Tony Blair on British Foreign Policy

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Tue Nov 18 01:34:05 MST 2003

Here's 9 excerpts from Tony Blair's foreign policy speech at the Lord
Mayor's Banquet, Guildhall, London, 10 November 2003:

(1) "In particular, I want to re-affirm the twin pillars on which rest
Britain's place in the world today: our alliance with America; our
membership of the EU. Both are necessary. Both complement each other."

(2) "What is happening now is very simple. It is the battle of seminal
importance for the early 21st century. It will define relations between the
Muslim world and the West. It will influence profoundly the development of
Arab States and the Middle East. It will have far-reaching implications for
the future conduct of American and Western diplomacy. It will do this
because, above all, it will test the validity of the view of those whose
protest goes far wider than merely condemnation of the war in Iraq and
extends to the whole of American and UK foreign policy. For this large body
of people, the coalition is an army of occupation; its purpose is to
suppress the Muslim population of Iraq: we are out to steal Iraq's oil; and,
even if they abhor the methods of those causing terror in Iraq, they will
say we've brought it on ourselves. Their view is: you should never have been
there, and get out now. That is the view of parts of the Arab and Moslem
street and a significant part of western opinion and certainly of the
developing world. More than that, these people say: the whole episode of
Iraq is the epitome of the way the US/UK treat the Arab and Moslem world. It
is a form of colonialism, that seeks to impose its culture, its rules and
its beliefs on its unwilling victims."

(3) "What therefore is happening in Iraq? (...) These supposedly evil
Americans have voted $19 billion of their own money in aid: the Madrid
Conference under the excellent guidance of Prime Minister Aznar has raised
another $13 billion. Not a penny piece of Iraq's oil money has gone anywhere
but into an account under the supervision of the IMF and UN. And what is the
barrier to progress? (...) Saddam's small rump of supporters aided and
abetted by foreign terrorists. And why are they doing it? Because they agree
with me about this battle's importance. They know that if we give Iraq
democracy, set it on a path to prosperity, leave it in the sole charge and
sovereignty of the Iraqi people, its oil its own, its citizens free to
worship in the way they wish, Muslim and non-Muslim, that means not just the
re-birth of Iraq, it means the death of the poisonous propaganda monster
about America these extremists have created in the minds of much of the
world. What these fanatics are doing now in Iraq is not irrational. It is an
entirely rational strategy. Lose the battle in Iraq and they lose their
ability to present the Moslem world as victims and they as their champions.
It is precisely for that reason we must succeed. It is precisely for that
reason we must not give up or retreat one inch until Iraq is truly free of
this menace. And why this is a task for the whole of the international

(4) "Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Bosnia and Kosovo, illustrate
another lesson. One supremely powerful nation or a small group in concert,
can win a war. But it takes many nations to win the peace. And in such an
enterprise, there is no sane alternative to America and Europe working

(5) "Germany leads the international security effort today in Afghanistan
together with The Netherlands. The Europeans provide the only international
military presence in Macedonia. In Iraq, soldiers from five EU countries and
seven EU accession states are now in theatre. Whatever the differences, the
UN Resolutions 1483 and 1511 on Iraq were agreed by France and Germany as
well as the US and the UK. This should astonish no-one. Europe and America
share the same values; are bound inextricably by history and culture; and
now more than ever, are into each others ribs in business, trade and
commerce. Since 1989 US/EU trade has doubled. In 2002, the UK had almost
$300 billion of foreign direct investment in the US. But here's the
surprise. Germany had almost $150 billion and France almost $200 billion.
Just to complete the picture, UK investment in the EU is around $500
billion. In 2001, Brits made ten million more trips to Europe than in 1997
and a million more to the US. We are all of us utterly intertwined."

(6) "It is true also that there is an antipathy in parts of the French
political establishment to America. But don't exaggerate it and don't ignore
the large numbers who know perfectly well that modern Gaullism must have a
strong transatlantic dimension. And if we in Britain can ask that France
overcome its traditional hesitation towards America, they are entitled to
ask the same of us towards Europe."

(7) "[Within Europe, Britain] should fight our corner, secure the outcome we
want so that rather than splendid (and futile) isolation we have a common
treaty for all 25 members that we can agree to. And, on European defence, I
find it odd that some say I am in favour of British participation in order
to wreck the NATO alliance. My credentials on the transatlantic alliance, I
would hope, after the last 2 years, are reasonably sound."

(8) "Europe is already the largest economic market and political alliance in
the world. It will become bigger and the symbolism of Turkey, a Moslem
nation and American ally, joining the EU could not be more epochal. But even
with the 10 new members joining now, the change is extraordinary, not just
in its scope but in its character. (...) The EU itself is for the first time
pursuing a robust Security Strategy which recognises the threats we face and
advocates the need for European action in partnership with the United
States. Now is the very moment for Britain to participate fully in the
Europe of the future."

(9) "If Europe were to let Anti-Americanism define its foreign policy it
would be disaster. However tough, Britain needs to be constantly in this
debate to turn it back to where it should be: as I said in my speech to
Congress, Europe as America's partner not its servant or its rival. The
agenda for partnership between Europe and America needs our alliance to be
full-blooded and whole-hearted. Terrorism and WMD; MEPP; HIV/AIDS; global
poverty; climate change and world trade: the issues are too vast, the
interdependence between us too ingrained to let arrogance, jealousy,
misunderstanding or even disagreement, cloud our better nature and joint
path to the future."


PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list