
True, perhaps, if global terrorism existed on any kind of scale to produce that threat.
Against whom were these wars fought Mr. Blair? Reading this it sounds as though Saddam Hussein has been waging war left right and centre when his greatest threat was to his own people.
Was war, to help the people of Iraq, really the best solution in aiding them against a brutal dictator? He is far from being the only such brutal dictator in the world, and nor will he be
the last, so are we about to witness a western culture of militarily removing every dictator who kills his own people?
This is clearly not true, unless Mr. Blair means that only companies in Iraq will be involved in rebuilding Iraq. For whoever rebuilds Iraq will profit from Iraq’s oil. Right now it looks as though a disproportionate number of the companies who will benefit from rebuilding Iraq will be American. Frankly it is looking as though Iraqi oil will become the new western slush fund.
We will see, so far the western track record for bringing peace to Middle East is not very encouraging.
Rubbish, Mr. Blair, just plain rubbish.
Robin Cook, former foreign secretary, doubts Saddam threat.
BBC under pressure regarding its coverage of Iraq.
© Keith Lindsay-Cameron 2003