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Different Songsheets.

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posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 10:19 AM
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Blair has just given a statement in the House of Commons.Afterwards he answered questions.On the face of it it was a status report but there are very obvious differences between what Blair has just said and what the Hawks in Washington are saying.Blair has,I believe in part,laid out the British position.

1/Civilian Administration in weeks.

2/Elections within the year.

3/It is not illegal for Syria to have Chemical weapons.

4/Military action against Syria not on the agenda.

5/US/UK Hope to write off debts to Iraq.This will effect France,China,and Russia.

6/UN involvement essential.

There were almost certainly other contraversial points that Brian Hanrahan of the BBC missed .

The points above leave little wiggle room.

Washington is split and so it is impossible to know if this represents a divide between Bush and Blair but it is clear that Blair is publically outlining his position.

What is the price of British support?

I'll post a link when it comes up.

[Edited on 14-4-2003 by John bull 1]



dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 10:38 AM
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Yep, it's a nice show for the UK parliament, but when it comes down to it, Blair will do pretty much anything that Bush asks because he doesn't have a choice any longer. There is no way back for Blair, he can't suddenly stop backing the US because he has no other allies left.

The only thing that might be a step too far would be an invasion of Syria. But I think that with a few months of arm-twisting Blair might even come round to that idea.

Note that a "significant UN role in rebuilding Iraq" has become "UN involvement essential", a subtle change, but an indication that things are not moving in the right direction where the UN is concerned.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 10:53 AM
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The UN involvement essential may have been my choice of words.Sorry Dom.

The BBC are not reporting the differences.


I think Washington is split and Blair has almost sided with one of the factions against Rumsfeld with Powel

One comment I did remember at the very end was that there couldn't be two rival poles in the world that both sides had to move.

Blair knows he can not possibly side with the USA against Syria without a very compelling reason.It looks like every comment coming from Washington is moving in that direction.
Blair honesly believed that Bush would stop after Iraq he has waged his entire political reputation on this action being limited.He is laying out his position diplomatically so Washington does not get upset but it shoud be fairly clear.

[Edited on 14-4-2003 by John bull 1]



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 10:53 AM
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"Blair will do pretty much anything that Bush asks because he doesn't have a choice any longer. There is no way back for Blair, he can't suddenly stop backing the US because he has no other allies left."

Don`t think thats true, why do you say he has no choice any longer? Why can he no stop supporting Blair? British foreign policy is not tied to that of the US. I think Tony can stop supporting GW anytime he wants, knows this and realises that this holds some power.

"But I think that with a few months of arm-twisting Blair might even come round to that idea."

I think he will back out of any further conflict in Syria or Iran, the statements that have been made by them lately support that. However it does n`t seem unlikely that *arm twisting* may take place. I would prefer to think Of TB twisting GW out of war rather than the other way round.

John I seem to remember before this started that you thought the whole war issue would damage TB to the point of him may be having to step down or face a challenge. Do you think its still likely? Seems to me he has come out of this quite well.

I did watch the statement by Blair and to be honest it seems to be encouraging, I hope he makes it stick with shrub


dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:01 AM
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Cassini - You may be right. Perhaps Blair will suddenly withdraw his support, but I think if there was any chance of that happening, it would have happened after the failure to achieve a second UN resolution. I think now we've seen the shape of things to come.

It's always possible that the US will go too far for Blair, but I think it more likely that the US will compromise a little, the UK will compromise a lot, and Blair will say that it's imperative to be on the inside instead of the outside.

I know you asked jb about Blair's future, but I thought I might just say what I think too. If no WMD's are found, Blair is gone. This war may have been a military success so far, but I don't think many people expected it not to be, WMD's will be a vital issue over the next few months.

The media have spun the liberation of the Iraqi people well. So certainly it's been less disasterous in that respect than it could have been. But if we see more anti-US/UK demonstrations like the one yesterday in Baghdad then the public image of the liberation/occupation may start to tip towards occupation, and that will leave a sour taste in many peoples mouths...



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:07 AM
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We will find WMD. But they will be planted there by us. Like I've said before, Saddam isn't stupid enough to get caught with them. That's how he plans to defeat us. He cannot win a military war with us, so he plans to turn our allies against us.

