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Thursday, September 30, 2004

PM Blair and the case for Iraq

Over at C-Span.org I found a speech Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered at the Labour Party Conference in the UK. About 38 minutes into the speech Primer Minister Blair lays out, once again, his reasons for joining the coalition to oust Saddam from Iraq. It is pretty long so I will put some parts here, but you see the whole transcription at my site.

…There are two views of what is happening in the world today. One view is that there are isolated individuals, extremists, engaged in essentially isolated acts of terrorism. But what is happening is not qualitatively different from the terrorism we have always lived with. And if you believe this we carry on the same path as before September 11th, we try not to provoke them, we hope in time they will wither. The other view is that this is a wholly new phenomenon. A worldwide global terrorism, based on a perversion of the true honourable, peaceful faith of Islam, that it’s roots are not superficial but deep in the begrassis in Pakistan, in the extreme forms of wahabi doctrine in Saudi Arabia, in training camps of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, in the corner of Chechnia in parts of the politics of most of the countries in the Middle East and many in Asia, in the extremist minority now in every European city that preach hatred of us and our way of life. And if you take this view you believe September 11th changed the world. That Bali, Beslan, Madrid, scores of other atrocities that never make the news are part of the same threat and that the only path to take is to confront this terrorism, remove it root and branch and at all costs stop them acquiring the weapons to kill on a massive scale because these terrorists would use them.

…And of course, at first the consequence is more vital but Iraq was not a safe country before March 2003. Few had heard of the Taliban before September 11th but Afghanistan was not a nation at peace. So it is not that I care more about foreign affairs than the state of our economy, NHS, schools or crime it’s simply that I believe democracy there means security here. And if I don’t care and act on this terrorist threat then the day will come when all our good work on this issues that decide peoples lives will be undone. Because the stability on which our economy in an era of globalization depends. And that stability will vanish. And I never, I never expected this to happen on that bright dawn of the first of May 1997 and neither did you. I never anticipated spending time working out how terrorists training is some remote part of the Hindu coothe could end up present on British streets threatening our way of life. And the irony for me is that I as a progressive politician know that despite the opposition of so much of progressive politics to what I have done the only lasting way to defeat this terrorism is through progressive politics and values.

Clearly the only sane response to this speech would from the likes of MP Carolyn Parrish; PM Blair, what an idiot!

Posted by Greg Staples on September 30, 2004 | Permalink


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Just watching live presidential debate. Kerry is doing very well. Bush looks positively uncomfortable and very ill-at-ease. Maybe it will turn around later but for now - Kerry is coming across extremely well.

Posted by: MWW | 2004-09-30 7:33:26 PM

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