Bradshaw - Acting Leader of the House of Commons BBC Arabic
Bradshaw MP, Acting Leader of the House of Commons, was interviewed
by Fouad Razek on the BBC Arabic Service about the war in Iraq.
interview was broadcast
yesterday (Sunday 23 March 2003) at 9.00pm UK time.
the British Government's war aim based on regime change, weapons
or any other motive?
British Government is totally consistent in this. We have based
our justification on international law and UN resolutions on Saddam's
illegal possession of weapons of mass destruction.
the conflict has started, part of disarming Saddam of his weapons
will inevitably involve taking on his regime, the very small number
of people right at the top who support his reign of terror.
have said very clearly that this is not about oil. Iraq is responsible
for about three per cent of international oil production.
have said very clearly that that when Iraq is liberated, which I
hope is something that happens very soon, that the money from Iraqi
oil will go into a UN trust fund for the benefit of the Iraqi people
and not just for a small clique of people around Saddam."
will the UK Government do if you do not find any weapons of mass
very confident that we will [find weapons of mass destruction] but
we will have to wait and see, won't we. We were not satisfied with
the way that the inspection regime was working in Hans Blix's last
report. He made quite clear that there had been limited compliance
with one of 29 chapters.
forget that resolution 1414 which international community supported
unanimously called for immediate, total and active compliance by
Iraq. Not even France claims that that happened.
I'm afraid we were left with no alternative but to follow through
1441 which made clear that if Saddam did not comply in the way that
South Africa and the Ukraine, both countries who disarmed their
nuclear weapons complied, then he would be disarmed by force."
don't think that's a very likely prospect. Nobody in their right
mind, not even the United Nations, suggests that he doesn't have
these weapons. Not even the countries that are most critical of
the way that the coalition has been following through these policies
suggest that he doesn't have these weapons.
I'm confident that these weapons will be discovered and we let's
hope they are discovered before he uses them."
do you say to the charge that the current actions of the Coalition
are destroying the UN?
think there's a problem with the United Nations Security Council.
If we go back over the last 10 years, we had Rwanda - two million
people killed in the genocide of Rwanda where the UN was totally
incapable of stopping that.
had the fascist dictator Milosevic in the Balkans running rampage
for many years with the UN doing nothing. It wasn't until Britain
led a coalition of countries to take military action with
no UN mandate at all - that the Kosova was liberated and the Muslims
of Kosova was saved.
again the UN Security Council has proved itself incapable of implementing
its own resolutions. But I don't think those countries, like Britain,
America and the others, who were actually implementing international
law and 17 mandatory chapter seven resolutions could be accused
of destroying the UN."
Iraq be partitioned after the fall of the Saddam regime?
members are absolutely adamant that integrity of Iraq must remain
intact. Nobody is talking about dividing Iraq up. We think there
are merits in a federal system to give some levels of autonomy to
different parts of Iraq but the territorial integrity of Iraq is
have always made that clear. We would like to see a UN-run administration
to help the new administration in Iraq and to ensure that the oil
revenue is spent on Iraq, not for any one foreign country, not the
UK or US, but under the UN so the people of Iraq benefit from Iraq's
tremendous wealth rather than that money going into a corrupt clique
around Saddam Hussein."
popular anti-war support rallying around France and Germanys
think that the short term gain in popular opinion, whether in France
or Germany or in other parts of the world, does not necessarily
mean that one sustains that in the medium and long term.
think when people in the Middle East see the Iraqis celebrate in
the streets as the allied forces arrive and liberate them. When
they see the commitment that the international community will show
to the post-Saddam Iraq and its reconstruction; when they see real
progress being made on the Middle East peace process and the commitment
made by President Bush to create a Palestinian state within three
years, they may realise after all that the policy and Britain and
other members of the coalition were following was much better than
the policy that France and Germany was following."
do you says to those who say you haven't taken tough action over
the conflict between Israel and Palestinians?
is a classic example of where British policy has worked better than
was responsible for President Bush publishing the road map and making
a very clear commitment to a Palestinian state within three years?
It hasn't been the French.
been the work of our Prime Minister Tony Blair that has persuaded
him to do that. He's become the first US President ever, of any
political side, to speak of that commitment; to support UN resolution
for it and to map out, very clearly, a route from now to achieving
we have to do is hold the American administration by that commitment.
I believe that solving the Palestinian question, which is one of
the most important questions I think that faces the world, will
be done and we will show our commitment to the region by that commitment."
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