Did you really think it'd be that easy. That we could walk right in there and they'd roll out the red carpet point and say, "There, over there. All of our weapons of mass destruction, and we've even gift-wrapped them for you."

He's using our own system to divide us.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:08 AM
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To answer that last question Cassini.You are quite right that was my postion.I do not believe,if this conflict remains limited,that he will now have to step down or face a challenge.

But the country is still split .I think that their are still a lot of Britons upset that the UN route,that we were assured would be taken,was in the end ignored.Those people,by happy coincidence,are in the main Labour voters.Members are refusing to help in the local elections.That result will be a good barometer of public opinion.
I fear things are now running so fast that more dire events will be in the publics mind


dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:16 AM
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jb - I wonder how true that is about most of the anti-war people being labour supporters. The two factions I see supporting the war in the UK are:
a) Clever right-wing people (classically conservative voters)
b) Stupid underpriveleged people (classically labour voters)

Not meaning to be rude, but most people in the working classes support labour, because they want help in improving their lifestyle, but a fair proportion of them are not clever enough to question what the media/govt feeds them.

So although most of the intelligent left-wingers are against the war, it'll be interesting to see how much support Labour actually lose.

I've grown tired of hearing people telling me about how maybe this war isn't a bad thing after all, because the Iraqi people are happy to be liberated. It's that kind of argument that might turn things in favour of Blair staying. (I've also grown tired of pointing out that we didn't fight this war to liberate the Iraqi people)



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:22 AM
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Joe,
Blair has all but said that it is not illegal for Syria to have Chemical weapons because it is not a signaturary to the relevant treaties.As Brian Hanrahan said it is the same with the USA having Landmines.It would be illegal if it were Britain but not illegal if it were the USA.

Cassini,
I thought the points were very well disguised so as to not suggest there was a split but he has made those points in Parliament and deliberately misleading Parliament is just about the most heinous crime in British politics.I think he has laid out what is needed for continued British support.As you saw it too.How did you see it?



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:31 AM
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a) Clever right-wing people (classically conservative voters)
b) Stupid underpriveleged people (classically labour voters)

Absolutely agree and there are even signs that group a) see Blair as a better conservative.

Group b) of course kept Thatcher in power but they are also drawn to the BNP.

About 50% of Britons are pro-European.That is no longer an option.

The Election is not for a few years yet things will be a lot different in the world also the economy and even the leader of the opposition.


dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:39 AM
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I'm sure that Labour will still win the next general election, with or without Blair, but turnout will be down.

I just don't see an effective opposition. People aren't going to vote for a right wing Conservative like IDS, so the only other viable choice is Charles Kennedy. And he's too wet behind the ears to provide a forceful voice of opposition in this country.

So Blair will get voted back, with a lower turnout, and a gain for the liberal democrats, loss for labour, the same for the conservatives.

The only way this country will get rid of Blair is if the Labour party revolts from within, and right now Blair rules the Labour party in the same way Saddam ruled the Ba'ath party...

Europe is an interesting thing. I used to be a Conservative supporter (until maybe 2 years ago) and supported the anti-Europe case (I guess you could call me a neo-liberal). Now I'm 100% behind Europe, and would vote Yes in a Euro referendum. If anything this war in Iraq will strengthen the case for closer ties with Europe (an effective opposition to US imperialism), but only under Kennedy or an alternative Labour PM...



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 11:49 AM
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"I thought the points were very well disguised so as to not suggest there was a split"

JB, I think you are quite right. Blair and his political machine are very smooth (not always but generally).
This speech is another testament to that.

""I think he has laid out what is needed for continued British support""

I don`t think however, that this includes Syria. I can only go on the diplomacy that has taken place recently and what I see to be the tone of the policy towards Syria. This (war in Syria) I believe Blair knows is a step too far for the British public.

Although just having listened to something Geoff Hoon said I think there is room in their thinking for war in Syria. Something about the way he said "expressing continued concern about the situation" leaves me thinking they may see how it develops before putting the question to parliament.

