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Wolfwowitz For obvious domestic political reasons, the Bush Administration going into the war had downplayed the scale and duration of a post-war occupation mission. When then-Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki told legislators that such a mission would require several hundred thousand U.S. troops, his assessment had been immediately dismissed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz as "wildly off the mark." Wolfowitz explained that "I am reasonably certain that (the Iraqi people) will greet us as liberators, and that will help us to keep requirements down." Six weeks ago, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was still suggesting the U.S. force in Iraq could be reduced to 30,000 by the end of the year. But the prevailing assessment in Washington appears to be shifting to the idea of a figure closer to Shinseki's. Comment: From:,8599,461462,00.html --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blair and Iraq weapons "(Saddam's) weapons of mass destruction programme is active, detailed and growing. The policy of containment is not working. The weapons of mass destruction programme is not shut down. It is up and running.... "The intelligence picture (the intelligence services) paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative. "It concludes that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, that Saddam has continued to produce them, that he has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes, including against his own Shia population; and that he is actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons capability.... "On chemical weapons, the dossier shows that Iraq continues to produce chemical agent for chemical weapons; has rebuilt previously destroyed production plants across Iraq; has bought dual-use chemical facilities; has retained the key personnel formerly engaged in the chemical weapons programme; and has a serious ongoing research programme into weapons production, all of it well funded..." 24 September 2002 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
During the war in Afghanistan, General Tommy Franks, the theater commander in that campaign as well as in Gulf War II, said flatly, "We don't do body counts." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
White House brands Syria 'terrorist state' from agencies The White House branded Syria a "terrorist state" today and accused it of stockpiling the nerve agent sarin. "They do, indeed, harbour terrorists. Syria is a terrorist state," Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, said amid widespread speculation that the war on Iraq was the opening shot of a wider American campaign in the region. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. soldiers also mounted a search of the notorious Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad, looking for insurgents. Describing his instructions to troops on the raid, Colonel Russ Gold, commander of the 1st Armored Division's 3rd Brigade, said: "Be professional, be polite and be prepared to kill them.." (2003) --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolfowitz April 2003 Israel A strong Israel is vital to the United States. I disagree emphatically with those who assert that Israel's role — or its non-role — in the present crisis disproves the notion that Israel is a valuable strategic ally. This thesis can be refuted by citing other circumstances like Jordan's civil war in 1970 or Israel's presence in 1980 when we were afraid of Soviet power in the Middle East. If there are threats in the area in the year 2000 they are going to come from yet another unexpected direction. It is always good to have strong friends on your side. But our strategic cooperation is also helpful in the present crisis. Israel's low profile is not easy for the Israeli government to sustain in the face of great public concern about the dangers Iraq presents. Israel is able to maintain this low profile because of confidence in its own strength. Cooperation and coordination with the United States, the ability to talk to the Israelis, contributes to our overall purpose. However, our support for Israel does not depend on whether Israel is a valuable strategic ally or not. Our support for Israel should rest not on strategic arguments, but on the U.S. commitment to Israeli security. That commitment should be even deeper in the long run given what Iraq did to Kuwait. There are threats to Israel from this crisis. The threat of missile attack is the most frightening one. But there are benefits for Israel's security in the long term. It is good for Israel that Iraq is now the world's problem, not just Israel's. There is even an important short-term gain to Israel's security from this crisis — the Iraqi threat is now primarily located in Kuwait and southern Iraq. Iraqi military capability has been diverted. Saddam might at some point decide, because of the political advantages, that he will throw some resources into creating a war on another front. But his resources to do that are at least limited by the pressures exerted by the U.S. deployment. Second, the use of force will not free us from the burden of developing a long-term policy for Persian Gulf security. It is true that if Saddam Hussein withdraws from Kuwait he will continue to pose a serious threat to our friends in the Persian Gulf and in the West. But Iraq, with Hussein or with another leader, with his war machine intact or beaten, is going to possess substantial military power. No matter how this crisis ends, Iraq will have the population and the resources to rebuild a military that smaller Persian Gulf states cannot handle. For that matter, Iran has the population and resources to do it if Iraq does not. We must have a long-term policy for dealing with that military power. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One of George W Bush's "thinkers" is Richard Perle. I interviewed Perle when he was advising Reagan; and when he spoke about "total war", I mistakenly dismissed him as mad. He recently used the term again in describing America's "war on terror". "No stages," he said. "This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now." Perle is one of the founders of the Project for the New American Century, the PNAC. Other founders include Dick Cheney, now vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, I Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, William J Bennett, Reagan's education secretary, and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan. These are the modern chartists of American terrorism. The PNAC's seminal report, Rebuilding America's Defences: strategy, forces and resources for a new century, was a blueprint of American aims in all but name. Two years ago it recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars". This has happened. It said the United States should develop "bunker-buster" nuclear weapons and make "star wars" a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is. An FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap recorded Perle discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli embassy. He came under fire in 1983 when newspapers reported he received substantial payments to represent the interests of an Israeli weapons company. Perle denied conflict of interest, insisting that, although he received payment for these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Department, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli firm." (Findley 1989, chapter 5; see also Saba 1984) "He was investigated in 1980s for possible ties to the Israeli espionage case involving Jonathan Jay Pollard." Cooperative Research Former Director of Jerusalem Post 1996 Co-authored "A New Strategy For Defending the Realm" Sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Studies written for Likud Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu Board of Advisers of The Jewish Institute For National Security Affairs to present [04.04.03] — A BBC television producer, moments before he was wounded by an American fighter aircraft that killed 18 people with "friendly fire", spoke to his mother on a satellite phone. Holding the phone over his head so that she could hear the sound of the American planes overhead, he said: "Listen, that's the sound of freedom." --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More than 50 former British diplomats in 2004 have signed a letter to Tony Blair criticising his Middle East policy. The 52 ambassadors said it was time for the prime minister to start influencing America's "doomed" policy in the Middle East or stop backing it. They told Mr Blair they had "watched with deepening concern" as Britain followed the US lead in Iraq and Israel and called for a debate in Parliament. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Without prejudice The Left isn't listening - The Stop the War coalition is the greatest threat to any hope for a democratic Iraq Nick Cohen Sunday February 16, 2003 The Observer When Saddam is sent to rendezvous with a judge in The Hague, or a rope on a lamppost, the democratic opposition in Iraq will need help. It has many enemies: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the CIA and the Foreign Office want to replace the old tyrant with a new, compliant dictator - a Saddam without a moustache. As the moment of decision arrives, Iraqi democrats and socialists have discovered that their natural allies in the European Left don't want to know them. They must add the shameless Stop the War coalition to the enemies list. Iraq is the only country in the Arab world with a strong, democratic movement. Yet I wonder how many who marched yesterday know of the dissenters' existence. The demonstration's organisers have gone to great lengths to censor and silence. How else could the self-righteous feel good about themselves? The usual accusation when whites ignore brown-skinned peoples is that of racism. It doesn't quite work in the Stop the War coalition's case. The Socialist Workers Party, which dominates the alliance, was happy to cohost the march with the reactionary British Association of Muslims. The association had blotted its copybook by circulating a newspaper which explained that apostasy from Islam is 'an offence punishable by death'. But what the hell. In the interests of multi-culturalism, the SWP ignored the protests of squeamish lefties and let that pass. The Trots aren't Islamophobes, after all. The only Muslims they have a phobia about are secular Iraqi Muslims who, shockingly, believe in human rights. The Iraqis made a fruitless appeal for fraternal solidarity last month. The Kurdish leader Barham Salih flew to a meeting of the Socialist International in Rome to argue for 'the imperative of freedom and liberation from fascism and dictatorship'. Those marchers who affect to believe in pluralism should find his arguments attractive, if they can suppress their prejudices long enough to hear him out. Salih explained that the no-fly zones enforced by the RAF and USAF had allowed his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdish Democratic Party to build a fair imitation of democratic state in liberated northern Iraq. The Kurds promote the freedom of journalists, women and religious and racial minorities. Naturally, the local supporters of al-Qaeda agree with Baghdad that this intolerable liberal experiment must end, and the Kurds are having to fight both Saddam and the fundamentalists. Salih was prepared for that: what he wasn't prepared for was the enmity of the anti-war movement. Foolishly, he tried to reason with it. He pointed out that the choice wasn't between war or peace. Saddam 'has been waging war for decades and he has inflicted hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.' Indeed, he continued, the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds who are still under Baghdad's control continues to this day. 