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A view from Britain

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Submitted by Paul Wakefield (United Kingdom), Mar 4, 2003 at 08:58

A view from Britain:

Having accidentally stumbled across this board while searching for information about the Semites, I was intrigued, read all the posts and felt motivated to provide a British viewpoint (please note: I do not claim to speak for my country, only to espouse a personal view from the European country which is most closely involved in the possibility of a second Gulf War and its ramifications).

As you will be aware, our Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has been unquestioningly in support of the Bush administration's stance on Iraq and the enforcement of UN resolution 1441. Blair has come under attack from many members of his own party for this support, but has not wavered and has stood by his conviction that the possible use of force against Iraq is justified. Unfortunately Blair seems to have decided that this justification is a moral one - the removal of a ruthless dictator by a just and righteous democracy. He has presented no other argument to justify the use of force against Iraq.

The majority of the British public do not support his view (this has been borne out in numerous opinion polls). This is because the British public are aware that Saddam is not the only and not the worst human rights abuser in power. Iraq only ranks 13th in the Observer Human Rights Index (an Index of human rights abusers compiled from the following sources: Amnesty International Yearly Report; Amnesty International Country Reports; US State Department Country Reports on Human Rights; United Nations Human Development Report (Human Development Index.)) this is below countries such as Yugoslavia (top of the list); China; North Korea; Israel and Egypt. Blair and Bush propose no moral crusade against these countries.

I use the word 'crusade' purposely because lately Blair has been, almost overtly, emphasising his Christianity, as if to confirm his moral credentials. This is a worrying development; I voted for Tony Blair in the general election, I voted for his politics, not his religion. Most viable political beliefs, whether we agree with them or not, are rooted in and grow through logical thought, in pursuit of a tangible aim. There is a real danger in pursuing a political agenda based on religious belief, which needs no root in logic and only aims to appease the almighty, thereby securing a place in heaven; many atrocities have been and, no doubt, will be committed in the name of religion.

Tony Blair is definitely out of step with his people, if he decides to travel his holy path to war. If Blair and Bush desire to take lives in the name of their god (and many lives will be lost in any potential war and its aftermath) then they merely sink to the depths already plumbed by a certain Osama Bin Laden and his cronies, who claimed many lives on September 11th 2001, in the name of their god, Allah.


Having read through all the posts, I thought that some raised interesting questions or warranted further comment:-

John B. Jaymes - "Saddam Husein ... if he has a nuclear weapon he will use it on any country that opposes him."

Ditto George W. Bush et al. Who seem intent on using B61-11 nuclear weapons.

Dolce Farniente - "And if the US is so desperate for oil, why is it a staunch ally of the only country in the Middle East which has no oil of its own, Israel?"

Good question Dolce. What is the rational explanation for the U.S.A.'s unflinching support of a country which ranks well above the 'evil' Iraq in the league table of Human Rights abusers? I'm certainly at a loss to think of one!


Keith Phucas - "The longer we put off dealing decisively with Hussein, the worse we look."

Why are you so worried about how you look? When the U.S.A. bombs a practically defenceless country into abject submission, it will look nothing more than a self-interested western country using force to achieve its aims. Surely this is a course of action guaranteed to promote resentment and further retaliation attacks.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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