Re: Excerpt: Speech by the prime minister, Tony Blair, to the 2003 Labour party conference in Bournemouth

Date: Wed 01 Oct 2003 - 05:10:53 GMT

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    From: "Scott Chase" <> To: Subject: Re: Excerpt: Speech by the prime minister, Tony Blair, to the 2003 Labour party
            conference in Bournemouth Date sent: Wed, 01 Oct 2003 00:41:45 -0400 Send reply to:

    > >From:
    > >Reply-To:
    > >To:
    > >Subject: Excerpt: Speech by the prime minister, Tony Blair, to the
    > >2003 Labour party conference in Bournemouth Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003
    > >22:42:56 -0500
    > >
    > >Iraq has divided the international community. It has divided the
    > >party, the country, families, friends. I know many people are
    > >disappointed, hurt, angry. I know many profoundly believe the action
    > >we took was wrong . I do not at all disrespect anyone who disagrees
    > >with me. I ask just one thing: attack my decision but at least
    > >understand why I took it and why I would take the same decision
    > >again. Imagine you are PM. And you receive this intelligence. And not
    > >just about Iraq. But about the whole murky trade in WMD. And one
    > >thing we know. Not from intelligence. But from historical fact. That
    > >Saddam's regime has not just developed but used such weapons gassing
    > >thousands of his own people. And has lied about it consistently,
    > >concealing it for years even under the noses of the UN Inspectors.
    > >And I see the terrorism and the trade in WMD growing. And I look at
    > >Saddam's country and I see its people in torment ground underfoot by
    > >his and his sons' brutality and wickedness. So what do I do? Say
    > >"I've got the intelligence but I've a hunch its wrong?" Leave Saddam
    > >in place but now with the world's democracies humiliated and him
    > >emboldened? You see, I believe the security threat of the 21st
    > >century is not countries waging conventional war. I believe that in
    > >today's interdependent world the threat is chaos. It is fanaticism
    > >defeating reason. Suppose the terrorists repeated September 11th or
    > >worse. Suppose they got hold of a chemical or biological or nuclear
    > >dirty bomb; and if they could, they would. What then? And if it is
    > >the threat of the 21st century, Britain should be in there helping
    > >confront it, not because we are America's poodle, but because dealing
    > >with it will make Britain safer. There was no easy choice. So
    > >whatever we each of us thought, let us agree on this. We who started
    > >the war must finish the peace. Those British soldiers who died are
    > >heroes. We didn't regret the fall of Milosovic, the removal of the
    > >Taliban or the liberation of Sierra Leone and whatever the
    > >disagreement Iraq is a better country without Saddam. And why do I
    > >stay fighting to keep in there with America on the one hand and
    > >Europe on the other? Because I know terrorism can't be defeated
    > >unless America and Europe work together. And it's not so much
    > >American unilateralism I fear. It's isolation. It's walking away when
    > >we need America there engaged. Fighting to get world trade opened up.
    > >Fighting to give hope to Africa. Changing its position for the future
    > >of the world, on climate change. And staying with it in the Middle
    > >East, telling Israel and the Palestinians: don't let the extremists
    > >decide the fate of the peace process, when the only hope is two
    > >states living side by side in peace. And it's not Britain being
    > >swallowed up in some European federal nightmare as if Britain wasn't
    > >strong enough to hold its own, that I fear. It's Britain leaving the
    > >centre of Europe retreating to its margin at the very moment when the
    > >fate of Europe is being decided, 10 new nations and Britain's
    > >leadership has never been more essential. That's why apart from all
    > >the good economic reasons it is madness for Britain to give up the
    > >option of joining the Euro. And I know both on terrorism and on
    > >Europe my views cause offence. But I can no more concede to parts of
    > >the left on the one than I can genuflect to the right over the other.
    > >Because I believe both positions are vital in delivering justice in a
    > >modern world.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > OK Joe. I'm violating my self-imposed moratorium on replying to you
    > about Iraq to say enough is enough already. I think I'm a fairer judge
    > than others here about your unidimensionality and obsession with these
    > topics of Iraq, Islamicism, and the Middle East and I say you need to
    > give it a rest. Please.
    > I now feel guilty about drawing recent comparisons between our wars in
    > Iraq and Vietnam in a post, mainly because the constant monotony of
    > your dwelling has made even an occasional reference to these current
    > events a listmember faux pas.
    > I make no appeals to the moderator, just to you to try and be less
    > unidimensional and stop to smell the roses a little. Go relax and
    > watch a Tampa Bay Bucs game or something (if one can still actually
    > buy tickets to such an event without being a member of a Forbes or
    > Fortune featured corporation).
    > You live so close to the Montu I'm sure. If I lived over there I'd
    > have a year round pass to Busch Gardens and a neck vertebrae fusion
    > I'd be riding those rollercoasters so often. Free complementary beer
    > is a plus!
    Actually, I live in the western Florida panhandle (Pensacola); the free beer, rollercoasters and football games are more than 300 miles from me. But the beaches, woods camping, fishing and hunting here are fine. I realize that the irrationally and viscerally emotional Bush-haters onlist,
    (predominantly Euros and frequently Brits) who cannot credit his administration with doing ANYTHING right (much like the Clinton-haters before them, and the Reagan-haters before them, and so on...), raise such a squall when I even post URL's to his speeches, that if they were dead, I'm inclined to believe that they would spin in their graves like dreidels (and, no, I'm not Jewish - just to the forfend that otherwise likely antisemitic slander), but can they actually justify protesting when I post a sitting British PM's justification for his quite serious decision to place sons of Merrie Olde England in harm's way? Actually, I see no parallels between Vietnam and Iraq that would hold a single H2O molecule, so I see no reason to associate the two, unless one is attempting to verbally mirage a nonexistent quagmire in an attempt to prevent the US from protecting itself and freeing others
    (check out for verification of this. But I still do consider the militant violent and virulent minority-held mutation of Islam, that is, the Wahhab/Qutb mutation, to be the most serious contemporaneously extant threat to freedom of choice of thought, speech and action, constitutional democracy, and egalitarian civil and human rights. And there are many thousands of good and dead reasons for this opinion, and the aforementioned mutation is openly and avowedly endeavoring to furnish us all with more of the same.
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