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MPs say yes

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posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 04:16 PM
The british parliament has given its support to war. Do I need to say anything else? Probably.

Sorry just to add to that about 217 MPs voted against the motion, only 18 more than last time.

The USA was obviously going to prosecute this war no matter what, the support it gains from the Uk in not standing alone makes the situation worse.

Next vote coming through......412 for 149 against. The MPS and by proxy the country support WAR.

For those not in the UK the first vote was for an amendment to the motion on war and the second for WAR
[Edited on 18-3-2003 by cassini]

[Edited on 18-3-2003 by cassini]

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 04:55 PM
I didn't think there would be that many votes 'for'

Cspan has covered a lot of this - I must say the watching those guys in the British Parliment is quite exciting. Our guys would put you to sleep. lol

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:02 PM
Bob it has its moments but lately its been quite electric, have to say I`m a bit surprised that after the outporing of support for Robin Cook last night that there was n`t more against. Most people will now be adopting a trench attitude, and by and large the country will pull together. Right or wrong TB had put our troops where he has and as I have both friends and family serving (not all in the Gulf now but potentially) I will give them my goodwill support and love because they deserve it. I`m not pro war, more the other way but these guys are n`t politicians and they don`t need are blame and accusations

article on the vote

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:11 PM
Well said Cassini. I have my reservations about the war myself, though I generally support it. As far as the troops go: they deserve our support, and lots of it.

Through this whole thing I have been pretty impressed with Blair. He put a lot on the line. He seems to really believe this is the right thing to do. I hope he's right....

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:15 PM

Originally posted by Bob88
He seems to really believe this is the right thing to do. I hope he's right....

Take a look at Robin Cook's resignation speech if you want


posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:20 PM
Cook's resignation speech

Cook received a standing ovation
Here is the full text of Robin Cook's resignation speech in the House of Commons, which won applause from some backbenchers in unprecedented Commons scenes.

This is the first time for 20 years that I have addressed the House from the back benches.

I must confess that I had forgotten how much better the view is from here.

None of those 20 years were more enjoyable or more rewarding than the past two, in which I have had the immense privilege of serving this House as Leader of the House, which were made all the more enjoyable, Mr Speaker, by the opportunity of working closely with you.

It was frequently the necessity for me as Leader of the House to talk my way out of accusations that a statement had been preceded by a press interview.

On this occasion I can say with complete confidence that no press interview has been given before this statement.

I have chosen to address the House first on why I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support.

Backing Blair

The present Prime Minister is the most successful leader of the Labour party in my lifetime.

I hope that he will continue to be the leader of our party, and I hope that he will continue to be successful. I have no sympathy with, and I will give no comfort to, those who want to use this crisis to displace him.

I applaud the heroic efforts that the prime minister has made in trying to secure a second resolution.

I do not think that anybody could have done better than the foreign secretary in working to get support for a second resolution within the Security Council.

But the very intensity of those attempts underlines how important it was to succeed.

Now that those attempts have failed, we cannot pretend that getting a second resolution was of no importance.

French intransigence?

France has been at the receiving end of bucket loads of commentary in recent days.

It is not France alone that wants more time for inspections. Germany wants more time for inspections; Russia wants more time for inspections; indeed, at no time have we signed up even the minimum necessary to carry a second resolution.

We delude ourselves if we think that the degree of international hostility is all the result of President Chirac.

The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner - not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council.

To end up in such diplomatic weakness is a serious reverse.

Only a year ago, we and the United States were part of a coalition against terrorism that was wider and more diverse than I would ever have imagined possible.

'Heavy price'

History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition.

The US can afford to go it alone, but Britain is not a superpower.

Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules.

Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened: the European Union is divided; the Security Council is in stalemate.

Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired.

I have heard some parallels between military action in these circumstances and the military action that we took in Kosovo. There was no doubt about the multilateral support that we had for the action that we took in Kosovo.

It was supported by NATO; it was supported by the European Union; it was supported by every single one of the seven neighbours in the region. France and Germany were our active allies.

It is precisely because we have none of that support in this case that it was all the more important to get agreement in the Security Council as the last hope of demonstrating international agreement.

