Redeem thid day of shame

Paddy Apling e.c.apling at
Fri Mar 21 03:29:30 MST 2003

In today's Guardian:
at <,12809,918881,00.html>

 Redeem this day of shame
Andrew Murray
Friday March 21, 2003
The Guardian

The assault on Iraq which began yesterday is a war the British people do not
want. Never before, at least since public opinion first became a serious
political consideration, has this country gone to war with only a minority
of the population in support.

Tens of thousands across the country drove that point home yesterday, in the
biggest ever display of coordinated civil disobedience on the streets of our
towns and cities. Many more will march for peace in London tomorrow. Tony
Blair's appeal for national support for the war effort is already falling on
deaf ears.

Despite the government's efforts over the past few days to re-spin the
attack on Iraq as if it were now supported by a new national consensus, the
anti-war movement - unprecedented in its scope and representativeness - is
clear: we cannot and will not support this war.

The logic is simple. If it is right to oppose a crime when it is being
publicly contemplated, how much more important is it to do so when it is in
the process of commission. It is not those who oppose the war who need to
justify themselves, but those Labour MPs who assured their local parties as
recently as last weekend that they would never support war without UN
authority, only to do just that days later.

Ministers will, of course, play on the sympathy of many people for British
troops. Yet the fact remains that they are not fighting in the interests of
the British people, nor on behalf of any international community, but for a
reactionary and dangerous US administration to which Tony Blair has
subordinated our country.

The prime minister was, however, clearly right when he told the Commons this
week that the conduct of this crisis will shape world politics for the next
20 years. For him, that apparently means a generation in which international
affairs will be conducted on the basis of a disregard for law and UN
authority, and an unconditional subordination to US imperial power.

That outlook is not shared by the other major powers, France, Russia, China
and Germany among them. The great majority of the countries of the world
appear no more ready to embrace the hegemony of the US today than they did
that of the British empire a century ago.

The most sobering aspect of the great power split provoked by George Bush's
unilateralism is the reminder that, in the past, neo-colonial conflicts like
this one have often led to much larger wars. So now is the time to speak
out, or risk becoming complicit in a repetition of some of the worst crimes
of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Blair's responsibility for this crisis cannot be concealed by the week's big
lie - that it is all the fault of the French. The prime minister did not get
the second security council resolution which he so craved because the
majority of the council opposed him and the US administration was not
interested anyway.

It is far more likely that, had Britain adopted the firm position of France
and Germany from the beginning, a peaceful solution to the crisis could have
been found. Instead, he has given comfort to the wild men in charge in
Washington throughout by denying them the total international isolation
their policies warrant.

As it is, it is the prime minister himself who is isolated. His war is
opposed by most of the people he was elected to represent, and denounced by
virtually every expert on international law except the attorney general, as
well as by almost every other country he would like to claim as a friend.

etc. etc - link to full article at top of page.

NFHS Member #5594
Mailto:E.C.Apling at

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