Thursday, 26 September 2002

Why I oppose an attack on Iraq

I don't necessarily agree with all of what he says but it's always good to hear what the other side is thinking...

by Former shadow foreign secretary Gerald Kaufman

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When I was shadow foreign secretary I supported first the Security Council-authorised sanctions, and then the air and ground war against Saddam that brought about the liberation of Kuwait. I led (most of) the parliamentary Labour party into the Commons division lobby in support of these actions. In the 1997–2001 Parliament, as a government backbencher, I supported this country’s participation in the air war against Iraq following Saddam’s expulsion of United Nations weapons inspectors. I think it would be a blessing for the world if Saddam were removed from office and replaced by a regime that rejoined the world community. I have over a dozen years rejected the arguments — if they can be dignified by such an epithet — of those such as Tam Dalyell who have opposed military action against Iraq (as well as military action to liberate the Falkland Islands, military action in Kosovo and military action to remove the Taleban and root out al-Qa’eda in Afghanistan).

So, presumably, to be consistent, I should be at the forefront of those urging President Bush to attack Iraq as soon as possible, and should be pressing Tony Blair, of whom I am an ardent supporter, to line up with Bush in any military action he may take. I am afraid it is not as simple as that.

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