Public doubts

The legal basis for our action in Kosovo was the need to respond to an urgent and compelling humanitarian crisis.

Our difficulty in getting support this time is that neither the international community nor the British public is persuaded that there is an urgent and compelling reason for this military action in Iraq.

The threshold for war should always be high.

None of us can predict the death toll of civilians from the forthcoming bombardment of Iraq, but the US warning of a bombing campaign that will "shock and awe" makes it likely that casualties will be numbered at least in the thousands.

I am confident that British servicemen and women will acquit themselves with professionalism and with courage. I hope that they all come back.

I hope that Saddam, even now, will quit Baghdad and avert war, but it is false to argue that only those who support war support our troops.

It is entirely legitimate to support our troops while seeking an alternative to the conflict that will put those troops at risk.

Nor is it fair to accuse those of us who want longer for inspections of not having an alternative strategy.

For four years as foreign secretary I was partly responsible for the western strategy of containment.

Over the past decade that strategy destroyed more weapons than in the Gulf war, dismantled Iraq's nuclear weapons programme and halted Saddam's medium and long-range missiles programmes.

Iraq's military strength is now less than half its size than at the time of the last Gulf war.

Threat questioned

Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion. Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days.

We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.

It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories.

Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?

Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?

Israeli breaches

Only a couple of weeks ago, Hans Blix told the Security Council that the key remaining disarmament tasks could be completed within months.

I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to complete disarmament, and that our patience is exhausted.

Yet it is more than 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

We do not express the same impatience with the persistent refusal of Israel to comply.

I welcome the strong personal commitment that the prime minister has given to middle east peace, but Britain's positive role in the middle east does not redress the strong sense of injustice throughout the Muslim world at what it sees as one rule for the allies of the US and another rule for the rest.

Nor is our credibility helped by the appearance that our partners in Washington are less interested in disarmament than they are in regime change in Iraq.

That explains why any evidence that inspections may be showing progress is greeted in Washington not with satisfaction but with consternation: it reduces the case for war.

Presidential differences

What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops.

The longer that I have served in this place, the greater the respect I have for the good sense and collective wisdom of the British people.

On Iraq, I believe that the prevailing mood of the British people is sound. They do not doubt that Saddam is a brutal dictator, but they are not persuaded that he is a clear and present danger to Britain.

They want inspections to be given a chance, and they suspect that they are being pushed too quickly into conflict by a US Administration with an agenda of its own.

Above all, they are uneasy at Britain going out on a limb on a military adventure without a broader international coalition and against the hostility of many of our traditional allies.

From the start of the present crisis, I have insisted, as Leader of the House, on the right of this place to vote on whether Britain should go to war.

It has been a favourite theme of commentators that this House no longer occupies a central role in British politics.

Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war that has neither international agreement nor domestic support.

I intend to join those tomorrow night who will vote against military action now. It is for that reason, and for that reason alone, and with a heavy heart, that I resign from the government.


posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:24 PM
you may also want to look at the speech Clare Short made in defence of why she decided to stay instead of resigning like Mr Cook.

I must say I admire them both immensely for doing the opposite thing on the grounds of their principals. They both offer Blair all the support they can. Personally I feel proud of the people we have in our government - they are in a hard place and yet have tried to remain sincere.

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:30 PM

Originally posted by Bob88

Cspan has covered a lot of this - I must say the watching those guys in the British Parliment is quite exciting. Our guys would put you to sleep. lol

i have watched this on cspan also, it's amazing they can get anything done there, seems like all they do is argue, holler, and crack jokes at eachother. kind of like deciding who gets to go get the pizza when everyone is drunk.

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:31 PM
Karl Robin cooks speech was short sharp and to the point was n`t it. I have to admit to being impressed by a man who had seemed nothing more than a mumbling gingerhaired (sorry I`m gingerist
j/k) womaniser who had nothing between his ears but ginger, that has changed.

Some more reports about tonights news

Us gains support from 30 more countries

The Turkish Parliament has also just announced it will re vote on US troops on its soil.

Make yourself laugh before the draft,

make GWB say what you like

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:37 PM
"I must say I admire them both immensely for doing the opposite thing on the grounds of their principals. They both offer Blair all the support they can."