'I do not want war and I do not want civilian casualties, nor do those who are coming to our assistance,' he said. 'But the war has already begun.' What, he then asked, about the strange insistence of the anti-war movement that Iraqis must not be liberated until Israel withdraws from the occupied territories? Would the converse apply? If the Palestinians were on the verge of seeing Israeli rule overthrown, would hundreds of thousands take to the streets of London and bellow that Palestinians could not get rid of Sharon until Iraqis got rid of Saddam? Salih doubted it and also had little time for those who say war should be opposed because 'it's all about oil'. So what? he asked. 'Iraqis know that their human rights have too often been ignored because Iraqi oil was more important to the world than Iraqi lives. It would be a good irony if at long last oil becomes a cause of our liberation - if this is the case, then so be it. The oil will be a blessing and not the curse that it has been for so long... So to those who say "No War", I say, of course "yes", but we can only have "No War" if there is "No Dictatorship" and "No Genocide".' Readers with access to the internet can read the whole speech at I urge you to do so because you're never going to hear democratic Iraqi voices if you rely on the anti-war movement. For most of the time, the comrades pretend the Iraqi opposition doesn't exist. Harold Pinter is the most striking member of a British Left with its hands over its ears. In 1988 he staged Mountain Language, a play about the banning of Kurdish in Turkey. The conceit was all too realistic: the world would never know of the suffering of the Kurds because the Kurds would never be allowed to speak. ('Your language is forbidden,' an officer bellows at Kurdish women. 'It is dead. No one is allowed to speak your language. Your language no longer exists. Any questions?') In 2003 when Iraqi Kurds found the words to ask for aid in an anti-fascist struggle, Pinter turned Pinteresque. He refused to hear the mountain tongue he had once defended and became a noisy supporter of the Stop the War coalition. The current issue of the left-wing magazine Red Pepper takes evasion into outright falsehood. It condemns journalists - well, one journalist, me - for being conned into believing the Iraqi opposition supports war. Only American stooges in the Iraqi National Congress want war, it announces with mendacious self-confidence. The main Iraqi parties - which Red Pepper lists as the Kurdish Democratic Party, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan - are with the peace protesters. It's a convincing case, spoilt only by the fact that the Iraqi National Congress is an umbrella organisation whose members include the Kurdish Democratic Party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution and, indeed, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, whose leader flew to Europe to beg the Left to get its priorities right and support a war against tyranny. If evasion and lies won't do, vilification is the last resort. The writings of the Iraqi intellectual Kanan Makiya have inspired the opposition and brought him many enemies, not least Saddam Hussein, who wants him dead. Edward Said has been only slightly less forgiving. Makiya, he wrote recently, is a man 'devoid of either compassion or real understanding, he prattles on for Anglo-American audiences who seem satisfied that here at last is an Arab who exhibits the proper respect for their power and civilisation... He represents the intellectual who serves power unquestioningly; the greater the power, the fewer doubts he has.' I like a good polemic and used to have some time for Said. But he too has fled into denial. Like the rest of anti-war movement he refuses to acknowledge that Makiya, Salih and their comrades are fighting the political battle of their lives against those 'Anglo-American audiences' in the powerhouses of London and Washington who oppose a democratic settlement. (See Makiya's article on page 20.) The democrats are struggling without the support of Western liberals and socialists because they don't fit into a pat world view. Here's why. The conclusion the Iraqi opposition has reluctantly reached is that there is no way other than war to remove a tyrant whose five secret police forces make a palace coup or popular uprising impossible. As the only military force on offer is provided by America, they will accept an American invasion. This is their first mistake. American and British power is always bad in the eyes of muddle-headed Left, the recent liberations of East Timor, Sierra Leone and Kosovo notwithstanding. Then the uppity wogs compound their offence and tell their European betters to think about the political complexities. The British and American governments aren't monoliths, they argue. The State Department and the CIA have always been the foes of Iraqi freedom. But they are countered by the Pentagon and a US Congress which passed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 - a law which instructs the American government to support democracy. Not one Iraqi I have met trusts the Foreign Office. However, they have had a grudging admiration for Tony Blair ever since he met the Kurdish leaders and gave them a fair hearing - a courteous gesture which hasn't been matched by the Pinters, Trotskyists, bishops, actresses and chorus girls on yesterday's march. The Iraqis must now accept that they will have to fight for democracy without the support of the British Left. Disgraceful though our failure to hear them has been, I can't help thinking that they'll be better off without us.