(I certainly don`t agree with going to war with Syria and this may be colouring my view of what Blairs been saying and doing recently)



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:09 PM
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Syria is a step too far both France and Russia have very close historical,cultural,and economic ties to Syria.Neither could stand back out of it.I am sure that was one of the main things on the agenda in St Petersburg.They wanted Blair there so that he could talk to Bush privately.Blair didn't want to do it.Hence he didn't go.
The big question is do they make the strength of their opposition public?On the one hand they need to make it clear but would the Americans view it as an ultimatum?
The Europeans and Russians are bending over backwards not to make the situation worse but the USA seems not to see that no country not least countries as powerful as France,Russia,and Germany are going to sit back and just get screwed and I mean completely screwed.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by dom
I'm sure that Labour will still win the next general election, with or without Blair, but turnout will be down.




Don't believe it. Blair is the only thing that made the Labour party electable.

As for splits with the Bush administration? Don't believe a word of that either. Blair has to make the odd attempt at appeasing the huge left wing in his party otherwise he would lose all support.
Give Blair his due. He's a clever politician. He knows that the UN will not be given the full role in Iraq that the French and Russians are seeking. But by coming out with a statement that he supports "some" UN involvement he is appeasing his detractors.

What makes you think that full UN involvement in Iraq would be in the UK's national interest anyway? We stand to make much more of a gain if we go with the American line.


dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:19 PM
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Blair may have made Labour electable, but so far their policies don't seem to be driving this country into the ground. That's typically why Labour only last one term.


Who do you see their replacement being? The Conservatives don't stand a chance, I can't imagine the voters they lost to Labour coming back because Labour are too right wing! The only alternative is Kennedy, but does he really have the character to lead this country?

As for UN involvement. Blair knows that an Iraqi government built by the UN has a far greater chance of success than an Iraqi government built by the US. Blair is also not totally evil, I don't think he's hell bent on destroying the UN, even if he's helped to undermine it.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by dom
As for UN involvement. Blair knows that an Iraqi government built by the UN has a far greater chance of success than an Iraqi government built by the US.




I dissagree. Look to Bosnia and Afghanistan as an example.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:31 PM
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The Labour Party Have already split once in the early eighties to form the SDP.Unfortunately it is the left who feel disenfranchised and they feel a peculiar ownership of the Labour Party they will be actively trying to kick the Blairite cuckoos out of the nest.The left will not be voting necessarily with the whips.There may be an unofficial split and an alliance with the Liberals on domestic issues.School fees,Hospitals,and so on.


dom

posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:49 PM
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Leveller - how do you mean? The Afghanistan government was built by the UN, but it may be doomed if the US pull out from the region. I thought Bosnia was relatively stable now, did I miss something?

Fact is, within the Middle East a US-created government will not be seen as a good thing. A UN-created government will be seen as a better thing, hence it will be more stable because less people will be looking to remove it.

jb - Yeah, well if that's the case, then hopefully Blair will be removed. But so many of the labour MP's that are actually in positions of power seem unwilling to go against Blair. Nearly all of those who are seen as the up and coming set, voted with him in the pre-war vote. Would Brown be seen as a viable replacement despite his support of Blair's policies on Iraq? If not Brown then who? A liberal alliance might be a good thing, but Blair will still be creating the policies that are voted on.

I would love to see Blair gone. He's a disgrace to this country, a disgrace to democracy, but I'm not so sure that he'll be going...



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 12:54 PM
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From what I understand. Blair is risking his entire political career to do what he thinks is right. For that I admire him, even if he is a puppet.



posted on Apr, 14 2003 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by joehayner
From what I understand. Blair is risking his entire political career to do what he thinks is right. For that I admire him, even if he is a puppet.


Admire him!?! A man setting the table for the next phase of his career, and an EXTREMELY LUCRATIVE phase at that !?!?!

Look, Mr. Blair has done nothing but position himself to follow the well worn path of Mrs. Thatcher & Mr. Major....straight to being a stock laden fellow of the Carlyle Group. How many time over are they millionaires for trading the waning days of their life politico for the leather covered seat on the board of the Carlyle Group!?!
Nothing to admire; Mr. Blair had his sunshine idealism already. Now he's the bitter women saying "first I married for love, next time I marry for money".




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