Thursday, July 31, 2003
Turning back the Clock - 31st July 2003, 22.56

The Foreign Affairs Committee has published its report on the 'war on terrorism' and provides 48 dubious recommendations that will prove unlikely to further Britain's interests. Their analysis of the events leading up to war supports those who argued that Iraq was not given enough time to disarm.

4. We conclude that, according to the timetable for UN weapons inspections agreed by the United Kingdom and other Security Council members in 1999, it would have taken inspectors longer to build up capacity and make clear judgements about Iraqi prohibited weapons and weapons programmes than they were permitted before the war in Iraq commenced. (Paragraph 55)

5. We conclude that it would have been highly desirable to obtain a further Security Council resolution before taking military action in Iraq. (Paragraph 75)

This provides the Committee with its desire to promote the role of the United Nations at the expense of the Coalition and express its desire to return to the status quo ante. Its recommendations involve shoring up the Security Council and restoring its influence, mending fences with France and ensuring that NATO, the EU, the US and the Common Foreign and Security Policy all function without reference to the divisions that severely damaged them during the year.

The strategic incoherence that guides the foreign policy of Blair's administration also afflicts the parliamentary critics within the Labour backbenches and the opposition. By preserving the internationalist aims of the pre-war alliances, and cloaking them in the demands of the 'war on terrorism', they provide little opposition to the government. Instead of meeting the challenges that the weakening of the Cold War institutions brings, they talk up the past and repeat the inane mantra of aiding two groups: Europe and teh United States. Not so different from an executive that disagrees with them.


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