Straw: War "very difficult" without public support

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at
Mon Feb 17 05:36:33 MST 2003

Public opinion over war with Iraq would swing behind the government if a
second UN resolution was attained, Jack Straw has insisted.

But the foreign secretary acknowledged it would be "very difficult indeed"
to take military action in order to disarm Saddam Hussein's regime if the
British public opposed attacking the country.

Speaking after a series of cabinet ministers publicly backed Prime Minister
Tony Blair, Mr Straw said that Saturday's demonstration in London was "very,
very big".

"As for the position of the public at large, yes there was a very, very big
demonstration, probably the biggest one we've seen in our recent democratic
history in London on Saturday," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We have to take account of public opinion - indeed one of the reasons Tony
Blair made the speech he did was to have a conversation with those who like
us, but to a different degree are very worried about the possibility of
war."  [...]

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