The price of my conviction Tony Blair tells critics of war that leaving Saddam in power has a 'blood cost' Tony Blair Sunday February 16, 2003 The Observer I continue to want to solve the issue of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction through the UN. Dr Blix reported to the UN yesterday and there will be more time given to inspections. But let no one forget two things. To anyone familiar with Saddam's tactics of deception and evasion, there is a weary sense of déjà vu. As ever, at the last minute, concessions are made. And, as ever, it is the long finger that is directing them. The concessions are suspect; unfortunately, the weapons are real. The time needed is not the time it takes the inspectors to discover the weapons. They are not a detective agency. We played that game for years in the 1990s. The time is the time necessary to make a judgment: is Saddam prepared to co-operate fully or not? If he is, the inspectors can take as much time as they want. If he is not, if this is a repeat of the 1990s - and I believe it is - then let us be under no doubt what is at stake. By going down the UN route, we gave the UN an extraordinary opportunity and a heavy responsibility. The opportunity is to show that we can meet the menace to our world today together, collectively and as a united international commu nity. What a mighty achievement that would be. The responsibility, however, is indeed to deal with it. Remember: the UN inspectors would not be within 1,000 miles of Baghdad without the threat of force. Saddam would not be making a single concession without the knowledge that forces were gathering against him. I hope, even now, Iraq can be disarmed peacefully, with or without Saddam. But if we show weakness now, if we allow the plea for more time to become just an excuse for prevarication until the moment for action passes, it will not only be Saddam who is repeating history. The menace will grow, the authority of the UN will be lost and the conflict when it comes will be more bloody. 11 September did not just kill thousands of innocent people. It was meant to bring down the Western economy. It did not do so, but we live with the effects of it even today. It was meant to divide Muslim and Christian, Arab and Western nations, and to provoke us to hate each other. It didn't succeed, but that is what it was trying to do. States developing weapons of mass destruction, proliferating them, importing or exporting the scientific expertise, the ballistic missile technology, the companies and individuals helping them don't operate within any international treaties. They don't conform to any rules. And with terrorist groups already using chemical and biological agents with money to spend, do we really believe that if al-Qaeda could get a dirty bomb they wouldn't use it? Think of the consequences. Think of a nation using a nuclear device, no matter how small, no matter how distant the land. That is why Saddam and weapons of mass destruction are important. At every stage, we should seek to avoid war. But if the threat cannot be removed peacefully, please let us not fall for the delusion that it can be safely ignored. Al-Qaeda attacked the US, not the other way round. Were the people of Bali in the forefront of the anti-terror campaign? Did Indonesia 'make itself a target'? The terrorists won't be nice to us if we're nice to them. When Saddam drew us into the Gulf war, he was not provoked. He invaded Kuwait. No one seriously believes Saddam is yet co-operating fully. In all honesty, most people don't really believe he ever will. So what holds people back? What brings thousands of people out in protests across the world? And let's not pretend that in March or April or May or June people will feel different. It's not really an issue of timing or 200 inspectors versus 100. It is a right and entirely understandable hatred of war. It is moral purpose, and I respect that. But the moral case against war has a moral answer: it is the moral case for removing Saddam. It is not the reason we act. That must be according to the UN mandate on weapons of mass destruction. But it is the reason, frankly, why if we do have to act, we should do so with a clear conscience. Yes, there are consequences of war. If we remove Saddam by force, people will die, and some will be innocent. And we must live with the consequences of our actions, even the unintended ones. But there are also consequences of 'stop the war'. There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left in power, will remain in being. I rejoice that we live in a country where peaceful protest is a natural part of our democratic process. But I ask the marchers to understand this. I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership and the cost of conviction. If there are 500,000 on the [Stop the War] march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for. If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started. So if the result of peace is Saddam staying in power, not disarmed, then I tell you there are consequences paid in blood for that decision too. But these victims will never be seen, never feature on our TV screens or inspire millions to take to the streets. But they will exist none the less. I want us to be a Government which has the intelligence, the vision and the foresight to see that there is nothing inconsistent in saying that we will increase our aid to development and give hope to Africa, yet be prepared if necessary to fight to defend the values we believe in. This is the testing time, the difficult, the tough time, but if we come through it the prize is not just a Government able to carry on; it is far more important than that: it is a signal that we will have changed politics for good. This is an edited extract of the Prime Minister's speech to delegates at the Labour Party's spring conference in Glasgow yesterday.
 Dear colleague My speech this morning sets out the nature of the threat of global terrorism. I want to share with people the thinking behind some of the actions we have taken and judgements we have made. I have tried to use the speech to explain how my own thinking has evolved during the past few years. Already, before September 11th the world's view of the justification of military action had been changing. The only clear case in international relations for armed intervention had been self-defence, response to aggression. But the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency. I set this out, following the Kosovo war, in a speech in Chicago in 1999, where I called for a doctrine of international community, where in certain clear circumstances, we do intervene, even though we are not directly threatened. I said this was not just to correct injustice, but also because in an increasingly inter-dependent world, our self-interest was allied to the interests of others; and seldom did conflict in one region of the world not contaminate another. We acted in Sierra Leone for similar reasons, though frankly even if that country had become run by gangsters and murderers and its democracy crushed, it would have been a long time before it impacted on us. But we were able to act to help them and we did. So, for me, before September 11th, I was already reaching for a different philosophy in international relations from a traditional one that has held sway since the treaty of Westphalia in 1648; namely that a country's internal affairs are for it and you don't interfere unless it threatens you, or breaches a treaty, or triggers an obligation of alliance. I did not consider Iraq fitted into this philosophy, though I could see the horrible injustice done to its people by Saddam. However, I had started to become concerned about two other phenomena. The first was the increasing amount of information about Islamic extremism and terrorism that was crossing my desk. Chechnya was blighted by it. So was Kashmir. Afghanistan was its training ground. Some 300 people had been killed in the attacks on the USS Cole and US embassies in East Africa. The extremism seemed remarkably well financed. It was very active. And it was driven not by a set of negotiable political demands, but by religious fanaticism. The second was the attempts by states - some of them highly unstable and repressive - to develop nuclear weapons programmes, chemical weapons and biological weapon materiel, and long-range missiles. What is more, it was obvious that there was a considerable network of individuals and companies with expertise in this area, prepared to sell it. All this was before September 11th. Every party member will have been stunned by the events of September 11th. For me, it was a revelation. The point about September 11th was not its detailed planning; not its devilish execution; not even, simply, that it happened in America, on the streets of New York. All of this made it an astonishing, terrible and wicked tragedy, a barbaric murder of innocent people. But what galvanised me was that it was a declaration of war by religious fanatics who were prepared to wage that war without limit. They killed 3000. But if they could have killed 30,000 or 300,000 they would have rejoiced in it. The purpose was to cause such hatred between Moslems and the West that a religious jihad became reality; and the world engulfed by it. From September 11th on, I could see the threat plainly. Here were terrorists prepared to bring about Armageddon. Here were states whose leadership cared for no-one but themselves; were often cruel and tyrannical towards their own people; and who saw WMD as a means of defending themselves against any attempt external or internal to remove them and who, in their chaotic and corrupt state, were in any event porous and irresponsible with neither the will nor capability to prevent terrorists who also hated the West, from exploiting their chaos and corruption. I asked for more intelligence on the issue not just of terrorism but also of WMD. The scale of it became clear. It didn't matter that the Islamic extremists often hated some of these regimes. Their mutual enmity toward the West would in the end triumph over any scruples of that nature, as we see graphically in Iraq today. We knew that Al Qaida sought the capability to use WMD in their attacks. Bin Laden has called it a "duty" to obtain nuclear weapons. His networks have experimented with chemicals and toxins for use in attacks. He received advice from at least two Pakistani scientists on the design of nuclear weapons. In Afghanistan Al Qaida trained its recruits in the use of poisons and chemicals. An Al Qaida terrorist ran a training camp developing these techniques. Terrorist training manuals giving step-by-step instructions for the manufacture of deadly substances such as botulinum and ricin were widely distributed in Afghanistan and elsewhere and via the internet. Terrorists in Russia have actually deployed radiological material. The sarin attack on the Tokyo Metro showed how serious an impact even a relatively small attack can have. This is not a time to err on the side of caution; not a time to weigh the risks to an infinite balance; not a time for the cynicism of the worldly wise who favour playing it long. Their worldly wise cynicism is actually at best naivete and at worst dereliction. When they talk, as they do now, of diplomacy coming back into fashion in respect of Iran or North Korea or Libya, do they seriously think that diplomacy alone has brought about this change? Since the war in Iraq, Libya has taken the courageous step of owning up not just to a nuclear weapons programme but