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also really a suprisingly explicit admission that the inspections are designed as a provocation to provide a casus belli. n. On Jan 9 2003, Milan Rai wrote: > Dear all > > This seems to me to be the most important > newspaper report of the whole crisis. The British > Government, under fierce political pressure from the > anti-war movement both inside and outside the > Labour Party, is trying to postpone the war on Iraq. > > The prepenultimate paragraph notes that Britain will > (reluctantly) go along with a spring war if the US is > determined to go to war early. It's our job on both > sides of the Atlantic to stop this from happening. > > If we can make this war politically impossible in the > spring of 2003, we can make it politically impossible in > the autumn of 2003, and after that the US presidential > election cycle is generally reckoned to rule out a major > war. > > Best wishes > > Milan Rai > ARROW & Voices in the Wilderness UK > www.j-n-v.org > Daily Telegraph 9 January 2003 page 1 > Britain urges US to delay war until autumn > By Anton La Guardia and George Jones > (Filed: 09/01/2003) > > Britain is pressing for war against Iraq to be delayed > for several months, possibly until the autumn, to give > weapons inspectors more time to provide clear > evidence of new violations by Saddam Hussein. > > > > British officials know that the real decision will be > taken by Bush > Ministers and senior officials believe that there is no > clear legal case for military action despite the build-up > of American and British forces in the Gulf. > > Senior diplomats have told the Government that there > is a good chance of securing United Nations Security > Council approval for military action later in the year if > Saddam can be shown unambiguously to be defying > the disarmament conditions set out in resolution > 1441. > > "The Prime Minister has made it clear that, unless > there is a smoking gun, the inspectors have to be given > time to keep searching," a senior Whitehall source > said. > > The uncertainty at the heart of the Government has > resulted in ministers blowing hot and cold over the > prospects for early military action. > > The tensions were highlighted on Tuesday when Geoff > Hoon, the Defence Secretary, publicly rebuked Jack > Straw, the Foreign Secretary, for playing down the > chances of war. > > In the Commons yesterday Tony Blair denied that the > Cabinet was split or that he was engaging in > "dangerous brinkmanship" with Saddam over Iraq's > weapons of mass destruction. > > But he was left in no doubt of growing opposition > among Labour MPs to joining an American-led attack > without convincing proof that Saddam had defied UN > demands to dismantle his nuclear, chemical and > biological programmes. > > The exchanges showed that the Prime Minister could > face a major revolt if he went to war without UN > backing. > > As the tempo of military preparations accelerates, > British diplomats say they can win UN support for > war only if the inspectors can corner Saddam, either > by finding banned weapons and components or by > forcing him to deny access to sites or to officials. > > "Nobody familiar with the inspections process expects > them to come up with the goods in a matter of > weeks," a senior British official said. > > "There is an assumption that there will be a campaign > before the summer because of the heat. The autumn > would be just as sensible a time and in the meanwhile > Saddam would be thoroughly constrained by the > inspectors." > > Although the Government has sent a powerful naval > force to the region and called up reservists, there has > been a significant softening of Whitehall's warlike > rhetoric. > > Mr Straw said he thought the prospects of war were > roughly 60:40 against. No 10 backed Mr Straw in > downgrading the importance of the inspectors' first > full report to the Security Council on Jan 27. > > Officials said the date was "not a deadline"; the > inspectors should be given "time and space" to carry > out their work. They also insisted that an indefinite > game of "cat and mouse" was not acceptable. > > Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector, is expected to > tell the Security Council that Iraq is co-operating in > terms of procedure, but that he needs time to > investigate the apparent omissions in the latest > declaration of its weapons programmes. > > Hard-liners in Washington see Iraq's claim that it has > no banned weapons as enough justification for action. > > British officials know that the real decision about the > war will be taken by President George W Bush. > Powerful voices in Washington argue that > prevarication would risk allowing another crisis to > divert the effort against Iraq and afford Saddam a > symbolic victory. > > British officials hope that London's reservations and > Mr Blair's growing problems in the Labour Party will > help to tip the balance in the Bush administration in > favour of delay. > > But they accept that Britain will go along with an > American-led war in almost all circumstances, > including a conflict in the spring if Washington is > determined to launch an early campaign. > > The first Prime Minister's Questions of the year, held > at noon instead of 3pm under Commons reforms, was > dominated by Iraq. > > Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory leader, highlighting the > spat between Mr Hoon and Mr Straw, warned Mr > Blair that he could not win public backing for a war if > he could not convince his Cabinet and if troops were > only "half-prepared for war". > > > > _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are > archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk _______________________________________________ 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