I hope to hell you are being sarcatic about that woman. She is a two faced liar. She offers Tony Blair nothing but the likelyhood she will go back on her word. She has gone, most importantly, back on the voters that she made the promise to. The promise was that she would NOT support war without a second resolution. Well Clare where is the second resolution and where did your vote go.?

posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:44 PM

Originally posted by Bob88
I didn't think there would be that many votes 'for'

Cspan has covered a lot of this - I must say the watching those guys in the British Parliment is quite exciting. Our guys would put you to sleep. lol

I couldn't agree more; I enjoy watching the Brit's battle it out in the House of Commons on Cspan. I also think this is good "shot" Blair needed in the arm with his whole political career on the line and 3 parliament members resigning. I respect Blair a lot, if he looses his job in the UK I'd welcome him to a political career here in the US, he's just as good as being an American


posted on Mar, 18 2003 @ 05:47 PM
cassini I see your point, but just for once there was no sarcasm in my opinion. If you read the following interview with Short she gives an honest account of why she changed her stance and her admittance that it will probably cost her all political credibility. I guess I'm guilty of being naive when it comes to politics, but there was just something about this that touched me - never been a fan of this woman before but somehow by taking this stance I feel a little respect for her now.

Short explains her U-turn

Clare Short was interviewed by BBC political editor Andrew Marr
Clare Short has decided to change her mind and stay in the government despite deep misgivings over its policy on Iraq that prompted her last week to describe Prime Minister Tony Blair as "reckless".

She explained her position in an interview with BBC political editor Andrew Marr.

Andrew Marr: Do you still regard Tony Blair as reckless over this?

Clare Short: I think the crisis has been badly handled but I think we are where we are and I've been thinking about what I would do if I was Tony Blair and I think there's no way a second resolution can be got because France has said no ultimatum, would veto, going back [on the position] from [resolution] 1441.

I know that I'll be vilified

Iraq is a mess. Saddam Hussein is defying the UN. The people are suffering, we have to go on. 19 million people need food aid, we've got to make sure they are cared for.

Marr: You did say very clearly that you would go if there wasn't a second resolution, there isn't a second resolution. A lot of your allies and comrades in the party will be saying 'you've let us down'.

Short: Absolutely I know that I'll be vilified. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, it's easier to go, I'd be more popular if I went, but the truth is I would be copping out. If I think Tony has no option then it's cheap of me to resign as though he could do something different now, but I know I'm going to have a really hard time.

Marr: Has this been the hardest decision you've had to take as a politician?

Short: Yes absolutely.

Marr: You list in your statement various reasons why you've changed your mind about this. What was the tipping moment, what is the crucial central reason you decided to stay?

Short: For me, when I made my statement, the 'reckless statement', I said we haven't even got the road map to the Palestinian state published, if there was a commitment to justice in the Middle East we'd get that.

We have to group together and do this in a way that will minimise the harm

There has to be a UN mandate for the reconstruction of the country [Iraq] otherwise any forces would be an army of occupation and you can't restructure the country.

Both those things have been got.

Thirdly, because the attorney general wasn't saying anything, I was beginning to think there was some doubt about legality. He's made an absolute unequivocal statement and then France has made it completely impossible to get a Security Council resolution.

I didn't think it was right to be on the US time lines - like 'do it in five days or we're going anyway', and 'we want another resolution that gives us the right to start the war when we feel like it'.

I agreed with France on that but when they said they wouldn't support the Chilean proposal, which was for three weeks, Dr Blix to report, but an ultimatum in the resolution if Saddam Hussein didn't comply, then they'd moved away from 1441, then there was no second resolution.

So [with] the things I complained about there has been movement on and we are where we are and the people of Iraq are where they are and we have to group together and do this in a way that will minimise the harm to them and rebuild the country.

Marr: You say in your statement that you are hopeful that not too many Iraqi women and children and civilians will be killed by what is about to happen.

It's highly likely that the military action will be over in a matter of weeks

Short: I've had two very detailed presentations from the military. Obviously war is risky and never ever should lightly be engaged in, but the targeting is enormously careful to go for things that will help the military and not the people and there's massive preparations to look after people, this is a very hungry vulnerable people and a large part of the military action will be stabilising things to stop people fighting each other and keeping people fed and cared for. Those are duties under the Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention.

