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Letter to the Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2003 SIR- So, the British Government is urging US to delay the planned war on Iraq. ('Britain urges US to delay war until autumn', By Anton La Guardia and George Jones, Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2003, page 1) This follows the earlier report by Anton La Guardia that Mr Blair had been reluctant to order the deployment of forces to the Gulf because "it is politically difficult". ('Britain may scale back its military assistance', By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor, Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2002) The reasons given by your Diplomatic Editor in December included the "overstretch" in the Army caused by the firemen's strike, the Treasury's reluctance to release the money for a major deployment and the strong opposition in the Labour Party. Now, it appears that a crucial factor is the lack of evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, which makes it unlikely that the US and Britain will be able to 'persuade' the UN Security Council to pass a second UN Resolution authorising the use of force against Iraq. The US went the UN route in the first place in part because of pressure from the British Government. The British Government put that pressure on Washington in large part because of the strength of the anti-war movement inside and outside the Labour Party. Less than a year ago, the Prime Minister adopted the language of 'regime change' when visiting President Bush in Crawford, Texas. It appears that the combination of dissent within the British military, the fracturing of the British political establishment over this war, and grassroots mobilisation by the anti-war movement has achieved something close to a U-turn from the Blair Government. Milan Rai Author, War Plan Iraq ARROW & Voices in the Wilderness UK Web addresses of Telegraph articles: 'Britain urges US to delay war until autumn', By Anton La Guardia and George Jones, Daily Telegraph, 9 January 2003, page 1: <http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml? xml=/news/2003/01/09/nirq09.xml&sSheet=/news/20 03/01/09/ixnewstop.html> 'Britain may scale back its military assistance', By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor, Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2002: <http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml; $sessionid $AT3IXSDRTKIBBQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0? xml=%2Fnews%2F2002%2F12%2F11%2Fnirq11.xml> _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk