2003-02-28

That is all we ask


Tony Blair höll i tisdags ett tal om Irak till underhuset, och än en gång imponerar hans statsmannamässiga lugn, saklighet och resonemang.
"That is all we ask; that what we said in Resolution 1441 we mean; and that what it demands, Saddam does."


Blair talade inte minst till demonstranterna:
"To those who say we are rushing to war, I say this. We are now 12 years after Saddam was first told by the UN to disarm; nearly 6 months after President Bush made his speech to the UN accepting the UN route to disarmament; nearly 4 months on from Resolution 1441 (PDF); and even now today we are offering Saddam the prospect of voluntary disarmament through the UN.

I detest his regime. But even now he can save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully.

I do not want war. I do not believe anyone in this House wants war. But disarmament peacefully can only happen with Saddam's active co-operation.

12 years of bitter experience teaches that. And if he refuses to co-operate – as he is refusing now and we fail to act, what then? Saddam in charge of Iraq, his WMD intact, the will of the international community set at nothing, the UN tricked again, Saddam hugely strengthened and emboldened – does anyone truly believe that will mean peace? And when we turn to deal with other threats, where will our authority be? And when we make a demand next time, what will our credibility be? This is not a road to peace but folly and weakness that will only mean the conflict when it comes is more bloody, less certain and greater in its devastation."


Blair kommenterar det motförslag som Frankrike, Tyskland och Ryssland har gett till USA:s och Storbritanniens förslag till resolution:
"At the core of this proposition is the notion that the task of the inspectors is to enter Iraq to find the weapons, to sniff them out as one member of the European Council put it. That is emphatically not the inspectors' job. They are not a detective agency."


Och slutligen; varför är detta en så viktig fråga? Varför kan vi inte låta Saddam vara, släppa sanktionerna, låta det irakiska folket börja återbygga sitt land och hoppas att allt går bra?
"At stake in Iraq is not just peace or war. It is the authority of the UN. Resolution 1441 is clear. All we are asking is that it now be upheld. If it is not, the consequences will stretch far beyond Iraq."