So I think it's highly likely but there are risks, not least the worry about chemical and biological weapons, it's highly likely that the military action will be over in a matter of weeks, that the Iraqi forces will crumble very quickly because this is a very nasty regime and its people don't like it and if they think they can safely come away from the authority of the regime they will.

But, [the UN's] Oil for Food [programme] - 19 million people daily dependant for their food and their basics, if that breaks down we could have a catastrophe. Keeping humanitarian [aid] running is probably the biggest challenge.

Marr: So is the difference between you and Robin Cook, essentially is that you feel that you have an absolutely vital job in government still to do involving Iraq.

Short: I didn't I'm afraid listen to Robin's speech, I was just doing other things - no disrespect to Robin and I will read it. I understand his irritation, I think the whole approach to this crisis, the way America shows its power and appears to bully the world, all this is very unattractive, the divisions in Europe, the divisions in the security council, all very regrettable, it should have been done better, but we're here, the people have got to be cared for, Tony's got to make a decision for Britain.

I think he [Tony Blair] has no doubt that if we were all starting again we could have handled it differently

I respect Robin's position and anyone who takes that position but for me I think I have to accept the responsibility, though I know I'm going to get terrible flak for this, but you've got to do what you think is right whatever [the situation].

Marr: You're going to get terrible flak the government gets terrible flak, do you think the prime minister has any second thoughts or felt that it could have been done differently?

Short: I think he has no doubt that if we were all starting again we could have handled it differently, I mean we should have started with publication of the road map - if you want to stand for justice in the Middle East the first thing is to get that Palestinian state alongside Israel and give both peoples a chance of a secure and decent future, then you'd show you were committing to justice.

Then you've got to turn to Iraq and the fact that Saddam Hussein is in complete defiance of the UN and that what should have been a short sanctions regime after the invasion of Kuwait goes on and the people suffer and then every attempt to keep the international community united to minimise the need for a military conflict and to have it only with the backing of the UN, that would be ideal.

But we're not in an ideal situation, we are where we are and Tony is where he is and I think every one of us should say 'if I were the prime minister of Britain what would I do?'

Marr: Do you feel that he's done everything he can to reign in and moderate some of the forces in the American administration?

Short: To be honest I think he could have used the leverage of Britain more earlier, but I think in the last week or so he's done everything he could conceivably do.

Marr: It's a pretty tough 12 hours ahead for you and everybody else. Are you absolutely calm and settled in your mind about what you have decided to do?

Short: I'm absolutely certain that this is what I've got to do, being true to myself. I'm not looking forward to all the people who are going to feel I've let them down.

It would have been easier to go, I would have been more popular, but I've got to do what I think is right. I think I like the fact that our country, our parliament, our government is deeply troubled by this, I think we should be troubled and I'm very troubled but here we are and I'm going to do what I can

posted on Mar, 19 2003 @ 02:11 AM
Arc, Claire Short is someone I had always looked to in the government to stand up and be counted when a policy looked wrong and as such she had gained my respect. Now by doing this she has lost all the hard work she has put in since being in government.

I will admit that the interview below is very honest and I`d be lying if I did n`t say I want her to bounce back from this, she has gained my respect once and can do so again.

There have now been Nine resignations from the government over the issue. This is not exclusively been Mps as several Principal Private Secretarys (the most senior civil servants) have resigned.


posted on Mar, 19 2003 @ 04:46 AM
Well, that's the last chance to prevent British troops being involved...

It's sad really, 1/3 of the MP's voted against the government, and yet we know that Clair Short voted *with* the government, even though she finds the current policy "reckless". Not only that, but a lot of labour MP's have been put under tremendous pressure from their party "this will be the end of your political career, etc. ".

I think if it had been a secret ballot we might have seen a much larger rebellion.

Oh well, here comes war. Let's hope the casualty rates are low, and that once the dust settles down Tony Blair is forced to resign.

Incidentally I still won't back this war, although I hope our troops come back alive. I'll be out on Saturday protesting against the government.


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