The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Interesting quote from Blunkett: "We know that for the moment we will be seen as the villains. We knew that from the reaction before the conflict started. "But once this is over and there is a free Iraq, with a democratic state, building the affluence that can come from an educated people with enterprise and capability ... the population as a whole will say that we want a free country, we want a state to live in where we can use our talent to the full." The moral tone of the UK as justification was another lie it seems Blunkett always knew the Iraqi's weren't waiting for their "liberators" with open arms. Blunkett: we are seen as villains Staff and agencies Tuesday April 1, 2003 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927262,00.html Tony Blair was today chairing another meeting of his war cabinet following home secretary David Blunkett's acknowledgement that the US and UK are "seen as the villains". Speaking from Washington last night, where he is meeting the US director of homeland security, Tom Ridge, Mr Blunkett predicted that such a negative perception would be short-lived - and that Iraqis would eventually welcome the chance to live in a liberated country. This view was underlined today when the prime minister's official spokesman said that in areas already occupied by US/UK forces, the fear factor among the local population was now "receding day by day" with troops increasingly being given a "warm welcome". Opposition to the war on Labour's left was underlined by Glasgow Kelvin MP George Galloway, who urged British troops to "refuse to obey illegal orders" - a stance which has earned him the sobriquet "traitor" on the front page of the Sun. A new opinion poll today shows that the slight surge in support for the war, registered as the conflict began, has slipped back to a 52% majority. A different poll, by Populus for the Times, shows nearly two-thirds of the British public thinks the war on Iraq is going well. This compares with 28% who believe it is going badly. Last night Mr Blunkett acknowledged: "We know that for the moment we will be seen as the villains. We knew that from the reaction before the conflict started. "But once this is over and there is a free Iraq, with a democratic state, building the affluence that can come from an educated people with enterprise and capability ... the population as a whole will say that we want a free country, we want a state to live in where we can use our talent to the full." Mr Blair's spokesman said: "We will see more evidence of that today with soldiers changing from hard hats to soft hats and engaging with the people and moving water supplies into those areas as well." Asked if the government was concerned that no evidence of weapons of mass destruction had so far been uncovered, the spokesman replied: "We have seen in units of the Iraqi army, WMD protection suits. "They know that we do not use WMD and therefore people can draw their own conclusions. We are not over-claiming that at this stage, but to say there is no evidence is not true." Asked about reports that America had drawn up plans for military commanders to take control of Iraqi regions city by city, the spokesman replied: "In terms of the goal, the goal is to get as soon as possible to a situation where Iraq is run by and for the people of Iraq - by Iraqis for Iraqis. That's the goal and the goal is to get there as soon as possible. "In terms of interim arrangements, we recognise that there will have to be some sort of interim arrangements and both the US and us have committed to the United Nations having a role. "How that works out in practice is a matter of continuing discussions." Mr Blunkett, interviewed from Washington by BBC2's Newsnight, insisted that the coalition would achieve its objectives. "I really am not frustrated but mystified at how people can write off the action we are taking, the likelihood of a very positive response from very large tranches of the Iraqi people after such a short period of time." He added: "We are going to win this conflict, we are going to liberate the people of Iraq, and we are going to put the Jonahs behind us." Asked whether the conflict would make terrorist attacks against the UK more or less likely, Mr Blunkett argued: "It will be less likely because we will have taken out a rogue state, we will have sent a message to those who fund and support terror across the world." Today new measures introduced by Mr Blunkett will allow British citizenship to be removed from immigrants who "seriously prejudice" Britain's interests. Mr Blunkett said: "If we are to welcome those that aspire to and qualify for British citizenship, we must also ensure that those who acquire it by deception or prove to be abusing the privilege of that citizenship by acting against the UK's vital interests are not able to retain it. Mr Galloway, meanwhile, defended an interview in which he branded Mr Blair and the US president, George Bush, as "wolves" for committing the "crime" of military action against Iraq. In an interview for Abu Dhabi TV, he questioned why Arab countries were selling oil to the coalition forces, and accused Mr Blair and Mr Bush of lying to the armed forces about the likely length of the war. The MP rejected suggestions that his interview amounted to an act of treachery. He said: "As for being a traitor, the people who have betrayed this country are those who have sold it to a foreign power and who have been the miserable surrogates of a bigger power for reasons very few people in Britain can understand." He added: "Given that I believe this invasion is illegal, it follows that the only people fighting legally are the Iraqis, who are defending their country." Mr Galloway denied that his interview amounted to incitement to Arabs to kill British troops. But he added: "The best thing British troops can do is to refuse to obey illegal orders." Mr Galloway, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live this morning, predicted that the international criminal court would one day sit in judgment on British policy makers and officers. America does not recognise the court's jurisdiction. He said: "I believe the international criminal court will, in years to come, take legal action against the British policy makers and some officers for the prosecution of illegal orders." Mr Blunkett is today meeting Mr Ridge in Washington for talks on how to combat the global terror threat. The two men will discuss intelligence sharing between Britain and America and stocks of vaccines against chemical and biological agents. They are also due to consider the threat from cyber-terrorism and border and transportation security. Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003 _______________________________________________ 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