to having chemical weapons, which are now being destroyed. Iran is back in the reach of the IAEA. North Korea in talks with China over its WMD. The A Q Khan network is being shut down, its trade slowly but surely being eliminated. Yet it is monstrously premature to think the threat has passed. The risk remains in the balance here and abroad. These days decisions about it come thick and fast, and while they are not always of the same magnitude they are hardly trivial. Let me give you an example. A short while ago, during the war, we received specific intelligence warning of a major attack on Heathrow. To this day, we don't know if it was correct and we foiled it or if it was wrong. But we received the intelligence. We immediately heightened the police presence. At the time it was much criticised as political hype or an attempt to frighten the public. Actually at each stage we followed rigidly the advice of the police and Security Service. But sit in my seat. Here is the intelligence. Here is the advice. Do you ignore it? But, of course intelligence is precisely that: intelligence. It is not hard fact. It has its limitations. On each occasion the most careful judgement has to be made taking account of everything we know and the best assessment and advice available. But in making that judgement, would you prefer us to act, even if it turns out to be wrong? Or not to act and hope it's OK? And suppose we don't act and the intelligence turns out to be right, how forgiving will people be? And to those who think that these things are all disconnected, random acts, disparate threats with no common thread to bind them, look at what is happening in Iraq today. The terrorists pouring into Iraq, know full well the importance of destroying not just the nascent progress of Iraq toward stability, prosperity and democracy, but of destroying our confidence, of defeating our will to persevere. I have no doubt Iraq is better without Saddam; but no doubt either, that as a result of his removal, the dangers of the threat we face will be diminished. That is not to say the terrorists won't redouble their efforts. They will. This war is not ended. It may only be at the end of its first phase. They are in Iraq, murdering innocent Iraqis who want to worship or join a police force that upholds the law not a brutal dictatorship; they carry on killing in Afghanistan. They do it for a reason. The terrorists know that if Iraq and Afghanistan survive their assault, come through their travails, seize the opportunity the future offers, then those countries will stand not just as nations liberated from oppression, but as a lesson to humankind everywhere and a profound antidote to the poison of religious extremism. That is precisely why the terrorists are trying to foment hatred and division in Iraq. They know full well, a stable democratic Iraq, under the sovereign rule of the Iraqi people, is a mortal blow to their fanaticism. The essence of a community is common rights and responsibilities. We have obligations in relation to each other. If we are threatened, we have a right to act. And we do not accept in a community that others have a right to oppress and brutalise their people. We value the freedom and dignity of the human race and each individual in it. Containment will not work in the face of the global threat that confronts us. The terrorists have no intention of being contained. The states that proliferate or acquire WMD illegally are doing so precisely to avoid containment. Emphatically I am not saying that every situation leads to military action. But we surely have a duty and a right to prevent the threat materialising; and we surely have a responsibility to act when a nation's people are subjected to a regime such as Saddam's. Otherwise, we are powerless to fight the aggression and injustice which over time puts at risk our security and way of life. Britain's role is to try to find a way through this: to construct a consensus behind a broad agenda of justice and security and means of enforcing it. This agenda must be robust in tackling the security threat that this Islamic extremism poses; and fair to all peoples by promoting their human rights, wherever they are. It means tackling poverty in Africa and justice in Palestine as well as being utterly resolute in opposition to terrorism as a way of achieving political goals. It means an entirely different, more just and more modern view of self-interest. It means reforming the United Nations so its Security Council represents 21st century reality; and giving the UN the capability to act effectively as well as debate. It means getting the UN to understand that faced with the threats we have, we should do all we can to spread the values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, religious tolerance and justice for the oppressed, however painful for some nations that may be; but that at the same time, we wage war relentlessly on those who would exploit racial and religious division to bring catastrophe to the world. But in the meantime, the threat is there and demands our attention. That is the struggle which engages us. It is a new type of war. It will rest on intelligence to a greater degree than ever before. It demands a different attitude to our own interests. It forces us to act even when so many comforts seem unaffected, and the threat so far off, if not illusory. I hope you will take time to read the speech. People will make their own minds up as to whether they believe what we said and did in Iraq was right or wrong. It is important that they understand the thinking behind our decisions. I have tried to set them out in my speech.
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